Think back to your days on the 8th grade football team. If you’re like us, you sat on the bench daydreaming about girls while the man-child that could already grow a beard ran sideline to sideline and crushed anyone in his path.
As you may have heard, hobos and miscreants are in charge of refereeing NFL games now! Or, rather, the NFL has decided to use high school referees as replacements while it negotiates with the actual referees' union, which has led to the occasional minor controversy. And while Monday's night's disastrous ending to the Packers-Seahawks game is probably the pinnacle (or nadir) of this sad saga, there were already plenty of questionable, puzzling and downright infuriating officiating decisions leading up to it.
By now, even non-football fans have heard about the officiating debacle in last night's showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks (just check your Facebook feed). Facing a 12-7 deficit with just seconds left to play, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson rolled out of the pocket and threw a desperation heave into the end zone, resulting in a game-clinching interception for the Packers.
Except it wasn't. Instead, the NFL's much-maligned replacement officials inexplicably ruled the play a touchdown for the Seahawks, ignoring an obvious offensive pass-interference penalty and cementing the phrase "simultaneous catch" into the lexicon of poor sports officiating.
This screw-up will, hopefully, lead to the return of the real refs—but let's not forget that they too have made their share of awful calls over the years. Here's a look at some of the NFL's most controversial officiating decisions:
Don't let Nick Saban fool you: building a championship college football program is not an easy task. Between recruiting, budget restrictions and the yearly loss of star players to the pros, head coaches face a constant series of challenges. Surprising stat: Out of the 124 active FBS football head coaches, only eight have managed to win a national championship.
That isn't to say that the other 116 gainfully employed men are incompetent. In fact, many of these coaches are frequently on the brink of securing a piece of college football immortality. Let's take a look at some of the best FBS coaches that have yet to win a title:
We’ll admit it: there’s a ton of pressure on professional athletes. These men and women are asked to perform flawlessly in front of millions of people, so when one of them makes an error in the field or throws the ball away or drops an easy touchdown, we tend to forgive and forget and move on. But sometimes, a player has a brain fart so incredibly embarrassing and memorable that it defines the rest of his career.
Here are a few examples of mind-boggling mental lapses:
On July 18 the New York Yankees held a comfortable lead in the A.L. East and seemed destined for a deep playoff run. Since then, the Bombers have somehow managed to blow a 10-game advantage over the Orioles, leading to a scramble for first place and an extremely rattled New York fan base. Still, this is hardly the first time that a team with a comfortable lead has suffered a late-season collapse.
Let's take a look at some of the worst September meltdowns in baseball history:
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