In the sporting world everybody strives for success. But on the journey to the top there are usually a few fails along the way. Some are relatively minor and can be brushed under the carpet and forgotten about. Others are talked about for years afterwards and the individuals involved have probably never lived them down. Here are some of the very best, from comical falls to the sporting fails that create sporting nightmares…
While it’s hard to pinpoint any one particular failure on the Scottish golfer, Montgomerie is widely regarded as the “best player to never win a major”. Make of that what you will but we think that means he failed. A lot. Especially when he was clearly capable of so much more (see the vid for proof!)
After an opening round of 63 at the 1996 Masters left Norman way out in front with a six stroke lead, it seemed only a matter of time before he would be laying his hands on the infamous green jacket. Cue an almighty failure that saw him card 78, eventually losing to Nick Faldo by five shots! Oooops.
With Graeme Souness in charge of Southampton, Dia got a friend to ring the Saint’s boss claiming to be FIFA World Player of the Year and current Ballon D’or holder George Weah. The caller convinced Souness that Dia was the star’s cousin and Souness signed him on a one month contract without asking any questions.
Then it came to playing. Dia was subbed on for Matt Le Tissier in a match against Leeds but was taken off as he wasn’t any good! Le Tissier famously remarked that Dia looked like Bambi on ice when running about and Souness was left very red faced by the whole incident!
An unfortunate fail but a fail nonetheless. Redmond held the British record for the 400m sprint going into the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and there were high hopes that the track star might get his hands on a medal.
Redmond posted the fastest time in the first round and breezed through his quarter final. But disaster struck. He pulled out of the Seoul games four years before due to injury and then it was the turn of his hamstring to give up in Barcelona. Redmond refused to quit though and continued to the finish line with the help of his father – a poignant moment at the Olympics but after so much hype, the athlete failed miserably on the biggest stage.
The Japanese rugby player probably isn’t the only player to fall foul of celebrating before he scored, but the Sevens star really cocked up against Italy.
After running clear, and without an opposition player near him, Hashino darted towards the posts and went for the spectacular to finish the job. The only problem was, as he began his Swan dive celebration he dropped the ball. Cue lying on the floor in a crumpled heap looking like an idiot! Luckily for Hashino, the Japanese had already done enough to win the game.
To spare Hashino’s blushes a little bit, here’s one of London Irish’s Juan Manuel Leguizamon doing the same thing!
Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards
It takes something very special to change how the Olympics work but Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards managed just that. Unfortunately for him, the rule changes were for all the wrong reasons!
In 1988 he became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic Ski Jumping – an achievement in itself as the UK had nowhere to practice. However, Edwards came last in both events he entered – the 70m and 90m jumps. He received widespread attention for his failings and was popular with crowds but the International Olympic Committee took a different view.
In what became known as the Eddie the Eagle rule, all Olympic hopefuls has to compete in international events and place in the top 30% or top 50 competitors in order to compete. Edwards failed but at least he entertained and inspired a nation.
The New England Patriots
The New England Patriots made it all the way to the SuperBowl in 2007 without losing a game. They were only the fourth team in the history of the NFL to win all 16 regular season games and then brushed aside the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers to reach the biggest game of all.
They fell at the final hurdle though, losing 17-14 to the New York Giants in what is widely regarded as one of the greatest sporting fails of all time.
The Patriots failed to get their hands on the grand prize; despite setting a new record for points scored; despite having the highest points differential ever recorded; despite recording the most first downs in a season and despite scoring the most touchdowns. One word: FAIL.
Jean van de Velde
Van de Velde arrived at the 18th tee in the 1999 British Open with a considerable lead over the chasing pack, knowing that a double-bogey six on better on the final hole would be good enough for victory.
The Frenchman has birdied the hole in his two previous rounds but his final round was to be very different. Opting to use a driver off the tee rather than play safe, van de Velde’s tee shot was way right of the green and lucky to find land. He went for the green with his second shot but instead found himself in knee-deep rough grass after his ball ricocheted off the railings of a greenside grandstand.
It got worse though. His next shot found the water and he famously removed his shoes and socks to consider his next shot. Opting for a drop, van de Velde then found the greenside bunker before he eventually putted in seven and went into a three way play-off for the title. Which he lost!
New York Yankees
The Yankees were 3-0 up against rivals Boston Red Sox in the 7-game 2004 American League Championship Series. Needing three outs to advance to the World Series in the fourth game, and 4-3 up in the ninth innings, the Yankees failed to see out the game and the Red Sox pulled it back to 3-1.
What followed was labelled the worst post-season collapse in Baseball history, as the Red Sox took the next three games to take the series 4-3, including one game won in 14 innings. Boston even went on to sweep aside the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series to take the championship title.
Some footballers get famous because they’re really good. While David Dunn isn’t really in that category he is relatively famous nonetheless. And all because he did this when playing for Birmingham in the Midlands derby, which is arguably one of the greatest footballing fails of all time. Go on then David, show us some skills…