Another full rotation of the Earth around the Sun is coming to a close. The end of the year provides the opportunity for each and every one of us to reflect, learn from our experiences and continue forward.
Or, you can not do that and enjoy some of the most heart-breaking and/or hilarious moments that professional sport had to offer in the last 12 months. Trust us, it’s therapeutic.
10. Justin Rose shows off his exceptional aim
What are the chances 😂
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 28, 2018
On the par-5 final hole of the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai back in late October, Xander Schauffele was probably feeling pretty good about himself following his second shot. Although his approach hadn’t landed on the green, it held up nicely from rolling off the back and into the water.
That’s when Justin Rose said ‘hold my beer’ and this unlikely sequence of events occurred. Thankfully, Schauffele was able to replace his ball, make birdie and then defeat Tony Finau in the playoff that followed. Rose, meanwhile, made bogey to finish alone in third place.
9. Being a grounds crew member in the MLB isn’t as glamorous as you’d think
During the 2017 season, Lucas Hackmann became a legend. The grounds crew member for the St. Louis Cardinals had to retrieve a cat that had made its way onto the field and (likely) contracted rabies when he was attacked by the feline.
In July of this season, it appeared that humans weren’t too happy with the guy either. After these two incidents, it’s fair to say that he deserves a raise. That, or he should consider a career change.
8. Nick Kyrgios hit in the face by Alexander Zverev, comforted afterwards
One of the more polarizing athletes in the sport of tennis, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has had his name in the news for plenty of negative reasons in the past. During men’s doubles play at an Australian event in January, the 23-year-old provided the audience with quite the laugh, though.
Usually someone criticized for having plenty of talent but not trying hard enough, Kyrgios did all that he could to protect himself when he ended up close to the net and in the crosshairs of Alexander Zverev.
The smash to the face and the acting by Kyrgios were comedic, but it’s Zverev’s actions afterwards that make this moment golden. The way the German comforts his fallen opponent shows that even in the heat of battle, there can be room for some shenanigans.
Kyrgios and his Australian partner, Lleyton Hewitt, went on to win in a match tiebreak.
7. Mike Condon reminds us why nobody volunteers to play net in hockey
Oh no… Oh no, no, no. pic.twitter.com/pAzYqOThCh
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) October 31, 2018
Despite the fact the NHL employs the best goaltenders on the planet, it seems like a handful of these unfortunate goals are scored every year. In a clash between the Arizona Coyotes and Ottawa Senators late in October, Arizona’s Derek Stepan rather harmlessly slapped a puck down the ice while his team was killing a penalty.
To the surprise of everyone, a few seconds later, it was behind Ottawa’s Mike Condon for an unlikely shorthanded tally. The next day, the 28-year-old netminder was placed on waivers. A week later, he was officially assigned to Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Belleville.
However, on the bright side, at least he and former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala will have plenty to talk about the next time that they run into each other.
When you don't know how to play tic-tac-toe… 🤦♂️ pic.twitter.com/2eZ2eX1GuW
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) December 13, 2018
For the sake of the little faith we have left in humanity, we chose to believe one of two things after watching this clip of a game of tic-tac-toe that went horribly wrong during a break in the action at an Indiana Pacers game in mid-December.
- The two men participating were extremely intoxicated
- The two participants did this on purpose to be funny and screw with everyone watching
If neither is the case, this blatant display of stupidity during one of the most simple games ever created would have been much higher on the list. However, since we refuse to believe that members of the human race can actually be this absent-minded, it lives at No. 6.
5. The ‘Miracle in Miami’
Down five points in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, the Miami Dolphins elected to not throw the ball deep on the final play of their Week 14 game against the New England Patriots. Instead, quarterback Ryan Tannehill fired it to Kenny Stills near the middle of the field.
Ian Eagle, the game’s play-by-play commentator, stated, “and this will end it” after the catch. Boy, was he wrong.
A few laterals and quite the stumble from Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski near the goal line later, the Dolphins’ Kenyan Drake was in the end zone and the game was over. In the process, Miami kept their playoff hopes alive while New England was stopped from clinching their division.
4. How every player dreams of scoring their first NHL goal
So, this probably wasn’t how Philadelphia Flyers centreman Mikhail Vorobyev planned to score the first goal of his NHL career. Yet, they all count the same.
Playing in only his second NHL game on Oct. 6 in Colorado, the 21-year-old Russian was in the right place at the right time following some poor communication between Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov and defenceman Mark Barberio.
The collision between the two Avalanche teammates made Vorobyev’s job pretty easy. Colorado shook off the embarrassing moment and would go on to win the game 5-2, though.
3. Like Rose, Cody Parkey also knows a thing or two (or three or four) about accuracy
November 11th, 2018 will definitely be a day for Cody Parkey to, well, remember. Actually, scratch that. It’s more likely one to forget.
Playing against the Detroit Lions, the Chicago Bears kicker hit the uprights on four different occasions. Yes, four — twice while in search of an extra point following a touchdown by his squad, once from 41 yards out and another from 34 yards away.
Each of the kicks hit part of the goal post and not a single one bounced favourably for the 26-year-old. If anything, that’s just impressive.
As unlucky as Parkey was, he was simultaneously fortunate that his the Bears didn’t need any of the eight points that he missed, easily defeating Detroit by a score of 34-22. Thank goodness because that is the kind of nightmare performance that gets NFL kickers fired real quick.
2. Liverpool keeper Loris Karius falls apart on the biggest stage
Of all of the moments on this list, this is likely the most difficult to stomach. In fact, the only reason it isn’t No. 1 is because of how bad we feel for the man at fault.
The UEFA Champions League Final is the biggest game in professional soccer every year. Period. The top teams from leagues all over the world work to get to that match.
During Liverpool’s run to the Final, their keeper Loris Karius had been solid. However, with his team searching for their first title since 2007, he simply didn’t have it on the big day against Real Madrid late in May. In the 51st minute, the German essentially handed the opposition the opening goal when his throw was easily intercepted and deposited into the back of the net by Karim Benzema.
Liverpool knotted things up four minutes later and Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale scored a potential goal of the year in the 63rd minute when his bicycle kick found the back of the net. There was nothing that Karius could do there. The same, however, could not be said about Bale’s 40-yard strike that fluttered through his hands and ended up behind him in the 83rd.
With Real Madrid up 3-1 late, there was no real chance for Liverpool to respond. Karius, with tears streaming down his face, apologized to fans for costing his team the game and received plenty of death threats online. About a week later, it was determined that he had sustained a concussion from a collision earlier in the game, just a few minutes before his first mistake.
1. J.R. Smith forgot the score?
It’s the opening game of the 2018 NBA Finals. Your team is tied late in the fourth quarter against the powerhouse that is the Golden State Warriors. You’ve rebounded the ball with only a few seconds remaining. At that moment, you need to be aware of the score.
It would appear that J.R. Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers was not. Instead of shooting for the win, he dribbled away from the basket before he seemed to realize his mistake and tried to make a play before time ran out.
The scope of the game, the reaction of his teammate LeBron James and the fact that it was Smith that was to blame makes this moment incredible. And who can forget all of the fantastic memes!
The Warriors went on to win the contest 124-114 in overtime before winning the next three games to secure their third NBA Championship in four seasons.
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