Sports can bring out the best of humanity, but they can also bring out Phillies fans that vomit on innocent children. For every moment of greatness, there are moments of hilarious collapse that bring fans to their collective knees, cursing the uncaring sports gods. These are 20 of the worst collapses in the history of pro sports.
The Agony of Defeat Guy
Vinko Bogataj was a nondescript Slovenian ski-jumper until March 21st, 1970. He was the Yugoslavian entrant for the Ski-flying World Championships in Oberstdorf, which was located in then-West Germany. He started his jump and noticed a bit too much snow on the track, but lost his balance and went tumbling off the ramp, a painful-looking fall that made for an amazing visual. Fortunately, he only suffered a concussion. Unfortunately, the crew of ABC's Wide World of Sports was on hand for the event, and Bogataj's tumble off the ski-ramp underlined the phrase "and the agony of defeat" for years and years during the show's intro, proving if you screw up just once, a television crew will inevitably capture your one moment of failure, no matter how successful you are in the preceding years.
1942 Red Wings
The 1942 Detroit Red Wings backed into the playoffs with a 19-25-4 record, but knocked off the Canadiens and Bruins on their way to the Finals. There, they faced Toronto's Maple Leafs, and if there's one thing Americans like, it's destroying the hopes and dreams of Canadians. The Red Wings scored 12 goals in the first three games and took a momentous 3-0 lead, one of those pretty-much insurmountable leads in a 7 game series. And the Leafs managed to pull off four straight wins, shattering the hopes of the Wings and their fans. Fortunately, that was the last bad thing to ever happen in Detroit.
2010 French World Cup Team
France's team went all the way to the finals in the 2006 World Cup and the 2010 tournament brought similar expectations. The team struggled early, and while some teams come together in the face of adversity, France's team fulfilled all the French stereotypes we know and love. There was drama in the locker room, a player strike, and hilariously early elimination from the tournament. After the team's elimination, the President of France apparently met with one of the players to discuss the failures during the World Cup (imagine Obama held a summit to find out why the Bulls failed to get LeBron). The drama continues even as the vuvuzelas have gone silent, as reports in late July said all 23 of France's World Cup players were suspended from an upcoming match, which should, at the very least, make for an interesting match.
The 2001 Yankees were a juggernaut continuing years of Yankee dominance and when their World Series opponents turned out to be the new-ish Arizona Diamondbacks, victory seemed assured. The Series going to seven games should've been a warning sign, but, still, the Yankees were nursing a narrow lead when legendary closer Mariano Rivera took the mound and everything seemed to be in hand. Mark Grace tapped a single that started the wheels coming off and, by the time the implosion was complete, the Arizona Diamondbacks were World Champions and the Yankees were chumps with a ridiculous payroll. You know a collapse is bad when it inspires a book about just how terrible a collapse it was.
Ed Sneed Melts Down
Who? Exactly. At the 1978 Masters, Sneed was rolling, with a three stroke lead as he reached the 16th hole. And then, things started going wrong. He hit a bogey on the 16th and his closest competition, Fuzzy Zoeller, picked up a stroke. Sneed hit another bogey on the 17th, while Zoeller gained another stroke. Sneed hit another bogey on the 18th and was forced into a playoff. Yes, apparently golf has playoffs. They went par-for-par on the first hole and Sneed shook off his funk to hit a par on the second hole, but Zoeller hit a birdie and won the tournament. Being beaten by a game named Fuzzy slowly destroyed Ed Sneed, and he quit the PGA tour just five years after his collapse.