By now you’ve heard about how Oklahoma State gave it’s players 11-2 rings to celebrate their 11-2 season. There is a slight problem with that as they lost to Central Michigan, making their season 10-3. They still want to join David Warner in the time machine and change history. They claim that Central Michigan won on a play that never should have happened because the refs made the wrong call.
For the team that lives in the shadow of a much more prominent Oklahoma team, that wasn’t the first game where a blown call resulted in one team losing. Chances are, it wasn’t the last either. So before we start awarding The Man (tm) wins, we need to go back into history and award other teams wins as well.
These are not in any particular order.
Brett Hull’s foot is in the crease
It was game six of the Stanley Cup finals. The game was tied going into the third overtime. Brett Hull would go on to score the winning goal. But wait, his foot was in the crease and by the rules of the time, it should have been ruled no goal. Granted, that doesn’t guarantee that Buffalo would have won, but they never had a chance. By Oklahoma State logic, they should have gotten that chance.
The Mighty Derek Jeter Flies Out
Game One of the 1996 American League Championship Series saw the Baltimore Orioles leading in the bottom of the 8th inning. Derek Jeter steps up to the plate and belts a homer to right field. Actually, the home run was caught by a Yankee fan named Jeffrey Maier that was well over the field of play. It should have been ruled fan interference and Jeter should have been out. Again, it was the 8th inning and lots could have happened but Baltimore had the lead at the time. The Yankees would go on winning the series 4-1, but momentum is a funny thing.
Luis Castillo Fouls Out
It was Game Six of the 2003 National League Championship Series, bottom of the 8th with one out. The Chicago Cubs were ahead 3-0 in the game and 3-2 in the series. Luis Castillo steps up to the plate with one out and one man on. He hits a foul ball that veers towards the stands and instead of the ball getting caught by Moises Alou for the second out, it is caught by a fan named Steve Bartman. Castillo drew a walk and on a wild pitch, the runner advanced to third. Chaos ensued and the Cubs would give up 8 runs and lose the game, later the series.
Granted, if the proper call was issued, the Cubs still had four outs to blow it. Considering, they blew this game and the next game, I wouldn’t have put it past them. And I don’t understand the hate towards Bartman. If you look at the picture above, he’s not the only one reaching for the foul ball nor did he give up 8 runs.
Calvin Johnson Scores a Touchdown
In 2010, Calvin Johnson caught what appeared to be the game winning touchdown. After officials looked at the replay, they determined he didn’t complete “the process”, whatever that means and the touchdown was overruled. The Bears would go on to win that game. By all rights, it did appear that he completed the process. He would get burned by the same rule a couple years later. No wonder he retired early.
Armando Galarraga Gets a Perfect Game
In 2010, Armando Galarraga was set to become the first Tiger to pitch a perfect game. He only needed one more out to accomplish this rare feat. Jason Donald was at the plate and hit a soft ground ball to Miguel Cabrera that he had to reach for. The umpire ruled the runner safe but the replays shows that Cabrera would have made the third out. Jim Joyce would later admit that he blew the call but that doesn’t change the record book. Galarraga would still record a shut out but not the more elusive perfect game.
The Steelers Beat the Lions
It was the 1998 Thanksgiving Game, the Lions managed to tie the Steelers to force the game into overtime. There was some confusion as the Steelers player calling the toss changed his mind. The coin landed on what would have been the last words out of the Steelers player’s mouth, but the Lions were awarded the toss. The Lions of course chose to receive the ball and proceeded to win on a Jason Hanson field goal. However, there is a happy ending as this was the final straw leading to replays.
Eastern Michigan Defeats Ball State in a Wild Finish
It was 2016, Eastern Michigan appeared to be cruising to at least a one game bye for the MAC tournament. They were facing a plucky Ball State team that just wouldn’t quite. Ball State would manage to send the game into overtime. After a back and forth overtime, Eastern Michigan managed to nurse a 2 point lead. After something, Ball State had to inbound the ball. If I’m remembering the sequence, Brandon Nazione managed to steal the ball. He was immediately fouled but the refs failed to call that. A scuffle ensued and Ball State managed to steal the ball and dropped the three. Ball State would go on to win the game by 1. The officiating was so bad that two of the officials were suspended for two games. It was kind of sad because I hate to see a game end like that.
This is but a small sample of blown calls in games. Many of these had a direct impact on the outcome of the game. The only really questionable one was the Cubs game, but I’ll give that one a pass. By using Oklahoma State logic, the Cubs would have taken less than 100 years to win another World Series, the Orioles would have gone on a tear, Galarraga would have a perfect game, etc.