The 10 Biggest Disappointments In Sports History
Being a disappointment comes in many different forms. Perhaps you didn’t fulfill the hype you had coming out of the draft, or maybe your team just looked unstoppable all season long, to only fall apart when it mattered the most. Sometimes a bad choice can lead to the demise of your fame, causing many to be displeased with what you had going for your career.
Whatever it may be, there are many different ways that sports have disappointed us over the years.
Before the 1980s, there were not as many disappointments in sports for what we have seen in recent years.
Perhaps it is due to our higher expectations, or maybe just the greater access we have to information, but through all the research, today’s sports seem to stand higher with disappointments compared to what we have seen in the past.
With that said, this list is made up of more recent situations than older ones. Perhaps something was missed through the research done, so please feel free to add anything that you feel was missed in the comments.
Here are 10 of the biggest disappointments in sports history.
10. Michael Vick
While with the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Michael Vick upset the entire nation when he was found guilty for holding illegal dog-fighting rings.
The entire situation set back the quarterback who had a huge following, as well as putting him in prison and out of the NFL for two seasons.
Vick has recently returned with the Philadelphia Eagles, and has been continuing where he left off. Still, people won’t be able to let go of what he did, and what result that will have on his career when it is all said and done.
9. 2004 New York Yankees
The poor 2004 New York Yankees.
After finishing the season three games ahead of their AL East foes in the Boston Red Sox, the team must have been mad to see them still make the playoffs as the wild-card team.
The Yankees stormed through the Minnesota Twins to win the ALDS, but they were going up against the Red Sox in the ALCS.
The Bronx Boys went up 3-0 in the series, already knocking off guys like Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez and Ramiro Mendoza. Things were not over, though.
The Red Sox stormed back, taking the final four games to move on to the World Series—which they would eventually win.
8. 2006-2007 Dallas Mavericks
When a No. 8 seed defeats a No. 1 seed, there is no way it can not be mentioned as a disappointment.
When the Dallas Mavericks were pitted against the Golden State Warriors, as well as their former head coach Don Nelson, no one had them dropping this opening-round series.
They dropped the seven-game series in just six games, as the Warriors just demolished them in pretty much every game—besides for the losses, of course.
Not often does this happen in sports, so it is quite disappointing to see the top seed ousted so early during the playoffs.
7. JaMarcus Russell
When the Oakland Raiders took LSU Tigers quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft, they were likely figuring they were set at the position for years to come.
Well, things didn’t exactly go as planned.
Over his last two years with the Raiders, Russell appeared in 27 games, throwing for a combined 3,710 yards with 16 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. That last season—2009—accounted for three of those touchdowns and 11 of the interceptions.
Things were clearly going in the wrong direction, especially when he showed up for that season weighing about 300 lbs.
Russell was released in May of that year, and has yet to find another spot in the NFL.
6. Kimbo Slice in the UFC
Kimbo Slice—wow, you even just get excited about that name.
Slice came into UFC with a ton of hype, winning three of his four previous MMA fights with EliteXC. He got his shot in the UFC at theTUF 10 Finale, where he defeated Houston Alexander in three rounds with a unanimous decision.
He got his second shot with the UFC going up again Matt Mitrione at UFC 113, to only lose that fight by TKO in two rounds.
He was cut from the UFC following the fight, which ended all the hype behind the man they called Kimbo.
5. Tim Donaghy
It isn’t so much Tim Donaghy, but the reality that came with the situation.
Donaghy is of course infamous for being caught cheating by betting on NBA games that he was officiating, and unfortunately the sad truth is that this was more common than just this situation.
With the league likely keeping a closer eye on things, hopefully things are done in a much more professional way in all sporting events.
4. Greg Oden
When the Portland Trail Blazers selected Greg Oden with the first overall pick, many had to wonder if the team made the wrong decision in selecting the Ohio State Buckeyes standout over Texas Longhorns stud Kevin Durant.
Yep, they made the wrong decision.
Sure, Oden was a promising player standing at 7’0″ tall with a lot of athletic ability, but his durability was definitely in question.
Before the season even started, Oden had microfracture surgery on his right knee, which sidelined him for his entire 2007-08 season.
Oden made his NBA debut in the 2008-09 season, but left the first game with a foot injury. He went on to play 61 games that season, as he averaged 8.9 points per game and 7.0 rebounds.
After a 20-rebound game in December of his second year, Oden once again was injured and had to step down after 21 games into the 2009-10 season. He had to get microfracture surgery on his other knee, which caused him to miss the rest of that season and the one after that.
It will remain to be seen if he will be able to bounce back for 2012 and beyond, but right now things don’t look so promising.
3. Mike Tyson loses to Buster Douglas
While many saw Mike Tyson eventually falling to someone, nobody pictured that man to be 42-to-1 underdog James “Buster” Douglas.
The loss took away Tyson’s heavyweight title, as well as his pride.
Following the loss, Tyson ran into problems with the law, which included a rape that sent him to prison for six years, but only ended up serving three.
He did make his comeback in the sport to land fights with Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, but we all we all know how those ended up.
2. 2003-2004 LA Lakers
After three straight NBA titles from 2000-02, the Los Angeles Lakers were looking to get things back on track after missing out on claiming a fourth straight title during the 2002-03 season.
The team went out and grabbed two seasoned veterans who wanted to win now in guard Gary Payton and forward Karl Malone. Teaming them up with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, as well as coach Phil Jackson, the Lakers looked like the team to beat.
The team fulfilled expectations making the NBA Finals, but they fell in five games to the Detroit Pistons, giving Jackson his finals series loss ever.
For anyone who wanted to see Malone or Payton grab a title, this was quite a disappointment for the two aging superstars.
1. 2007 New England Patriots
If you hate the New England Patriots—or you’re a New York Giants fan—then this incident likely didn’t disappoint you, but the fact of the matter is that we all saw history collapse right in front of our eyes.
The Patriots were in position to have the first-ever perfect 19-0 season, as they headed to the 2007 Super Bowl against the Giants.
The Giants, fresh faces to the whole scene, were not seen to be competitors in any shape or form to derail the Patriots’ historic run.
With a few amazing catches, the Giants upset the Patriots 17-14 to end any chance at history being made. While the Giants accomplished a feat of their own, the world missed out on what was perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime shot at seeing something special.
Photo Credit: Getty Images.