Seahawks Gave Away Chance At Glory, But They Weren't The First And Won't Be The Last


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Seattle Seahawks had both the Lombardi Trophy and greatness in their grasp with 36 inches and 26 seconds to go.

They watched their coronation as a modern day dynasty slip away with the decision not to put the ball in Marshawn Lynch’s hands.

In what some are viewing as one of the great miscalculations in sports history, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, backed by head coach Pete Carroll, called for a pass play, leaving Lynch — and ultimately the rest of the Seahawks — stunningly empty-handed.

Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson late in the fourth quarter to clinch Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Malcolm Butler of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass by Russell Wilson late in the fourth quarter to clinch Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

When Malcolm Butler stepped in front of Ricardo Lockette and picked off Russell Wilson’s pass, the undrafted and previously unheralded rookie sealed New England’s 28-24 Super Bowl win.

It also added Bevell and Carroll to the long list of sportsmen whose decisions backfired so spectacularly so as to haunt and taunt the also-rans and their crestfallen fans.

On Monday, WFAN host Mike Francesa called it “the single worst big-moment call in the history of sports.”

Here are some other choices that stand out for their deleterious results:

MEADOWLANDS MIRACLE

In the final seconds of a 1978 NFL game, all the New York Giants had to do was take a knee and they had the Philadelphia Eagles beaten. But they inexplicably called a running play and quarterback Joe Pisarcik botched the handoff. Defensive back Herman Edwards scooped up the loose ball and scored the winning touchdown.

POOPED PEDRO

Yankees fans taunt Pedro Martinez after the Red Sox pitcher was pulled from Game 7 of the ALCS on October 16, 2003. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Yankees fans taunt Pedro Martinez after the Red Sox pitcher was pulled from Game 7 of the ALCS on October 16, 2003. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Just five outs from guiding Boston to the World Series, manager Grady Little left an exhausted Pedro Martinez in Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series. Martinez had just given up three consecutive hits and was clearly done. After Little returned to the dugout without his ace, Jorge Posada hit the game-tying double and the Red Sox went on to lose. The curse lived on for another year.

BEST BENCHED

While Al Michaels was shouting, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” Soviet hockey fans on Feb. 22, 1980, were asking, “Why isn’t Vladislav Tretiak between the pipes? No!” Soviet coach Victor Tikhonov benched the world’s best goaltender with the score tied at 2 after the first period. The American team made up of mostly college kids capitalized against backup Vladimir Myshkin to beat the mighty Soviets 4-3 in the “Miracle on Ice.”

VEXED VAN de VELDE

Jean Van de Velde wades into Barry Burn by the 18th green after his third shot went astray in the final round of the British Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 18, 1999. Having arrived at the 18th tee with a three-shot lead, Van de Velde narrowly lost the championship to Paul Lawrie. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Jean Van de Velde wades into Barry Burn by the 18th green after his third shot went astray in the final round of the British Open Championship at Carnoustie, Scotland on July 18, 1999. Having arrived at the 18th tee with a three-shot lead, Van de Velde narrowly lost the championship to Paul Lawrie. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Needing just a double bogey to win the 1999 British Open, Frenchman Jean Van de Velde decided not to play things conservatively and triple bogeyed the 18th hole, forcing a three-way playoff with Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard that he lost. The lasting image from golf’s biggest implosion was Van de Velde slipping off his socks and shoes and stepping into the knee-deep water to reclaim his third shot

FAB FIVE FAIL

Chris Webber’s Michigan Wolverines trailed North Carolina 73-71 in the closing seconds of the 1993 NCAA men’s basketball championship when he found himself double-teamed and called a timeout. Because Michigan had no timeouts left, Webber was assessed a technical foul and the Tar Heels cruised to the title.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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