Top 15 Worst Referee Fails Of All Time

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Top 15 Referee Goofs And Gaffes Over The Years

Top-15 Referee Goofs And Gaffes Over The Years
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY SPORTS

Officiating a game of any sport at any level is a difficult thing to do. Factor in the incredibly high-paced speed of professional sports, and the job can make even the keenest of eyes look blind. Sometimes, officials get so caught up in the moment that their actions baffle us all.

That said, there have been some pretty terrible calls by officials from each of the four major sports. The worst part is that many of them came at crucial times in postseason contests. Blown calls have changed outcomes of these games and irrefutably altered which team would eventually be crowned league champion.

It seems like missed calls by game officials have increased over the past five or so years. You can lay most of the blame on the increased use of cameras throughout sports, allowing for more video angles than ever. Blame cameras if you will, but so many of the following video clips of blown calls could have been seen by any regular Joe. Speaking of guys named Joe, you can be sure that horrendous NBA referee Joey Crawford will make at least one appearance in the slideshow.

Not all of these referee fails involve blown calls. Some show how truly foolish officials can become when they're overwhelmed with the speed of the game. Nevertheless, this slideshow of the worst referee fails of all time will keep you busy and entertained during your work day. Even if you've seen these clips before, they're definitely worth a look to remind yourself how truly terrible some officials are.

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15. Courtney Kirkland Plays Some Defense

15. Courtney Kirkland Plays Some Defense
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SPORTS

Settle down, Mr. Kirkland. Kris Humphries is just trying to shoot his free throw.

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14. After Review, We Still Got It Wrong

14. After Review, We Still Got It Wrong
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY SPORTS

Sports introduced instant replay so officials could get the call on the field correct. I guess this group of zebras missed the point.

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13. Joey Crawford Does A Little Dance

13. Joey Crawford Does A Little Dance
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SPORTS

NBA referee Joey Crawford is known for inconsistent foul calls. I suppose he wants to be recognized for his sweet dance moves from now on.

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12. Two Blown Calls On One Play

12. Two Blown Calls On One Play
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY SPORTS

Not only did this group of MLB umpires get one call incorrect, they doubled their money by blowing a second. Lucky Colorado Rockies.

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11. Brett Hull's Skate In The Crease

11. Brett Hull's Skate In The Crease
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY SPORTS

Brett Hull was a fantastic hockey player, but this play will always be synonymous with his name. It helped the Dallas Stars win the 1999 Stanley Cup Finals.

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10. Stephen Garcia Tackled By Referee

10. Stephen Garcia Tackled By Referee
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY SPORTS

I suppose official Wilbur Hackett Jr. wanted to relive his playing days with this vicious hit on South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia.

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9. Joey Crawford Hacks Wade, Calls Foul On Billups

9. Joey Crawford Hacks Wade, Calls Foul On Billups
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SPORTS

Hey, another appearance by Joey Crawford, what do you know? On this play, Crawford appears to foul Dwyane Wade along the sideline, but calls a foul on Chauncey Billups, who seemed to do nothing wrong. Crawford should have called the foul on himself.

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8. Tim Welke's Slightly Mistaken

8. Tim Welke's Slightly Mistaken
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY SPORTS

It's okay, Tim Welke, Todd Helton's foot was only barely off the edge of first base.

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7. First Down! Or Is It?

7. First Down! Or Is It?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SPORTS

Many people don't know that Jadeveon Clowney's highlight-reel tackle, forced fumble and recovery against Michigan would not have happened if it weren't for this blunder. Clowney's tackle happened on the very next play.

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6. Colorado's Infamous Fifth Down

6. Colorado's Infamous Fifth Down
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY SPORTS

I bet most teams would like five downs for their game-winning drive. Colorado got its wish in 1990 against Missouri

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5. The Coin Flip Flub

5. NFL Coin Flip Flub
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SPORTS

Was it heads or tails? This referee has no idea. You watch the video of this infamous Thanksgiving Day incident here.

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4. Derek Jeter Gets Some Help From Fan

4. Derek Jeter Gets Some Help From Fan
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY SPORTS

I surely hope Derek Jeter sent a nice "Thank You" package to Jeffrey Maier for this play. Maier clearly reached over the fence to take a would-be catch away from Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco. It's now one of the most famous home runs in Jeter's career.

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3. Jim Joyce Ruins Perfect Game

3. Jim Joyce Ruins Perfect Game
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY SPORTS

Poor Jim Joyce. Fans across baseball were furious at the veteran umpire for missing this call on the would-be 27th out of Armando Galarraga's perfect game. He apologized prior to the game amid a flood of tears. Despite his sorrow, it goes down as one of the worst calls in sports history.

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2. Don Denkinger Is Blind

2. Don Denkinger Is Blind
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SPORTS

Umpire Don Denkinger pretty much single-handedly ruined the St. Louis Cardinals' chances at winning the 1985 World Series with this infamous blunder. It is still regarded as the worst call in baseball history, and it's sure to remain that way given the circumstances

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1. Two Words: Fail Mary

1. Two Words: Fail Mary
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY SPORTS

Sometimes people think sports officiating can't get any worse than what it is. Well, remember the NFL referee lockout in 2012? It forced the NFL to bring in replacement referees to officiate professional football games, which became one of the worst decisions in league history mainly because of this play. This blunder helped bring back the NFL officials just a few days later. We can all thank this play for ending the ridiculous referee lockout.


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