Awkward Moments In The World Of Sports

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There is no-one in this world who can go through life without ever making a mistake, or having a moment or two of embarrassment. Most of us can simply shrug it off and move on, but when those mistakes are played out in front of million, they can be devastating. Sports are an obsession with many, many people around the globe, oftentimes to the point where it becomes a little unhealthy. People literally live and die by their sports teams, allowing results to affect their general mood. I count myself among one of the billions of sports fans, but I am able to accept that my life will go on just fine if one of my teams should fail to lose. That is obviously not the case with everyone, and there are well-known cases to prove it.

This photo is copyright (c) 2013 and made available under wikimedia commons licenseColombia came into the 1994 World Cup Finals with high expectations, especially after they had looked so brilliant in qualifying. The big stage seemed to get to them, though, and they struggled in each of their three group games. The low point of the three was a 1-1 tie with the host US team, who were pretty far from being a major soccer power at that time. The lone goal for the US came when Colombian player Andres Escobar turned the ball into his own net, which was likely the most embarrassing moment of his career. The Colombians flew home with their tails planted firmly between their legs, but they did expect life to go on. Unfortunately, that was not able to happen for Escobar who was gunned down in the street for his part in the World Cup performance.

While nowhere near as horrific as the Escobar story, there is another tale of fans overreacting to an embarrassing error made by a professional sports player. Bill Buckner was a successful professional baseball player whose career was very much in its high point during his time with the Boston Red Sox. His team reached the World Series back in 1986 and headed into game 6 of the series with a chance to be crowned champions. The game headed to extra innings, which is where Buckner made an embarrassing mistake that would change his life forever. A slow rolling ball was heading towards him at first base, with an easy out the inevitable outcome. That was until the ball slipped under his glove and between his legs, allowing the New York Mets to score and ultimately win the game. The Mets then won the final game of the series and were crowned champions. Buckner never lived that moment down, receiving death threats and being forced to endure all manner of verbal abuse wherever he went.

This photo is copyright (c) 2013 and made available under wikimedia commons license

I understand what it is that is so appealing about sports, but what I don’t get is the way in which people allow those games to dominate their lives so completely. I have watched some of my favorite players make a mistake that costs my team a game, but that has never inspired me to write a death threat letter or abuse the player every time I see him after that moment. I’m sure they feel bad enough without having to hear it from the average guy in the stadium, most of who couldn’t even begin to understand the pressure that these players play under.

I wonder how meaningless and pathetic these people’s lives must be if the outcome of a game can send them into some horrible downward spiral. What about the people that has to live with these folks? Are they forced to endure the same level of abuse of they dare to make a mistake in their presence? I don’t imagine that the people that react so poorly to a sport are solely restricted to behaving that way during the times when their teams play, and are most likely unbearable boors all the time. If you are one of those that has reacted in such a way when your team loses a game or a player makes a mistake, it is perhaps time for you to look at your behavior and perhaps feel a little embarrassment of your own.

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Morgan is the founder and editor of REALITYPLEX. After suffering from a life-threatening accident, he realized that the way we perceive things around us is based on our beliefs, emotions and experiences. In an effort to draw the line between perception and reality, he launched REALITYPLEX in 2011. Get to know him better and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and G+