The triumph of the human spirit is part of what makes sports special. Humans sometimes exceed when all logic suggests they shouldn’t. They also err in unimaginable ways. Bad calls, dropped balls, poor decisions have all led to climatic (or anti-climatic, depending) endings. It’s bad enough when your favorite player drops a pass, but when a referee makes a bad call that's out of the hands of both teams, it’s downright tragic and often infuriating for those that get the short end of the stick. Sometimes it’s not even the fault of the referee. Here are ten of the most controversial calls to have ever happened in the world of sports.
10 US Team World Cup 2010 -- 2 Disallowed Goals
9 1998 Thanksgiving Game -- Coin Toss
8 1985 World Series -- Blown Call
7 2003 NLCS -- Fan Interference
6 2001 AFC Championship Game -- The "Tuck Rule"
5 1972 AFC Championship Game -- The Immaculate Reception
4 2010 Detroit Tigers -- Imperfect Game
3 1986 World Cup, Argentina -- "Hand of God"
2 Ali vs. Liston, 1965 -- The "Phantom Punch"
1 1972 Olympics -- Gold Medal Basketball Game Incident
In the final seconds of the 1972 Gold Metal basketball game and trailing 49-48 Doug Collins was fouled by a Soviet player. He went to the free-throw line and hit the first shot. As he attempted the second, the game horn inexplicably went off. Collins still managed to hit the shot, but the Soviet team claimed they had called a time-out. One of the assistant coaches on the Soviet Team even rushed the court in complaint. Rules stipulated that a time-out couldn’t be called or given after the first free-throw attempt and a technical free-throw should have been awarded to the US team, but wasn’t. Then things got really strange. Play resumed and the US prevented a shot, but the clock was incorrect. The US players thought they had won the game, but officials put three seconds back on the clock and restarted the game again. Amidst a flurry of confusion the Soviets somehow passed the ball in and scored a layup to win the game. The US protested the victory, but they were still only awarded silver. To this day, not one member of the 1972 US basketball team has accepted their silver medal.
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