New Orleans safety Marcus Williams might not want to watch TV for the next 50 years or so.
Williams’ blunder allowed Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs to score on a 61-yard touchdown pass on the final play of Sunday’s NFC Divisional round playoff game and the Vikings won 29-24. Instead of simply grabbing Diggs and pulling him to the ground, Williams lowered his shoulder and missed Diggs completely, but knocked over his Saints teammate.
It was perhaps the worst mistake in NFL playoff history, because it turned a certain victory for New Orleans into defeat. The replay is certain to be shown forever more.
In “honor” of Williams, here are seven of the biggest sports playoff blunders ever, including his.
1. Bill Buckner’s error
While Buckner received the lion’s share of blame for Boston’s 6-5 loss to the Mets in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, had he cleanly fielded the slow grounder to first base and gotten the out, the game would have gone to the 11th inning.
Red Sox relief pigtcher Calvin Schiraldi had two-run lead with two outs, but allowed three straight hits and a wild pitch. That preceded Mookie Wilson’s grounder to Buckner at first base and one of the biggest gaffes in sports history.
2. Chris Webber’s timeout
Michigan’s “Fab Five” advanced to the 1993 NCAA national-title game and trailed North Carolina 73-71 with 30 seconds to play. Chris Webber got the rebound on a missed free throw, dribbled up court and then called timeout.
One problem: the Wolverines didn’t have any timeouts. That was a technical foul and North Carolina went on to win 77-71.
3. Jean Van de Velde’s meltdown
This makes the list because it was in one of golf’s major events.
Jean Van de Velde held a 3-shot lead on the final hole of the 1999 British Open Championship, and a cautious approach would have resulted in victory.
Everything went wrong for Van de Velde, who hit into the rough, a bunker and the water and triple bogeyed the hole. He lost the tournament in a playoff.
The image of Van de Velde standing in the water while considering a shot is one golf fans will remember for a long time.
4. Tony Romo bobble
The Cowboys were set to win a 2006 NFC playoff game against the Seahawks on a field goal late in the game. It would have been a 19-yard field-goal attempt, but Dallas quarterback Tony Romo bobbled the snap and tried to run for the end zone. He came up short and Seattle won 21-20.
5. Fred Brown’s pass
One of Michael Jordan’s first big moments came in the 1982 NCAA title game when he hit a jumper to give North Carolina a lead over Georgetown.
The Hoyas had one final possession with a chance to win the game. However, Georgetown’s Fred Brown couldn’t find an open teammate and passed the ball to North Carolina’s James Worthy.
That sealed the Tar Heels’ victory.
6. Jackie Smith’s drop
Super Bowl XIII was one of the most exciting NFL championship games as the Steelers edged the Cowboys 35-31. The difference in the game was that Dallas kicked a field goal instead of scored a touchdown on one drive.
But the Cowboys appeared to have a touchdown but Jackie Smith dropped a pass in the end zone with no defensive players around him.
Verne Lundquist had a memorable call: “Bless His Heart, He's Got to be the Sickest Man in America.”
Good thing Twitter wasn’t around at the time.
7. Marcus Williams’ miss
Wrap up the Vikings’ Stefon Diggs and the Saints would wrap up a spot in the NFC Championship Game. Instead, Williams went for a hit and missed, allowing Diggs to score the winning touchdown.