10 of the worst calls in sports history [VIDEO]

Zachary Snider Contributor
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Very few of us can claim to have ever seen a perfectly officiated sporting event. For whatever reason, bad calls happen — and with the current NFL replacement refs, they tend to happen quite frequently.

Unfortunately,  some bad calls happen during some of the biggest moments of the biggest events when the stakes are at their highest. Here, The Daily Caller looks back on some of the worst calls in sports history.

10) 2012 Olympic boxing scandal

Referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov declared Azeri boxer Magomed Abdulhamidov the winner of his match against Satoshi Shimizu of Japan over the summer during the London Olympics. International amateur boxing rules say that a fight must be stopped after three knockdowns in a single round. Shimizu scored five knockdowns of Abdulhamidov in one round. The International Boxing association expelled Meretnyyazov and eventually reversed the ruling.

 9) The infamous Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley Decision

Judges declared Timothy Bradley the winner in his June 2012 bout with Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao dominated the fight, landing 253 punches to Bradley’s 159. Pacquiao landed more punches in 10 of the fight’s 12 rounds, but two of three judges ruled in favor of Bradley. Though many cried foul, investigators found no evidence of criminal activity. The World Boxing Organization had five judges rescore the fight. They unanimously ruled Pacquiao the winner.

8) Roy Jones Jr. hosed at 1988 Olympics

Roy Jones Jr. dominated South Korea’s Park Si-Hun in the 1988 Olympic Gold Medal match, outscoring him 86-32 according to ringside boxing numbers. But the judges handed a 3-2 decision to Si-Hun who, to his credit, admitted that he did not deserve the victory. The International Olympic Committee found that three of the officials had inappropriate contact with South Korean officials, but allowed the decision to stand.

7) 1985 World Series first base call 

In the ninth inning of game six of the 1985 World Series, first base umpire Don Denkinger called the Kansas City Royals’ Jose Ortega safe at first base on one of the most routine calls in baseball history. Video replays clearly showed that St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Todd Worrell beat Ortega to the bag. The Royals rallied to win game six 2-1 and would eventually go on to win the series in the deciding game seven.

6) USA vs. USSR 

The U.S. men’s basketball team faced the Soviet Union in the gold medal game of the 1972 Olympics during the height of political tension between the two nations. Officials added time to the game clock twice in the final seconds of the game, and the Soviets won 50-49 on a buzzer-beating shot, giving the U.S. men’s team its first ever Olympic defeat. The bitterness of defeat lives on to this day, as the team refuses to accept the silver medals. They remain in a vault in Munich.

5) By the skate of Hull 

Brett Hull scored the 1999 Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Dallas Stars on a play that will forever live in infamy in the hearts of Sabre fans from Buffalo to Burlington. Hull beat Sabre goaltender Dominik Hasek in the third overtime of game six on a controversial goal in which Hull’s skate entered the crease before the puck. The referees didn’t make the initial call and didn’t bother to ask for a replay, much to the chagrin of the Buffalo fans.

4) Thanksgiving Day misunderstanding 

The traditional Thanksgiving Day NFL game in 1999 pitted the Detroit Lions against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Four quarters of intense competition resolved nothing, and the game headed into overtime. Steelers captain Jerome Bettis called “tails” in the pre-overtime coin toss, but referee Phil Luckett heard “heads.” Luckett awarded the toss to the Lions, who chose to receive and eventually won the game.

3) University of Colorado’s “fifth down”

On one of the most controversial series of plays in college football history, the University of Colorado defeated the University of Missouri 33-31 in 1990. Colorado quarterback Charles Johnson spiked the ball on fourth down to stop the clock before scoring the go-ahead touchdown on the last play of the game. The officials failed to recognize the mishap, awarding the Buffaloes a “fifth down.”

2) “The hand of God”

Argentinian soccer player Diego Maradona credited his goal in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal against England partly to his own head and partly to the “hand of God.” Maradona scored the goal by leaping into the air and quite literally punching the ball past the English goalkeeper. The referees didn’t notice the obvious handball and allowed the goal, which helped Argentina defeat England and advance to the semifinal round.

1) Galarraga’s near-perfect game  

After retiring 26 straight batters without a run, hit or error during a June 2010 game, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga dealt a pitch that led to a Jason Donald ground ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera fielded the ball cleanly and made the throw to Galarraga at first base. Though Donald was clearly out, umpire Jim Joyce called the Cleveland Indians’ infielder safe, ruining Galarraga’s chance at a perfect game and no-hitter. Joyce admitted the mistake in an emotional postgame interview.