Down two points in the 1993 NCAA National Title Game, Michigan star Chris Webber infamously called a timeout with mere seconds left in the game despite the team being out of timeouts. The turnover allowed UNC to increase their lead, take possession of the ball, and win the game.
The timeout call lives on in college basketball lore as one of the biggest crunch-time blunders ever.
Turns out President Bill Clinton wrote Webber a letter of encouragement following the incident.
The letter reads:
I have been thinking of you a lot since I sat glued to the TV during the championship game.
I know that there may be nothing I or anyone else can say to ease the pain and disappointment of what happened.
Still, for whatever it’s worth, you, and your team, were terrific. And part of playing for high stakes under great pressure is the constant risk of mental error. I know. I have lost two political races and made countless mistakes over the last twenty years. What matters is the intensity, integrity, and courage you bring to the effort. That is certainly what you have done. You can always regret what occurred but don’t let it get you down or take away the satisfaction of what you have accomplished.
You have a great future. Hang in there.
Pretty good consolation prize, especially when it turns out that Webber and his “Fab Five” teammates had received money from a booster and Michigan was forced to shamefully vacate their wins from the Fab Five era that included back-to-back trips to the championship game.