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Is the ‘Fail Mary’ in Seattle the Worst Blown Call in Sports History?

The Fail Mary has to go down as one of the worst calls in sports history. | Getty Images

The advancement of instant replay in sports has allowed us to get the calls right as often as possible. Not everything can be caught in every game, and not every bad call can be overturned, but for the most part the umpires and referees get things right these days.

Make no mistake, though, we’ve had some seriously bad calls in all major sports. Many of those calls have affected a playoff game or a championship, making them even worse in retrospect. There is nothing more painful for a fan than knowing your team lost because of a bad call. We took a look at the worst blown calls in sports history that made an ugly impact on either a playoff race, a championship, or just the game itself.

10. Cardinals benefit from odd infield fly call

This dropped outfield fly ball was ruled an out. | Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

In the bottom of the eighth inning of the 2012 National League wild card game, the Atlanta Braves trailed the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-3 with one out in the inning. But the Braves were threatening, with two runners on and only one out. With shortstop Andrelton Simmons at the plate, Mitchell Boggs induced a shallow fly ball into the outfield that should’ve been caught for the second out.

The problem is that it wasn’t. The ball fell in the grass between shortstop Pete Kozma and outfielder Matt Holliday. But the umpires called the infield fly rule, and the batter was automatically called out. Instead of bases loaded and one out, it was two on with two out. That’s a big difference. The call was bad, the Braves lost, and the Cardinals advanced to the NLDS.

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