November 6, 2013

Top 5 Sports Controversies

Whether it is due to Western culture’s obsession with professional sports or the amount of media attention the major events get, whenever something unusual happens on athletics biggest stages it can garner national attention. Here is a list of five controversial moments that grabbed the attention of those in North America and around the world.

5. The Steve Bartman Incident

source: theguardian.com

source: theguardian.com

Event: Chicago Cubs vs Florida Marlins, NLCS Game 6

Setting: October 14, 2003 – Wrigley Field, Chicago

What Happened: The Cubs were up 3-2 in the best-of-seven MLB National League Championship, up 3-0 in the sixth game and en route to their first pennant in almost 60 years. However, a foul ball that was about to be caught by a Cubs outfielder was instead grabbed by life-long Chicago fan Steve Bartman, disrupting the play. Though the Cubs would go on to be trounced, losing the game 8-3 as well as the seventh game, the incident was seen as a turning point in the series and Bartman required police surveillance due to multiple threats on his life.

4. No Mas

source: awfulannouncing.com

source: awfulannouncing.com

Event: Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran II, WBC Welterweight Championship

Setting: November 25, 1980 – Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans

What Happened: Recently-made international superstars Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran met for a second time following their first fight in Montreal, which Duran had taken in a hard-fought 15 round decision. In the time between the first and second fights, Duran, celebrating his victory, ballooned up to 200 pounds (~50 pounds above his fighting weight). The fight was not at all progressing as the first one had, with Leonard dancing around Duran, frustrating the proud Panamanian champion. Near the end of the eighth round, a visibly upset Duran turned his back on his opponent, saying “No mas” (Spanish for no more). Duran became an enemy overnight as his home in Panama was stoned and he had to go in to hiding, though he would go on to redeem himself.

3. The Replacements

source: calvinayre.com

source: calvinayre.com

Event: NFL Regular Season

Setting: First three weeks of the 2012 season

What Happened: As a result of a labour dispute between the National Football League and the NFL Referees Association, replacement officials were brought in to replace the regular referees. What followed was a disastrous series of events as the unprepared new officials made blunder after blunder. At times they awarded extra time-outs,  made horrible calls, and took extended periods of time to review calls. The frustration of the players was shown by Packers guard TJ Lang who tweeted, “F*** it NFL.. Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.” At the time, it was the third most retweeted of all time. On September 26 of the same year, the two parties came to an agreement, only after the legitimacy of the season had been called into question.


2. Vancouver Riots

source: en.wikipedia.org

source: en.wikipedia.org

Event: Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup Finals Game 7

Setting: June 15, 2011 – Vancouver, British Columbia

What Happened: With the Vancouver Canucks one win away from their first Stanley Cup ever, the energy in the city was palpable. The streets filled as giant televisions broadcast the game in various outdoor locations around the lower mainland, with two such screens set up in the downtown core accommodating approximately 100,000 people . However, a celebration would not take place. Just before 8:00 pm, as the Canucks were just minutes from losing the game, small groups of the crowd began rioting. Cars were set ablaze, windows were broken, and businesses were raided. All in all, 140 people were injured and around $5 million of damages were done to the city.


1. ‘Say It Ain’t So, Joe’

source: athlonsports.com

source: athlonsports.com

Event: Chicago White Sox vs Cincinnati Reds, MLB World Series

Setting: 1919 World Series final

What Happened: Leading up to the start of the series in October of 1919, the betting odds against the Reds suddenly began to fall drastically, the result of many people placing bets in their favour all at once. Rumours began to spread that the fix was in, though gamblers still placed heavy bets for the Sox. In the end, Cincinnati took the series and eight players were accused of throwing the series. Though they were never convicted in a court of law, they were forever banned from professional baseball. As the story goes, a young boy ran up to ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, who’s involvement in the fix is questionable at best, stating, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”


Did I miss something? What moments make your list?


Featured image via retro.cincinnati.com

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Recultured Team
Recultured Team
This is where you'll find the blog posts that the team has contributed to collectively! What team? Wildcats! -Nope, wrong team. Recultured!

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