Spelling Fails: Cringe-Worthy Misspellings on Sports Uniforms
On a night where Dirk Nowitzki recorded his 50,000th career NBA minute, his misspelled jersey took all the headlines. Nowitzki joked after the game, "I actually just saw it. I had no idea. I guess it happens. I usually look at my jersey, so I never even saw it myself. It happens. I guess it kind of sums up our season.”
Phoenix Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, now in his fourth season with the team, played most of the first half against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 30, 2016, wearing a jersey with his last name misspelled as "BELDSOE." The mistake didn't seem to affect his performance as Bledsoe scored 15 of his 21 total points in the first half.
In his first season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, after five with the New York Giants, cornerback Prince Amukamara had his name misspelled on the back of his uniform. During the Jags' 17-16 win over the Chicago Bears during Week 6 on Oct. 16, 2016, Amukamara's jersey read "AMUAKMARA" with the "K" and "A" swapped in the middle of his name.
Quarterbacks have a hard time avoiding the Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, but it was the 2015 Pro Bowler who couldn't avoid his name being misspelled "GRIFFIN" during the Vikings 31-13 trouncing of the Houston Texans during Week 5 on Oct. 9, 2016.
Someone forgot the Finnish setting on spell check when making Stars goalie Antti Niemi’s road jersey for a game in Buffalo on Nov. 17, 2015. The 32-year-old goalie came out for warmups with a No. 31 sweater that read “NIEME.” The equipment crew either worked fast or had a correctly-spelled uniform readily available, because once the game started Niemi’s name was right. The starting goaltender was able to avoid more embarrassment.
NHL legend Wayne Gretzky stopped by London’s White Hart Lane to take in Tottenham’s League Cup soccer game against archrival Arsenal on Sept. 23, 2015. After what the Hotspur did to "The Great One" before the game, it’s unclear which side he ended up pulling for. Tottenham presented Gretzky with a custom jersey, but made a crucial error, replacing the "Z" in his name with an "S." You’d think a team with guys named Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen would be better at spelling.
On a night when nothing went right for the LA Galaxy, the jersey of forward Gyasi Zardes was misspelled with a "Z" at the end of his name during a 2-0 loss the the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 4, 2015.
Millsap may have been missing an 'L' in the first half (inset), but the Hawks' power forward had a season-high 30 points and 17 rebounds to help the Atlanta beat the Utah Jazz 100-97 on Nov. 12, 2014. This was the second misspelled NBA jersey in three days.
The Pistons’ first misstep came before their game against the Bulls even began on Nov. 10, 2014. At no point between its stitching and its unveiling on the hardwood did anyone on Detroit’s equipment staff notice that Andre Drummond’s jersey wasn’t quite right. By the second quarter Drummond’s misprinted jersey had already been swapped out for a proper replacement. Drummond himself, however, sat in an offensive funk throughout the first half while going 0-for-5 from the field.
The first 15,000 fans received Troy Tulowitzki jerseys, missing a "T" and misspelled "TULOWIZKI," for the Colorado Rockies home game vs. the Pirates on July 26, 2014.
Mississippi State tight end Artimas Samuel celebrated his teams' 28-22 win over Kentucky after his first college game on Oct. 24, 2013, but the 6'2, 260-pound freshman could not have been too pleased with his last name being misspelled as 'Sameul' on his jersey for the nationally televised game.
As part of a Negro Leagues tribute on July 20, 2013, the Brewers wore reproduction uniforms of the Milwaukee Bears, the city's 1923 representative in the Negro National League. Unfortunately for manager Ron Roenicke, the city of Milwaukee was misspelled 'Milwakuee' on the front of his uniform.
Wondolowski stole the show in the U.S. men's soccer team's 6-1 victory over Belize, sporting an extra "W" - "Wondowlowski" - on his red and white jersey when he popped in his three goals to open the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament Tuesday night, July 9, 2013.
Angels starter Zack Greinke pitched the first four innings of a game on Sept. 30, 2012 with his last name misspelled on the back of his jersey. Once the Angels staff became aware of the mistake, they had Greinke change jerseys before going out to pitch the fifth. "I didn't notice. I didn't care, either," Greinke said with a smile after the game. "But they wanted me to change it." His ERA was much better after the change, as the Rangers scored all four of their runs in the game off of "Grienke."
Manchester United's midfielder Anderson took the field with the name "ANDESRON" displayed across the back of his uniform during a defeat to Everton on Aug. 20, 2012.
Despite being laughed at for reasons unknown to him (like the "H" and "I" being switched on his jersey to spell "MANSIHP") while warming up in the bullpen, Twins reliever Jeff Manship pitched a scoreless inning in the Twins 4-2 win over the Royals on June 6, 2012.
The Nuggets forward took the court with the "L" and "D" in Chandler swapped on his jersey on March 14, 2011.
Of all of the names to misspell, SMITH just seems unfathomable. And yet, the New Orleans Hornets found a way for their game against the Rockets on Feb. 27, 2011.
The Washington Wizards' Andray Blatche played with the name "BALTCHE" displayed across his back on Feb. 23, 2011 in a game against the Sixers; surprising for a player who had been with the team since he was drafted in 2005.
The Orioles welcomed Duchscherer to spring training (and the team) Feb. 17, 2011 with a misspelled jersey that omits the second 'C'. Meeting Hall of Famer Jim Palmer, however, likely more than made up for the spelling error.
Buffalo Sabres' center Rob Niedermayer unknowingly played with his name misspelled on his sweater in at least three games in January 2011. Isn't "I before E, except after C" a mnemonic rule of thumb for spelling?
Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams made six Pro Bowls and has a common last name, so you'd figure the team could spell his name right for a home game against the Packers on Nov. 21, 2010. The 31-3 loss, however, was probably more embarrassing.
Also on Nov. 21, 2010, West Virginia's Danny Jennings suffered the same fate as Kevin Williams, taking the floor against Minnesota with "JENINNGS" on the back of his jersey. Perhaps even more bizarre is that most would not consider names like Williams and Jennings unusual or difficult to spell to begin with, let alone on the same day.
San FRANCICSO Giants
Sportswriters and fans alike had a field day after the Giants-Astros game on April 7, 2010, during which Eugenio Velez made his season debut wearing a jersey with San Francisco spelled incorrectly. Quipped The AP: "Maybe they left his shirt in "San Fran-cic-so."
As if playing only 13 minutes a game with the Hawks wasn't bad enough, Zaza Pachulia had the "C" placed in front of the "A" on his jersey for a home game against the Bobcats on March 19, 2010.
Kentucky coach John Calipari was eager to tweet out a behind-the-scenes look at his team's photo shoot for SLAM Magazine in Feb. 2010. Perhaps he failed to notice the blatant error on star John Wall's jersey (inset). Calipari has since taken down the photo from his Twitter account.
Former Redskins running back Ladell Betts wore a jersey better suited for Jerome Bettis when his team faced the Ravens in a preseason game on Aug. 13, 2009.
The high-altitude in Colorado must have gotten to the Rockies' tailor to have somehow misspelled left fielder Seth Smith's last name in May 2009.
In a game against the Marlins on April 17, 2009, the Washington Nationals sent their two best hitters, Adam Dunn (pictured) and Ryan Zimmerman, onto the field wearing "NATINALS" jerseys for three innings.
Roque SATNA Cruz
No, the red card is not for Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz wearing a jersey with "SATNA" during a game against Hull City on March 1, 2009.
Twins shortstop Adam Everett wore a jersey with his team's state misspelled "MINNESTOA" for five innings in a game against the Angels in Los Angeles on Aug. 22, 2008.
Clay Council became a household name when, at 71 years old, became Josh Hamilton's pitcher at the slugger's 2008 record-setting All-Star Home Run Derby, when he clocked 28 homers in the opening round. Unfortunately, Council had to do it all with his name spelled incorrectly.
Pistons swingman Rip Hamilton actually received an upgrade to his name with this one back in March 2008. "HAMILTION" sounds very Terminator-esque, no?
The Blackburn Rovers' David Bentley had the "N" and "T" swapped during a game against Manchester United on Nov. 11, 2007.
After Ryan Jorgensen hit a first-inning grand slam against the Marlins on Aug. 26, 2007, a teammate pointed out that his name was misspelled on his jersey, with an "O" instead of "E" near the end. Proving to be not on the superstitious side, Jorgensen changed to a jersey with the proper spelling within two innings. He proceeded to go hitless in his next three at-bats, and the game would turn out to be his last as a Red after he was soon suspended 50 games for a drug violation.
Jeff Francoeur, wearing a jersey with the "E" and "U" in his name switched, went 0-for-4 with the Braves in a game against the Giants on Aug. 16, 2007.
West VIRGINA Mountaineers
After winning the 2007 National Invitational Tournament, the Mountaineers were congratulated with WEST VIRGINA shirts. Not a jersey, but still, very awkward.
As if the Manchester United goalkeeper didn't have enough "Z"s already, Tomasz Kuszczak had a third "Z" added to his last name for a Carling Cup match against Crewe Alexandra on Oct. 25, 2006.
As if kickers don't have enough trouble getting respect, Matt Harmon had to wear a misspelled Navy jersey (inset) during a game in Stanford on Sept. 16, 2006.
Eliezer Alfonzo made his big league debut on June 3, 2006 with his name spelled with an "S," instead of a "Z." He crushed a two-run shot in the sixth inning that ultimately won the game against the Mets, which may have explained why his jersey was still misspelled in the Giants' next game the following day.
Somebody decided the Toys "Я" Us spelling for Giants defensive tackle Fred Robbins was a better way to go in a home game against the Cowboys on Dec. 4, 2005.
Aaron Harang took the mound missing the first "I" with "CNCINNATI" across his chest in a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals on April 12, 2005.
Maybe he should just stick with Birdman, because it seems the league has trouble spelling Andersen, as evident in the 2004 Dunk Contest.
Clippers big man Chris Kaman has had his name misspelled twice, and not in the same way. First he was forced to wear a jersey with an extra "M" in Dec. 2003, and then the NBA tried selling his No. 35 jersey with an "E" in place of the second "A." (The league corrected its mistake). Dude can't catch a break.
Minor league journeyman Adam Riggs had only a brief stint with the Angels in 2003, but it was just long enough that he got stuck with this jersey in a home game against the Tigers on Aug. 16. Riggs didn't realize the mistake until his hysterical teammates sat him down in the dugout between innings and broke the news to him.
Ole Gunnar SOLKSJAER
Manchester United's Norwegian forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer certainly is not celebrating his name being misspelled "SOLKSJAER" after scoring a goal against Newcastle United on Nov. 23, 2002.
NHL legend Wayne Gretzky took an entirely new last name when his Rangers lost to the rival Islanders, 5-3, on Oct. 30, 1997.
On Aug. 3, 1997, David Beckham wasn't quite the celebrity he is today, and Manchester United managed to leave the "H" out of his name for a Charity Shield match against Chelsea FA.
TOROTNO Blue Jays
Joe Carter wore this jersey for six innings with the "N" and second "T" reversed, spelling "TOROTNO" during a game in Texas on July 14, 1994.
Former Hawks big man Jon Koncak is perhaps best remembered for the six-year, $13 million contract he received from the Hawks in 1989 -- an unprecedented total for a reserve. Having earned the nickname "Jon Contract," one would think his jersey would have been misspelled differently in '93.
In 1960, the White Sox became the first major sports team to put player names on the backs of uniforms. Unfortunately, they were also the first to do so incorrectly. During a road trip to New York, Kluszewski appeared with both a backwards "Z" and an "X" instead of "K" in his name.