Down 35-10 in a blowout loss to Atlanta, the 49ers cornerback picked off a pass and began showboating, leaving the ball exposed and having it punched out of his hand by wide receiver Roddy White. The Falcons recovered on the 49ers' 44-yard line and quickly added to their lead with a field goal. Bly later offered a profuse public apology to his teammates.
2 of 30Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The umpire became the poster boy for a rash of horrendous postseason calls when he ruled that only the Yankees' Jorge Posada was out even though Posada and Robinson Cano had been tagged while both were clearly off third base in the fifth inning of Game 4 of the ALCS. The previous inning, McClelland called New York's Nick Swisher out for leaving third too early on a sacrifice fly, although replays clearly showed that Swisher had waited until the catch was made.
3 of 30Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images
The referee sparked an international firestorm by missing an obvious handball by Thierry Henry of France that set up the winning goal in a World Cup qualifier vs. Ireland. It was Hansson's his third major gaffe in the past year. The previous one, at the Confederations Cup final in June, was his failure to award a goal to Brazil after the ball crossed the U.S. goal line.
4 of 30AP
The owner of the Tennessee Titans was fined $250,000 by the NFL for flipping Bills fans the bird during his team's 41-17 win over Buffalo in Nashville on Nov. 15. Adams later apologized, saying he "got caught up in the excitement of a great day."
5 of 30Simon Bruty/SI
The Olympic golden boy was embarrassed by the February release of photos of him toking on a bong at a party in Columbia, SC, last November. They sparked a criminal investigation in which eight people were arrested. Phelps owned up to using bad judgment with regard to the wacky weed.
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The Bucs sailed the sea of infamy by posting a North American pro sports record 17th consecutive losing season. The scurvy franchise has not won more 79 games in any campaign since 1992.
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En route to their second consecutive 100-loss season, Washington endured the additional indignity of taking the field in April with their team name misspelled "Natinals" on the front of their jerseys. Uniform make Majestic Athletic apologized for the error.
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New Jersey Nets
As of this writing, the Nets were a franchise-record 0-13 and in hot pursuit of the NBA record for worst losing streak to open a season, 17 by the 1988-89 Miami Heat and 1998-99 Los Angeles Clippers.
9 of 30Kevin P. Coughlin/Icon SMI
New York Knicks
Opening the season with a franchise record for futility -- nine losses in their first 10 games -- the Knicks, who have been hoping to woo LeBron James to New York, made a strong case for why he should stay in Cleveland. In the first quarter of a Nov. 21 showdown against the even more woeful Nets, guard Nate Robinson shot a three-pointer into his own basket. Lucky for him it was waved off because time had expired.
10 of 30Chris Williams/Icon SMI
The dreadlocked Dodgers slugger was handed a 50-game suspension after a drug test revealed he had an abnormally high artificial testosterone level. Ramirez claimed it was the inadvertent result of a perfectly legal non-steroid prescription, but reports surfaced that he had been caught using the female fertility drug hCG, commonly used to restore testosterone depleted by steroid use.
11 of 30Chuck Solomon/SI
After his name was leaked from a confidental list of 104 Major Leaguers who failed tests for performance-enhancers in 2003, A-Rod made a painfully awkward confession, as his Yankee teammates looked on, to using Primobolan supplied by a "cousin." He copped to being "young, stupid and naïve" but said he didn't really know if the boli worked. He also made a bizarre claim that he had been stalked by SI writer Selena Roberts, who was working on a book about him.
12 of 30Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The former WBA welterweight champion was caught with illegal plaster of paris handwraps before his fight against Sugar Shane Mosley in Los Angeles on Jan. 24. Mosley won by TKO in the ninth round and Margarito and his trainer had their licenses revoked for one year.
13 of 30Steve Dykes/Getty Images
The Oregon Ducks running back was suspended for the season -- his sentence was later reduced to eight games -- for sucker-punching Byron Hout of Boise State after Hout taunted him following Oregon's 19-8 season-opening loss on national TV. Blount then got into an altercation with fans and had to be dragged off the field.
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The New Mexico junior defender was suspended indefinitely for hauling BYU's Kassidy Shumway to the ground by her pony tail in a particularly hard-fought 1-0 Mountain West semifinals loss. Lambert also dispensed an ugly series of punches, kicks and trips during the game, for which she later apologized.
15 of 30Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images
Their seemingly endless Centennial Celebration ended with the mediocre team getting swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the rival Boston Bruins, who hadn't won a postseason series in 10 years, including losses to Montreal in 2002, '04 and `08. Perhaps the Habs' worst indignity of the year was having to wear their barber pole throwback uniforms that made them look like a jailbreak in progress.
16 of 30Fred Vuich/SI
He's presided over a circus in Cleveland. His handpicked GM was dismissed as the Browns began the season 1-9. Mangini waffled about his starting quarterback and was accused by running back Jamal Lewis of exhausting the team with three-hour workouts. After a 38-37 loss to lowly Detroit, the beleaguered coach suggested the Lions might have faked injuries to slow his offensive juggernaut.
17 of 30Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
The former New York Giants wide receiver, who hoped to resume his NFL career, was instead sent to jail for two years for accidentally shooting himself in the leg with an unlicensed (in New York) firearm at a Manhattan nightclub in 2008.
18 of 30Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
The Eastern Conference finalists of 2009 came out of the box for 2009-10 splitting their first four games before reeling off a franchise-record 14-game losing skid that fell three short of the NHL record held by the historically awful 1974-75 Capitals and 1992-93 Sharks. After getting off the schneid with a win over the Minnesota Wild, the `Canes lost in OT to Montreal two nights later.
19 of 30Greg Fiume/Getty Images
The New York Rangers coach came off the spool while being taunted by Capitals fans during Game 5 of a first-round playoff series in Washington last April. Tortorella squirted water at the fans, threw the bottle into the stands -- hitting one fan in the head -- and then grabbed a stick, climbed onto his team's bench and lunged at the crowd. The fiery coach was suspended for Game 6.
20 of 30John Biever/SI, Gary Bogdon/SI
Rick Pitino and Karen Sypher
The married Louisville hoops coach was the target of an alleged extortion plot that stemmed from a tawdry late night fling in a local eatery in 2003 with a woman who later married his team's strength coach. She faces federal charges for demanding two cars, tuition for her kids and $10 million in exchange for her silence.
21 of 30Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images
The ESPN analyst was dismissed in the wake of revelations that he had a fling with a 22-year-old production assistant, who, after being dumped, went to Phillips' house to tell his wife. Phillips had a reputation for playing the field during his tenure as general manager of the New York Mets earlier in the decade.
22 of 30Brad Mangin/SI
The notoriously hotheaded outfielder was suspended for arguing with an umpire who had called him out on strikes with the bases loaded, sent home by Cubs manager Lou Piniella after an outburst in the dugout, and suspended again for the rest of the season after publicly criticizing the team. "I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment," Bradley told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. "There's too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly."
23 of 30Jeff Moffett/Icon SMI
The underachieving veteran Chiefs running back issued a number of homophobic epithets to the media and on Twitter, and drew the ire of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. He also did not ingratiate himself to Todd Haley by questioning his coach's competence. The Chiefs suspended Johnson for two weeks and then released him.
24 of 30Chuck Solomon/SI
The new, $1.5-billion Yankee Stadium opened with a top ticket price of $2,500 for a field-level perch that included concierge service and a lavish pre-game spread. It was hard to miss the fact that the seats were mostly empty game after game while the nation's economic meltdown raged. By the end of April, the team had reduced the fee to a more modest $1,250.
25 of 30Jeff Zelevansky/SI
New York Mets
Expected to contend for the NL pennant during their first season in Citi Field, they sank to 70-92 and fourth place under a wave of injuries, awful pitching Oliver Perez and some slapstick misplays by leftfielder Daniel Murphy.
26 of 30Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The 20-year old star right wing for the Chicago Blackhawks had a late night altercation with a cab driver in Buffalo who alleged that Kane and his cousin assaulted him for failing to produce 20 cents change on a $15 fare. Kane later pleaded guilty to a non-criminal charge of disorderly conduct.
27 of 30John Iacono/SI
The season hadn't even started and coach Tom Cable was in trouble for allegedly punching defensive assistant Randy Hanson and putting him the hospital. The Raiders, quarterbacked by the hapless JaMarcus Russell, were soon on their way to the AFC West basement with seven losses in their first nine games, one of which, a 44-7 waxing, inspired New York Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce to observe that playing Oakland felt like a scrimmage.
28 of 30Greg Nelson/SI
A 23-21 loss to Navy at home left the Fighting Irish coach firmly on the hotseat amid calls for his head -- the one that has engineered a 16-20 mark during the past three seasons. His seat got hotter with a 33-30 double OT loss to Connecticut that left Notre Dame with a lame duck who still has six years left on his contract and will likely require a buyout of more than $15 million to remove.
29 of 30Gary Bogdon/SI
The troubled cornerback was about to sign a one-year deal with the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers then the team abruptly backpedaled. "It is unfortunate that this situation became public; however, our position has remained consistent," coach Mike Kelly said in a statement. "We will pursue athletes that we believe will contribute to our organization on and off the field. We have completed our assessment and due diligence and at this time we will not be pursuing the services of Adam Jones."
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William "Boots" Del Biaggio III joined a slew of notorious former NHL owners by being sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud in connection with his buying a share of the Nashville Predators. Meanwhile, the NHL fought hard in court to keep presumably clean Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie from buying the bankrupt Phoenix Coyotes, declaring that he lacked sufficient character.
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