Disgruntlement over the replacement referees was taken to the next level after Seattle wideout Golden Tate shoved a Green Bay defender out of the way on the final play and was awarded a touchdown for getting his hands on a ball that appeared to be intercepted the Packers. The stunned Packers, most of whom had left the field in horror, were called back onto the field so the Seahawks could kick a meaningless extra point to seal the 14-12 victory.
2 of 30AFP/Getty Images
USA - USSR Basketball at '72 Olympics
The first ever loss for Team USA since basketball started Olympic play in 1936 came in highly controversial fashion. With the Americans trailing 49-48 against the USSR, Doug Collins stole a pass and was fouled, making both shots to give the U.S. a 50-49 lead with three seconds left. Then began a bizarre series of circumstances where the Soviets had not one, not two but three chances to score the winning basket -- which they did. To this day, the American team has yet to unanimously vote to accept their silver medals.
3 of 30Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images
Though Tom Brady's a Bay Area native, the Tuck Rule game all but guaranteed he can't set foot in Oakland. With two minutes left to play in an AFC divisional playoff showdown, the Patriots were down 13-10 to the Raiders. Amid blizzard-like conditions, Brady dropped back and was sacked by Charles Woodson, who jarred the ball loose from Brady's grasp. The Raiders recovered, only to have the fumble overturned by an official replay citing Brady's forward motion. By the letter of the NFL law it may not have been a fumble, but for everyone outside of New England, it sure looked like one.
4 of 30Robert F. Rodriguez/AP
Pine Tar Game
In the top of the ninth inning with two outs in a regular-season game between the Royals and Yankees, George Brett hit a two-run homer to put Kansas City ahead 5-4. But New York manager Billy Martin cited to the umpires a rule that read that any foreign substance on a bat could extend no further than 18 inches from the knob. The umpires measured the amount of pine tar on Brett's bat, then signaled Brett out, prompting a furious outburst from the future Hall of Famer. The Royals' protest of the result was upheld, and Kansas City went on to win the game after it was resumed from the point of Brett's home run.
5 of 30V.J. Lovero/SI
Holyfield-Tyson II (Bite Fight)
In the much-anticipated rematch of their unforgettable 1996 heavyweight title fight, Tyson savagely bit Holyfield on the right ear to earn a two-point deduction from referee Mills Lane. When Tyson followed it up moments later by biting Holyfield's left ear, Lane had no choice but to disqualify the former champ. Tyson was fined $3 million and had his boxing license revoked by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
6 of 30Keith Simonsen/Getty Images
Fifth Down Game
The Buffs took full advantage when the officials lost track and gave Colorado an additional down against Big Eight rival Missouri, scoring a touchdown on the last play of the game to eke out a 33-31 victory. The result cast doubt on the Buffs' claim to the 1990 national championship, which they shared with Georgia Tech.
7 of 30Daniel Shirey/US Presswire
Braves-Pirates 19th-inning call
In the bottom of the 19th with the Braves and Pirates tied at 3-3, Pittsburgh catcher Michael McKenry appeared to swipe the leg of a sliding Julio Lugo at home plate. But umpire Jerry Meals ruled McKenry missed the tag, giving Atlanta a 4-3 win and sparking a social media maelstrom.
The judging controversy that briefly dropped Canadian pairs skaters Jamie Sale and David Pelletier to a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics -- they ultimately shared the gold -- led to a dramatic overhaul of the entire scoring system.
9 of 30Jack Dempsey/AP; Rich Gabrielson/Icon SMI
Ed Hochuli non-fumble Broncos-Chargers
The NFL made a rare admission of error after veteran referee Ed Hochuli ruled an incomplete pass what appeared to be a fumble, giving the Broncos the lucky break they needed to score a touchdown and make the two-point conversion en route to a 39-38 victory.
10 of 30DPPI/Icon SMI; AFP Photo Grab
Thierry Henry - France/Ireland
A blatant handball by Thierry Henry in extra time of a World Cup playoff between France and Ireland led to William Gallas' tying goal that eliminated the Irish from South Africa 2010.
11 of 30John Gurzinski/AFP/Getty Images
Mayweather-Ortiz ("Protect yourself at all times")
When Ortiz tried to intentionally head-butt Mayweather late in the fourth round of their welterweight title fight, referee Joe Cortez immediately called time to deduct a point. After the fighters touched gloves several times and moved to the center of the ring, Ortiz looked toward Cortez for a signal to restart. That's when Mayweather stepped back and uncoiled a vicious left-right combination that ended the fight. Unsportsmanlike? Perhaps. Legal? Without a doubt.
12 of 30Paul Sancya/AP
Armando Galarraga Perfect Game Robbery
In what SI's Tom Verducci called the most heartbreaking missed call in baseball history, Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga had just thrown the 21st perfect game in baseball history when Miguel Cabrera threw to him covering first base on a grounder by Jason Donald for the 27th out. Cabrera celebrated. Only one thing was missing. Joyce called Donald safe, badly missing a call he'd admit botching afterward.
13 of 30Thomas Croke/WireImage.com
Foxborough Stadium snowplow operator Mark Henderson, a convicted burglar on work release from prison, literally cleared the way (or a path) for New England's 3-0 victory in a regular-season game on Dec. 12, 1982. Amid snowy conditions, Patriots coach Ron Meyer ordered Henderson to plow a spot on the field where kicker John Smith made a 33-yard game-winning field goal, prompting outcry from Dolphins coach Don Shula in the aftermath.
14 of 30Bill Frakes/SI
The Bush Push
In college football lore, it's known as the Bush Push. Trailing by three against Notre Dame on the game's final offensive play, USC quarterback Matt Leinart was stopped at the goal line but got an illegal push from Reggie Bush to give the Trojans a 34-31 win and extend their winning streak to 28 games.
15 of 30Michael Heiman/Getty Images
Felix/Tarmoh 100m tiebreaker
When Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a virtual tie with Allyson Felix for third place in the 100m finals at the Olympic Trials -- and the last place on the Olympic team -- the lack of definitive tie-breaking procedures was laid bare. USATF officials decided that a runoff between the two sprinters would take place in the event, but Tarmoh pulled out (after initially agreeing) and ceded the spot to Felix.
16 of 30Sean Connelley, Julie Jacobson/AP
Giants-49ers Wild-Card Game
The 49ers rallied from a 24-point deficit to take a 39-38 lead on the Giants late in the fourth quarter. With time expiring, the Giants tried a field-goal but a low snap muffed the attempt. Holder Matt Allen scrambled and threw a pass downfield to offensive lineman Rich Seubert, who was interfered with and the pass fell incomplete. Later, the NFL admitted that the play should have resulted in offsetting penalties and New York should have been given another play.
17 of 30Bill Frakes/SI
Ohio State-Miami in 2003 Fiesta Bowl
Nobody gave Jim Tressel's squad a chance against the star-studded Hurricanes, but the Craig Krenzel-led Buckeyes pulled off a shocker in double overtime. The game will always be remembered for a controversial, fourth-down pass interference call that kept Ohio State alive in the first overtime.
18 of 30Gene Puskar/AP
Brett Hull's skate in the crease
In the annals of Buffalo's snakebitten sports history, the play dubbed "No Goal" is near the top: Stars forward Brett Hull, with his foot clearly in the crease, was credited with what may forever be the most controversial goal in Stanley Cup history. It came in triple-overtime in Game 6 of the 1999 finals, and ended the series. That year it was illegal to score a goal if an offensive player's skate entered the crease before the puck did.
19 of 30Matt Campbell/AFP/Getty Images
With 27 seconds left and the Seahawks leading 31-26 over the Jets, Vinny Testaverde burrowed through the line on fourth down from the 5-yard line. While Testaverde's helmet cross the plane of the goal line, the ball most efinitely did not -- not even close. Yet line judge Earnie Frantz, perhaps influence by the home crowd and the New York players raising their hands in approval, signaled the winning touchdown. The play was widely attributed with ushering instant replay into the NFL.
20 of 30Peter Read Miller/SI
Jerry Rice's clear fumble that wasn't called
It was Jerry Rice whose clear-cut fumble against the Packers in a 1998 NFC wild-card playoff game -- a fumble that went uncalled -- set up Terrell Owens' breakthrough game-winning touchdown as time expired.
21 of 30AP
Ref Phil Luckett called coin toss wrong in OT
Sometimes a coin-flip can result in a blown call. On the midfield coin flip before overtime in a Thanksgiving Day game between the Steelers and Lions, Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis called tails. Referee Phil Luckett told pool reporters after the game Bettis had called ''heads-tails'' and Luckett went with the first thing he heard. The Steelers kicked off and never saw the ball again. A Jason Hansen field goal gave the Lions a 19-16 win.
22 of 30Bill Kostroun/AP
Hue Hollins phantom foul in Knicks-Bulls playoff
Just when it looked as if the Bulls would survive the Knicks in Game 5 if the 1994 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, Pippen was called for a foul on Hubert Davis, who was in the act of shooting a 23-foot jumper. With New York down one, Davis sank both shots and the Knicks held on for the 87-86 win -- going on to win the series in seven games.
23 of 30John Iacono/SI
Roy Jones in Seoul
There have been many controversial decisions in the Olympics through the years, but few worse than what Jones experienced. The 19-year-old American landed 86 punches to Park's 32 when they met in the gold-medal match and forced a standing eight count in the second round, but somehow lost the fight 3-2 when it went to a decision. Years later, Jones was awarded the Olympic Order, which is given to individuals for a particularly distinguished contribution, though it's rarely given to active athletes.
24 of 30Rogers Photo Archive/Getty Images
With just .01 seconds left on the clock in a 1990 regular-season game against the Chicago Bulls, New York's Trent Tucker canned a desperation shot off an inbounds pass, giving the Knicks the win. The game was protested by the Bulls and led to an NBA rule change after the 1989-90 season, indicating that no regular shot can be taken from the court if the ball is put into play with less than three-tenths of a second remaining on the game clock.
25 of 30Richard Mackson/SI
Game 6 of 1985 World Series (Don Denkinger's missed call)
First base umpire Don Denkinger's ruling in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series is known simply as "The Call." With the Cardinals leading the Royals 3-2 in the series, St. Louis took a 1-0 advantage into the bottom of the ninth inning. Cardinals reliever Todd Worrell induced a slow roller to first base from the Royals' Jorge Orta leading off in the ninth, and an underhand toss from first baseman Jack Clark to Worrell, who was covering the bag, looked like a sure out. Denkinger called Orta safe, though replays clearly showed he was out. The dubious single ignited a two-run Royals rally that won the game. Kansas City rolled to an 11-0 win the next night in Game 7 to win its first World Series title.
26 of 30Neil Leifer/SI
Leonard-Duran II (No Mas Fight)
Five months after he outpointed Leonard for the welterweight title in Montreal, Duran was outboxed in spectacular fashion through seven-and-a-half rounds of the return bout. That's when Duran abruptly turned his back and refused to continue, handing Leonard a TKO victory in what came to be known as the no mas fight. Few gave much credence to Duran's claims of stomach cramps, instead focusing on the incomprehensible surrender of one of boxing's all-time hard men. "It was bizarre to witness so swift and devastating a collapse of a man's name," Sports Illustrated's William Nack wrote. "And what a name it was."
27 of 30Simon Bruty, Chuck Solomon/SI
Serena's foot fault
In a bizarre finish to a closely contested U.S. Open women's semifinal in 2009, Serena Williams was called for a foot fault on a second serve while trailing Kim Clijsters, 4-6, 5-6, 15-30. The call gave Clijsters a match point. Williams disagreed, angrily confronting the lineswoman who made the call. After a discussion between Williams, the lineswoman, the chair umpire and the tournament referee, it was ruled that Williams' outburst earns her a code violation. The code violation was Williams' second of the match and results in a point penalty that handed Clijsters the game and, with it, the set and the match.
28 of 30SI.com
The Holy Roller/"Immaculate Deception" game
With 10 seconds left in a 1978 matchup between the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, the Raiders trailed 20-14. Ken Stabler took the snap and fumbled the ball forward toward the San Diego goal line. A slew of other Raiders players also batted and kicked the ball forward until tight end Dave Casper fell on the ball in the end zone. All in all, the ball had advanced 24 yards without the aid of a forward pass or run, and the Raiders emerged with a 21-20 win. At the time, officials were not able to overturn the call, but the play lead to an overhaul of the league's rules regarding fumbles.
29 of 30Harry Cabluck/AP
The Immaculate Reception
One of the greatest and most debated plays in NFL history, the Immaculate Reception occurred during a 1972 AFC divisional playoffs game between the Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trailing 7-6, facing a fourth-and-10 with only 1:17 left to play, Terry Bradshaw launched a pass toward John Fuqua. The ball bounced -- off whom is still disputed -- and tumbled, end over end into the hands of Franco Harris. So many aspects of the play are controversial to this day, but what can't be argued is that the play launched Harris and the Steelers to greatness.
30 of 30Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Starting for the New York Giants for the first time in his career, Fred Merkle (at 19, the youngest player in the National League in 1908) committed a colossal baserunning error that would follow him for the rest of his lengthy career. Standing on first in the bottom of the ninth of a 1-1 tie, Merkle assumed he didn't have to touch second base when the winning run was blooped in. As he trotted back to the dugout the ball was thrown to second and Merkle was called out, costing his team the victory. The play, nicknamed Merkle's Boner, cost the Giants a pennant.
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