What was the most embarrassing snafu in NFL history?

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With former Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead landing in New York, and given that several other teams were interested in him, the end result of the Oxnard ready-fire-aim approach is that it was a major embarrassment for the franchise.

And that gives us an idea for the PFT Live question of the day: Which was the most embarrassing snafu in NFL history?

Throw an idea or two in the comments and then tune in for Thursday’s edition of the show. It starts at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio, and then it moves to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET.

Guests include Qadry Ismail of WBAL in Baltimore and Vic Lombardi of Altitude Sports Network in Denver. We’ll also play a portion of a recent Rob Ninkovich interview.

126 responses to “What was the most embarrassing snafu in NFL history?

  1. Patriots super bowl win in 01. On the heels of the tuck rule the NFL fixed it so they’d win in a year of unbelievable patriotism and I’ll never believe otherwise.

  2. The biggest snafu is changing the rules against defending wife receivers in 1994. This changed the game and the league. Its also a main reason why the QB position is even more important today than it was in the 80’s and through 1994. It is also the reason why dominate defense and a dominate running game is less important in today’s NFL. This snafu is also not a one time occurrence, but an everyday part of the league.

  3. An embarrassing moment for the Dolphins was when Ray Finkle missed an easy field goal that would of won the Superbowl for Miami. He blamed the entire thing on Dan Marino. He later went psychotic and rumors surfaced he tried to turned himself into a women.

  4. The most embarrassing snafu was when Ace Ventura pet detective film scripted Dan Marino playing the Eagles in the Superbowl. Dan Marino doesn’t have a superbowl ring and neither does the Eagles franchise. The film didn’t show the rest of the game. History tells us that Superbowl had to end in a tie.

  5. In the 1982 draft, Tampa Bay accidentally picked Sean Farrell in the first round instead of Booker Reese due to miscommunication. They traded up so they could pick Reese in round 2. Reese turned out to be the biggest draft bust in franchise history while Farrell turned put to be pretty good.

  6. How about that time the Bears held a press conference announcing they hired Dave McGinnis as their head coach before actually agreeing to terms? Good times.

  7. I believe the most embarrassing moment in NFL history was (is) the league’s unconscionable conduct in acknowledging the concussion/brain trauma damage suffered by ex-players, and in turn providing the financial and medical support, they all deserve.

  8. I would say Brady getting caught deflating footballs is probably the most embarrassing thing I can remember. Putting Dennis Miller in the MNF booth was pretty mild boggling, too.

  9. Judge Berman: “What evidence…on January 18?”
    NFL lawyer Nash: “No, not for that specific game.”
    Judge Berman: “The Wells report relates to only one game. There is no finding in this case that there was anything done by Mr. Brady.”

    Rather than come clean, NFL then get a 2nd court merely to confirm NFL’s power to suspend, not Brady’s guilt – because (see above admission in 1st court). The NFL has screwed up many times, but this was the biggest, longest, most expensive, most hypocritical, most lied, most hyped, over the tiniest supposed infraction of a rule that doesn’t even apply to players anyway. Since which Brady’s passer rating is 112.2 and 2 SB rings.

  10. I’d say the Super Bowl XLVII power outage simply because it occurred during the most visible and hyped/advertised game of the NFL season. Millions and millions of people internationally got to watch the Harbaugh brothers freak out on the sidelines for 34 minutes before the game was able to resume.

  11. The coin toss debacle where the ref said Jerome Bettis called heads, when he clearly called tails. Or anything involving Jeff Triplette.

  12. It took 25 years to accomplish it, but the Packers failure to score a single TD in the playoffs of a full regulation season…

    The only NFL team to ever accomplish this feat – what an astounding level of embarrassment to the NFL.

  13. How about the Vikings letting time elapse and not picking in the first round of the 2003 draft.

  14. The Broncos paying people under the table to avoid going over the salary cap.

    Not having the field ready for the HOF game last year was terrible also.

  15. 25 years ago I thought it would be cool to vacation in Hawaii during probowl week. Now I don’t even turn on the TV.

    That is the most embarrassing snafu for the NFL. Players don’t take is serious. Fans don’t watch it. It’s a joke.

  16. Heidi game, any pro bowl game on recent memory…especially the one where the lineman just came out of their stance, deflate gate, many of Goodell’ s disciplinary decisions of late…being scared to attend a game in New England…

  17. “The Fumble” Giants v Eagles. All Joe Pizarchek (sic) has to do is fall down and the Giants are in the playoffs.

    Some genius calls for a handoff and the ball winds up on the ground.

    Herm Edwards makes a scoop and score the Giants are out of the playoffs.

  18. When Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, “Spare Tire” Dixon

  19. Joe Pisarcik dropping the ball and Herman Edwards running it in for a TD.

    Marshall running the wrong way

    The 1976 Buccaneers as a team

    The Browns since coming back

    Sanchez’s butt fumble

  20. Spygate, Deflategate, Tuck Rule….all embarrassingly contributed to the Patriots SB runs.

  21. Just one? So can we do it on a per year basis if we can only do one? There are just sooooo …….. many.

    Taking millions of taxpayers dollars to “honor the troops”
    Taking millions more for stadiums that have roofs that either never open or can not open.
    Pretending that gambling isn’t gambling and sponsoring it.
    Thursday Night football.

  22. Cam Newton running away from his own fumble with the game on the line in the SB. Never has there been such a display of cowardice in the NFL.

    Mike Tomlin tripping Jacoby Jones…..never has there been a more apt display of poor sportsmanship in the NFL.

  23. Making Roger Goodell commissioner.

    His entire tenure has been one bungled overreaction after another. Has he done a single thing that hasn’t made the league office look utterly incompetent?

  24. I was going to say: the league’s lack of knowledge of the meaning of the word ‘integrity’.

    But then….they have no shame, so it sort doesn’t apply to them.

  25. The handling of the Deflategate situation. The man clearly cheated, but this is kind of like the OJ Simpson trial. The case was so poorly mishandled and OJ eventually had to walk free. I give credit to the court system for standing by the suspension, but it shouldn’t have even reached the appeals and should have had the evidence more concrete.

  26. Spygate and Deflategate. Completely overblown and a case of Goodell not liking Belichick and Brady not showing enough deference and respect to his authority.

  27. Its a tie, Jim Marshall’s return of a fumble the wrong way or the Vikings not getting their draft pick on time (not once, but twice). Either way, just give it to the Vikings.

  28. “Probably that time when the commissioner suspended the league’s best player for cold weather causing a drop in football pressure.”

    Not the league’s best player. And, wasn’t it like 50 degrees that day?

  29. Chris Carter telling rookies how to avoid getting in trouble for wild escapades by having a fall guy to blame.

  30. Tuck Rule? Pu Leeze. Get over it. While you’re at it, get over inflation, Clinton and Monica Lewinski, Hillary losing, and America not adopting the metris system.

    Good Gosh, it’s hard to believe anyone is STILL crying over the Tuck rule.

    That said, the answer is soooo easy;

    Dolts Swinging Gate has to be atop that mountain of embarrassment, high above all comers.

    Leon Lett and everything else sit several stories below

  31. I nominate my team for lying about all their consecutive sell-outs and then being caught red handed doing it.

    – Titans Fan

  32. Hiring a deceitful clown as Commissioner. Two SB wins, each including the then largest comebacks in SB history, since the league admitted that none of its executives understood 9th grade physics and instead assumed it was witchcraft. Great work.

    Oh, and the Tuck Rule was an existing rule that was properly applied, making a grand conspiracy difficult even for time travelers. Nice try though! Not really.

  33. Two moments are equal.When Brady explained why he smashed his cell phone and when they explained how The Deflator got his name.

  34. One of the darkest days in NFL history, when the Vikings allowed Korey Stringer to die during a training camp practice on a hot, humid Minnesota day.

  35. Vikings missing their draft pick… more than once I think..

    Tuck Rule was pretty damn bad.

  36. Fighting retired players, and their estates, over eligibility for disability. There was never any doubt about Mike Webster, denying benefits and making his family sue, it was all about greed.

  37. The Broncos fax machine snafu comes to mind or The Vikings running out of time and missing their pick in the draft.

  38. It has to be the Packers losing the 2014 NFC Championship game in the biggest choke in NFL history!

  39. Starcaps should make the list. If nothing else for suspending players for taking an illegal substance for an over the counter product that never included said illegal substance. And then rushing out the defense that players are responsible for knowing what goes in their bodies despite having a list telling them exactly what is illegal.

  40. For me, a “most embarrassing moment” is the one you yourself cause. So with that, I eliminate any single play (although the Butt Fumble is still a doozy) or blown call or a single team faux pas as far as an “NFL most embarrassing moment”. From a league perspective, deflategate is the biggest screw up the league has ever orchestrated. NFL lawyers admitted they was no proof of wrong doing, yet the league continued in court to prove it has the right to penalize/punish as it sees fit. In doing so, the league’s interpretation of the NFLPA was upheld, but at the high cost of a two year circus and a star player’s reputation being damaged.

  41. Spygate vs Walkie Talkie gate

    Defaltegate vs Heating a ball using a space heater

    Same rule violations – different results. You figure it out.

  42. This list should be a mile long…Now let’s see what part of a mile I can contribute…
    1. Buttfumble
    2. DeflateGate (and I’m a Dolphins fan! And speaking of the Dolphins…)
    3. Garo Yepremian’s snafu handing the Skins a TD in Supe 7
    4. Goodell, in so many ways…would you please sack this SOB?
    5. Steelers not drafting Dan the Man in 1983 (which could have extended their dynasty, no?)
    6. Wide Right
    7. BullyGate (thanks to Joe PhilBUM, the NFL had to handle this since Coach Incompetent couldn’t!), which leads to
    8. Jonathan Martin crying for his mommy and ushering in the Politically Correct era
    9. BountyGate (blaming Sean Payton for something he had nothing to do with?)
    10. letting the Patriots score a FG allowed when some convict cleared the snow away, and speaking of cheating…
    11. Beli-cheat (sorry Pats fans, but Don Shula is right here) 12. Jim Marshall’s “wrong way” stupidity
    13. Dennis Green’s “the Bears are who we thought they were!” rant, which “crowned their asses”
    14. Allowing Rich Kotite, Cam Cameron, Bill Peterson, and a few other terrible head coaches to head coach
    15. Allowing Belichick to sign with the Jets as HC, then letting him resign to HC the Pats (who says the Jets aren’t cursed?)
    16. Joe Pizarchik’s bogus handoff to Csonka (I bet you that is Csonka’s most embarrassing moment ever!) instead of the Victory formation vs. Eagles
    17. The Bengals of the 90s
    18. The Colts of the 80s
    19. The Giants of the 70s (honorable mention–the Saints of the 70s)
    20. The Steelers from 1930’s until 1972
    21. Nick “Satan” Sabin telling the Dolphins he isn’t going to coach Alabama, then going to coach Alabama
    22. The “replacement players” of 1987
    23. Terrible Thursday Night Football games
    24. Leon Lett’s dumbass mistake vs. Dolphins on Thanksgiving 1993
    25. The Browns drafting Johnny Football when they coulda had Teddy Bridgewater (and other bad Browns draft picks)
    26. Allowing Stan Kroenke to own the Rams
    27. Rex Ryan being a HC and running a defense with ten men on the field allowing Jay Ajayi to run 57 yards getting Miami in FG range to win in Buffalo in 2016 and sealing playoff birth when Bills could have sealed their playoff birth!
    28. The 2015 Bengals letting the Steelers win in playoffs (and they still have Vontaze Burfict!)
    29. Colin Kaepernick saying he loves Fidel Castro during the week the Niners will be playing IN MIAMI, where exiled Cubans go to live? And he wonders why he doesn’t have an NFL job?
    30. The Redskins allowing Kirk Cousins to take them for a ride the way he is, thinking he’s Tom Brady or something 31…. Okay, okay, my typing fingers are getting tired…

  43. Goodell caught in lies, fabricating data, leaking it to ESPN toadies, and continuing the cover up by hiding the mountain of real data they collected.

  44. Atlanta trading Brett Favre,Tampa trading Steve Young and Miami signing Duante Culpepper instead of Drew Brees…amazing how bad teams stay bad for so long while at the same time saying such and such team cheated or got “lucky” by drafting their QB.

  45. charliecharger says:
    Jul 27, 2017 7:12 AM

    I would say Brady getting caught deflating footballs is probably the most embarrassing thing I can remember. Putting Dennis Miller in the MNF booth was pretty mild boggling, too.

    Brady wasn’t caught doing any such thing.

    Putting Tony Kornheiser in the MNF booth was more embarrassing.

  46. I cant believe I read every reply, and not one single Seahawk fan didn’t say “HAND THE DARN BALL TO BEASTMODE!!!!”

    That’s the first thing that popped into my head, losing a SB in one play.

  47. Atlanta trading Brett Favre,Tampa trading Steve Young and Miami signing Duante Culpepper instead of Drew Brees…amazing how bad teams stay bad for so long while at the same time saying such and such team cheated or got “lucky” by drafting their QB.

    Favre was a partier, and Glanville wouldn’t have played him even if Atlanta had kept him.

    Young played in Tampa. He was 3-16 as a starter, with a 63 QB rating. They had the #1 pick in 1987 and Vinny Testeverdae was a top prospect by any standard.

    The moves turned out to be terrible, but the teams had good reasons to make the moves at the time.

  48. raidernation37 says:
    Jul 27, 2017 6:27 AM

    Patriots super bowl win in 01. On the heels of the tuck rule the NFL fixed it so they’d win in a year of unbelievable patriotism and I’ll never believe otherwise.

    Yea it’s hard when the rules are interpreted correctly by the referees. Pats had the same call go against them earlier the same season.

  49. Rex Ryan’s Tattoo’s have to be up there!

    Chad Johnson trying to learn the Pat’s playbook.

    A head coach playing special teams (that’s you Pittsburgh).

    The talking heads around the league slobbering over Aaron Rogers each year.

    Roger Goodell deciding to _______________ .

  50. wafflestomp says:
    Jul 27, 2017 9:21 AM
    One of the darkest days in NFL history, when the Vikings allowed Korey Stringer to die during a training camp practice on a hot, humid Minnesota day.


    And your Packer fan brethren make jokes about that. In addition to people dying on the bridge collapse.

  51. It’s interesting how so many pats fans still squawk about science, non logo guages, gas laws of physics. How about the text messages, firings and Brady and the Pats refusal to cooperate fully? His failure to cooperate was at least half the reason, according to the sanctions report. So, gas laws and semantics aside, you still believe, Tom Brady, an extremely demanding and meticulous competitor (his own behavior shows this, not MY saying so) was handling under inflated balls in a championship game without knowing so? Or that he never noticed? And it was merely coincidental that the Colts Ryan Grigson stated BEFORE the game that there were concerns about Brady having air let out of the balls, because it was being said by other teams and players who had played on the Patriots? The numbers dont matter as much, and you can argue all day about the merit of the rule or its impact on game play–the point is–it is a rule. It looks like Brady broke it, and then he and the team initially refused to cooperate–so he was punished. waahhh waaahhh boo hoo. I left out the FACT that the Patriots had been involved in shady, unscrupulous, and deceitful dealings prior to this incident. Yet, it still comes down to conspiracies, lies, jealousy. Imagine how bad Grigson would have looked had he asked the league to look into this and there was NO SMOKE, NO evidence, nothing to the allegations. I guess Ryan had it all set up from the get go, just to get Brady, because, you know, Pats and Colts are the league’s biggest rivals…..

  52. waiting for a Vikes fan to mention Pearson’s push off on the original Hail Mary………tick, tock……tick, tock

  53. Richndc, please tell me that you understand that the league wanted unfettered access to Brady’s phone and the NFLPA told him he didn’t have to do that.
    Let me also reiterate what I’ve said before in other commentaries on this page. The Park Avenue NFL Headquarters in central Manhattan is full of two types of fans, Jets fans and Giants fans. I have a colleague who works there on occasions as a contractor for Amex Global Business Travel. He is a life long Giants fan and he says that there one thing that all the employees have in common is that they hate all things Boston, especially the Patriots. He went on to say, “Well maybe the Giants fans hate the Pats a little less so”.
    Evidence, practical thinking and science were completely ignored. Judge Berman looked at the conclusions of the investigative arm of the NFL offices and overturned their findings because of facts that were ignored and sloppy evidence gathering. He wasn’t supposed to do that. He only needed to rule on whether Roger Goodell had the power to suspend Brady. The appeals court overturned Berman’s ruling.
    Now what’s going on with the fraud allegations against Eli Manning and the Giants? Not much there? I beg to differ. Damaging the NFL brand I think was the commish’s war cry justifying a 4 game suspension for TB12. Eli apparently gets off and that’s a double standard.

  54. metalup666 says:
    Jul 27, 2017 8:43 AM

    “Probably that time when the commissioner suspended the league’s best player for cold weather causing a drop in football pressure.”

    Not the league’s best player. And, wasn’t it like 50 degrees that day?


    You’re right. More like the best player of all-time. Fixed.

  55. After the news that 110 of 111 ex-players’ brains were diagnosed with CTE, the league’s continued refusal to acknowledge that brain injuries just might an issue.

  56. The Anti Patriots babies come in and ruin another comment section.

    I’m not anti-Patriot.

    I’m anti-Patriot FAN.

    You guys are punk a$$ b!t$hes that need to be put down.

  57. 5. Suspending the NFL’s star player for refusing to turn over his personal phone during an investigation into a practice that’s commonplace and clearly did not change the outcome of the game (and I hate the Pats).

    4. Refusing to require players to address their political issues off the field rather than during pre-game ceremonies.

    3. Failing to address sloppy officiating following Super Bowl XL.

    2. The Heidi Bowl.

    1. Hiring Roger Goodell.

  58. The Colts trick play.

    But fumble.

    Dan Orlovsky running out of the back of the endzone.

    Patriots score 21 points in 50 seconds against the Jets.

    Lawrence Taylor whiffing on an attempted sack of Steve “Where Did He Go” Grogan

  59. richndc says:
    Aug 1, 2017 1:15 PM
    So the basis for non-cooperation is a 4 game suspension, forfeited draft picks and fines. Based on what? BFavre doing the exact same thing? You do realize that suspending somebody for not providing their cell phone was UNPRECEDENTED. Despite answering everything during his interview with investigators. Non-coperation indeed.

    You do realize that SGostkowski refused to provide his phone to the very same investigators. So he should have gotten the same suspension\fine, right?

  60. First reaction was the Heidi game but on 2nd thought, allowing Terrell Davis into the HOF after his short career and his taking money under the table to help the Broncos circumvent the salary cap takes the cake.

  61. Lots of people missing the point. Individual plays aren’t the biggest SNAFU for the league. It’s things that change the league for the worse, for the long term. There are 2 that rise above all other, and thus are tied for #1:

    The hiring of Roger Goodell
    Thursday Night Football

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