Foul Ball: The Biggest Controversies in Sports

Steve Bartman

For a time, Steve Bartman was the most hated man in Chicago. Not to be confused with the most hated man from Chicago. But I digress.

Like 41,267 other fans, Steve Bartman attended the 2003 National League Championship Series Playoff Game to cheer on the Chicago Cubs. The win was within reach for Bartman’s childhood team. That is, until he got involved by interfering with an easy pop-up out that his team really needed. The Cubs would go on to lose the game and the series.

It all worked out though. The Cubs won the World Series in 2016 and they even awarded Bartman a World Series Championship ring of his very own.

The Hand of God

To this day, my English Uncle can’t hear the name of Diego Maradona without wincing. That’s because back in 1986, the soccer phenom and Argentinian national ostensibly cheated to win a hard-fought quarterfinal world cup match against England.

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How did he cheat you ask? He used his fist to punch the ball in the net. The ref didn’t catch the misdeed and it was ruled a good goal. Argentina would go on to win the match 2-0. When asked how the goal was scored, the venerable Maradona replied that the goal was scored “by the hand of God.” As you’d imagine, Uncle Clive doesn’t believe in divine intervention.

Tiger Woods

Remember when Tiger Woods was celebrated as a picture of class and self-control? Yeah, me neither. Sure, he won a lot of majors, but Tiger Wood’s true legacy in the eyes of the masses is his very large (and very public) fall from grace.

Sex, drugs, poor performance, injuries — the denouement of Tiger’s championship reign kept TMZ’s lights on and coffers full. Now, the image of Tiger Woods’ beat-up car are as mainstream as the photos of him modeling the green jacket.

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