The Enumerative: 5 Worst Ways to Win (Apropos of Nothing at All Aside From Boredom)

The nice thing about baseball is that everything eventually happens. You will eventually see a triple play if you hang around long enough, or a cycle, or even Jeff Francoeur take a walk. It will happen thanks to the 162 individual games each team plays, a huge sample size allowing for all kinds of seemingly impossible things to happen. ↵

↵Unfortunately, it also means you'll see something really awful happen, like balking in a run to end a game. Balking in a run is the equivalent of blowing a perfect score on the LSAT by forgetting to put your name on the bill. It's bouncing a check to the IRS by a margin of a few cents. It's calling your girlfriend the wrong name when you propose to her. It's awful, terrible, and it's probably going to happen again sooner rather than later. ↵

↵

↵As bad as it is, it's just one of the crappy, no-good, despicable ways to end a sporting event. We round out the top five as follows: ↵

↵

↵Lead Car Runs Out of Gas. So there you are, cruising around the final lap of the race, four seconds behind the leader having fully accepted finishing second place. Then the lead car runs out of gas a quarter-mile before the checkered flag. Bud Diesels on you tonight! ↵

↵

↵Double-Fault. Having experienced winning a tennis match thanks to my opponent double-faulting, I can tell you first hand it sucks. You wanna win by crushing a forehand winner down the line. Or at least on an unforced error. Something to make it feel like you earned that final point. Instead, you win because the opponent failed twice to hit the ball over the net. If Wimbledon final was ever decided in the fashion, the post polite riot you’ve ever seen would quietly erupt. ↵

↵

↵Walk-Off Safety a.k.a. The Orlovsky. I've never seen it happen, but the dumbest possible way for a football game to end would be an overtime walk-off safety -- the quarterback rolling back and, for no reason whatsoever, stepping a fraction of an inch over the endline to give the defense two points. Barring an 80-yard fumble for loss and recovery by the offense, this could never, ever happen in a college game, but in the pros it's a real live possibility, and will probably happen in a Lions game sometime in the next year now that I've mentioned it. I didn't ask for these powers, they just came to me naturally. ↵

↵

↵Final Stage of the Tour de France. Not a hypothetical: the final flat road stage into Paris is historically uncontested, one of those bizarre group accords the tour has like "we all stop to pee at the same time" and "let's make sure the judges don't collect any of that batch of urine for testing." The last time the final stage meant anything was 1989, when Greg Lemond broke protocol to beat Frenchman Laurent Fignon. It would have been a bigger deal if the French weren't used to foreigners rolling into Paris uninvited and unopposed. An annual anticlimax to an otherwise mansome event. ↵

↵

↵Correction: As readers Studley and Perry point out, the 89 TDF was a special case where the final stage was in fact a competitive time trial, something the race organizers changed the following year. We regret the error, but most of the time the final stage is mostly a formality. ↵

↵
↵

↵Chris Mottram contributed to this bit of undeniable brilliance. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.