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Sports' Biggest Fools

March 31, 2011

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To mark April Fools' Day, Kidzworld looks at some of the sports world's most foolish flubs and peculiar pranks.

The Perfect Potato Prank

In August, 1987, Dave Bresnahan, a catcher with a minor league team in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, played one of the best pranks in [kwlink]baseball history[/kwlink]. Before the game, Bresnahan peeled and sculpted a potato in the shape of a baseball. In the fifth inning, with the potato concealed in his mitt and a runner on third base, he threw the potato wildly past his third baseman, hoping the runner would think he made an errant pick-off throw. The play worked perfectly. The runner at third headed home, and Bresnahan tagged him out with the baseball. But the last laugh of this prank ended up being on Bresnahan. When the umpire found the potato, he awarded the runner a run. The next day Bresnahan was cut from the team, who thought his little potato prank was an insult to the game of baseball.

Wrong Way Roy

Roy Reigels certainly played the part of the fool in the 1929 Rose Bowl between California and Georgia Tech. In the second quarter of the game, a Georgia Tech player fumbled the football after being tackled. The ball popped loose and was picked up by California's Roy Riegels, who ran 66 yards toward the end zone - his own end zone! When a teammate tried to stop him, Riegels shouted, "Get away from me! This is my touchdown!" The teammate finally got Riegels to stop at the one-yard line, where he was tackled to the ground by a Georgia Tech player. A few plays later, Georgia Tech blocked a California punt for a safety and won the game 8-7. While Georgia Tech went home with a national title, Roy Reigels left with a ruined reputation for his repugnant running.

Webber Times Out

At the 1993 NCAA Final Four, future Sacramento Kings star forward Chris Webber and his Michigan State Spartans were playing in the championship game against North Carolina. With 11 seconds left in the game, Michigan had the ball and was in position to tie or go ahead. Webber called a time-out to set up a last second play. It seemed like a good idea, except for one one small problem: the Spartans had no time-outs left. Webber was given a technical foul for calling a time-out his team didn't have. North Carolina sank the two technical foul shots, and Michigan lost the championship. Webber was eventually able to have a sense of humor about his foolish play and formed the Time Out Foundation for disadvantaged children.

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