2016 Sports Chokes; Ranked

Henry Kline, Reporter

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The 2016 sports world has been a rollercoaster to watch; full of ecstasy, anguish, championships, tough losses; it really had it all. It is not even over yet and already some of the most historic wins and losses have occurred. Here I rank the losses, the “chokes”, the blown series, and the biggest disappointments in sports this year. Enjoy.

  1. Cate Campbell leaves Rio with just 2 relay medals

Outside of Katie Ledecky, there seemed to be no safer bet for gold in the pool than Australia’s Cate Campbell. Fast, highly competitive and entering finals with records she’d set in the semifinal heats, Cate was expected to finish first and walk away from Rio with a Gold medal in the 100m and a medal of any color in the 50m freestyle. Cate finished sixth in the 100m. In the 50m freestyle she placed fifth. Perhaps she used up her best stuff in qualifying heats, or maybe she just couldn’t handle the world’s biggest stage. Either way, Cate walked away as the self proclaimed “greatest choke ever.”

  1. England look to make progress but pinned back by minnows Iceland

This was it, this was their year. England, the inventor of the world’s game, would for the first time in 50 years win an international tournament. However, they would first have to do something they had not done in quite some time: win an international knockout stage game. All the pieces seemed in their favor. With what should have been an easy draw against surprise contenders Iceland and a young core of playmakers things were looking good. Their matchup with Iceland started off so well with a go ahead goal in the first five minutes. Then Iceland happened. A tactical masterpiece lead to a spectacular come from behind win for the minnows of European soccer. England will have to wait once more.

  1. Northern Iowa blow chance to upset Texas A&M in final 44 seconds

If you looked up the definition of collapse in the dictionary it probably states: Rewatch the 2016 University of Northern Iowa vs. Texas A&M March Madness game and see for yourself. 12 points up in the final 44 seconds sounds pretty good, right? Nobody could blow that lead, right? Wrong. UNI was terrible on defense in the final 30 seconds and Texas A&M saw point after point add up to send the game to overtime. The game goes to not just overtime but double overtime and still UNI blow their chance to seal off a game they should have won the first time around. The game was part miserable play on Northern Iowa’s part and a great comeback from Texas A&M. This was far and away the biggest choke of March Madness 2016.

  1. Warriors drop a 3-1 lead

The Golden State Warriors loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers takes the third sport on this list after they lost the NBA finals after leading the series 3-1. The Warriors were supposedly invincible; they had set a record amount of regular season wins and were coming off the momentum of a come-from-behind series win against Oklahoma themselves. Leave it to LeBron to rewrite the script. Cleveland played amazing to steal the final three straight games, but the Warriors floundered big time.

  1. Indians lose final 3 games to concede World Series

A streak was going to end, and the question was: would it be the Cubs century of sorrow or the Indians nearly seven decades of nothingness? Game five rolled around and all things were pointed towards the Indians walking away World Series champs. The Chicago Cubs had other ideas. Winning the final three games of the series the Cubs came back and in the wildest game 7 I have ever witnessed, won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. Cleveland Indians: you had one job.

  1. Jordan Spieth blows five-shot lead at Masters

Golf is a cruel, cruel sport. One bad hole can end you and your career forever. Hopefully this will not be Jordan Spieth’s fate. To say that Jordan Spieth crumbled would be generous; Jordan Spieth imploded. Spieth’s Sunday at Augusta went from a five stroke lead to three back in the course of about 5 holes. His horrendous 12th hole where he quadruple bogeyed was one of the worst holes of golf I have seen anyone play ever. As he shook the hand of winner Danny Willett anyone who knew anything about human emotion knew that Spieth was trying his hardest not to loose it in front of the fans. While gracious in defeat, defeat it was nonetheless. Jordan Spieth’s back nine on Sunday of the Masters 2016 is the greatest choke of 2016.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Chelsea cannot defend Premier League Title finishing 10th in a season where Leicester City claim unlikely title.
  • Oklahoma City Thunder drop a three to one series lead in the NBA Western Conference finals.
  • Michigan State does not live up to expectations, losing to Middle Tennessee State 90-81 in first round of NCAA basketball tournament.
  • Leo Messi and Argentina lose Copa América Centenario in PK’s, Messi blasted for poor international performance.
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2016 Sports Chokes; Ranked