Like in the music world, some athletes and teams flash in the pan once and are never heard from again. Here’s my top 10:
#10 Appalachian State: This D-1 FCS Champion was expected to be a punching bag for the mighty Michigan Wolverines when they met to open the 2007 NCAA Football Season. The unthinkable happened when the small program walked into the Big House and beat the most successful school in college football history, capped by a blocked field goal on the final play.
#9 Ickey Woods: During his rookie season in 1988 for the Cincinnati Bengals, Woods rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns and gave us the famous Ickey Shuffle dance move helping take the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Over the final three years of his career, he never posted an above average season again.
#8 Christian Laettner: Perhaps the most polarizing athlete in American Sports history, outside of Durham, North Carolina and Duke’s Sidewalk alumni nobody likes this guy. Despite all his brilliance with the Blue Devils that earned him a spot on the Dream Team. He never was able to bring that brilliance to the Association.
#7: Chuck Mercein: A castoff running back from Yale, he was brought in as depth signing by Vince Lombardi for the Packers 1967-68 season. He was thrust into a starting role in the Ice Bowl, and gained 34 of the team’s 68 yards on the game-winning drive in the game.
#6: Shane Spencer: Spencer hit eight Home Runs for the New York Yankees in September of 1998 and landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He would go onto hit only 49 more over his remaining six seasons in the Majors.
#5: Tim Thomas: The definition of Journeyman who played for over ten teams between the minor leagues and European Hockey clubs. Started the 2010-11 NHL season for the Boston Bruins as the backup, he had re-earned the starting job by mid-season and proceeded to have one of the most epic postseason runs by a goalie ever seen, capped off by a shutout in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final, to help deliver the Bruins their first Stanley Cup since 1972. He played one more year in Boston, went on a sabbatical, and made a brief return in the 2013-14 season for two teams and has literally never been heard from again people don’t know where he lives.
#4: David Tyree: A career Special Teamer who had never cracked a depth chart at WR, was on the field for perhaps the most important play in NFL History. Giants QB Eli Manning escaped a sack and heaved a ball down the middle during the 4th Quarter of Super Bowl 42 saying later he just saw a white shirt and threw the ball at him. Tyree blanketed by Patriots safety Rodney Harrison pinned the ball to his helmet for the catch, three plays later the Giants scored the go-ahead TD, and won the Super Bowl ending the Patriots Perfect Season.
#3: Delly-Madness: Perhaps the most laughable thing in NBA History was when the Cleveland Cavaliers took a 2-1 series lead in the 2015 NBA Finals, was that reserve point guard Matthew Deleveadova had locked the Warriors Steph Curry up and was in his head. Curry stomped on that and the city of Cleveland in Games 4-6 of the series, and the Warriors won the title.
#2: Tebow-Mania: In the 2011-12 NFL Season Tim Tebow, took over as QB for the Denver Broncos mid-way through the season. Week after week the same things happened he couldn’t play worse in the first half, and in the 2nd half, he would take over and lead the Broncos back helping them win six straight games taking them to the postseason, where they won Wild Card Weekend over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tebow was released by the Broncos he signed with the New York Jets for the 2012 season, would spend time with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles Training Camps but never made it back to the NFL.
#1: Linsanity: In February of 2012, Jeremy Lin took starting role for the injury-ravaged New York Knicks in his first start he scored 26 points and 10 assists, then on National TV vs Kobe Bryant and the Lakers he dropped 38 points to guide the Knicks to victory. Three nights later in Toronto, Lin made a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Knicks another win. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the week, and Linsanity swept the nation all of a sudden he led off every sports show and his jersey was all over the Big Apple. He got hurt weeks later, and the Knicks let him go in the offseason to the Houston Rockets, after his time in Houston he has gone on to play for five more teams but hey he just won an NBA Title with the Toronto Raptors.