Tripple Overtime: The ‘Not Top Five’: The best worst sports blunders of fall 2016

Date Published: 
November 18, 2016

While it may be a little early for our “Tribe Top Five” and all the best sports moments from fall 2016, with the Indian River High School soccer team still keeping IR fall sports alive and playing for a shot at the state title, it’s never too early for our ‘Not Top 10” and all the best worst sports moments from the past season involving a certain Coastal Point sports reporter with an inclination toward run-on sentences and Mighty Ducks references.


But unlike we’ve had the luxury of in the past, this fall there’s no R. Chris Clark to throw under the metaphorical bus for this column, since he took off in an actual non-metaphorical bus in the summer to places and for reasons that no one’s really sure where or why, or, for that matter, how.

I guess, in that case we’ll have to blame his semi-replacement — the infamous Eskimo/photographer/Technical Director Shaun M. Lambert — even though Shaun is undisputedly less-believable, patsy-wise, which is a shame, since this fall has been somehow even more blundery-er [sic.] than usual.

Blame everything on Shaun or no, I made a list of the most blundery-ist [sic.] blunders of them all, and it goes like this…

(5) The Photobomb Phantom

The Indian River High School volleyball team had high hopes headed into the season and ended up finishing with the team’s best record since 2011.

One of their most vocal fans throughout that run was Todd Mumford — proud father of senior middle hitter Sami Mumford — who you may know from his infamous silence-shattering reveille calls to get the team pumped before game-deciding fifth sets.

You may not know him from the team’s season preview photo, however — but I promise you, he’s in there.

Right when Shaun had the team lined for the shot after a scrimmage at Stephen Decatur, and right when they had chosen to go with a tougher take on “Blue Steel” over smiles, “The Photobomb Phantom” made his move, leaping through the photo’s background and pulling off one of the best camera emoji bombs of all time.

Don’t believe me? Pull up the photo from our Sept. 9 issue. You can still see the top of his head over Sami’s left shoulder…

(4) If crutches are cool, then Mac Smith is Miles Davis

OK, so obviously injuries are not cool — especially injuries where you’ve gotta sit out for a bunch of games during your senior season after having started every one since you were a freshman.

But if anyone could make injuries cool, it would be IR senior Mac Smith, who kind of did just that after blowing out a tire against Cape Henlopen on Sept. 27.

It wasn’t a week after Smith was up on crutches that a suspicious amount handgrips starting popping up at IR. And while I don’t doubt the medical legitimacy of the sudden wave of spontaneous unipedalism [sic.] sweeping the sidelines during the football, field hockey and volleyball games, I’m sure that it’s more than safe to say that the crutches sported by R. Chris Clark in his latest MySpace post are for ego-derivative aesthetics only, and pretty much the hipster equivalent of wearing horn-rimmed glasses with 20/20 vision.

(3) Just living up to my name, I guess…

I had a chance to get my own Miles Davis on, so to speak, in terms of looking pretty unequivocally cool, when Selbyville Middle School head volleyball coach Sally Craig asked me to stand up before their game against Millsboro and said a bunch of really nice stuff about the Coastal Point over the loudspeakers and all.

So what I did is I stood up in front of the whole crowd, and did this, like, weird sort of sumo wrestler-type bow, then tripped over the bleachers when I went to sit back down.

No one laughed at me, I don’t think, but, man, what a nerd. The most unfortunate part of it all is that I can’t figure a way to blame that one on R. Chris Clark…

(2) Buzzard Beater

Leave it to Indian River High School athletic director and the fine folks at Delmarva Power to save this blunder from becoming an actual problem, but thanks to a curious buzzard, the IR soccer game against Sussex Tech almost didn’t happen, on account of no lights.

With the stadium lights fried and a dead buzzard found on the field not far off, it doesn’t take “CSI Miami” to figure out what went down. And while the Indians managed to escape any ancient aviary-type omens and get the win, I did get a lot of mileage out of the whole ordeal, joke-wise.

(1) The Monday Night Football Experience

While things titled with “The [Something] [Something] Experience” are usually pretty cool (i.e. “The Jimi Hendrix Experience”), I can assure you that “The Monday Night Football Experience” was not.

It also had nothing to do with football, or Mondays, for that matter, and more to do with the Indian River High School field hockey team getting Green Bay’d in a totally uncool way.

In their first playoff game in a decade, one of the officials calling the game against Cape Henlopen decided to do her best NFL replacement-ref impression and call off Madi McGee’s game-tying goal nearing the end of regulation, despite all available video evidence proving otherwise.

The possibly intentional botched call ultimately decided the game, which I think we can all agree, wasn’t very Miles Davis of her.

While the Indians can still take solace in a successful season anyway and getting to the same level of the defending state champs, I’ll take solace in the fact that the fall’s best worst blunder for once wasn’t on me.

Whelp — there you have it, sports fans. Make sure to tune in next week for ‘The Tribe Top Five,” which is sure to have way less of a certain Coastal Point sports reporter and way more of a certain local honey salesman and certain soccer program that may or may not be fresh off their third state title.