THE FUNNY SIDE OF COLLEGE SPORTS
A HUMOROUS SLANT ON THE NEWS AND STORIES IN SPORT
College sports can provide many humorous situations and circumstances. On January 8, 2011, something rare occurred in college sports history. The University of Connecticut was playing at Texas in a matchup of Men’s College Basketball powerhouses. With 15 seconds left in a 73-73 tie, Texas forward Gary Johnson drove down the lane and attempted a go ahead layup. Uconn center Alex Oriakhi blocked the shot directly into forward Roscoe Smith’s hands. Then the game took an unexpected turn. Smith, a freshman recruit from Baltimore, Maryland, heaved a desperate full-court shot toward the basket to give his team the lead. The only problem with his buzzer-beating attempt is that it beat the buzzer by 7.5 seconds. It took a few moments for Smith to realize the embarrassing mistake he had made. Ironically he did make the shot… into a cheerleader’s megaphone that is. Smith shot the ball a full 11 seconds before the game ended. In basketball that is an eternity. The UConn Huskies literally could have dribbled the ball up the court and ran a quick play with that amount of time. Hall of fame Jim Calhoun quickly substituted for Smith. However, Uconn would go on to win the game in overtime after some heroics by senior guard Kemba Walker.
This play quickly became famous in college sports circles. It was immediately picked as ESPN’s number 1 Not Top 10 play. ESPN picks the worst 10 plays every week from pro and college sports and they run a countdown every Friday. Each week the previous week’s number 1 play competes with the current week’s champ. Fans can vote online on the videos all week. Typically the plays come from baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, tennis and golf. Out of all the plays from these major pro and college sports, Roscoe Smith’s misguided buzzer-beater lasted a full 3 months as the number one not top ten play. Not only did it set the record for consecutive weeks on the countdown, but it was only retired on April 8, 2011 because UConn won the Men’s National Basketball Championship. Who knows how long it may have reigned as college sports’ top blooper if ESPN didn’t show mercy. Smith got the last laugh after all.