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Bad Beats

   by Ben Burns - 12/29/2009

It only seemed like there were 2,009 bad beats in 2009.

In reality, you guys are just really bad bettors.

Only kidding.

No one, not even Tiger Woods, deserved to be on the losing end on some of the atrocious beats that were handed out this year.

On the baseball diamond, the Mets’ Luis Castillo, a gold glove second baseman making $6.5 million, flubbed a weak Alex Rodriguez pop up with two outs in the ninth inning that would have put a wrap on an 8-7 victory over the Yankees in June. Instead, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira came around to score the winning runs, ruining what would have been a +200 payday for Mets backers.

In Game 2 of the NLDS, Cardinals’ Matt Holliday misplayed a sinking line drive off his crotch with two outs in the ninth inning against the Dodgers. The Dodgers took advantage by scoring twice and killing Cardinal bettors.

Over on the hardwood, Devin Harris hit a ridiculous double-clutch half-court shot that one Philadelphia sports writer called “the greatest half-court shot I’ve ever seen.”

Under bettors probably weren’t as thrilled.

Harris’ heave gave the Nets a 98-96 win and pushed the game over the 191.5 total.

And, of course, there were plenty of bad beats delivered on the gridiron, starting with the Super Bowl total that appeared destined to stay under before a holding penalty sparked a 21-point scoring flurry in the game’s final three minutes.

But the absolute worst beat of 2009 came from the college gridiron.

On Oct. 31, the Indiana-Iowa game made Hoosier backers feel like they were passing a golf ball-sized kidney stone. Call it the Midwestern Moose of the Year.

It began with the undefeated Hawkeyes favored by 17.5. It ended with unfathomable 42-24 Iowa victory. Nowhere in between did that outcome seem possible.

Indiana failed to cover despite benefitting from a six-pack of Iowa turnovers, including five interceptions by quarterback Ricky Stanzi. The Hoosiers turned those six turnovers into a measly 10 points. Way to take advantage.

Indiana failed to cover despite having the ball at the Iowa four, leading 21-7 in the third quarter. That possession resulted in a fluky interception that bounced off a Hawkeye lineman and a Hoosier lineman and right into the waiting arms of Tyler Sash, who raced 86 yards for a touchdown.

And Indiana failed to cover despite taking a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and pinning Iowa at its own 8 to begin the quarter. Stanzi promptly connected with Marvin McNutt for a 92-yard touchdown, the first of 28 unanswered points in the quarter. The last came on a 27-yard touchdown run with just 1:12 to play on a 3rd-and-2.

But there was more for Hoosier backers to bitch about, specifically a controversial replay reversal of a play that was ruled a touchdown on the field.
http://www.videosurf.com/video/iowa-vs-indiana-overturned-td-95497284”>Here’s the video
. You decide if there is enough conclusive evidence to overturn the call on the field.

One play after the overturned touchdown, kicker Nick Freeland missed a 28-yard field goal with 5:58 to play in the third quarter.

That field goal and overturned touchdown would haunt Indiana backers throughout the fourth quarter, which saw the Hawkeyes pull off the miracle cover.

If there were worse beats in 2009, we certainly didn’t see them. But feel free to share, vent and lament.

Most of all, have a safe and happy New Year, full of fun and champagne and absolutely no bad beats.

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