Superstars Getting Owned by Scrubs
Even the best and brightest stumble from time to time.
Anyone who has been around sports long enough knows that no matter how good an athlete is, there will be a time when they end up on the losing end of things. That's just how it goes.
No amount of shoe deals and All-Star selections can stop that one bad game from happening. No MVP award can keep Joe Scrubbington from coming off the bench and ruining your day.
The following are a number of occasions when superstars were dismantled by scrubs. Some are more "scrubbish" than others, but they all managed to outdo a sports icon and drop a few jaws in the process.
Here's to you, scrubs. You don't make the highlight reel often, but when you do the angels sing.
Dan Dakich Locks Down Michael Jordan
He's now a national radio and television personality, but back in his playing days at Indiana University, Dan Dakich was just a guy.
During his four years at Indiana, the "blue-collar" defense specialist from Gary, Indiana, as Gannett News Service columnist Mike Lopresti called him (h/t USA Today), averaged 3.6 points and 1.59 rebounds a game.
But however unspectacular his playing career might have been as a whole, Dakich left IU with a feather in his cap no one else can claim: He's the only player widely recognized as the guy who shut down Michael Jordan.
The two wildly different players came face-to-face at the Eastern Regional stage of the 1984 NCAA tournament. Jordan, then a junior at UNC, was looking to win another national championship in what would be his final year of college. Indiana head coach Bob Knight had other plans, however.
Hours before the game, Knight told Dakich he'd be guarding Jordan. Dakich, who had been battling illness, went back to his room and vomited.
As fate would have it, Dakich rallied to the task. The defensive specialist denied Jordan backdoor cuts, offensive rebounds and virtually any presence in the paint. Jordan compounded his problem by picking up two early fouls and spent most of the first half on the bench.
Indiana went on to win the game 72-68. Jordan finished with 13 points, shooting 6-for-14 from the field. The loss continues to bother His Airness to this day.
Bill McCreary Jr. Rocks Wayne Gretzky
I have no idea what Bill McCreary Jr. is doing these days.
He could be a fry cook or a roving vagrant for all my knowledge, but regardless of his current profession he will go down in hockey history as one of the few men who ever caught the Great One sleeping.
The temporary Toronto Leafs right wing played a total of 12 games in the NHL and would've been completely wiped from memory had he not tagged Wayne Gretzky with the hardest, cleanest hit of his legendary career.
Rodney Stuckey Destroys Chris Bosh
Rodney Stuckey isn't a scrub scrub, but compared to "Big Three" member Chris Bosh, he's a B-lister.
Rest assured, Miami Heat fans everywhere went scrambling to their computers to Google Stuckey's name after the Detroit Pistons guard slammed home a soul-stealing jam over their star forward in 2011.
Joe Bowden Flattens Jerome Bettis
Joe Bowden is one of the few men who can claim he's crushed a bus.
The Tennessee Titans linebacker laid out Jerome Bettis something fierce during a 1996 game, dropping the Steelers running back like a sack of burgers after jumping a flare route in the flat.
Lesson for young quarterbacks: Don't hang your receivers out to dry, kids.
LeBron Gets Rocked in H-O-R-S-E
To be clear, this was never a fair contest.
In 2008, LeBron James entered into a friendly game of H-O-R-S-E against a ringer named David Kalb—a H-O-R-S-E specialist.
Kalb would never last a minute running with the big boys in the NBA, but he handled James easily in a game of goofy, over-the-backboard trick shots.
Tracy Porter Picks Peyton to Seal Super Bowl XLIV
Having attended Indiana University at the same time, I'm in the small percentage of people who believed Tracy Porter had a play like this in him.
A talented coverage man with a crippling inability to wrap up runners, Porter was/is not a cornerback who would start for half of the teams in the NFL. That said, his interception against Peyton Manning in 2009 earned the franchise its first Super Bowl ring.
Porter, a rookie, hopped a quick hitch route and picked off Peyton Manning, thus snuffing out any chance at a Colts comeback.
Let It Burn, Champ Bailey
James Jones is not a superstar or a burner.
The former Packers wideout was a perennial second or third option in Green Bay. He made his bread by preying on weak matchups, which makes this play from his rookie season in 2007 a complete anomaly.
Jones lined up against a younger, faster Champ Bailey and burned the shutdown corner deep, catching a beautifully placed ball from Brett Favre and juking the rest of the Denver Broncos' secondary.
Juan Manuel Marquez Puts Manny Pacquiao to Sleep
After winning his previous three bouts against Juan Manuel Marquez, there was no reason for Manny Pacquiao to believe he'd be sleeping on a canvas Tempur-Pedic at the end of their fourth fight.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao vs. Marquez IV ended with the eight-division world champion unconscious on the mat. Attempting to score some quick points at the end of the sixth round, Pacquiao walked directly into a big Marquez right and fell to the floor.
Pacquiao remained on the ground for over two minutes, inspiring a rash of cruel (and funny) Internet memes. Tsk, tsk.
Jordan Crawford Dunks on LeBron James
Jordan Crawford is no longer a scrub. Far from it, actually.
But in 2009, Crawford was a sophomore guard at Xavier playing at the LeBron James Skills Academy. In short, he was nobody—especially when compared to the man he posterized at this after-hours pickup game.
Crawford slashed to the hoop and thundered home a mighty two-handed dunk over LeBron James, who rose late and probably should've never jumped in the first place. Fittingly enough, Nike representatives organizing the camp confiscated footage of the posterization. Fortunately for us, someone out there leaked it.
You can't win 'em all, LeBron.
Jason Smith Swats Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant reached for the skies during this 2012 game against the New Orleans Hornets but was met at the mountaintop by Jason "Oh, That Guy?" Smith.
Truth be told, Durant doesn't wake up in the night worrying about a Dwyane Wade block. He sweats in his sheets at the mere mention of Smith's name.
Tom Brady Jukes Brian Urlacher
Tom Brady is many things, but "elusive" he is not. He is a scrub-level runner at best.
Regardless, the Patriots quarterback somehow managed to shake-and-bake Brian Urlacher out of his jock during a 2006 game.
"Brady always kicked my butt," Urlacher said in on The Dan Patrick Show in 2013 (h/t NBC Sports). "He juked me out of my shoes in 2006. Man, he got me."
Romel Beck Crosses Kobe for a Four-Point Play
If you're going to make your name against a U.S. basketball player, you can't ask for a much better victim than Kobe Bryant.
Romel Beck was out to make his mark at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, providing one of the few sparks for an otherwise overmatched Mexico squad. His shining moment came in the form of a four-point play against Bryant in the third quarter.
Beck hit the Lakers veteran with a crossover and drained a fadeaway three-pointer. Bryant compounded the trouble by fouling Beck, who hit his free throw to finish the four-point play.
Rodney Stuckey Crosses A.I.
I take it back, Rodney Stuckey. You're not a scrub—you're just a criminally underrated killer on the court.
Just look at this crossover on Allen Iverson. Stuckey beat A.I. at his own game, and it's a small miracle Iverson was able to walk away from the embarrassing tumble.
Dejen Gebremeskel Beats Mo Farrah with One Shoe
One sock, one shoe, no problem.
Dejen Gebremeskel was not supposed to run away with the 2011 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Ethiopian entered the star-laden field as an underdog and would've likely considered it a solid outing had he only stayed with heavy favorite Mo Farah for the majority of the race.
Against all odds, however, Gebremeskel outran the English superstar after losing his right shoe early in the race. Pounding along for miles in one white sock, the Ethiopian stayed with Farah and managed to outkick him at the end.
He is all that is man.
Join me on Twitter for more sports news.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!