One of the most interesting narratives to play out in professional sports is that of the one-hit wonder. The champion who appears from nowhere and just as suddenly disappears is a mysterious and tantalizing story. There have been one-hit wonders in every sport for as long as professional sports have existed, but we have chosen the five most interesting and surprising one-off champions in sporting history.
Right now everyone is gearing up for the beginning of the NFL season and choosing sports betting odds, which hopefully will not be unbalanced by one-hit wonder athletes. Online sports betting is increasingly becoming a part of the professional sports watching experience, especially as fans can now place bets on a range of different outcomes from their phones.
Below are five athletes who you certainly would not have wanted to bet on, or at least only bet on once. Who would you add to this list?
Buster Douglas, Boxing
Buster Douglas appeared out of nowhere in 1990 and truly shook the boxing world. At the time, Mike Tyson was only 23 years old and had an amazing record of 37-0 with 33 knockouts. He was quickly becoming one of the most famous heavyweights of all time and developing a fierce manner of fighting.
James “Buster” Douglas arrived at the Tokyo Dome in 1990 and shocked the world when he defeated Mike Tyson in 10 rounds. Just as quickly as he appeared, Douglas disappeared back into oblivion. Eight months after his victory over Tyson, he lost to Evander Holyfield after getting knocked out in the third round and, after surviving a diabetic coma in 1996, he began boxing again only to retire for good in 1999.
Jimmy Glass, Soccer
In one of the most shocking moments of soccer history, Jimmy Glass scored a goal in 1999. This goal was so surprising because Glass was a goaliefor Carlisle United. Ten seconds before the end of the game, Glass ran up the pitch and kicked a clean goal right into the net.
This goal not only solidified his reputation as a one-hit wonder, but it also meant that Carlisle was able to stay in the league and go to the next Conference.
Timmy Smith, Football
As a running back for the Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys, Timmy Smith did not experience much success. He was still a rookie just beginning his career and it was difficult to get the kind of time on the field that he needed to cement his place in the NFL.
All of that changed however during Super Bowl XXII when he rushed a record-breaking 204 yards and scored two touchdowns, which helped the Redskins to defeat the Broncos. In the next season, he rushed a further 470 yards but was forced to retire in 1990 due to extensive injuries.
John Paciorek, Baseball
John Paciorek was an outfielder with the Houston Colt .45s and is rare among MLB players in that he has a perfect batting average of 1.000. He stepped into the spotlight during the 1963 season finisher game against the New York Mets.
In five at-bats, Paciorek hit three singles, earned two walks and scored four runs, while also driving in three runs. Which, for the uninitiated, is a truly incredible achievement that earned him his perfect batting average.
However, he played poorly in the next season and then he needed back surgery in 1964, which led to him missing the 1965 season. After playing in the minor leagues for a few years, he retired and went back to school to study physical education.
David Tyree, Football
David Tyree had a fairly uneventful career as a wide receiver for the New York Giants. During his six years with the team, he only caught 19 passes a season.
However, Tyree changed history during the final moments of the Super Bowl XLII when the Giants were down and struggling to pull themselves back up. He managed to receive an incredibly difficult pass which helped the Giants to recover and set up Eli Manning’s fade to Plaxico Burress, which eventually won them the championship.
This truly was a one-hit wonder situation for Tyree as he never caught another pass and retired soon after.