It was a painful choking act for the 6'2" junior, who waited an entire off-season only to blow it in his first game back.
But Wittels's bad night pales in comparison to some of this city's most epic sporting collapses. Here's our top five FAILS of all time.
5. Hail Flutie (Nov. 23, 1984)
In one of the most famous sporting moments ever, Boston College quarterback and Tony Danza impersonator Doug Flutie destroyed the Hurricanes' title hopes with a last-second bomb to wide receiver Gerard Phelan. Although it's hard to hate on The U for losing this one, the Hurricanes did let BC march down the field from their own 20-yard-line with only 28 seconds left. Then again, Flutie aired it nearly 70 yards into 30 mph winds.
4. Not Hot Heat (May 17, 1999)
The Heat led by as many as 13 in Game 5 against the New York Knicks, the lowly 8th seed in a lockout-shortened season. But an epic two-minute meltdown -- including Jamal Mashburn passing up a wide-open layup for a pass and a Tim Hardaway disappearing act -- set up the Heat for heartbreak. Allan Houston made a one-handed shot with 0.8 seconds to play to give New York a 78-77 win.
3. Fiesta Bowl Flop (Jan. 2, 1987)
Blame it on Vinny. Hurricanes quarterback Vinny Testaverde entered the national championship game with extra swagger after winning the Heisman. Then he threw a mind-boggling 5 interceptions on the way to 14-10 loss to the Nittany Lions of Penn State. Not that the rest of the team was blameless. The most hated sports team of all time arrived at the stadium in military fatigues, ready for war, but sure as hell didn't play like it.
2. Monday Night Meltdown (Nov. 11, 2000)
Remember that Vinny Testaverde fellow who cost 'The U' a championship? Well, he came good in the end -- just for another team. After flailing for three quarters against the Dolphins, the New York Jets QB led one of the most unlikely comebacks in NFL history. Down 30-7 at the end of the third quarter, Testaverde went 18-of-26 for 235 yards and four touchdowns in the fourth. Half the Meadowlands crowd had already headed home expecting an ass-kicking, but the few remaining fans witnessed the Dolphins implode on an epic scale. The Jets won in overtime, 40-37. ESPN ranked it as the greatest Monday Night Football game ever.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. Sissy Fight (Oct. 4, 2008)
What's worse than blowing a 23-point lead in one quarter? How about blowing an entire career in 14 seconds. That's exactly what Miami-native Kimbo Slice managed in his much-anticipated MMA fight with little-known Seth Petruzelli. The fight was such an epic FAIL that it immediately torpedoed Slice's career and ruined the company, EliteXC, that promoted it. Slice's capitulation was so stunning that Broward New Times writer Bob Norman reported on rumors that the giant fighter had taken a dive.