Turkey Shoot: 2011's biggest sporting flops

History isn’t just written by champions, you know; sometimes it’s written by the guy who fell hilariously short of expectations.

IT CAN BE difficult to assess failure accurately.

Months of training, hours of strategising, a dogged commitment to emotional discipline: it all counts for little if any of a number of more arbitrary factors– the substandard performance of an official, say, or the untimely emergence of an injury– assume centre stage at a decisive moment.

This is why a compassionate appraisal of defeat is usually the best policy. Unless, of course, you’re dealing with any of the individuals included in our retrospective of sporting FAIL below.

In that case, you’ve carte blanche to point and laugh.

Turkey Shoot: 2011's biggest sporting flops
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  • Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll

    Source: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport; Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images
  • South Africa fails to read the fine print

    Source: Chris Ricco/Sports Inc/Press Association Images
  • England's Rugby World Cup disaster

    Source: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images
  • David "The Hayemaker" Haye

    Source: Frank Augstein/AP/Press Association Images
  • The good, the bad and the Red Sox

    Source: Patrick Semansky/AP/Press Association Images
  • The curse of E! Lamar Odom, Kris Humphries and Hank Baskett.

    Source: AJM/EMPICS Entertainment; Matt Slocum/AP/Press Association Images; AJM/AJM/EMPICS Entertainment
  • Blue Magic has Dublin County Board seeing green

    Source: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
  • The public utterances of Joseph S. Blatter

    Source: Michael Probst/AP/Press Association Images