There’s nothing more cringeworthy, a packed house, mass anticipation in the air and the pre-game show expected to sizzle. In many cases, this is the showpiece event for the year, but sometimes administrators don’t get it right, and sometimes, the so-called world class acts prove to be a real let down.
I recently saw via the Inside Feed Instagram page, a tribute post the great show Meatloaf put on at the 2011 AFL Grand Final. Remember that? Fuck me. He blamed a busted vocal cord, fair to say he busted a few ear drums with that diabolical performance. The AFL put their hand up and apologised, Meatloaf got his cash, and since then, the league has reverted to the proven formula of names like Hunters & Collectors, Jimmy Barnes, Birds of Tokyo and international superstars (that aren’t 150 years old), The Killers.
Meatloaf will be hard to top for this not so prestigious award of greatest pre-game entertainment fuck up of all-time. But first, let’s remind you of a couple of others.
Fergie singing the National Anthem @ the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Talk about cringeworthy, this one was a hard watch. The best basketball players in the world, together with a packed house of 20,000 fans, had converged on the Staples Centre in Los Angeles for the annual NBA All-Star game. To kick things off, they got Fergie (yes, from Black Eyed Peas fame) to pump out the Star Spangled Banner. Sadly for Fergie, and frankly everyone involved, the performance was a shocker, so much so that the players (names like Steph Curry, Draymond Green among them) who were getting beamed to the millions of adoring fans around the world, not to mention the jumbo-trons within the arena were caught smirking and let’s call it laughing during the anthem. Sorry Fergie, not your best.
Billy Idol @ the 2002 NRL Grand Final
It was a strange booking from the outset, Billy Idol headlining the 2002 NRL Grand Final between the Roosters and the Warriors. No real fault of Billy’s but the bloody power didn’t work, Billy got out to the stage on his hovercraft, tried to get the crowd going with some typical ‘Have we got any Warriors fans?’ type chat, then waited a bit, yelled the infamous line ‘I love my footy’ and then he was gone, just like that. Give me Cold Chisel or Paul Kelly any day of the week.
Kookaburras @ the Hockey World League in Rotterdam
The Kookaburras were getting set for a match in the World Hockey League in Rotterdam in 2013 and blow me down, they’ve lined up for the anthem and what we heard was the New Zealand national anthem. Thankfully, the Aussie men saw the funny side of it.
Australia Vs Argentina in 2014
The Wallabies and the Pumas were getting set to play in October 2014, unfortunately Marcelo Zelada, who was asked to sing the Australian national anthem, well poor old Marcelo forgot the words. To be fair it wasn’t a bad save to stumble his way through the majority of the anthem just by humming for the most part, but it was an embarrassing blunder which obviously put the Aussies off their game, losing a tight match and making way for a Pumas upset.
Thomas Stowers, Bledisloe Cup 2001
As if going to New Zealand for the Bledisloe Cup isn’t hard enough? I am not sure what to say here, poor old Thomas was reading from the wrong script here. WARNING: This is a really tough watch, be gentle, but this still irks me.
Meatloaf @ the 2011 AFL Grand Final
Drum roll please, Hey maaaa, it’s MEATLOAF. I can’t imagine this will ever be topped. How awful was Meatloaf at the Grand Final in 2011? The AFL reportedly paid the big man a whopping $600,000 for his 12-minute performance, do the math and that’s $50,000 a minute or $833 for every second he was on stage. I am not sure they quite got their money’s worth! An absolute howler of a performance, blamed on a busted vocal cord, apparently. 4 years later, Meatloaf issued a public apology taking full blame for the performance which left everyone thinking, ‘we weren’t blaming anyone else anyways you clown’. Tough and expensive lesson for the AFL to learn, I reckon the bloke might actually have been drunk, but this sits alone as the gold standard of all-time entertainment fuck ups on the sporting calendar’s biggest stage.
Honourable mentions galore, Jamie Foxx at Floyd Mayweather’s fight in 2014, Christina Aguilera at the Superbowl, perhaps you could say even the infamous Janet Jackson nip slip at the Superbowl also, I personally don’t consider that a fail.
What or perhaps who did I miss?