BEST CHOKE (PROFESSIONAL) - 2002
To your average sports fan, the most memorable chokes involve great or near-great athletes failing when everything is on the line. But what of the failures of obscure jocks? Don't they deserve recognition for absolute mental and physical collapses? In that spirit, we ask you to consider Spergon Wynn, the Minnesota Vikings' third-string quarterback. Acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Browns in September, the second-year pro--presumably seasoned by a stint in NFL Europe--got his big chance in December after starter Daunte Culpepper and backup Todd Bouman went down with injuries. By then, the Vikings' playoff hopes had already slipped away, and all young Wynn had to do was look vaguely competent at the helm of the team's much-vaunted "quarterback-friendly" offense. He didn't. His quarterback rating (38.6) was the lowest, by far, of the 50 statistically eligible QBs to play in the NFL in the 2001 season. In three appearances (including two starts), Wynn threw one touchdown and six interceptions and, in a flourish of ineptitude, had a fumble returned for a touchdown on his final play.