By now the entire free world is aware that Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs made a, um, serious blunder during Sunday’s Redskins-Bills game. In an attempt to sabotage Rian Lindell’s game-winning field goal try, Gibbs called consecutive time outs as the Buffalo kicker was set to kick.  This would have been a brilliant strategy, if only it were permitted under NFL Rules. 


Finish him! FINISH HIM!

Unfortunately, it ain’t, and the resulting 15-yard penalty turned a difficult 51-yard kick into a significantly easier 36-yarder, which Lindell promptly drilled to win the game.  The gaff was exacerbated by the fact that the ‘Skins were playing their first game after the tragic death of safety Sean Taylor, who was murdered in his home earlier in the week (ed. note: not by Gibbs). 

Well, Gibbs can take comfort in the fact that he is not alone.  No, Ol’ Joey G. is simply the newest member of the infamous “history’s worst time outs” club.   The rest of the inductees are set out below. 

(Oh, and note to Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator Rex Ryan: If the Patriots go undefeated, you’re in here too. The resulting escalation of smugness levels from the greater Boston area just may suffocate the entire Eastern Seaboard, and it will be on your head).

 1. The Chris Webber Incident

On April 5, 1993…magic happened!  Well, not so much “magic”, as a collossal screw-up that submarined Michigan’s shot at an NCAA championship.  For on that day, Fab-Fiver Chris Webber, with his team down by two and eleven seconds remaining, called a time out which his team did not have.  The resulting technical foul all but clinched the national title for North Carolina, and caused the mood in Ann Arbor to sink to near-Flint levels. 


I said, "it will be close, but you're not going to get into the Hall of Fame!"

To Webber’s ultimate credit, he bounced back from the massive embarrassment and had a great NBA career.  He also showed he had a sense of humour when he founded the “Timeout Foundation”, a charitable organization that provides recreational and educational opportunities to young people.  Its success stands in stark contrast to Mark Chmura’s “Take Mark Chmura to the Prom” Foundation, which benefits the underaged dateless.

2. Saved by the Bell, Season One, Episode Seven – “Aloha, Slater”

This is the one where Slater’s asshole military dad wants to transfer him to Hawaii.   Seeing an opportunity to rid himself of a rival for sweet, sweet Kelly’s affections, Zack tells everyone that Slater is dying and that they need to be a jerk to him so he will want to move to Hawaii, which apparently is the only place in the U.S. that the life-saving treatment he needs can be administered.  On a related note, we would love to see the average standardized test score at Bayside High.

Unfortunately for Zack, Slater (clearly the brains of the group) uncovered his little ruse, and set “Preppie” up in a trap of his own.  At 6:35 of this clip, Zack calls a “time out” to consider the scenario Slater is presenting to him. 

In spite of Mario Lopez’s Emmy-worthy “frozen acting”, this particular time out makes this list, and not because the writer thought so little of his audience that he was convinced they would not be able to follow Zack’s flawless reasoning without the aide of a moronic soliloquy. And not because, had Zack not used the time out, he would have instinctively seen past Slater’s shit-eating grin and refused to go speak with his dad. No, it makes the list because, unbeknownst to Zack at the time, his blatant disregard for temporal physics would cause a rip in the space-time continuum, leading to an unparalleled spike in crude oil prices, the creation of the XFL and the cancellation of Deadwood for the homicide-inducing John from Cincinnati.

3. Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait A While”

Janet Jackson is currently the second most famous member of the Jackson clan (sorry, Tito), but when the video for this song came out in 1986, she was just emerging as a pop star. Janet’s album Control had hit it big, and she decided to capitalize on the momentum of her first batch of successful singles by releasing a song about…giving her boyfriend blue balls. After that, any hope of capturing the straight male demographic pretty well disappeared.

Jackson would spend the next three decades or so vigorously combatting her prudish image, culminating in 2004 with the “Nipplegate” fiasco at SuperBowl XXXVIII.  The incident increased the gap between an already divided U.S. populus, and single-handedly led to George Bush’s re-election later that same year. 

In addition, the sight of Jackson’s surgically-enhanced-yet-still-kinda-withered breast made millions of adolescent men swear off sex forever. Tragically, this included MacKenzie Dollop of Liberal, Kansas, who was destined to father the child that would cure hyperhidrosis.


Hang in there, buddy.

4. Time Out: The Truth About HIV, Aids and You

In the early 1990s, the AIDS epidemic was peaking in North America’s public consciousness.  You younger readers might not realize that there was a time that AIDS was not just an African problem, and therefore people here actually cared about it!  Thankfully, as they so often do, our fearless leaders in Hollywood snapped to action.  The result?  This 1992 “documentary”, hosted by Arsenio Hall and late-night talk-show host rival Magic Johnson (and directed by Malcolm-Jamal Warner (!)), which sought to enlighten the MTV generation on this terrible illness.

Speaking of terrible, check out the cast list: Jaleel “Urkel” White, Mayim “Blossom” Bialik, Jasmine “Who?” Guy, Paul Rodriguez, Paula Abdul, Neil Patrick Harris (pre-Harold and Kumar), Pauly Shore, Paul Rodriguez, Luke Perry and…oh yeah…Sinbad playing a condom:

Unfortunately, this segment had the opposite of its intended effect, dooming its viewers to forever associate condom usage with filling Sinbad with ejaculate.

5. Aaron Burr versus Alexander Hamilton

The infamous 1804 duel where U.S. Vice-President Aaron Burr capped Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in New Jersey.  In a footnote that history glosses over, shortly before Burr fired the fatal shot, Hamilton clearly asked for a brief pause so he could adjust his neckerchief, which had been tickling him. 


It was the style at the time.

Alas, Hamilton had forgotten that the duel was being carried out not in the more popular Manhattan-style, but under Garden State Rules, which in a subtle yet crucial distinction, did not permit “timesies”.

6. Butter Chicken’s Abbreviated Family Road Trip to Darien Lake, Summer 1987

What should have been a treasured family memory ended up as anything but on that fateful July afternoon, when a scheduled washroom break at a gas station near Niagara Falls, Ontario, went horribly, horribly wrong. A near-adolescent Butter Chicken had finally reached his breaking point with his family’s lifetime ban on chocolate. With his mother in the washroom and his father pumping gas, l’il B.C. snuck into the gas bar and purchased three “Time Out” bars, which he greedily devoured behind a dumpster at the side of the building.



Alas, his enjoyment of the delicious combination of wafer and chocolate was short-lived, as Chicken soon learned that chocolate had been banned in his household not to spite him, but to protect him from his crippling lactose intolerance. The family never did make it to Darien Lake; they spent the next four hours at that same gas station, waiting for B.C. to emerge from its less-than-pristine restroom. Mr. Chicken called it “the worst family vacation ever.” According to Mrs. Chicken, it was “the day I lost my boy.” Larry Craig stated that Butter Chicken “didn’t know the signal.”

Poor Butter Chicken

But according to us, it was simply another tragic reminder of why it’s better to be out of time…than to call time out.