They are members of a fraternity they never wanted to join, united in their misery. Their initiation was the result of misfortune, incompetence or a combination of both. They have dropped passes, thrown interceptions, fumbled and stumbled in front of millions of viewers in the most prestigious football game in the United States. They are Super Bowl Goats, a collection of men assigned blame for their teams' failed bids to win a championship.

They are members of a fraternity they never wanted to join, united in their misery. Their initiation was the result of misfortune, incompetence or a combination of both. They have dropped passes, thrown interceptions, fumbled and stumbled in front of millions of viewers in the most prestigious football game in the United States. They are Super Bowl Goats, a collection of men assigned blame for their teams' failed bids to win a championship.

11. Rich Karlis, Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XXI

Normally reliable, Karlis connected on a 48-yard field-goal attempt to give the Broncos an early lead. But then things went haywire. He missed a 23-yard gimme and a 34-yard try that would have padded Denver's advantage. Instead, the Giants erased their deficit and went on to crush the Broncos, 39-20.

10. Hank Baskett, Indianapolis, Super Bowl XLIV

The complexion of the game changed in the blink of an eye, on the opening play of the second half. Trailing 10-6, New Orleans recovered its onside kick after the ball caromed off Baskett's facemask. The Saints then outscored the Colts by 18 points in the final two quarters.

9. Duane Thomas, Dallas,Super Bowl V

Although some wonder whether the Cowboys should have retained possession in the ensuing scrum, Thomas lost the ball on the Colts' 1-yard line with Dallas leading by a touchdown. The fumble was a mighty blow to the Cowboys, who didn't score again and lost, 16-13.

8. Asante Samuel, New England, Super Bowl XLII

If Samuel hadn't dropped an errant pass from Giants QB Eli Manning on the same drive, would David Tyree have claimed his 15 minutes of fame? Would the Giants have won the Super Bowl? Would New England's perfect season have been ruined? The answers are all the same: Nope.

7. Lewis Billups, Cincinnati,Super Bowl XXIII

Billups dropped a certain interception with the Bengals leading, 13-6, enabling 49ers quarterback Joe Montana to etch his name in Super Bowl lore. After flirting with disaster, Montana capitalized on the very next play, throwing for a touchdown and setting the stage for more heroics in a 20-16 comeback win.

6. Thurman Thomas, Buffalo, Super Bowl XXVIII

As one of the featured players on a team that lost four consecutive Super Bowls, Thomas had plenty of opportunities to contribute to the Bills' misery. In Super Bowl XXVI, he couldn't locate his helmet, missed the first two offensive plays and rushed for 13 yards on 10 carries in a 37-24 loss to the Redskins. Two years later, Thomas lost the ball twice against the Cowboys. James Washington returned the second fumble for a 46-yard touchdown that tied the score in a game the Cowboys won, 30-13.

5. John Kasay, Carolina,Super Bowl XXXVIII

After the Panthers tied the score at 29-29 with less than a minute remaining, Kasay sent the kickoff out of bounds, giving New England the ball at its 40. Six plays later, after New England moved into Carolina's territory, Adam Vinatieri converted a 41-yard field goal to finish off the Panthers with four seconds to spare.

4. Earl Morrall, Baltimore Colts, Super Bowl III

First, Morrall didn't see Jimmy Orr wide open downfield. Then, the pass he did throw landed in the hands of the Jets' Jim Hudson. Two blunders on the same play — a flea-flicker, of all things — helped the Jets pull off a shocking upset and made Morrall's counterpart, Joe Namath, a legend.

3. Jackie Smith, Dallas,Super Bowl XIII

The images are still fresh in the minds of many. Roger Staubach looking away in disbelief. The Cowboys rushing from the sideline to rejoice before recoiling once they realized there was nothing to celebrate. The man who couldn't make the catch all alone, his back on the grass. How did Jackie Smith drop the ball? With the Cowboys trailing 21-14, Smith was wide open in the middle of the end zone, when Staubach threw a pass that seemed destined to produce a touchdown. But when the ball arrived, Smith couldn't grab it. The Cowboys would lose to the Steelers, 35-31.

2. Neil O'Donnell, Pittsburgh, Super Bowl XXX

A game manager in the truest sense of the term, O'Donnell seemed to lose awareness when he unleashed two passes that appeared intended for Dallas cornerback Larry Brown. The Cowboys converted both turnovers into touchdowns. Some wags wondered if O'Donnell would join the Super Bowl party in Big D after the 27-17 outcome.

1. Eugene Robinson, Atlanta, Super Bowl XXXIII

Eugene Robinson, a man regarded for his religiosity, was arrested the day before the big game on a charge of soliciting an undercover police officer. Trouble seemed to follow Robinson onto field, where he was burned by Rod Smith on an 80-yard touchdown that gave Denver a 14-point lead in a game that would turn into a 34-19 rout. When it was all over, the Pro Bowl safety's reputation was so thoroughly tarnished that he had become as much a sympathetic figure as he was a laughingstock.

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Player labeled a goat who really wasn't

Scott Norwood, Buffalo,Super Bowl XXV

Yes, his kick would have won the game. Yes, it sailed wide right. Yes, Scott Norwood is a convenient scapegoat. But no, he doesn't deserve to be lumped in with the other men on this list. Norwood's attempt was from 47 yards. That's not exactly a chip shot. The Giants' offense held the ball, and their defense didn't budge, prompting the Bills to fetch Norwood so he could save them from a 20-19 defeat. When he couldn't, he was blamed. Perhaps it's time for Norwood to be pardoned.