This Day in Failure: September 24

Hma 1  Mayfly
HMA No. 1 “Mayfly” on September 24, 1911. Public domain.

2008: Matt Millen is ousted from his job as president and CEO of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. The Lions compile a record of 31-84 during his tenure, a winning percentage of less than 27 percent.

2000: San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens punctuates his second touchdown of a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium by celebrating on the Cowboys’ star at midfield. In response, Cowboys safety George Teague “defends the star” by delivering a blindside mid-celebration hit on Owens, which results in Teague being ejected from the game. The 49ers go on to win 41-24.

1990: Sony Corp. announces the introduction of its Digital Audio Tape (DAT) players. Although DAT provides exceptional sound quality, the format never achieves widespread consumer acceptance.

1988: Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson runs the 100-meter dash in 9.79 seconds, winning a gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Three days later he tests positive for steroids and is stripped of the medal.

1950: Quarterback Jim Hardy of the Chicago Cardinals throws an NFL-record eight interceptions in a single game—a 45-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Hardy also fumbles twice during the same contest.

1911: The British Mayfly (Her Majesty’s Airship No. 1), breaks in two upon emerging from its construction shed, the two halves rising into the form of a “V” before both sections splash down in Morecambe Bay, in northwest England. This accident comes in the wake of the ship’s first attempt to lift off (three months earlier), at which time its builders discovered that the Mayfly was too overweight to get off the ground. The September accident prompts Winston Churchill to quip that the ship should have been named “the Won’t Fly.”