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10/26/2007 11:24:00 AM
Weird Sports Injuries
Who can forget Bill Grammatica injuring himself after celebrating a field goal?
Matt Campbell/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
When the Miami Dolphins take on the New York Giants on Sunday in London, they will be without linebacker Zach Thomas. He was hurt last Sunday, not during the Dolphins desecration at the hands of New England, but after the game, when Thomas was rear-ended in postgame traffic by a man wearing a Pats jersey. This is the same Pats team that utilizes punter Chris Hanson, who was injured as a member of the Jaguars when coach Jack Del Rio's motivational routine involving an axe and a stump of wood resulted in Hanson requiring stitches.
And during the World Series, try not to smile when you see Rockies first base coach Glenallen Hill, who once had a bad dream about spiders, so vivid that he woke up, crashed through a glass table and fell down a flight of stairs. Injuries happen frequently in sports, and they're usually no laughing matter, but occasionally, something happens to an athlete that's so bizarre it's funny. Here's my top five weird injuries to athletes.
1. Just a few years ago, while playing in Switzerland, midfielder Paulo Diogo scored a goal and celebrated by hurdling a fence into a crowd of fans. His wedding ring had other ideas, however, and it decided to celebrate with the fence. Diogo's ring finger was torn from his hand. Luckily, he plays soccer.
2. In the mid-'90s, Steve Sparks was a career minor league pitcher hoping for a shot at the big time. He visited a motivational speaker, and after returning home tried to replicate a stunt he'd learned, trying to rip a phone book in half. Unfortunately, the only thing he ripped was his shoulder from its socket.
3. Cavs forward Ira Newble did time in a hospital with a face infection. And his current teammate, Drew Gooden, once was hospitalized with what was originally thought to be a spider bite, but turned out to be an infected leg hair.
4. The wee kicking Gramatica brothers, Bill and Martin, were perhaps best known for their post-kick celebrations, in which they gesticulated wildly, even if they had just booted a 20-yarder to make it a three-touchdown game. This continued until Bill hit a FG to give his Arizona Cardinals a 3-0 lead in a game, and during his revelry, he tore his ACL.
5. A couple of Braves pitchers suffered strange injuries a decade ago: John Smoltz burned his chest while ironing a shirt...a shirt he was wearing at the time. And Tom Glavine allegedly broke a rib while throwing up an in-flight meal.
What are your favorite weird sports injuries? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
A Georgia native signed by the Braves as a pitcher in 1973, Harper was made an everyday player in 1976, but it was 1983 before he spent a full season in Atlanta. In July 1982 he dislocated his left shoulder while standing by the plate and enthusiastically waving a runner home. In his one solid season, 1985, he hit 17 homers. He played in Japan after his 1987 release by Pittsburgh.
He was actually starting to play well and pull his game together after a lengthy run of trials and tribulations. But this has to be the dumbest, if not the weirdest injury ever. His team having scored, Quarterback Gus Ferotte could not contain his excitement and decided to show the home crowd just how pumped he was by head butting a BRICK WALL....yes, head butt a brick wall. Game over.
Ken Johnson was a journeyman pitcher in the majors but did manage to throw a complete game no-hitter and lose to the Reds. One game invovled a bench clearing brawl where he stood up to rush the field and smashed his head into a dugout beam that embedded the top button of his cap into his head. He then spiked himself attempting to run up the steps and left a gash in his shin. Bleeding from two different places and he hadn't thrown the first punch.
Back when the NHL employed a rather sinister shaped pointed metal centerpiece in the middle of the net Mark Howe was unfortunately impaled in his thigh almost ending his career. Even more gruesome though was the Clint Malarchuk near decapitation.
A couple years ago Padres minor leaguer Tagg Bozied was having a great year and capped it off w/ a walk off home run. His teammates were waiting for him at home and when he jumped on the plate he tore his acl costing him a major league call-up.
How about John Runyan of the Eagles. Iron man who has started something like 166 straight games. He has missed practice this week after fracturing his tailbone when he fell trying to get into the whirlpool at the Philly facility. He may miss this weeks game.
Several Cubs moments: Sosa injuring his back on the sneeze, Kyle Farnsworth pulling something (I foorget what) while punching a clubhouse (air) fan, Zambrano getting tendinitis from spending too much time on the computer instant messaging his family back in Venezuela
It was Chris Hanson (P, Jaguars) who injured his foot with the ax, not Todd Sauerbrun.
Jack Del-Rio used the saying "Keep chopping wood" that year and placed an oak log in the locker room with an ax. The players took turns "chopping wood" with that ax when Hanson swung it and buried the ax into his non-kicking foot.
Vince Coleman in 1985 and the tarp incident has to be one of em. The Cardinals were still up 3-1 in the Series before losing to the Royals but you would have to think the leading base stealer and Rookie of the Year would have made a difference.
How about the starting soccer goalie who just before the 2002 World Cup dropped a bottle of cologne on his foot severing a tendon, he missed the world cup, I wonder why he was using a 3 gallon bottle of cologne
MacArthur Lane, a running back for the 70s Packers, scored a touchdown, threw the ball up in the air to celebrate, lost his balance in the snowy conditions, and crash landed over a rolled up tarp. I think he had to miss a couple of games.
OTTO STOWE, DALLAS COWBOYS Stowe,a very sure-handed receiver (unlike T.O.),played in the early 70's. He had just caught a TD pass when workers started raising the net behind the goalpost to keep the ball from going into the stands after the XP.(Believe it or not, they did that back in the day.) As Stowe was returning from the back of the endzone, his foot got caught in the netting, injuring his ankle so badly that he never recovered to play again!
canizares, Spanish goalkeeper. 2 weeks before a world cup he was shaving in the comfort of his own home, dropped the bottle of aftershave, tried to stop it with his foot. the bottle broke and cut his right ankle (achiles) ligaments in about 3 places. He missed the world cup.
Canizares, Spanish goalkeeper. about 2 weeks before the World Cup he was shaving in the comfort of his own home. dropped the bottle of after shave and tried to stop it with his foot. the bottle broke and cut his ankle (achiles) ligaments in about 3 places. he obviously missed the world cup
Adrien Peterson, in his last season with the Sooners, during a great run, breaking a few tackles, and with one foot already in the endzone, felt the need to dive in for a touchdown, breaking his collar bone and ending his Heisman bid.
Jose Theodore, then playing for the Montreal Canadiens slipped on ice and broke his heal. But it wasnt ice at the arena, he walked out of his house after a freezing rain storm and slipped and fell. You'd think a guy who plays a sport on ice would have a better concept of "slippery"
How can you guys forget Vladimir Radmamnovich hurting himself snowboarding and missing the entire NBA season last year. On top of it all he initailly lied that he hurt himself doing something else, and was not snowboarding. What a fool!
Brian Griese Twice. Once for tripping over his dog and another for tripping in Terrell Davis driveway at a party, hitting his head on a car, chipping a tooth and getting a concussion. Of course, alcohol was not involved either time.
I can't remember his name for the life of me, but there was a Baltimore Colts offensive lineman who somehow got injured running onto the field for the coin toss. Marty Cardova's injury was pretty funny too, when he burned himself tanning. I heard that some MLB pitcher got injured stretching over to push the snooze button on his alarm clock as well.
Anybody remember SF Giants OF Jeffrey Leonard (flap up, flap down) who used to style after hitting homers? Mr. Leonard also did a great imitation of Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman's batting stance. However, the fun all came to an abrupt end one day when he tore his ACL while performing the routine for team mates.
I remember when Gramatica hurt himself celebrating after scoring a field goal! That was hysterical! But now he is a Dallas Cowboy (my team) so I can't make fun of him anymore! But its nice to read that others remember! HaHaHa! :)