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15 Freak Sports Accidents


What would you categorize UFC fighting as?  

39 members have voted

  1. 1. What would you categorize UFC fighting as?

    • Respectable and Legitimate
    • Barbaric and Primitive
    • Neither
    • Respectable and Primitive/Barbaric and Legitimate AKA in the middle

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Ah yes, #7.:doh:

Athletes get hurt in a variety of ways. Some get hurt on the playing field. Some get hurt in taxis. Some get hurt in their sleep. The dumbest injuries are often contract violations: skiing accidents, motorcycle accidents, hunting accidents.

And then there's Clint Barmes, the Rockies shortstop who recently saw his promising rookie season derailed when he broke his collarbone while carrying deer meat up the stairs in his apartment building.

But Barmes can rest easy (or at least as easy as someone with his left arm in a sling can). He didn't make the cut when it comes to the weirdest injuries in sports history.

But these guys did.

Guys who got burned — by themselves


1. John Smoltz irons his shirt in April of 1990.

Smoltz figured out a nifty way to save time. He ironed his own shirts, while wearing them. This worked out well, until he gave himself burns to his chest and blood stains to the polo shirt he was ironing. Smoltz said at the time, "I couldn't believe it. I've done it five or six times and never had that happen."

2. Marty Cordova gets a suntan in May of 2002.

Orioles outfielder Marty Cordova scorched his face in a tanning salon. He relaxed a little too much on a tanning bed. It's understandable. Ballplayers have way too few day games to work on their tans. In the old days, this never would have happened.

3. Bob Feller scalded in May of 1951.

Just so people don't think modern-day athletes have all the weird injuries, I've included Feller. A hose flew out of Feller's hands and threw scalding water on the lower half of his body. He suffered first and second degree burns on his torso and legs. The hose got away from him as he attempted to fill a whirlpool, to ease the pain of a lower back.

Guys who got frostbite — in August

4. Rickey Henderson in August, 1993.

Toronto left fielder Henderson missed three games with frostbite on his left foot following application of an icepack. Rickey, is it 20 minutes on, and three games off?

Taxicab confessions

5. Tom Glavine's five-minute cab ride from LaGuardia to Shea, 2004.

Glavine lost his two front upper teeth, and needed stitches for a cut lower lip. He was a passenger in an auto accident, traveling the short distance from Laguardia Airport to Shea Stadium. There is no truth to the rumor he quickly hailed a cab from Shea to catch up with a gopher ball he had thrown to a former Atlanta Braves teammate.

6. Brian Anderson's cab ride from hell, 1998.

They say left-handers have more accidents, but in taxis? Anderson, a career .500 pitcher then with the Diamondbacks, took a 20-minute cab ride to shop on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. He laid his pitching arm across the top of the backseat, and felt stiffness that night at the ballpark. He said the injury was the strangest of his career, forgetting about the time he burned his face with an iron in his hotel room.

You think it's easy celebrating a score in the NFL?

7. Gus Frerotte uses his head, 1997.

NFL players are always told that when they get to the end zone, to act like they've been there before. Well, Redskins quarterback Frerotte really did not know how to act after his third career rushing touchdown. After his late November one-yard touchdown run, Gus deliberately smacked his head against the stadium wall beyond the end zone. The $18 million dollar quarterback was taken to the hospital with neck pain, missing the second half of the most important game of the season (against the Giants) and was never really the same afterward. When Warner Brothers cartoon characters pull the same head-butt stunt, it's funny.

8. Bill Gramatica dances with joy following first quarter FG, 2001.

Okay, I almost understand a quarterback on the hot seat losing his mind following a touchdown against a division rival. Now, someone please explain this one to me: An Arizona Cardinals field goal kicker celebrates wildly following a 42-yard field goal put his team up 3-0. Gramatica hyper-extended his right leg and tore his ACL, putting him on injured reserve the rest of the season.

Bill Gramatica hurt his knee while celebrating a field goal. (Matt Campbell / Getty Images)

Of course, the hardest part of baseball is the team picture

9. Cal Ripken's streak gets jeopardized by posing for All-Star team photo, 1996.

At least, when you bat against Randy Johnson, you wear a protective helmet. When the league requires the All-Star team gather round for a photo, there's no protection in sight. Ripken broke his nose at the end of the pregame photo session when White Sox pitcher Roberto Hernandez lost his balance and swung his forearm back, striking Ripken.

It's not just happening in the States

10. Santiago Canizares puts on a little too much Aqua-Velva, 2002.

Spain's starting goalkeeper, 32-year old Canizares, was ruled out of the 2002 World Cup after he ruptured a tendon when a bottle of cologne fell on his foot. I've always said a little dab is good, but too much of that stuff is overpowering and harmful.

More wild and wacky injuries:

11. Vince Coleman gets run down by technology, 1985.

In the 1985 League Championship Series, he got rolled up by the automatic tarpaulin machine.

12. Brian Griese gets sacked by his own dog, 2002.

When then-Broncos quarterback Griese was walking down the stairs, his dog came barreling down after him and clipped him.

13. Kevin Mitchell injures himself vomiting, 1992.

Mariners outfielder Kevin Mitchell re-injured a muscle on his side while vomiting. When asked why he vomited, Mitchell said, "Sometimes, I just do that."

14. Sammy Sosa injures himself sneezing, 2004.

Sosa sprained a ligament in his back after a violent sneeze last season. It happened while sneezing and bending over in front of his locker. He sneezed to the truth.

15. Glenallen Hill had scary nightmare, 1990.

He spent two weeks on the disabled list due to cuts and scrapes he suffered during a nightmare about spiders. He hurt himself without ever waking during this incident. I heard about this, of course, on the Web.


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