Most athletes are generally unwilling to admit that they have crapped themselves at some point in their athletic career, which is certainly understandable. In many cases, these embarrassing incidents are covered up with the help of teammates in order to allow the athlete to dodge the unbearable embarrassment of having voided themselves in front of a crowd of thousands. Sometimes, however, it is simply not possible for it to be covered up, and there have been several stories of extreme gastrointestinal distress over the years that have, well, leaked out.
While some of the athletes who have endured such an episode feel embarrassment about the public nature of their bowel movement, others possess that delightful disposition that makes them proud to be remembered in such a way, with some of these individuals even relishing the opportunity to freely share their experience with anyone who happens to ask. Perhaps there should be a certain degree of pride in having pushed themselves so far past the natural limit that it becomes too much to ask that the body simply not empty its contents without warning.
Athletes and coaches often talk of giving 110 percent, of doing whatever is necessary to secure victory. Those who have worked their body so hard that it is no longer capable of controlling a basic bodily function can honestly declare that they have truly done whatever is necessary, and they even have the stained drawers to prove it. Certainly it is a disgusting and embarrassing trophy, but it is a trophy nonetheless. The following 15 athletes understand all too well what it is to endure a scatological nightmare, and in spite of the fact that they had made a mess of themselves, many ultimately wound up victorious despite an untimely bowel evacuation.
15 Tony Stewart
While Stewart never openly admitted having an incident during a NASCAR race, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that the popular driver's tailpipe momentarily misfired during his 2004 victory at Watkins Glen. Having already radioed his crew to have a relief driver ready as quickly as possible so that he could do more than just drain his crankcase, Stewart gave a mournful update minutes later, saying only, “Never mind.” After racing to the win, Stewart bypassed Victory Lane and went straight for his trailer, and after emerging he joked with the gathered reporters, "I just wanted to go brush my hair and make sure I looked good."
14 Gary Lineker
While the English footballer is rightly recognized for his outstanding World Cup performances (he does hold England’s record for goals in FIFA World Cup finals), he appears on this list for a very different sort of World Cup performance. During England’s run to a fourth place finish in the 1990 World Cup, Lineker quite literally pooped on the pitch in the opening match against Ireland. After a failed slide tackle attempt, Lineker lingered on the ground, and could even be seen trying to clean himself up in much the same way a cat or dog would by dragging his bottom over the grass. After the incident, he wiped his hands off on the grass several times, and then carried on as though nothing happened.
13 Kelly Slater
Given the size of the waves that Slater regularly rides, it should be somewhat understandable that crapping incidents are relatively common in the surf world. They are so common in fact, that there is a nickname for the flotsam that surfers sometimes have to let go of in the water: Fish food. As Slater told ESPN, “The secret for going No. 2 in the ocean is being down current from everybody. You don't want to go up current at your friends. That's rude."
12 Adam Lane, Jr.
Even though Lane, a running back for the University of Florida, was named the MVP of the Birmingham Bowl, he will surely be remembered for a very different reason. After scoring a touchdown, a not-so-mysterious brown spot could be seen on Lane’s unfortunately white pants. He quickly ran off the field, football still in hand and surrounded by teammates who tried to obscure the fact that Lane had definitely just crapped himself on national TV. When he returned from the locker room, Lane was wearing a new pair of pants.
11 Paula Radcliffe
Radcliffe was one of the best female marathoners on the planet, and during the 2005 London Marathon, she was well on her way to victory. She had a big lead over her competition, but she found herself slowed by stomach issues. No longer able to carry on without letting go, she pulled off to the side of the road and squatted right there on the race course. With spectators no more than a few feet away, she quickly pooped in the road and went right back to finishing the marathon. She won, of course, later telling ESPN, "I didn't really want to resort to that in front of hundreds of thousands of people. But when I'm racing, I'm totally focused on winning the race and running as fast as possible. I thought, I just need to go and I'll be fine."
10 Roberto Luongo
Maybe Luongo was just engaging in a bit of hyperbole when he described what happened just before facing a shootout lineup that included Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, or perhaps he was being quite serious. Speaking to the Vancouver Province, Luongo said, "I think I pooped myself a little there before the shootout when I saw all those guys." So maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t, but the sentiment is still nothing short of delightful, especially in a time when almost all professional athletes seem to be required to speak in nothing but clichés. On top of that, he once came out late for an overtime period in the playoffs due to a bathroom emergency.
9 Humberto Brown
— Melanie Dinjaski (@MelanieDinjaski) November 16, 2014
Brown (yes, Brown) suffered the dual indignity of not just losing his match against Gabriel Benitez, but also losing control of his bowels during the loss. Just before being put into a guillotine choke by Benitez, it became plainly obvious that Brown’s blue trunks were attempting to take on an entirely different – and recently produced – color. Crapping yourself during competition is much easier to deal with in victory, but in defeat it surely just stinks -- literally and figuratively.
8 John Cena
Cena is obviously very aware of the old saying that “the show must go on.” Despite battling a severe case of food poisoning, Cena wrestled in a match anyway, facing Scott Steiner. As is the case with many of the pooping incidents on this list, Cena lost control after suffering a sudden impact, which he detailed back in 2008 to WWE Magazine, saying, “I took a DDT, rolled out and the time-keeper was there. I looked him in the eye and said, "Where do I puke?" And he said, "Under the ring." So I went under the ring and puked and everyone knew it. But as I was puking, I crapped my pants. Luckily, it was at the end of the match, but nothing has ever topped that since.”
7 Robbie Tobeck
The Tobeck story is just too disgusting to believe. Tobeck, an important part of the Seattle offensive line and Matt Hasselbeck’s center, came down with a nasty virus that caused him to lose 10 pounds the week leading up to a game against the Washington Redskins. Despite taking as much Immodium as humanly possible, trainers still had to set up a bucket for Tobeck to poop in behind the team’s bench. A bucket. To poop in. On the sideline.
The trainers also kept a spare pair of pants on hand because they knew just how likely it was that Tobeck was going to make a mess of himself. And, on the very first play of the game, he did. Tobeck stayed in the game despite having crapped himself, but Hasselbeck was unaware of what had happened to his center on that first play. That is, until he came off the field to the sound of one of the trainers screaming at him, "Hey! I'd stop licking my hands if I were you!"
6 Sid Vicious
There’s a rumor floating around that Sycho Sid, as he was also known, actually crapped his pants on purpose during WrestleMania XIII, so perhaps Sid’s moniker was exceptionally appropriate. Even if he didn’t crap on purpose, there is little doubt that his tights carried a little extra weight when he was lifted by The Undertaker for the match-ending Tombstone. Apparently, both The Undertaker and the official became aware of the wretched smell emanating from Sid’s behind, so The Undertaker quickly pinned him and allowed him to immediately run out of the ring and into the infamy that accompanies an embarrassing crap incident such as Sid’s.
5 Uta Pippig
The legendary three-time winner of the Boston Marathon can also lay claim to having dealt with some of the most grotesque gastrointestinal issues in the history of sport. According to Pippig, she began to deal with cramps after just five miles of the 26.2-mile race, and began having diarrhea shortly thereafter. She considered dropping out, but continued on despite the fact that she was dealing with ischemic colitis, causing both diarrhea and blood to run down her legs as she raced. She won, but it was plainly obvious to everyone who witnessed Pippig's victory that she had pushed her body to its absolute limit.
4 Tim Sylvia
There have been a number of MMA fighters who have lost control of their bowels during matches, as Yoel Romero, Kevin Randleman and Kyle Wethey have all suffered from such issues for a variety of reasons, along with the aforementioned Humberto Brown. Former UFC Heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia was not immune and in 2006 he claimed that he caught something that caused him to crap himself during his match against Assuerio Silva. As Sylvia himself recalled, “I don’t know what it was. It got really cold when we were outside working out and stuff, going back and forth from the room. I caught something, and I just couldn’t hold in my number twos … If you look at the fight you’ll see that when my shorts came down, you’ll see the wet mark in my underwear.”
3 Kevin Long
It’s one thing to crap yourself during a game, but it is a whole other level of embarrassment when that game happens to be the first of your professional career. Long, an offensive lineman with the Carolina Panthers, had that exact scenario play out during a preseason game. According to Long, "It was a fat nasty lineman thing. I thought it was a fart, but it turned out to be a ‘shart.' It was my first preseason game in the league. My first game with my new teammates. Of course we had to be in our white pants. Someone told me I sat on something and I looked down and said, ‘Ahhh, s--t.' I had to run into the toilet and I had to scrub my britches. Welcome to the NFL, kid."
Ironically enough, Mark Simoneau, then a linebacker with the Saints, recalls the incident involving Long, saying, “You could see from the sidelines this brown streak under his bright white pants. He played the entire second quarter with the brown-stained pants. We were having a good time with it, yelling at the ref, ‘Get this guy off the field! He s--t his pants!'”
2 Julie Moss
Competing in the Ironman Triathlon requires one to not only be in incredible physical condition, but to also be completely fearless while attempting to cover the 140-mile course that involves swimming, cycling and running through Kona, Hawaii. Julie Moss certainly qualified in both categories when she competed in the event in 1982, though she became what she called “the ultimate, giant, chocolate mess” on the way to victory. David Fleming of ESPN could not have described what Moss dealt with any better when he wrote of the moment in which the triathlete lost control, writing, “Moss wobbled, then her knees buckled inward and she telescoped to the ground like a dynamited building. The moment she hit the pavement, her bowels cut loose, emptying against her will. The torrent breached her dainty, light-blue running shorts and moved down her legs, where the hot, acidic fecal matter stung her skin and the putrid stench tattooed the inside of her nostrils.”
1 George Brett
*Fair warning, the language in this video is NSFW.
Hall of Famer George Brett's incident did not quite occur during competition, but the story is just too hilarious for it to occupy any other position than number one. While stretching during Spring Training, Brett let loose a fart, which led him to announce that not only had he just farted, but that he had also crapped his pants the night before. He then relayed that he generally craps himself about two times per year, at which point he launches into a story of how he got food poisoning in Las Vegas after eating crab legs. The best part about the story is the nonchalance with which Brett tells it, along with the fact that the player he is speaking to is clearly uncomfortable with Brett's detailed descriptions, one which includes the term "double-tapered s--t," which is a phrase that seems to have been coined by Brett himself.