It is unfortunate, but sports and injuries go hand in hand. Performing a high level of exercise each day will put great strain on the body, plus the physical nature of some sports also means that injuries are inevitable at some point. Sometimes these injuries are minor and will enable an athlete to return to the action soon, but sometimes they can keep them out for weeks, months or even years, and of course there are then those tragic stories of career ending injuries which seem to throw everything into perspective.
You will also find that certain injuries are more common in certain sports. In soccer, players often struggle with hamstring injuries. In basketball you will get a lot of twisted ankles and ACL tears. Baseball is rife with ligament injuries and muscle sprains and of course there is a heavy focus on American football injuries and the long term health risks of playing, but there is also a risk of a number of knee injuries and ankle sprains. Sometimes the injuries that athletes sustain are far from typical, and will leave the team doctor scratching his head. This could be an injury sustained whilst on the field of play, but often it will be an injury that the athlete has picked up elsewhere and not be their proudest moment.
Some of these injuries are not what you would expect at all playing a particular sport, making them interesting and unique cases. Sometimes these are minor injuries which the player can look back and laugh on, but unfortunately there have also been plenty of not so funny injuries to occur in sport.
Here are the 15 weirdest injuries in sports history
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15 Dan Boyle
Everyone is aware of the dangers of skates in ice hockey, but this is usually confined to the play on the ice. Dan Boyle suffered a freak accident in the locker-room, which kept him out of action for several months and required two surgeries. A skate slipped off its hook and landed on Boyle’s wrist, severing three of his tendons and cutting him down to the bone. This caused a great deal of concern around the league, and now many teams have rules surrounding putting skate guards on skates put on a hook.
14 Alex Stepney
A true leader of a team will be vocal and not afraid of yelling at teammates, but Man United’s former goalkeeper took this a little far back in 1975. In a match against Birmingham, Stepney screamed so hard at his defenders that he managed to dislocate his jaw, causing him to have to come off and have a midfielder take his place between the posts. His replacement, England midfielder Brian Greenhoff, managed to keep a clean sheet just to add further embarrassment to Stepney.
13 Sammy Sosa
Sammy Sosa may have accomplished some great things during his playing career, but he is also famous for a rather embarrassing and weird injury which landed him on the disabled list. The Cubs star managed to sprain a ligament in his lower back after two sneezes had brought on back spasms, and comical injuries such as this serve as a reminder that these star athletes are only human.
12 Brian Anderson
When ironing, there are a few different ways you can test to see if the iron is hot. You can put your hand near the iron to see if the heat is radiating, you can put a few drops of water on the iron, put the iron on the board and see if it is hot, quickly touch it with your finger amongst a few other methods. Brian Anderson has his own unique way of testing if it is hot, and to be fair to him at least it works. The former pitcher decided that using his face would be the best gauge, and as you can imagine he was left with a fried cheek and a bruised ego.
Anderson also missed games after suffering a stiff elbow from resting his pitching arm across the back seat of a taxi. Quite remarkable for a fully grown man.
11 David Seaman
There are few things more infuriating than sitting on the sofa after a long day of work (or goalkeeping), only to find that the remote control is out of reach. The former England and Arsenal goalkeeper made a living of stretching to reach shots on target, but it was a pesky remote control that proved to be a little too far out of reach for Seaman. He somehow required surgery after severely damaging a muscle reaching for the remote, keeping him out of action for a lengthy spell.
Weirdly, it is not just Seaman who has fallen victim to the out of reach remote, as Robbie Keane, Carlo Cudicini and David James have all suffered some form of injury when stretching for it. Although embarrassing, we all know that standing up to retrieve it simply is not an option.
10 Joel Zumaya
They say that video games are bad for you, but I don’t think Joel Zumaya’s bizarre injury is quite what is meant by that. The former Tigers pitcher was forced to the bench during the 2006 American League Championship with inflammation in his right arm, and it was revealed that the source of this injury was from excessive playing of the popular game Guitar Hero. A real guitar would have been embarrassing enough, but an injury from Guitar Hero ensured that Zumaya was the laughing stock of the entire sporting world.
9 Bret Barberie
Sometimes your accomplishments as an athlete are forgotten or overlooked when you do something stupid. Unfortunately for Bret Barberie he is now best remembered not as the player to record the Marlins’ first regular season hit in 1993, but instead for a nacho related injury. Barberie made the rookie mistake of failing to wash his hands after making a plate of nachos, and the former infielder then went to put in his contact lenses and felt the wrath of chilli pepper juice in his eye. He missed the Marlins’ next game because his eyes were burning too much to play.
8 Lionel Simmons
Joel Zumaya may have felt some embarrassment because of his excessive virtual guitar shredding, but Lionel Simmons takes the cake for embarrassing injuries at the hands of video games. The promising rookie was made the fool of the NBA after having to sit out two games after developing tendinitis in his wrist and forearm, all because he had played too much Nintendo GameBoy (this occurred in 1991). The Kings GM said on the injury “it’s not unusual for Lionel to be focused on something, but to hurt himself like that?” This gets extra points for the retro nature of the injury.
7 Kevin Mitchell
We all know that doughnuts are, unfortunately, bad for you. Although unhealthy, it is not normal for them to cause an injury, but Kevin Mitchell amazed the world when he suffered a doughnut related injury that landed him in the dentist’s chair. The former left fielder managed to chip his tooth after microwaving a doughnut, leaving him requiring emergency dental work and a root canal. This caused him to show up late to spring training, but it was not the first time he had frustrated his team with a strange injury. Mitchell also strained his rib muscles from vomiting, placing him on the DL list once again.
6 Greg Harris
An inflamed elbow may sound like an ordinary injury for a pitcher to sustain, but the way in which Greg Harris sustained this is particularly strange and bizarre. Whilst in the dugout, Harris flicked sunflower seeds at a friend in the crowd (as you do) for what must have been a very long time to cause inflammation of the elbow. It is still difficult to imagine how this can cause an injury that kept him out of a few games, and I imagine his team was not too impressed with his antics.
5 Steve Sparks
Former pitcher Steve Sparks is best remembered for two things. The first is that he could throw a knuckleball, and the other is a rather embarrassing injury which will always see him placed highly on lists similar to this. After a terrible season, the Brewers brought in a group of motivational speakers ahead of the 1994 season in order to fire up and motivate the team, and unfortunately this worked a little too well for Sparks. In a demonstration on the power of inspiration, they impressively ripped a phone book in half. Sparks then decided to try this out, but this resulted in a minor dent in the book and a dislocated shoulder for Sparks. Sparks missed out on making the team that year, and it would go on to become a recurring injury for the pitcher throughout his career.
4 Marty Cordova
Many professional athletes are vain creatures and want to look their best when they are performing, after all these sports are watched by millions of people all around the world. Marty Cordova was left red faced, for more than one reason, when trying to give himself a healthier complexion by visiting a tanning salon. Cordova accidentally fell asleep in the tanning bed, and he was left with a badly burnt face. Seeing as baseball is played out in the sun (this clearly wasn’t enough for Cordova), he was instructed by doctors to miss several day games to stay out of the sun whilst his face (and ego) recovered.
3 Bill Gramatica
A torn ACL is a common football injury and also one frequently sustained in a number of other sports, but the way in which Bill Gramatica sustained this is not so common. In a game in 2001 for the Arizona Cardinals, the kicker booted a 43-yard field goal and celebrated by leaping into the air, and somehow tore his ACL upon landing. To make matters more humiliating, the field goal was not a game winner and came in the first quarter of play. He missed the rest of the season and this is often how he is remembered. Gramatica saw the funny side in the strange injury, stating “my jump was excellent. It was my landing I needed to work on. It was funny. It was part of my career, I talk about it all the time. You have to laugh about it.”
2 Paulo Diogo
This freak injury is particularly disturbing, and Diogo has been left with a permanent reminder because of it. The newly wed Diogo set up a goal towards the end of the game in a convincing 4-1 victory, and in celebration he bizarrely decided to climb onto the metal perimeter fence. Diogo failed to notice that his new wedding ring was caught in the fence, and when he jumped down he left a part of himself, and an expensive ring, behind. Diogo lost his finger in the disturbing injury, and when he frantically searched for his digit he was then harshly booked by the referee for his excessive and lengthy celebration/search for his finger. To make matters even worse, Diogo later found out that they were unable to reattach his severed finger and he had to have surgery to remove the stump.
1 Gus Frerotte
Even when wearing a helmet, smashing your head into a concrete wall is never a good idea and it will be the wall that comes out on top every time. This did not stop former quarterback Gus Frerotte however, who bizarrely celebrated a touchdown by slamming his head into the stadium wall. The head butt resulted in a sprained neck, and Frerotte had to leave the game to go the hospital for X-Rays and a CAT scan. Frerotte was able to return to action the following week, but he has never managed to live this moment of madness down, and it is certainly one of the weirdest injuries sustained on the field of play.
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