If you've played sports, or are just a fan of sports in general, you've undoubtedly either suffered, or witnessed your fair share of injuries. How many times have we seen a receiver laying motionless on the field after coming across the middle of the field and getting blown up by a linebacker? How many times have we seen a basketball player writhing on the ground in pain after driving to the hoop and coming down on somebody's foot? How many times have we seen a hockey player with blood on his face after taking a nasty check into the boards?
The point is that injuries happen. They're a part of every sport, and they're unfortunately, unavoidable. When you're going all out – and other players are going all out as well – there will be collisions, there will be accidents, and there will be injuries. It's been that way since the dawn of time, and athletes across the wide spectrum of sports know and accept this when they take up their chosen sport.
The worst kind of injury though, is not the kind you sustain at the hands of some fearsome Ray Lewis-esque linebacker whose job is simply to put you on your back. No, the worst kind of injury is the kind that an athlete, perhaps through their own stupidity, inflicts upon themselves.
Just as injury because of physical play is a natural part of sport, self-inflicted injury because of rampant stupidity is as well. While you have sympathy for an athlete who suffers an injury on an effort play, it's much harder to find that same sympathy for a player who suffers an injury because they were doing something dumb. In fact, it's hard not to laugh at them, actually.
Here then, are 25 of the stupidest self-inflicted wounds in sports. And please, feel free to chime in with your nominations for what should be an annual award in these various leagues...
25 Kendrys Morales
Technically, we shouldn't blame Morales for this one since it was his teammates that actually caused the injury. But it's an injury that is so stupid, that we feel we'd be remiss to not include it.
24 Sammy Sosa
Sosa was one half of the greatest home run chase in baseball history. Of course, he – and Mark McGuire, who was the other half of that equation – were both disgraced after they were both caught cheating, but that's beside the point.
23 Allen Watson
Watson only lasted two seasons with the Halos, but it was long enough for him to sustain one of the more memorable – memorable because of its stupidity – injuries in club history. It seemed that Watson was one who liked to relax and unwind with a cold bottle of brew.
Sounds simple enough, right?
22 Carlos Quentin
Baseball players can be a fiery lot. In the heat of the moment, with emotions running high, they've been known to punch water coolers, dugout walls, and even their teammates. So it's no surprise that slugger Carlos Quentin, while leading the Major Leagues in home runs in 2009, had a bit of a meltdown at the plate.
21 Chris Coghlan
Gags like the hotfoot and the shaving cream pie to the face have been a part of baseball for time out of mind. But when it comes to executing a proper gag, Marlins rookie Chris Coghlan seriously needs to work on his game.
After knocking in a game winning RBI in a 2009 game, Wes Helms was being interviewed when Coghlan snuck up behind him and slapped him in the face with a shaving cream pie. Though the pie hit its mark, Coghlan paid a heavy price in the form of a torn meniscus for his efforts.
20 Clint Barmes
As a rookie for the Colorado Rockies, Barmes got off to a sizzling start. He was batting near .300 and had mashed ten homers, and had driven in forty-six runs. The sky seemed the limit for the promising young infielder. And then food happened.
19 Lindsey Vonn
Before she was Tiger Woods' girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn was making quite a name for herself as a dominant skier. Apparently though, she needs to work on her celebratory habits every bit as much as Allen Watson does.
18 Bret Barberie
Quick quiz – who is Bret Barberie? If you said the former husband of television news hottie Jillian Barberie, you would be correct. But he was once upon a time, a baseball player too. While never one of MLB's best, he managed to scratch out a somewhat respectable six season career.
17 Troy Tulowitzki
Not to be outdone by Carlos Quentin punching his bat and being sent to the DL, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki found a whole new way to humiliate himself – and spend some time in the training room.
16 Ken Griffey, Jr.
Player safety is a hot topic in sports these days. Players wear all sorts of padding and protective gear to make sure they stay as safe and healthy as possible. Which makes it entirely terrible – yet strangely hilarious – when said protective gear winds up injuring the player.
15 Brandon Inge
Inge was a pretty decent ballplayer back in the day. Not Hall of Fame decent, but good enough to keep him employed in the Majors for 13 years – 12 of those with the Detroit Tigers. He was always better with the leather than he was with the lumber, which is part of what made him valuable.
14 Kyle Farnsworth
Kyle Farnsworth was always known as a bit of a hothead. It was pretty well known around baseball that he might have had some issues with his temper. Well, those issues with his temper came to a head in 2004 when Farnsworth's frustration boiled over and he drop-kicked a fan.
13 Moises Alou
Clubs want their players in top physical form when the season comes around again, so it's generally a good thing when athletes work hard in the offseason to stay in shape. It's less good when said offseason workouts result in serious injury.
12 Glenn Healy
Having interests outside of the sport you play is a good thing. It allows you to step away from the frenetic pace of your sport, relax, be at peace, and just do your thing. Unfortunately for former NHL goalie Glenn Healy, “doing his thing” led to pretty significant injury.
11 Jimmie Johnson
On the track, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson is a demon who does nothing but win. With his long consecutive championship streak and pile of wins, he'll undoubtedly go down as one of the best to ever get behind the wheel.
10 Brian Griese
As a quarterback, Brian Griese left a lot to be desired. He was never exceptionally – oh, what's the right word here – oh yeah, good. There is a reason that he played for four teams in his eleven season career and only started a total of 83 games over that span.
9 Lionel Simmons
Athletes, like children, love video games. Some athletes – like some children – just can't seem to get enough of them. They play them nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's like electronic crack for some.
8 Adam Eaton
We've all been there – frustrated as heck and wanting to bash the brand new CD or DVD we just purchased against the counter because we can't get through the plastic security barrier. Who hasn't experienced that?
7 Joel Zumaya
Former Tigers relief pitcher Joel Zumaya should have taken the story of Lionel Simmons as a cautionary tale. He should have learned that video games are the devil and will help derail your career. But he didn't learn that, and so we have another story to pass along.
Zumaya, a huge fan of the game Guitar Hero, played the game so much that he wound up hurting his wrist and forearm. It was serious enough that he had to miss some games – including three games of the 2006 ALCS.
6 Glenallen Hill
Hill's injury is as terrible as it is hilarious – and we feel a little bad that we can't help but laugh at him. Lots of people have fears – clowns, claustrophobia, agoraphobia – phobias are plentiful. Hill's particular phobia was spiders. It's understandable and it's a fear shared by many. But most probably don't have the reaction that Hill did – especially when the spiders in question aren't real.
5 Bill Gramatica
Going back to the whole “idiot kickers” thing we mentioned earlier, we bring you Bill Gramatica. We can't blame him entirely, after all, Gramatica comes from a long line of NFL kickers who get a little overly excited when they make a kick. But not all of the Gramatica clan have the distinction of injuring themselves while celebrating a field goal.
4 Lamarr Houston
It is a bit refreshing to see that injuries caused by idiocy aren't limited to kickers. One of the Chicago Bears' prize free agent signings of 2014 was defensive end Lamarr Houston. Houston – and the Bears – weren't having a very successful season and didn't have much to celebrate last season. So it's somewhat understandable that they celebrated when they could.
3 Plaxico Burress
We get it. You want to show that you're hard. That you've got some street cred. That you're a tough guy. Or something. At least, that's what we can only assume former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress was thinking when he rolled into the club with a gun tucked into the waistband of his pants.
2 Chris Hanson
There's a reason why kickers are often very lightly regarded on their respective clubs. From Peyton Manning calling Mike Vanderjagt the “idiot kicker” to Brandon Marshall blowing up Robbie Gould in the locker room, it's safe to say that kickers aren't very highly thought of. And former Jacksonville Jaguars punter Chris Hanson certainly didn't help that cause any.
1 Steve Nash
He is arguably one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game. Over his near two decades in the NBA, Nash has compiled a resume that should be Hall of Fame-worthy. With 17,387 points scored and 10,335 assists, anybody would be hard pressed to not call Nash one of the greatest in the game.
Unfortunately for Nash, he may be best remembered for his final two injury-plagued seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Instead of helping them to yet another championship – as they thought he'd be able to do when they signed him – Nash has given them a whole lot of nothing. He's spent more time on the DL than on the floor and has been a colossal waste of money. But at least some might be able to get a guffaw or two over the injury that seemingly put a dagger into his career. It seems that while lifting his suitcase, Nash suffered a back injury that ended his 2014 season, and likely his career.
Yes, that's right, one of the greatest players in the history of the game undone by his luggage.
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