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.
Following a game winning, walk off grand slam, Morales rounded the bases only to be met at home plate by his jubilant teammates, ready to celebrate a gritty win. As he crossed home plate, Morales was mobbed by said jubilant teammates and the resulting celebratory dogpile left him with a busted up leg. The severity of the injury cost Morales most of the 2010 season, as well as the entire 2011 season – and led the Angels to adopt a no-celebratory dogpile rule. For Morales' part, his career has not been the same since the injury.
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.
In 2004, Sosa missed a game after suffering back spasms brought on by – sneezing. That's right, the big, rough and tumble, home run masher was undone by a sneeze. About the incident Sosa said, “It would have been better if I had hit off the wall or we have a fight or something, but this ... you know what I mean? What can you do? Some things in life you cannot control. This is strange that it happened.”
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?
Apparently not. The former Angels lefty somehow managed to cut the wrist of his pitching arm while trying to open one of his bottles of suds. Given that he had such difficulty with opening a beer bottle – one of the easiest tasks on the planet – it's not surprising that Watson bounced around, playing for six teams in his eight season big league career.
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.
Unable to control himself after fouling off a pitch he obviously thought he should have launched to the moon, Quentin punched his bat in frustration. Unfortunately for him, the bat didn't take kindly to being punched and the slugger broke his wrist – and missed most of the rest of the regular season because of it.
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.
It seems that Barmes was hauling in some deer meat given to him by teammate Todd Helton and was looking forward to some venison stew. Unfortunately for Barmes, as he was hauling in the load of meat, he slipped, fell, and busted his collarbone. It was an injury that required surgery and sidelined him for more than three months.
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.
In 2009, after claiming an impressive victory in the downhill at the world championships, Vonn grabbed a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. Unfortunately for her, it was a bottle that a teammate had broken while attempting to open it and the jagged edges cut Vonn's thumb open as well as severed the tendon. The injury required immediate surgery and she wound up missing the rest of the events at the worlds because of it.
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.
He is also the proud owner of one MLB's stupidest injuries ever. Giving in to his fix for some nachos, Barberie loaded up his tortilla chips with some spicy peppers and hot sauce before digging in. After finishing off his snack, the genius did not wash his hands before rubbing his eyes – with all of the hot sauce still on them. The resulting eye burn caused Barberie to miss a game and presumably, give up his once beloved spicy nachos.
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.
After having just come back from a long stint on the DL, Tulowitzki frustrated from his lack of productivity at the plate, as well as being replaced mid-game, threw a hissy fit and pounded his bat against the ground. Said bat didn't take too kindly to the treatment and promptly shattered, gashing Tulo bad enough to require 16 stitches and another stint on the DL.
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.
Such was the case with Ken Griffey, Jr. and the cup from hell. It seems that prior to a game, Junior outfitted himself with the standard jock and cup getup athletes wear. But at some point, the cup slipped and pinched his privates. The injury was severe enough to cost him an entire game. Either that, or he was just too embarrassed to show up that day.
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.
Unfortunately for Inge, he wasn't nearly as smooth with domestic duties as he was in the field. It seems that one day, he bent down to pick up a pillow for his daughter – and strained his oblique muscle in the process. The injury landed Inge on the DL, and undoubtedly made him the butt of a few clubhouse jokes.
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.
No, not the paying customer kind of fan. The electrical variety. Upset and frustrated after being shelled in the 9th inning to lose a game for the Cubs, Farnsworth took it out on the appliance and wound up with a sprained and bruised right knee. The injury landed him on the DL, and hopefully showed him that if you mess with electrical appliances, they tend to bite back.
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.
Enter former MLB outfielder Moises Alou, who in 1999 as a member of the Houston Astros, sought to give himself an edge with tough offseason conditioning. Unfortunately for Alou, he wasn't the most graceful of people and wound up falling off his treadmill and blowing out his ACL.
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.
Of all the instruments he could have taken up, Healy picked up the bagpipes – because NHL goalies are an odd lot by nature. One day, while changing his pipes, he sliced open his hand pretty good. Fortunately for him, it was the offseason so he didn't miss time. Fortunately for us, we have this story of what a doofus Healy is.
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.
Off the track however, Johnson is kind of an idiot. When he and some of his buddies were whooping it up on a golf course back in 2006, in true knucklehead fashion, Johnson climbed up on top of a moving golf cart. It went about how you'd expect with Johnson falling off and breaking his wrist. Way to go, JJ.
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.
Though not a great quarterback, he is a great punchline thanks to one ridiculous injury. Clearly showing that he was never too nimble, Griese fell down the stairs at home and injured his ankle. Obviously not wanting to look like a total boob, Griese promptly blamed the fall and resulting injury on his dog tripping him, and not on his own two left foot-edness. Way to man up, Brian.
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.
Enter former Sacramento Kings rookie Lionel Simmons who played so much of his nifty new Gameboy back in 1991 that he developed tendonitits and was forced to miss a few games with the injury. Clearly, Simmons – like many children – needed a mother figure to tell him to turn off the Gameboy and go to bed.
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?
Former Phillies pitcher Adam Eaton can relate to that all too well. Frustrated by the plastic security barrier on what we presume was his new Kenny G CD, Eaton grabbed the nearest pairing knife to attempt to cut said barrier – and promptly stabbed himself in the stomach. The wound wasn't serious, but it did require stitches. But the silver lining here is that he did have plenty of time to listen to his new CD while he was on the mend.
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.
Hey, get off his back, those chord progressions are mothers and they will screw you up if you don't hit them right.
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.
It seems that Hill woke up one night after a particularly traumatic nightmare involving what we can only assume were Godzilla-sized spiders, he freaked out, jumped out of bed, and promptly crashed through the glass table next to his bed. We're guessing his family may have installed baby rails on his bed to prevent a repeat performance.
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.
Bill though, while a member of the Arizona Carindals, Gramatica nailed a clutch field goal. No, it wasn't a playoff game, it was just a regular season game. But Gramatica celebrated like he'd just won the Super Bowl and promptly tore his ACL. We're starting to see where Peyton Manning is coming from.
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.
Eight games into a dreadful season, Houston had yet to do much for Chicago. Certainly not enough to justify his $35 million dollar contract. But against the Patriots, Houston notched his first sack of the season when he took down Tom Brady. Houston promptly got up, tried to do the Cristiano Ronaldo goal celebration, and blew out his ACL. Way to go, Lamarr. #actlikeyou'vebeentherebefore
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.
Of course, all toughness and street cred went out the window when Plax proceeded to shoot himself in the leg. Because you know, that's what real gangsters do and all. The injury sent him to prison for two years since it is apparently a crime to discharge a gun in a crowded nightclub, even if you only shoot yourself – hey, who knew? The injury also lands Plax on all-time idiot lists like this for eternity.
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.
As a motivational tool, former Jags HC Jack Del Rio placed a stump with an axe in the team's locker room to inspire the team with the motto, “keep chopping wood.” Unfortunately for Del Rio and the Jags as a whole, Hanson's inexperience with an axe came through loud and clear as he wound up missing the stump and burying the blade into his foot. Idiot kickers indeed.
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.