Sports injuries are some of the most gruesome experiences in the world. A player’s leg breaks in half after a slam dunk, a quarterback’s collarbone will break after a long pass, and a wild pitch can take an arm out. As deathly as those sound, they all come with the game. Getting injured comes with playing professional sports, but sometimes players get hurt in obscure ways. Dive in and discover the wildest and weirdest injuries that weren’t caused while competing. For example, one player’s season got put on ice thanks to a vigorous sneeze!
The One Where Reggie Slips Into Oblivion
Reggie Bush signed with the San Fransico 49ers in 2015. The former Heisman winner is only capable of producing so much during that point of his career. When the starting running back couldn’t play, Bush made his first start. The irony of it is he let it all slip away that same game.
Bush got shoved out of bounds after a punt return and naturally continued running, no big deal there. As he kept running, he did not expect concrete to be waiting for him on the sideline. Cleets on pavement is almost like skates on ice. Bush slid to the ground and immediately grabbed his knee. The 49ers announced Bush had a torn ACL.
The Salad Dressing Juggling Fate
You’re not going to believe this is how Dave Beasant’s injury happened, but it’s true. Soccer players have a natural instinct to use their feet, and we expect that. In this case, Beasant should have restrained his natural instinct.
While playing for Chelsea in 1993, Beasant was eating lunch when a freak accident occurred. He lost control of a glass salad dressing bottle, and his reaction kicked in. Rather than letting it fall, he tried to juggle it with his foot, but instead, the bottle smashed on his foot. Beasant severed a tendon in his big toe as a result.
The One With Barkley And His Lotion
Charles Barkley made a career out of making defenders look dumb. He had the size of a big man but the speed of a guard. Blowing past defenders and dunking on them made him laugh, but his most ridiculous injury will make you chuckle as well. It all happened at an Eric Clapton concert before the first game of the season.
The New York Times described the accident as follows: “The incident took place Wednesday night. Barkley said his allergies and the bright stage lights caused him to rub his eyes, and he got lotion in both eyes.” He missed the season opener due to blurry vision.
The One Where Guitar Hero Makes You Miss Playoffs
Guitar Hero II added something interesting to their credits. “No pitchers were harmed in the making of this game. Except for one. Joel Zumaya. He had it coming.” Zumaya sat out the majority of the ALCS because of wrist inflammation. No one thought anything of it until the GM revealed some information.
GM Dave Dombrowski announced that Zumaya’s injury came from playing Guitar Hero too much. He missed two weeks before returning for the World Series. Some think this type of injury is inexcusable, but if you ask those who play Guitar Hero, they will understand.
The One Where The Pancakes Did It
Dustin Penner might never eat breakfast the same way again. That or he’ll think twice before reaching for the pancakes. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, at least before it gives you back problems.
“I just leaned over to dip into some delicious pancakes that my wife made,” Penner said to Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider. While reaching for the pancakes, his back seized up. This forced him only to miss one game, but it must have been scary.
The Badly Timed Celebration
An ACL injury might be an athlete’s worse nightmare. You may never come back the same, and you don’t even know when you’ll be able to go back. Sometimes, these injuries are non-contact, and it’s out of your control. For Malcolm Mitchell, his torn ACL happened after a faulty celebration.
Mitchell harmlessly celebrated a touchdown (that he didn’t score) with his teammate by doing the classic chest bump. After not sticking the landing, his season ended thanks to a torn ACL.
The One Where The Sneeze Broke Sammy Sosa
One time Sammy Sosa sneezed his way out of weeks of playing. The former slugger never liked going to the trainers or doctors, so if he had a lingering problem, the staff didn’t know about it. One day, a vigorous sneeze exposed his lower back problems.
“He’s going to receive an epidural tonight to calm down some of the inflammation and lower back pain,” general manager Jim Hendry said at the time of the injury. Hopefully, none of you ever need an epidural after a sneeze.
The One With The Ax…?
Kickers and punters have less to worry about when it comes to injuries. A pulled muscle in the lower extremities might be the standard issue with them. Be sure to keep axes away from Chris Hanson.
Hanson’s head coach in 2003 happened to be Jack Del Rio. He had a phrase he liked to use: “Keep chopping wood.” Hanson heard the phrase as “Keep chopping foot,” and one day got carried away in the locker room trying to motivate the team. He ended up gashing his leg and missing the last 11 games of the season.
The One Where The Knife Cuts Rose
Derrick Rose’s most famous injury has to be his torn ACL. His injury-plagued career has seen him sitting on the bench more than a handful of times, but he continues to fight past it. His most ridiculous injury involves a knife and an apple.
While Rose was cutting an apple in his bed, he got up to get something but failed to move the knife somewhere safe. “It was a silly incident,” Rose said to the Chicago Tribune. “I was cutting up some food, and I laid on a knife getting lazy in bed. I went to get a bottle of water, came back, forgot the knife was there, then sat down and sliced my arm.” The youngest MVP needed ten stitches.
The Violent Fist Pump
We understand that celebrating a big play is natural. We don’t know how hard you have to celebrate to injure yourself. Bill Gramatica made a 42-yard field goal and did the classic fist pump.
It wasn’t a game-winning kick either. It happened to be a regular field goal, so to applaud yourself for a simple boot is something we’ve never seen. After he made the kick, his unleashed the fist pump to end all fist pumps. Gramatica landed wrong and tore his ACL, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season.
The One Where The Penalty Flag Attacks
It’s a rough day on the field when the opposing team and the referee are trying to get you. Former Cleveland Browns right tackle Orlando Brown experienced this first hand in 1999. Brown got called for offsides, and the referee threw the penalty flag.
The flag got thrown right in Brown’s direction and into his eye! It went through his facemask and turned Brown legally blind for several years. He had to wait three seasons to be cleared for play again.
The One With The Flip-Flop
Performing good deeds doesn’t always end well. Just ask Russell Branyan. In 2010, Branyan attempted to pick up his son’s flip-flop. As he reaches to pick up the sandal, Branyan falls to his doom.
Branyan slipped out of his chair and landed on his backside. He fell so hard he bruised his tailbone and had to miss a few games. This accident goes to show that athletes aren’t safe in any environment.
The One Where The Glass Fights Back
Amar’e Stoudamire used to be a dominant force in the NBA. Injuries slowed him down and led to his retirement. There is one injury in particular that he could have easily avoided had he controlled his temper.
One year while playing with the New York Knicks, Stoudamire got frustrated with the team’s playoff performance and let his anger go. He ended up punching the glass door of a fire extinguisher and lacerated his hand. The punch cost him the next game.
The One With Marty Sleeping While Tanning
Marty Cordova didn’t have the type of career you recollect too well. On the flip side, Cordova always remembered to look his best while on the diamond. One time, he got so comfortable in a tanning bed that he forgot where he was.
Cordova managed to fall asleep in a tanning bed. He got burned severely and had to sit out a handful of games. The first day it happened, the doctors told him to stay out of the sun. The Orioles had a game in California that day, so he had to sit out.
The One With The Spiders and Nightmares
Arachnophobia is real. Spiders can be terrifying insects, and Glenallen Hill is proof. The former Blue Jays outfielder fused his fear of spiders with sleepwalking, and the results were horrifying.
Hill had a nightmare about spiders and ended up running through his house while still asleep. He crashed through a glass table during this episode and accumulated bruises and cuts all over his body. Hill spent 20 days on the disabled list.
The Giant iPhone 6 Plus
Back when the Spurs still had Tim Duncan, Matt Bonner played a big part in the second unit for that team. The dead-eye big man provided the Spurs with a threat outside the arc and good rebounding. He blames his poor shooting on tennis elbow in which he got from his iPhone 6 plus.
“Everybody is going to find this hilarious,” he said to the Concord Monitor, “but here’s my theory on how I got it. When the new iPhone came out, it was way bigger than the last one, and I think because I got that new phone, it was a strain to use it.”
The One Where Pizza Is Worth More Than An Arm
In 2013, Lions Wide Receiver Nate Burleson had pizza on his mind. The receiver had picked up two pizzas and placed them in the front seat of his GMC Yukon. Burleson broke his arm in two places trying to save the pizza boxes from falling, according to Police Lt. Michael Shaw.
“It was actually a whole pizza,” said Shaw. “He had purchased two whole pizzas, and one was sitting on top of the other one, and I guess when he was driving one of them was slipping off, and he was reaching over to push it back onto the seat and overcorrected and hit the median wall.”
The Fireworks Don’t Play Fair
Jason Pierre-Paul’s incident shows why you shouldn’t play with fireworks. Okay, he might not have been “playing” with the fireworks, but he didn’t handle them correctly. On the 4th of July in 2015, one exploded near Pierre-Paul’s right hand.
He told Sports Illustrated: “You see all your ligaments, your tendons, everything. I saw how the hand really is without skin on it.” His indexed finger got amputated, his palm needed various skin grafts, and his thumb broke. Now he wears a giant glove to play.
The One With The Falling Toilet Stall
Thoughts while sitting on the toilet don’t include keeping your head on a swivel for potential flying objects. For Darren Fletcher, his views might have changed after what happened to him 2008.
When the Machester United player finished using the restroom, the toilet stall door fell on his head. It caused him severe damage and possibly a concussion. His forehead swelled up like he became a Looney Tunes character. Now you’re all warned about bathroom doors.
The One With The Gunshot Wound To Himself
This weird injury probably is the most notable one. The New York Giants had just won a Super Bowl, and Plaxico Burress thought it would be a bright idea to bring a loaded and cocked firearm into the club.
Burress ends up shooting himself in the leg. As a result, he got suspended without pay for the rest of the season. He also served two years of jail time for criminal possession of a weapon. He only played in 20 more games the rest of his career.