Injuries in sports are always hard to swallow for the athletes, coaches, management, and of course, the fans. A team invests millions of dollars on a single player and that money goes to waste every time they don’t step on the field/court. Fans buy jerseys every year, but it’s awkward to be the guy wearing the jersey of an athlete who’s out for the whole season.
The timing and cause of an injury is usually just bad luck for that athlete, while some are cursed with being injury prone during their career. On the other hand, there are the injuries that happen off the field/court or even during a game where the athlete puts themselves in a dangerous position and gets injured in the most ridiculous circumstances. These injuries are never good for anyone(obviously), but especially because of the embarrassment and backlash that comes from teammates, management, and fans.
Enes Kanter, center for the Oklahoma City Thunder, injured himself during January 26 game when he punched a chair. Yes, you heard that correctly: he punched a chair. The injury: a fractured right arm. Kanter could miss up to two months with this injury, and it’s all because of a chair. The big man has 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds off the bench this season, so with the Sixth Man of the Year contender out, the Thunder will have to change their game plan to keep in the playoff hunt.
This is one of many crazy injury stories in sports history, so here are some of the funniest and most ridiculous:
Jimmie Johnson Breaks his Wrist Falling Off the Top of a Golf Cart
Fresh off his 2006 NASCAR Championship, Jimmie Johnson went golfing with some buddies and things got crazy. Johnson decided it was a good idea to climb on the roof of a moving golf cart, and of course, he fell off. Jimmie broke his wrist and couldn’t drive for a month, which forced him out of the Race of Champions Nations Cup in Paris. The best part of this story: he lied to the media! Johnson told reporters that he was a passenger in the golf cart when they took a sharp turn, and he “wasn’t holding on tight enough,” and he fell out. The truth came out a few weeks later, and made the NASCAR champ look foolish.
Kendry Morales Breaks his Leg Celebrating
In May of 2010, Kendry Morales hit a 10th inning, walk-off grand slam for the Los Angeles Angels. As he touched third base and headed towards home, his teamates all gathered around the base, as they commonly do in baseball after a walk-off. However, when he jumped into the crowd and landed on home plate, Morales broke his left leg. His teammates huddled around him for ten minutes before the medical staff carted him off the field. Morales, who was the Angels most productive hitter at the time, would miss the rest of the 2010 and the entire 2011 MLB season. All for a celebration.
Joel Zumaya Injures his Wrist Playing Guitar Hero
Joel Zumaya was throwing heat for the Detroit Tigers in 2006, holding batters to a .187 batting average. As a key part of the Tigers’ bullpen, Zumaya was being counted on to contribute during the teams ALCS run. However, he was sidelined for the entire series due to a sore wrist. Zumaya suffered this injury by playing Playstation 2’s popular title, Guitar Hero. Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers’ General Manager at the time, first reported the cause of the injury, though Zumaya himself denies that playing the video game was the reason. Guitar Hero got in on the act, poking fun at the injury when they released Guitar Hero 2. In the games credits, there is a line that reads “No pitchers were harmed in the making of this game. Except one. Joel Zumaya. He had it coming.”
John Smoltz Burns Himself while Ironing the Shirt He was Wearing
Atlanta Brave great John Smoltz was dominate during his career, stopping most batters in his path. The only thing he couldn’t stop was his iron. Smoltz decided one day in 1990 that ironing his shirt while he was wearing it would be a quick and efficient way to get the wrinkles out. Well it wasn’t. He gave himself third-degree burns and ruined his favorite shirt…bummer.
Gus Frerotte Headbutts a Wall
Former Washington Redskins quarterback Gus Frerotte was a force to be reckoned with during the 1996 NFL season. His performances were awarded by earning a Pro Bowl selection, the only one of his 12 year career. It wasn’t meant to be, however, because he missed the Pro Bowl. Why? Frerotte headbutted a padded cement wall celebrating a touchdown against the New York Giants. Frerotte sprained his neck and had to be taken to the hospital, while the game ended in a 7-7 tie. Ouch.
Jason Pierre-Paul Blows His Hand to Shreds
The grand-daddy of all stupid injuries, Jason Pierre-Paul had fireworks blow up in his hand in 2015. On July 4, 2015, Pierre-Paul, defensive end for the New York Giants, was attending a family and friends cookout in his hometown. He brought with him $1,100 worth of fireworks, so the neighborhood was ready for a show, and boy did they get one. JPP lit one of the cylindrical, color streaming fireworks in his right hand and it exploded. WARNING: the picture below is what was left of his hand.
The injury cost him a $60 million contract and required multiple surgeries to “fix,” but he made a full recovery and had a decent 2016 season. High five JPP…well, high three.
Those are my picks for the most ridiculous injuries in sports. Did I leave any injuries off my list? How about the time Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg, or Wade Boggs bruising his ribs while taking his cowboy boots off? Let me know in the comments below or tweet at us @BreakRoomShow.
Until next time, see ya, and remember:
“With great power comes great responsibility.” – Uncle Ben