Articles By Rich Mcvey
This week several media sources reported that former South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia injured himself while giving a peace sign. Turns out, it was just a joke, and Garcia's career as a fourth-string CFL quarterback is still on track. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that players don’t hurt themselves doing random, seemingly mundane things. Here’s a list of our favorite ways players have been injured. Most are true, but a few seem a bit suspect. We’ll let you decide.
Wild animal attacks. While Nolan Ryan was playing for the Astros in 1985, a coyote bit him on the hand and forced him to miss a start; no word on whether any Acme products were involved. Former Norwegian soccer star Svein Grondalen was absent from an international match in the late-1970s because an angry moose ran into him while he was jogging. We suspect the moose was a fan of Brazil and vuvuzelas.
Eating. The Homer Simpson Award for injuries sustained while eating donuts goes to former National League MVP Kevin Mitchell, who chipped a tooth on a frozen donut in 1990 (dude, that's what microwaves are for). He had to have a root canal and ended up on the DL. Montreal Expo infielder Bret Barberie got chili pepper juice in his eye and missed a game. Hockey player Dustin Penner of the Los Angeles Kings takes the (pan)cake, though, wrenching his back earlier this year while leaning over to eat a stack of flapjacks. His back spasm caused him to miss one game.
Sneezing. Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa got back spasms from sneezing in 2004 and was never the same player again (he even turned white after he retired). Pitcher Mat Latos tried to learn from Sosa's example on the dangers of the sneeze, attempting to suppress the one he felt coming in July 2010. Latos strained muscles in his left side and wound up on the DL anyway.
Vomiting. Most of us feel better after we throw up, but not baseball’s Kevin Mitchell (yes, the same Mitchell from the earlier item) and Josh Outman. Both strained rib muscles while puking and had to be placed on the DL. Mitchell’s injury occurred in 1992, while Outman’s happened in April.
Playing video games. NBA star Lionel Simmons missed several games of the 1991 season from tendonitis suffered while playing his Nintendo GameBoy. Detroit pitcher Joel Zumaya may have been a Guitar Hero, which cost him a chance to be a baseball hero in the 2006 ALCS. He missed three games due to injuries to his elbow and forearm due to aggressive strumming on his PlayStation 2. Apparently he was attempting to play Buckethead on advanced.
Chopping wood – in the locker room. When the Jacksonville Jaguars started 0-3 in 2003, coach Jack Del Rio put an axe and a stump of wood in the locker room and implored his team to “keep chopping wood.” It turns out that his players were still better at football than lumberjacking. Punter Chris Hanson took aim at the stump, but whacked his non-kicking foot instead and missed the rest of the season. Del Rio finally got the axe himself, a few years too late for Hanson.
Participating in the coin toss. Call this one the Anton Chigurh Award for career-ending coin toss. Offensive tackle Turk Edwards’ career was good enough to make the Hall of Fame, but it might have been better if he hadn’t been the Washington Redskins’ captain in 1940. Edwards called the coin toss and shook hands with Giants’ captain Mel Hein, but when he turned toward the sideline, his cleat caught in the turf and his knee buckled. He never played again.
Yelling at teammates. Words hurt, especially when you scream them with such force that you dislocate your jaw, as Manchester United goalie Alex Stepney did in 1975. If you're a python swallowing a deer, a dislocated jaw is an advantage. Otherwise, not so much.
Sleeping. All sorts of potential dangers await the slumbering athlete. Former baseball player Glenallen Hill, an arachnophobe, had a nightmare in 1990 involving spiders and consequently tumbled down the stars and slammed into a glass table. He sustained multiple cuts and required a stay on the disabled list. Thank God he steered clear of the bed pillows, or it might have been worse: former MLB pitcher Terry Mulholland scratched his eye on a loose feather in 2005, and Detroit catcher Brandon Inge went on the DL a few years later (2008) when he pulled an oblique while adjusting a pillow. Former Tigers pitcher Denny McLain once awoke from his slumber with two dislocated toes in 1967. Then, there’s "sleeping." Milan AC midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng earlier this year had a muscular lesion on his left thigh. His model girlfriend attributed it to “too much sex.”
Ironing shirts. This possible injury is shrouded in mystery. As legend has it, former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz burned himself back in 1990 while ironing his shirt. But that’s not the weird part. The story goes that Smoltz was wearing the shirt when he decided to iron it and not surprisingly burnt himself. Smoltz, of course, denies that it ever happened. And he’s probably telling the truth. Probably.
Purdue basketball players have put out a new video showing that they're keeping their skills sharp during the off season. Players Dru Anthrop and D.J. Byrd are joined by former player and now student assistant coach Ryne Smith at Mackey Arena, where they're showing off their best trick shots. The shots range from far-off bombs behind the basket to one hoppers from the stands.
Each week Athlon Sports looks back at the previous week's best baseball players in the American and National Leagues and recaps the most outstanding pitching performances. Here are last week's — June 25-July 1 — standouts.
AL Player of the Week
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
The first baseman-turned-third baseman did his best work in bunches last week. He had three games with three or more hits, including 3-for-4, 4-for-5 and 3-for-3 games. He batted .462 and tied for the AL lead with six RBIs. Cabrera scored five times.
AL Pitcher of the Week
Phil Hughes, New York
With both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte injured, the Yankees were desperate for quality starting pitching. Hughes responded in a big way, tossing eight shutout innings against the Indians, and followed that with eight strong innings vs. the White Sox, allowing just a couple of runs. He totaled 12 strikeouts in his 16 innings of work for the week.
NL Player of the Week
Ryan Zimmerman, Washington
Mired in a season-long funk, Zimmerman emerged with the best week in the National League. He hit .364 with a 1.158 OPS. He enjoyed four multi-hit games and three multi-RBI games. Zimmerman, who plays exceptional defense, had seven extra-base hits and reached base in every game via a hit or walk.
NL Pitcher of the Week
Mat Latos, Cincinnati
Latos entered the week with a 5.20 ERA, tossed a pair of complete games last week, allowing just one run in each contest. He set down the Brewers on four hits, including a solo homer, then won at San Francisco, 2-1, by giving up just two hits. His weekly ledger reads: 2-0, 1.00 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 18 IP, 6 hits, 2 walks and 20 Ks.
Who needs a glove? During last night's game between San Diego and Houston, a young fan made an awesome foul ball grab using his tub of popcorn. It was a sweet catch. Check out his excitement in the video below.
The New York Nicks' Carmelo Anthony celebrated the unveiling of his wax statue at Madame Tussaud's in New York by having some fun with visitors. Carmelo pretended to be his wax figure, scaring visitors who stopped by to look. Result? Awesomeness.
If you'll recall Troy Polamalu played an identical prank last year.
In what seemed to be an amazing grab by Yankee outfielder Dewayne Wise last night as he lept into the left-field stands to snag a foul ball, turned out to be nothing more than a great acting job… or gross incompetence by the umpire. The ump, who called it an out, never asks to see the ball, not to mention there's a fan five feet away jumping up and down holding up the ball.
Later, the Indians Jack Hannahan, who hit the foul ball, points out to the ump that Wise didn't have the ball in his glove and the ump tosses him from the game. Hilarious. It'll likely be one of the greatest blown calls of all time. See for yourself.
Tennessee Titan defensive end Kamerion Wimbley brought some serious game to the American Ninja Warrior 2012 Southeast Regional Semi-Finals in Miami recently. Watch as the 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound Wimbley makes the crazy obstacle course look like a Sunday stroll through the park. The reality TV show airs Sunday nights on the G4 Network and Mondays on NBC.
Comedian Bill Murray was spotted at a minor league game in Charleston, S.C., on Sunday. During a long rain delay Murray took to the field of the Charleston RiverDogs (he's part-owner of the team) and had some fun entertaining the crowd. Fans of the RiverDogs, a Class-A affiliate of the Yankees, seem to approve.
Chad Ochocinco was released by the New England Patriots yesterday, but it seems he has a pretty good sense of humor about the whole experience. On his Twitter bio Ochocinco, who has nearly 3.5 million followers, says he's now an "Unemployed Black Guy…." In addition to the new bio, he also posted a new photo of himself sitting on a suitcase with his thumb out looking for a ride.
If you haven't noticed it yet, Google has a new feature for celebs and athletes. When you type in a name, Google will pull in a short bio and photo on the right-hand side for you. Of course, it doesn't always work so well.
Case in point is Harrison Barnes, the University of North Carolina standout who entered the NBA Draft this year. Check out Barnes' results below or try it yourself in Google.
Kate Upton has a new behind-the-scenes bikini video for her latest photoshoot for Beach Bunny swimwear. And yes, it is spectacular. Check out the video below and enjoy some shots of Upton on the beach.
The UFC show "The Ultimate Fighter" had its live finale in Las Vegas last Friday and didn't disappoint in the lightweight contest. During the third and final round, Justin Lawrence landed a crazy kick to the head of John Cofer, knocking him out in spectacular fashion.
During last night's Giants-Marlins game, Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton threw a rocket toward home plate, but nearly took off the head of teammate Logan Morrison in the process. OK, we exaggerate slightly, but check out their reactions in the video below as Morrison ends up on his butt.
The Chicago Cubs' Tony Campana put on quite a base-running display yesterday against the Astros. While heading to third, Campana, a pinch runner, dove over Matt Downs to reach third base safely. It was awesome, as you can see below from two different angles.
Each week during the season Athlon Sports looks at the best and worst baseball teams in the league. Here's our MLB Power Rankings for May 14, 2012.
1. Rangers—Firing on all cylinders once again.
2. Dodgers—Team’s worst fear: Matt Kemp leaves game injured.
3. Braves—Pitching was expected, but offense has been surprising.
4. Rays—10 of next 13 games vs. Blue Jays and Red Sox.
5. Orioles—At some point we have to start taking the O’s seriously.
6. Nationals—Tough loss at Cincinnati on Sunday allowing Reds to come back.
7. Yankees—David Robertson, Rafael Soriano splitting the closer’s job.
8. Cardinals—Go outside Central and get swept by Braves.
9. Reds—Making a charge behind former MVP Joey Votto.
10. Tigers—Can’t slump with Justin Verlander on the hill.
11. Blue Jays—Would be leading the AL Central, 2nd in West, but 4th in East.
12. Marlins—Walkoff granny by Giancarlo Stanton caps great week.
13. Indians—Derek Lowe is 5-1, 2.47 ERA; rest of starters: 8-11, 4.92.
14. Mets—David Wright still mashing at .400 clip.
15. Phillies—Hitters are 5th in NL in average, pitchers are 9th in ERA.
16. Giants—Six of Buster Posey’s last 15 starts have been at first base.
17. Diamondbacks—7-12 at home this season; 51-30 in 2011.
18. A’s—Bullpen ERA a run better than rotation’s.
19. Brewers—Starters are 2-2 with 2.51 ERA in May.
20. Angels—Lost two of three in key series at Texas.
21. Mariners—No. 1 and 2 hitters have combined to hit .221.
22. Red Sox—Improved April ERA of 5.54 to 4.38 so far in May.
23. Pirates—Andrew McCutchen hitting .448 in May, rest of team .190.
24. White Sox—No. 2 hitters are slugging .199.
25. Astros—Opponents are batting .207 over last seven days.
26. Rockies—Pitchers have a 6.19 ERA in May.
27. Royals—Batting average down, ERA up, but better record in May.
28. Cubs—One home run from Cubs outfielders this season.
29. Padres—Batting average improved from.215 in April to .234 in May.
30. Twins—Batting .184, slugging .272 this month.
Man, the Minnesota Twins have taken sucking to a whole new level. In the fourth inning of yesterday's game the Blue Jays' Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-out pop-up and, well, this happened.
Here are some of our favorite jokes about Wisconsin's biggest rivals.
• What does a Minnesota fan do when the Gophers win the BCS championship?
He turns off the PlayStation.
• What do medical marijuana and Iowa football have in common?
They both get smoked in bowls.
• What's the difference between a litter of puppies and Ohio State fans?
Eventually puppies grow up and stop whining.
• Did you hear that Minnesota's football team doesn't have a website?
The Gophers can't string three "Ws" together.
• Where was O.J. headed in the white Bronco?
Indiana. He knew that the police would never look there for a Heisman Trophy winner.
• Did you hear what happened to the Iowa fan when he found out that 90% of all car accidents occur within five miles of home?
• What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of an Iowa fan?
• The Foo Fighters are playing at TCF Bank Stadium this fall. They're 10-point favorites.
• You know you’re from Iowa if: Someone asks to see your ID and you show them your belt buckle.
• Things you will never hear a Minnesota fan say: I have reviewed your application.
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Here are some of our favorite jokes about Michigan State's biggest rivals.
• What's the difference between a litter of puppies and Michigan fans? Eventually puppies grow up and stop whining.
• Did you hear about the new honor system at Michigan? Yes, your Honor. No, your Honor.
• How many Michigan freshmen does it take to change a light bulb? None. That’s a sophomore course.
• How does a Minnesota fan count to 10? 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4…..
• How many Michigan fans does it take to change a flat tire? Just one . . . unless it’s a blowout, then they all show up!
• What do Michigan fans use for birth control? Their personalities.
• What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of a Nebraska fan? A tattoo.
• What do you call 20 Michigan fans skydiving from an airplane? Skeet.
• Things you will never hear a Michigan fan say: I just couldn’t find a thing at Walmart today.
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Here are some of our favorite jokes about Notre Dame's biggest rivals.
• What happens when Lane Kiffin takes Viagra? He gets taller.
• How many USC football players does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but he gets four academic credits for it.
• What's the difference between a litter of puppies and USC fans? Eventually puppies grow up and stop whining.
• What does the average USC football player get on his SAT? Drool.
• What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of a Michigan State fan? A tattoo.
• Did you hear about the new honor system at USC? Yes, your Honor. No, your Honor.
• What do USC fans use for birth control? Their personalities.
• What do you call 20 USC fans skydiving from an airplane? Skeet.
• Things you will never hear a Michigan State fan say: I have reviewed your application.
• Things you will never hear a Michigan fan say: I just couldn’t find a thing at Walmart today.
We love the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. And we really love it when they put on bikinis and go to some exotic land and take pictures for their 2013 Swimsuit Calendar. The best part is that in the past week they've shared tons of behind-the-scene shots of their escapades in Mexico on Twitter and Facebook. To save you the time of looking at the less bikini-clad shots, we rounded up our favorite shots from their fun in the sun. If this is any indication, the calendar is going to be amazing.
This is a cool visual that gives some historical comparisons of sports leagues around the world and each league's dominant teams. It's amazing to see how the Yankees have dominated MLB, and the Montreal Canadiens have dominated the NHL over the years. And let's not forget that the Bayern Munich appear to be unstoppable in the German Bundesliga...whatever the heck that is.
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Here are some of our favorite jokes about TCU's biggest rivals.
• What does a SMU fan do when the Mustangs win the BCS championship? He turns off the PlayStation.
• How many Baylor fans does it take to change a flat tire? Just one . . . unless it’s a blowout, then they all show up!
• Where was O.J. headed in the white Bronco? Texas Tech. He knew that the police would never look there for a Heisman Trophy winner.
• What's the difference between a litter of puppies and Texas fans? Eventually puppies grow up and stop whining.
• Why don’t Texas Tech fans eat barbecue beans? Because they keep falling through the holes in the grill.
• What do you call a beautiful woman on the arm of a Baylor fan? A tattoo.
• Did you hear what happened to the Texas fan when he found out that 90% of all car accidents occur within five miles of home? He moved.
• Did you hear that Texas Tech's football team doesn't have a website? The Red Raiders can't string three "Ws" together.
• Things you will never hear a Baylor fan say: I have reviewed your application.
• You know you’re from Lubbock if... Someone asks to see your ID and you show them your belt buckle.
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TCU Horned Frogs Top 10 Players for 2012
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Here are some of our favorite jokes about the Louisville Cardinals' biggest rivals.
• How many Kentucky football players does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but he gets four academic credits for it.
• The Foo Fighters are playing at Commonwealth Stadium this fall. They're 10-point favorites.
• What does the average Kentucky football player get on his SAT? Drool.
• What does a Kentucky fan do when the Wildcats win the BCS championship? He turns off the PlayStation.
• A man in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and asks, "Wanna hear a Kentucky joke?" The guy next to him replies, "Look, fella, I'm six feet tall, 200 pounds, and I'm a Kentucky grad. The guy next to me is 6-2, 225, and he's a Kentucky grad. The big dude next to him is 6-5, weighs 250, and he's a Kentucky grad. You still wanna tell that joke?" The first man replies: "Not if I'm gonna have to explain it three times."
• What do you call a Wildcat in a BCS bowl game? A referee.
• How does a Kentucky fan count to 10? 0-1, 0-2, 0-3, 0-4…
• What do Kentucky fans use for birth control? Their personalities.
• How do you get a Kentucky graduate off your front porch? You pay for the pizza.
• What do you call 20 Kentucky fans skydiving from an airplane?
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