With superstar Kevin Durant out for 6-8 weeks with a fractured foot and New York Giants wideout Victor Cruz out with a blown patella tendon, we look back at some of the strangest injuries we’ve ever seen. These bizarre circumstances make current injuries look routine.
Why 17? Because that’s the total number of the most bizarre injuries we’ve ever seen or read about.
Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports.
Photo Credit: Getty
Most Bizarre Injuries In Sports
17 Charles Barkley - Phoenix Suns, 1994
Injury: Blurred vision due to rubbing lotion.
Barkley blurred his vision after accidentally rubbing lotion in his eyes at an Eric Clapton concert. Points for watching Clapton, but next time be careful where you put that lotion, Sir Charles.
16 Sammy Sosa - Chicago Cubs, 2004
Injury: Sprained back ligament due to aggressive sneeze.
Yup, you read that right. Sluggin' Sammy missed time in 2004 due to... a sneeze. It looks like steroids can build up just about anything in your in body aside from immunity.
15 Marty Cordova - Baltimore Orioles, 2002
Injury: Burns to the face via tanning booth.
First man-rule broken: he went to a tanning booth. Second man-rule broken: he fell asleep inside a tanning booth. Both of those careless acts deserve some type of punishment, but maybe not to the extent of the burns the 1995 Rookie of the Year received. The outfielder was forced to sit a bunch of games not just from sheer embarrassment, but from incredibly painful burns to the moneymaker.
14 Chris Coghlan - Florida Marlins, 2010
Injury: Torn meniscus while attempting to give shaving cream pie to the face.
Shortly after a walk-off win against the Braves delivered by teammate Wes Helms, Coghlan decided it would be best to shove a shaving cream pie into his face following the contest, as such is tradition for many ballplayers in recent years. The outfielder said he landed on his knee after jumping with the cream pie, causing the injury. Lesson here: don't run with scissors... or shaving cream pies.
13 Clint Barmes - Colorado Rockies, 2005
Injury: Broken collarbone while falling down stairs carrying venison.
You would think a guy that gets paid millions of dollars to play baseball would be athletic enough to carry some deer meat up a flight of stairs, but not Clint. He did so while attempting to bring the venison as a gift to teammate Todd Helton.
12 Bill Gramatica - Arizona Cardinals, 2001
Injury: Torn ACL while celebrating field goal.
Doing his best Mario Brother impression, the former soccer player leaped in pure joy after making a 43-yard field goal during the first half of a regular season game. Impressive, but not incredibly noteworthy. There were no golden coins, mushrooms or fireballs with this jump. Upon landing, the kicker tore his ACL and lost the rest of his season.
11 Adam Eaton - San Diego Padres, 2001
Injury: Self inflicted stab wound to stomach while opening a new DVD.
Be careful with knives. More importantly, don't use them while trying to open something as benign as a DVD. The pitcher bought a new DVD and must have been determined to open it ASAP at all costs, taking a knife to it and stabbing himself in the process. Although we all love movies, we can all admit none deserve a stab to the stomach, unless of course the DVD was "Glitter."
10 Steve Sparks - Milwaukee Brewers, 1994
Injury: Dislocated shoulder while attempting to rip a phone book in half.
I guess hitters weren't the only baseball players during the 90s with the urge to become Hulk Hogan. The wave affected pitchers too. Sparks was a rookie just trying to break camp while trying to impress his teammates with the ol' "I can rip a phone book in half" routine. It went bad, very bad -- enough to dislocate his shoulder.
09 Joel Zumaya - Detroit Tigers, 2006
Injury: Right wrist -- too much Guitar Hero.
The Tigers made it all the way to the World Series in 2006, but not with too much help from one of their key pitchers. Zumaya missed critical time from playing too much Guitar Hero... so he says. Really, that's the best excuse you could give the media? Truth or not, it was bizarre.
08 Gus Frerotte - Washington Redskins, 1997
Injury: Self-sustained concussion via headbutt to wall.
Why would someone, anyone, headbutt a wall? Sober?... Why celebrating a touchdown, of course! The quarterback ran over near the fans following a touchdown and headbutted the wall so hard he nearly knocked himself out, landing himself in the hospital by half time. To his credit, it was against the Giants.
07 Chris Hanson - Jacksonville Jaguars, 2003
Injury: Laceration to leg via ax.
Hanson decided to go all Paul Bunyan as part of head coach Jack Del Rio's "keep choppin' wood" mantra that involved a tree stump and ax in the locker room. The goal was to have players take turns literally chopping wood to motivate the team to get a win. While most of the team was out of the locker room, Hanson took a stab at it -- pun intended. The team may not have cut him, but the ax sure did, leaving a gash in his leg deep enough to require emergency surgery and enough blood loss to feed a wave of vampires from your favorite teenage vampire romance novel.
06 Orlando Brown - Cleveland Browns, 1999
Injury: Shot to the eye via referee flag resulting in partial blindness.
The offensive tackle suffered one of the most bizarre and unlikely injuries ever sustained after referee Jeff Triplette inadvertently tossed his flag near Brown during a game against the Jaguars. The flag, weighted with BBs, not only made a beeline for Brown's face, but somehow managed to go straight through his helmet's face guard, striking him directly in the eye. Brown retaliated, shoving Triplette to the turf, and was suspended indefinitely by the NFL before news broke to everyone that Brown wasn't at fault. He was eventually reinstated and returned to the gridiron years later, helping the Baltimore ravens to the Super Bowl. The dude eventually got his eyesight back, but it wouldn't shock us if he were the first lineman with a phobia of penalty flags, which all of us wish were the case for every single player on our favorite team.
05 Darren Fletcher - Manchester United, 2008
Injury: Head wound, possible concussion due to falling toilet stall door.
The soccer star got hurt pretty bad after a toilet stall door came crashing down on him while -- we're all assuming -- he was on the john. But then again, boys have been known for restroom horseplay. Either way, talk about a crappy way to land on the Disabled List. What the hell actually happened in that bathroom? I'm not sure we'll ever know.
04 Bobby Cruickshank - Golfer, 1934
Injury: Knocked unconscious by own club after celebratory heave.
Because we can't find any pictures of obscure golfers of the Depression era, this is a picture of Thomas Bjorn tossing his club in the air -- same concept... The best way to tell this story is to let
LegendsRevealed explain: " Cruickshank was in the lead at the U.S. Open with only eight holes left to play. On the eleventh hole, Cruickshank misfired on a shot and the ball went careening into a creek. However, miraculously, the ball skipped over the water, hit a rock in the creek and then ricocheted BACK ON TO THE FIELD OF PLAY, coming to rest on the putting green! Naturally, Cruickshank was elated! SO elated that he threw his golf club up in the air in celebration! However, as the saying goes, 'what goes up must come down,' and the club did come down – right on Cruickshank’s head! The blow knocked the Scot unconscious." Cruickshank bogied his remaining holes upon consciousness and finished third.
03 Vince Coleman - St. Louis Cardinals, 1985
Injury: Rolled over by tarp resulting in bruised and chipped knee.
While thinking of ways to get taken out, 'rolled over by tarp,' usually doesn't cross one's mind. The famous Cardinals speedster was a rookie and in his first of three straight years of more than 100 stolen bases. You would think he could have outran an automatic tarp, but evidently he didn't see or hear it coming before a pivotal NLCS game against the Dodgers. You can watch one interview with Coleman
here, proving how it happened.
02 Glenallen Hill - Toronto Blue Jays, 1990
Injury: Self-inflicted cuts during spider infested nightmare.
Neurons that control physical movement get shut off to the spinal cord during REM sleep to prevent oneself from acting out their dreams. Unfortunately, such was not the case for Hill, who fell through a glass table trying to get away from the spiders overwhelming him in a nightmare. The only nightmare worse for baseball player -- aside from playing for the Cubs -- is hitting below the Mendoza line.
01 Clarence Blethen - Boston Red Sox, 1923
Injury: Leg (or ass, depending on story) laceration via own teeth
Of course, you're thinking, "but Josh, that's impossible."... Only something like this could happen in 1923. It may have been the "Deadball Era," but it doesn't mean it wasn't must-see TV. I mean, they didn't have television then, so it was simply, must-see?... Anywho, legend holds that Blethen wanted to intimidate his pitchers by taking out his false teeth during at-bats (I guess hygiene wasn't at the top of men's priorities back then), so he stored them in his back pocket. One game, while running from first base to second base in an attempt to break up a double play -- and forgetting he had his teeth in his back pocket -- Blethen slid hard into second base, resulting in his "teeth" literally biting his own ass. Stories describe the scene as a bloody mess. Don't worry, Clarence. It could have happened to any of us.