Forward Glen Davis proved once again that professional athletes — while some of the most skilled physical specimens in the world — are often times the subject of some of the most embarrassing moments imaginable.
Davis, who broke his thumb fighting with a childhood friend last week, is the latest addition to the list of idiotic, incredible and almost unimaginable injuries suffered by professional athletes in recent years.
Despite the thousands of ACL injuries that have occurred on the field of battle, some of the more famous ACL tears go to such players as kicker Bill Gramatica, who suffered his celebrating a first-half field goal and outfielder Milton Bradley, who snapped his while being restrained by his manager, Bud Black, as he was arguing a call with an umpire.
Who can blame the Rockies’ Clint Barmes for pulling the old fall-down-the-stairs-and-break-your-collarbone-because-you-were-carrying-too-much-frozen-venison-that-teammate-Todd-Helton-offered-as-a-gift injury?
There’s also the standard motorcycle/dirt bike injury mastered by Ben Roethlisberger, Jeff Kent, Kellen Winslow Jr., Ron Gant and Jay Williams.
While no off-field mishap will ever top Plaxico Burress’ self-inflicted gunshot wound, here are the remaining top 10 off-field sports injuries, any of which could henceforth be known as “Pulling a Plax”.
10. Slammin’ Sammy’s Sneeze
Sammy Sosa may have been two sneezes away from recording seven straight 40-plus home run seasons. In 2004, the Cubs slugger missed an entire month because of back spasms brought on by two sneezes in the clubhouse prior to a May contest with the Padres.
9. Joe vs. the Snowblower
Joe Sakic will go down as one of the best centers of this era, but don’t ask the former Avalanche captain to help out with snow removal. In 2008, Sakic decided to return for his 20th NHL season, and although he was sidelined for roughly a month with a herniated disc, Sakic shelved himself for another three months when he broke three fingers trying to pull snow away from his snowblower. The reliable Avs forward would never lace ‘em up again.
8. Trot’s Road Trip
Trot Nixon missed a major portion of the 2004 World Series season because of a lost battle against a road trip. After a career year in 2003, the Red Sox’ right fielder opted to drive from his home in North Carolina to Fort Myers, Fla., rather than fly down. The long drive reportedly led to herniated discs, causing Nixon to land on the disabled list. He then sat out all but 48 games of that magical campaign as he aggravated his quadriceps trying to return too early.
7. Big Baby’s Thumb War
Just because you’re Glen Davis’ best friend doesn’t give you a free pass to say what you want about his girlfriend. Shawn Bridgewater, a former high school teammate of Davis, was intoxicated and “continually bothering” Davis’ girlfriend as they were returning from a night out. Davis became fed up with what he was hearing and let Bridgewater have it. While both brawlers came away bleeding, Davis suffered a broken thumb, sidelining him for more than a month of the season.
6. Rib-Snapping Vomit
Both Tom Glavine and Kevin Mitchell are rumored to have suffered broken ribs due to severe vomiting. Glavine pitched through a broken rib during the 1992 season, an ailment rumored to have occurred after violent vomiting thanks to an in-flight meal.
5. Nice Ups, Tony
Tony Allen’s post-whistle dunk attempt in January of 2007 permanently cost him future height on his jumps. The forward, who was tearing it up in his third NBA season, tore his ACL during the uncontested dunk attempt during a blowout Celtics loss to the Pacers. Allen was averaging more than 11 points per game that season, a number he hasn’t been able to replicate since.
4. Boot Scoot Boo-Boo
Former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs had one of the smoothest left-handed strokes in the game, but Boggs, a Hall of Famer, wasn’t so graceful when it came to handling footwear. Boggs reportedly sprained his lower back in the mid-1980s while pulling off cowboy boots when the Red Sox were in Toronto for a series against the Blue Jays.
3. Detroit Rocked City
Joel Zumaya can throw a baseball over 100 mph, but after hours of rocking out to “Guitar Hero” on PlayStation 2, the Tigers’ reliever couldn’t out-throw Pat Benatar. Zumaya, a 22-year-old rookie at the time, missed three games of the 2006 ALCS due to an inflamed wrist and forearm in his throwing arm from constantly playing the interactive rock ’n’ roll video game.
2. Smoltz’s Perm Press
John Smoltz will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when his time comes, but the legendary Braves righty will never catch praise from Martha Stewart. Smoltz once suffered a chest injury after burning himself while ironing a shirt — the very shirt he was wearing. The pitcher refutes the story, but even if it never happened, it's still funny.
1. Spider Sense
Spiders are scary — just ask 13-year MLB veteran Glenallen Hill, who shook off an early bout with arachnophobia in just his second major league season. In 1990, the outfielder showed up to the Blue Jays’ clubhouse on crutches and with cuts all over his body. How did it happen? He told reporters he was dreaming that spiders had attacked him, causing him to crash through a glass table as he attempted to escape them.
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