The 10 Dumbest Sporting Injuries

It might be okay to fake something like this in middle school gym class, but when you’re a pro athlete? Not so much.

When athletes start missing games because of luggage-based finger injuries – looking at you, Gary Neal of the Spurs – it’s time to reassess just how tough these so-called tough guys are. Honestly, it might be okay to fake something like this in middle school gym class to get out of running the mile, but when you’re a pro athlete? Not so much.

10. Kevin Kyle

When you’re a guy, the last place you ever want to sustain an injury is in or around your penal region. So when Kyle, the current Rangers F.C. striker, had a cup of boiling water kicked on him by his eight-month old baby back in 2006, every single guy could probably hear his squeal of pain. Looks like trying to get that kid to practice his kicking didn’t pay off too well for the Kyle family.

9. Matt Holliday

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During a game in 2011, the All-Star outfielder was forced to leave a game because a moth flew deep into his ear, causing us to add yet another entry to our list of “Things We Didn’t Even Realize We Were Supposed To Be Terrified Of.” No one really knows what happened to the thing, but we’re sure that the term “Earmuffs” doesn’t mean the same thing to Holliday as it does the rest of us.

8. Ken Griffey Jr.

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“Junior” was one of the most feared players in the entire league during his prime, but once he got shipped off to his hometown of Cincy to play for the Reds, shit just started to go downhill for him thanks to slumps and injuries. His most embarrassing moment came courtesy of his cup, which apparently pinched (that’s “pinched” – not “crushed” or “walloped” or “kersplatted,” just “pinched”) his nut hard enough to make him leave the game. This guy does not the get the pre-drug scandal Lance Armstrong seal of approval.

7. Bill Gramatica

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Note to Gramatica: You were a kicker! A fucking kicker! We guarantee only a third of your teammates even knew your name at best. And though kickers are important in deciding who wins and loses football games, celebrating your first quarter attempt against the Giants like you just kicked the game-winner in the Super Bowl is a douche move even when you don’t end up tearing your ACL by jumping up and down like a hyperactive 5-year-old. Hell, even if Vinatieri did this, he’d still get shit for it.

6. John Smoltz

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At first glance, Smoltz appears to be a smart dude: He’s well-spoken (as shown by his analyst gig on TBS), and a future Hall of Famer who just so happens to fancy himself on the golf course, too. But then word got out that he somehow burned himself while ironing a shirt…that he was still wearing. He’s denied that this actually happened ever since, but when you see the quote that immediately followed the incident, well, sorry Smoltzy, we think you’re burned on this one.

5. David Seaman

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British soccer goalie David Seaman already has to deal with the fact he looks like a cross between a ’70s porn star and the guy from the Pringles box, but his real moment of shame came when he somehow managed to break a bone in his hand. Not by stopping some powerhouse penalty kick or diving too close to the bars of his goal: No, he was – wait for it – reaching for the TV remote. Yeah, we’re not sure how in the hell that happens either, unless maybe you’re a Cleveland sports fan throwing the remote in disgust.

4. Kevin Johnson


There have been some nasty injuries in basketball over the years. Remember poor Tony Allen’s missed dunk after the whistle? It’s easy to see how something as simple as coming down wrong might really derail a career. But what about when your teammates fuck you up by trying to celebrate? That’s what happened to pint-sized guard Kevin Johnson: After hitting a game-winner, he got squeezed so hard by Suns teammate “Round Mound of Rebound” Charles Barkley, it dislocated his damn shoulder. Barkley’s done some dumb shit in his day, but this one takes the cake (and then squeezes that cake to death).

3. Joel Zumaya

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When you’re a pitcher who throws heat like Zumaya used to – consistently topping out at over 100 mph – you’d think your career might ultimately end due to some kind of inevitable pitching-related arm strain. Not so: Zumaya’s career ground to a halt thanks to an injury caused by his love of Guitar Hero, which damaged his elbow so badly that he was never able to recover. See kids? Video games are bad for you. Especially fucking Guitar Hero.

2. Chris Hanson

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During the 2003 NFL season, Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio used the term “Keep Chopping Wood” to get the team to stay focused and motivated throughout the season, even going so far as to keep an axe and wooden block in the locker room to remind them. Unfortunately, for Chris Hanson – who, let’s face it, already has it bad enough sharing a name with this guy – this was too much temptation to bear, and he took a swing at the wood, missed, and sliced open his non-kicking foot, causing him to miss the rest of the season. We’re guessing he’s not a big fan of motivational techniques these days.

1. Marty Cordova

Everyone likes to look like they’ve got a little color – especially during a gloomy winter – so when the former major leaguer took himself to a tanning salon while playing for the Orioles in 2002, it probably wasn’t such a big deal. Of course, that was before he fell asleep in the damn tanning bed, and was told by team doctors that he was too burnt to be in direct sunlight. When you fail at something that even the cast of Jersey Shore can handle on a regular basis, it’s time to seriously reconsider what you’re doing with your life. 

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