Baseball is hibernating. The NHL is willing itself out of existence. College football is winding down to the BCS Championship and bunch of other irrelevant bowl games. The NFL is about to enter the final stretch before the playoff field is settled, leaving most of the country broken-hearted (or just peeved).
So, most sports fans are left with basketball and soccer. Which is fine, but not good enough.
And, God help us, winter is just around the corner.
Jeez. There is only so much time you can spend watching SportsCenter or NFL LIVE before your brain begins to tune out the whimsical, yet insightful, musings of Trey Wingo and the absolutely deranged and unhinged shenanigans of Mark Schlereth.
What is a sports fanatic supposed to do? How about to dive head first into the weird, the bizarre and completely and awesomely random moments in sports?!
Sounds epic, yes? Some are disturbing epic, but I prefer to focus on the hilariously epic.
Can you even imagine that, just over a decade ago, if a raccoon skittered across the outfield of some tiny town's AA baseball team in the third inning, the only people who would have witnessed it would have been the butts in the seats? #Travesty
Today, it goes viral and gets a million views on YouTube. #Legendary
These are the 25 Funniest Freak Occurrences in Sports.
Something tells me that friendly political banter isn't exactly the norm on NFL sidelines.
Actually, I watch mic'd up specials on the NFL Network all the time, and I know for dang sure that's not what's going on down there.
In a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster explains to the referee that his two colleagues weren't getting into it on the field, but rather having a civilized discussion about the (once) upcoming presidential election.
Oh, Arian. :)
When I was initially filling in this slideshow with videos and temporary slide names, before filling in all of this rich and glorious content, I tentatively named this slide "Mexico Baseball Pig."
That kinda says it all.
In May 2006, during a Liga del Pacifico baseball game in Mexico, a pig, who was part of some type of promotional event, got loose and started running laps around the field. He may never have been caught if the chicken mascot hadn't thrown his chicken head at the pig to stop him.
Seriously. That happened. WTF is going on in Mexico.
Nobody expects much when the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors are playing—because they are not particularly good at basketball.
But in November 2010, both teams managed to turn that whole assertion on its ear by finally giving their audience something worth watching.
A chucker of air balls for the Warriors tossed up a shot that didn't get anywhere near a score, thanks to a Knicks block, instead landing squarely on the clock above the basket.
I feel like that whole scene is an analogy for Knicks basketball of the last two decades...if it had happened in reverse.
San Francisco's Candlestick park really lived up to its name in December 2011 when an off-site transformer issue caused two separate blackouts during a 49ers game against the Steelers. It was a particularly big deal, being that the game was on Monday night.
The first outage delayed the start of the game for approximately 30 minutes.
The second outage, which came during the second quarter, delayed it again for approximately 15 minutes.
It was definitely a nuisance, but everyone seemed relatively amused.
In July 2009, a horrifying swarm of bees showed up at PETCO Park, just in time for the ninth inning of the Houston Astros/San Diego Padres game. The bees literally look over left field, and the game was delayed for nearly an hour.
Best local bee pun? NBC San Diego: "Un-Bee-Lieveable"
Kudos, NBC. Kudos.
I'm a Steelers fan, so I was subjected to the November 2007 crapfest against the Miami Dolphins that shall forever be known as "The Rain Game." At the time I was living in Pittsburgh and can personally attest to the miserable conditions on game day.
There had been a torrential downpour for hours before to the game, and lightning delayed the start. The field had been re-sodded just days prior after a series of high school games had left the original in tatters. The end result of this was 60 of the most boring minutes of football ever played—and a 3-0 Steelers victory.
The only highlight of the game is depicted in this video—the ground calling for a fair catch on this particular punt.
We've all been there before. Just trying to catch a wave on a nice sunny day somewhere on some coast, where you aren't likely to contract botulism or hepatitis C. Rocking the wetsuit and just loving life.
Things are absolutely amazing, until some rogue duck lands on your board and harshes your buzz.
I'm just kidding, obviously. Almost none of us have been there before. I certainly haven't. I live in Washington, D.C., and the Potomac smells like hot garbage juice, and I can't even swim.
This would never happen to me, but I think it would be awesome if a duck just landed on my shoulder while I was wandering around K Street.
If there's anything we've learned in the last year, it's that head injuries are a serious issue. Gone are the days when we could laugh at people staggering around like drunks after getting violently smashed in the skull.
OMG I'm just kidding people—if you ever laughed at that kind of thing, you are a very bad person. Head injuries are no laughing matter, but two dudes getting their helmets stuck together sure is.
In 2008 two high schools in Wyoming played a football game, and I have no idea what happened—nor do I care, aside from these 22 glorious seconds.
In May 2010 the Quad Cities River Bandits faced off with the Beloit Snappers in a battle for supremacy of...who the eff are these guys. Nobody freak out, I'm just kidding. They are minor league baseball teams.
If you're like me and don't care a lick about minor league baseball teams, the only thing that can make a game worth watching is when an animal appears as if from nowhere to disrupt one.
That's exactly what one ballsy and fast-as-hell rabbit did on this fine day.
The only thing better than the rabbit's antics is the hilarious running commentary by Tommy Thrall and Kyle Grand. "A rabbit is loose. A rabbit running around the field...this should be fun!"
And fun it was. I want those guys to narrate my life.
We all know there are few things on this planet of ours funnier than when someone (anyone who isn't you) gets pooped on by a bird. This kid in my high school got pooped on during a class trip to the aviary, and it was one of the funniest things ever.
In October 2012, poor Paul Robins of FOX40 was just like that kid in my high school, only his poop-cident was caught on live television.
But he managed to kill the next few minutes on-air like a pro—which is more than I can say for his co-anchor Bethany Crouch, who was wearing a panda carcass on her head.
In November 2012, Liverpool fans got an unwanted halftime surprise during a match against Newcastle, courtesy of a faulty sprinkler at Anfield. The sprinkler malfunctioned for over 30 seconds, soaking the first 20+ rows of the section.
All that for a 1-1 draw. Hardly seems worth it.
In one of the most famous WTF incidents in sports history, (then) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson hit a dove with a pitch in March 2001, killing the poor unsuspecting fowl instantly. The Big Unit's deadly pitch came during the seventh inning of a victory against the San Francisco Giants.
Catcher Rod Barajas was in awe of the whole event, describing it as an "explosion." Many thought it was funny, or at least stunning, but Johnson himself was unmoved by the event, stating: "I didn't think it was all that funny."
Big surprise. Do you think Randy Johnson has ever thought anything was all that funny? Me either.
In April 2012, a high school pitcher in Illinois did his best Randy Johnson impression, nailing an innocent bird with a pitch.
Or at least almost nailing it.
The pitcher definitely makes contact with the bird, as you can see in the video, but the winged one manages to avoid a direct hit and flies off just a few feathers short.
I once obliviously stepped off a curb and came within two inches of a head-on collision with a bus. It was a horrifying incident that made me really introspective for awhile, pondering the fragility of life.
Something tells me that bird had less emotional scars.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sure have their share of problems. Their team is terrible, they don't have any fans and their owner Shahid Khan has a mustache that would make even Friedrich Nietzche nervous.
Maybe there's nothing they can do about the television blackouts and the large chunks of the stadium blocked off with tarps—I really don't know. But there is something they can do about their idiot mascot "Jaxson" (see what they did there?) embarrassing himself and the entire city of Jacksonville.
Check out his "big" entrance via bungee in 2009. It plays out in pretty much the same way most Jags games do.
If you've ever visited YouTube or seen an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos, you're probably already aware that cats are completely insane. Even if you're a dog person, you have to respect the testicular fortitude of most cats and their innate ability to survive the most harrowing of situations—all of which they put themselves in willingly.
In August 2009, just one in a billion crazy cats took to the field to frolic in the fifth inning of an MLB game between the Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners.
Initially, the cat looks amused while running around Kauffman Stadium. Then it looks a little scared. Then it shifts to visible anger.
Naturally that cat, who appeared out of nowhere, manages to escape into nowhere without getting caught.
As if you didn't already think pole vaulting was one of the crazier sports out there. I mean, what kind of kid decides he wants to devote his life to flinging himself into the air with a bendy pole while wearing spandex?
Maybe I was just a really practical kid, but this seemed like a high-risk, low-reward opportunity on the high school track team. South African decathlon athlete Willem Coertzen demonstrates that point in this video.
That bendy pole is supposed to be his best friend, the only thing separating him from a skull-first collision with the ground. Instead, it snaps like a twig, leaving Coertzen dazed…and probably angry.
In November 2012, a hilarious glitch from God in the sprinkler system at Sun Life Stadium in Miami caused a surprise third quarter delay in the Dolphins/ Seattle Seahawks game. The delay was as brief as it was hysterical.
I'm pleased to report that no lives were lost during the sprinkler incident...just a little dignity.
It's time for all of you people out there who think golf is "boring" to eat your words. Unless you think two alligators battling to the death before your very eyes is boring, in which case you are clearly the problem here.
In May 2011, an absolute lunatic named Brian Bradberry came upon two alligators trying to kill each other on a golf course and decided the best course of action was to get as close to possible to the raging reptiles.
And for that, we thank him.
*Just a note: This happened in Florida. Of course it happened in Florida.
Way back in 1996, before YouTube was even invented and the Internet was basically just AOL and CompuServe, an incident happened during an Auburn/Alabama football game that would have instantly gone viral today.
After Auburn player Robert Baker scores a touchdown against his beloved Bulldogs, adorably hostile Georgia mascot UGA steps in and gives Baker a piece of his mind. Actually, he gives him a piece of his mouth, seemingly trying to bite him square in the crotch.
That's why they call it the "Dirty South."
Oh! By the way! There is a commemorative poster of this moment available to purchase for the low, low price of $184.95. Which is insane. Contact me, personally, if you want to purchase this and I'll do it for a fraction of the price.
Major League Baseball is OCD about keeping everything related to baseball off YouTube, and the Interwebs in general, so I'm kind of surprised this one even exists. Actually, now that I've mentioned it, expect it to be "deleted by user" within minutes.
Whatever, though. There's nothing that potty-mouthed Bud Selig can do to take away from the amazing performance this squirrel put on during a White Sox/Indians game in Cleveland in 2009.
I'm not sure if it's rabid or what, but this fuzzy little bugger stole the show with his slow-motion army crawl.
A big kudos to the Cleveland announcers for their sarcastic comments! I couldn't have done it better myself.
On the players trying to catch the squirrel: "Yeah, good luck with that."
I literally said that out loud the first time I watched this video.
There are few things that I love more than irony mixed with a near-death experience, and this clip brings them both together in glorious fashion.
In July 2010, minor league baseball team the Tacoma Rainiers found themselves facing a rain delay—big shocker.
I know Washington is known for being rainy, but when you actually name your team after the rain, you're just asking for trouble.
The Rainiers mascot, Rhubarb the Reindeer (don't even get me started), decided to participate in baseball's time-honored tradition of pulling out the giant field umbrella at the slightest sign of rain.
A decision that almost cost him his life. Rhubarb hit the dirt halfway through the tarp thing, and the grounds crew, needing to keep their momentum, just left him there to die.
Eventually he managed to work himself out of his plastic death prison, no thanks to any of his colleagues.
If you live anywhere near the ocean, psychotic seagulls are just a fact of life. They are always around just staring and plotting and preening and trying to take your bag of potato chips. Seagulls are shockingly scary, for such diminutive-looking birds, and have a knack for survival.
The gulls in the Bay Area all know that one of the best places to feast is in the immediate aftermath of a Giants game at AT&T Park. Unfortunately, based on this video, they also seem to be acutely aware of when a game goes one inning longer than it should.
Which means they are smarter than we think, and since we're already scared of them, they're going to take over the world soon enough.
Oh! And the announcer's Finding Nemo ("Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!") reference literally made me LOL, which is very rare.
In March 2011, a Brazilian police dog decided he had enough of being a Brazilian police dog and decided he wanted to be a Brazilian soccer player instead.
Who can blame him? Better hours, better pay, more money and all the broads you can handle.
The dog, named Agil, was patrolling the stadium during a game between Ituiutaba and Uberlandia when he decided to make his big career move. Agil stormed the pitch and even managed to intercept the ball from a player before crushing holes in it.
The dog definitely showed some promise. Maybe the U.S. men's soccer team should get on the horn to recruit him.
In April 2010, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals minor league baseball team did a cross promotion with a local animal shelter. The main event was the appearance of the "Iams Adoptable Pet of the Game," a seven-month-old Beagle mix named Mona.
She was escorted out onto the field during the game at some point, but it turned out that she wasn't exactly prepared to give up her newfound fame. Mona managed to escape her handlers more than once and took a few victory laps around the field before popping a squat at center field to take a poop.
Then she celebrated her public poop with a few more victory laps before her bumbling handlers finally managed to get a hold on her. Something tells me Mona wasn't adopted that day.
Did you know that mule racing was…like…a thing…in Brazil?
I wonder if we should expect this to be added as an event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In any event, in 2008, Brazil celebrated its 20th Annual Running of the Mules in Vale do Paraiba.
Which means they'd had 19 of those things before and had decided to keep going—anyone else worried about the judgement here?
Roger Downey, one of the mule breeders, loves the horse/donkey hybrid because it combines the speed of a horse with the unpredictable anger of a donkey. It's that volatile mix that makes them far more unpredictable on the track than a horse. And exactly why reporter Thiago Zogbi should have maintained a safe distance from the track.
In this Animal Planet video, the narrator states that reporting just inches from the actions turned out to be the mistake of his life…but I looked it up, and he's still alive…so…I'm not calling them "liars" per se…but it seems like someone over there is quite fond of hyperbole.
They're also fond of puns, because the clip is called "Muled Over."
Any of you out there with unruly dogs who behave like absolute jagoffs at any and every opportunity will truly appreciate this clip. It's actually one of my favorite ridiculous Internet clips ever. I guess just because I could see two, maybe even three, of the dogs I've had in my life crash a high school track meet.
Dogs that do stuff like this have three things in common: a need for attention, a love of all living things and a desperate need to eat anything they can choke down their gullets.
You gotta love 'em.
If you want to see my dogs behaving like jagoffs on the regular, you're just going to have to hit me up on Twitter. Maybe I'll disappoint you (I won't). But maybe I won't (seriously).
You'll just have to find out for yourself.