The 15 Best Sports Pranks
While sports are taken (a little bit) too seriously at times, us fans are often reminded why they're actually so fun.
I'm not talking about your team winning titles every single year—though that should put a smile on your face—I'm referring to the pranks that athletes and coaches pull on each other to get a good laugh.
So while the guys might not make the Hall of Fame in their sport, they at least have a chance at earning the title of greatest prankster in sports history.
Pranking Manti Te'o
Kent Horner/Getty Images
His catfish-like hoax from last season is well-documented, but even when he isn't having some fake girlfriend call him, it seems his friends might be thinking about doing it.
As one might naturally expect after everything the linebacker has gone through involving phone calls over the past year, he was a little skeptical when an area code he recognized as being from California called.
And though this one isn't a prank per se, I'd imagine Te'o is more than gullible and has plenty of pranks coming his way after these two examples.
OK, so I know this one wasn't exactly real, but as another fellow wrote when it was first discovered as fake, the concept is absolutely badass.
Filmed for Pepsi earlier this year, there were plenty of us who thought that this thing was in fact real—which, if it had been, would have landed it close to the top of my list here.
As it stands, it was more of a prank on the viewers than that poor dude riding shotgun, but I'm cool with it.
The Clippers' Blake Griffin is one of the most exciting players in the NBA, often slamming any basketball that's within about 10 feet of the hoop.
He also happens to be one of the funniest too—as proof from his numerous commercials for GameFly and Kia.
Griffin showed he's funny while at work too though, as he pulled this little prank on an unassuming cameraman during a game last season.
And don't forget about him razzing good buddy and teammate DeAndre Jordan during postgame interviews either.
We've unfortunately seen this happen without it being a prank a couple times in the past few years with a couple SEC football recruits, but Florida coach Billy Donovan pulled the stunt out on his own.
During a rally for the back-to-back national champion Gators in '07, Donovan nonchalantly handed over what was believed to be the national title trophy.
Thankfully it was just a fake, as the thing was dropped, shattering all over the podium.
Reebok set up a prank a couple years ago where a few NFL players—DeSean Jackson and Jrue Holiday—acted as employees of the sports retail store Modell's. Former Patriot and current running back for the Chargers, Danny Woodhead decided to join in on the action.
There's just one problem with that—Woodhead actually looks like a sports retail employee.
Standing just 5'8" and rocking that chin goatee, poor Danny looks more like me than he does an NFL player.
It showed too, as it took quite a few people before someone finally recognized who he really was.
Golden State Warriors
Man, being in the NBA must be awesome.
Not only are you one of the best ballers in the world once you make it onto a roster, but you get to play basketball for a living.
Being a rookie though? That has some negatives.
Just talk to the Warriors' Kent Bazemore about that, as he was pranked hardcore by his teammates during training camp last year when they filled his car with popcorn.
Rookie hazing happens every single year in pretty much every single sport, so this isn't anything new, but it's still hilarious nevertheless.
Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett
Image via Associated Press
It wasn't their pitching that got them headlines as one of the better duos during that time though, as they pulled an epic prank on teammates Aaron Hill and Russ Adams during spring training.
Getting on the good friends Hill and Adams for hanging out so much, Burnett and Halladay decided to take things a step further. They got a plane to fly overhead with a sign that read, "Congratulations Aaron + Russ!" basically throwing a full-fledged wedding for their poor victims.
The Prank War Guys
I know, these guys work for "the enemy" over at CollegeHumor, but Amir and Streeter's pranks on each other are some of the best, most viral things I've seen since they started doing them years ago.
This one just so happens to be my favorite, as Amir actually buys into the fact that he'll be shooting a half-court shot at a college hoops game.
Of course, Streeter set it all up, telling the crowd to react as if Amir sunk the damn thing.
Being able to get 15,000 people involved in a prank is a pretty good way to embarrass another person, so job well done Streeter.
One must be careful when hanging around Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.
Being one of the best coaches from his days in the college ranks at Southern Cal, and now proving it with Seattle in the NFL, he still hasn't lost being young at heart.
He shows that more than often when he pulls some of the most memorable pranks by anyone in sports.
This one with Terrell Owens last year tricked the entire team... as did this one... and this one while at SC, so it's clear that Carroll has no filter for when and where he'll pull a quick one on guys.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Ryan Dempster might be in the news recently for picking up a suspension after throwing at Yanks' third baseman Alex Rodriguez earlier this week, but just a few years ago it was his funny side getting him publicity.
After being messed with by former teammate Will Ohman a few years back, Dempster got his revenge by not only removing all four tires from Ohman's car, but getting the bullpen coach from the opposing team involved in it, while having him go on a mission to track down the other three tires.
When a guy says you're the funniest guy on earth, you have to be good at pranking people.
Michigan State Football
This one's getting a lot of pub lately thanks to it being one of the more recent pranks, and in all fairness, it's actually a decent set up.
With Michigan State student Garrett Briningstool disguised as a mannequin outside of the Spartans' locker room at their training facility, coaches and players are scared—and a bit confused—when he jumps out at them while they walk by.
Football can be a scary sport, but I bet players didn't think it'd happen before they were even wearing a helmet and pads.
Ken Griffey Jr.
Although future MLB Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. is probably best remembered for being one of the most transcending sports stars of his era, one can't forget about the great sense of humor he had to match his skills.
This stunt on then manager Lou Piniella just so happens to be an MVP-like prank too.
After placing a bet with Piniella where the loser had to pay for for the winner's steak dinner, Griffey did Sweet Lou one better, delivering the entire cow rather than just a slab of meat on a plate.
It's one of the many memorable gaffes the center fielder pulled in his career.
Like Remi Gaillard, there have been other fans who have pulled off some hilarious pranks to get closer to the action than normal people, but I think Gaillard's still takes the cake.
Disguising himself as an FC Lorient player during the 2002 Coupe de France finals, he took part in the winners' celebrations and was greeted by then French president, Jacques Chirac.
Remi also participated in TV interviews, signs autographs for fans and holds the championship trophy that his "teammates" handed to him.
That takes some serious balls to even attempt, let alone pull off.
This was an entire team and organizational effort, showing that players, coaches and front office people can do great things when they're all in sync.
No, I'm not talking about winning a championship—though the Phillies did do that in the same year (2008)—I'm referring to the amount of people who set-up one of the greatest pranks to ever happen in sports history.
Thanks to Brett Myers, he got his manager, Charlie Manuel, general manager, Ruben Amaro, and the entire Phillies locker room to make fellow pitcher Kyle Kendrick believe that he was traded to a team in Japan for a fake player named Kobayashi Iwamura and $1.5 million.
That's some pretty priceless stuff.
NFL players are supposed to be these big and bad tough guys, but as we've seen when they get off the field, some of them aren't anything more than big ol' softy pretty boys.
So when Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley decided to setup a fake photoshoot for fellow players Michael Turner, Marcedes Lewis and Steve Breaston for GQ Russia, it's pretty damn comical.
Going as far as hiring a fake staff as the players wore makeup and donned some interesting clothing, the guys had no idea everything was just a prank until the end.
I commend Woodley for his ability to sell the thing too.