The Most Painful Celebrations in Sports
Despite what people like Joe Buck may have you believe, there's nothing wrong or unsportsmanlike with an athlete celebrating an accomplishment on the field. They may be getting paid the big bucks, but it's still a game!
There are only two ways to ruin a celebration and make it completely unacceptable. The first is being a terrible human being about it. The second is embarrassing yourself by stumbling and injuring yourself.
Which makes it doubly terrible if you're a terrible human being about it and you stumble and injure yourself or someone else. Thankfully most athletes don't have any problem keeping their dignity in this type of situation.
But we know there are exceptions to every rule. Here are a few such exceptions.
T.O. Is Too Much for Cowboys Safety
If anyone on this list had a little pain deservedly coming his way, it's former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens in a game against his future team, the Dallas Cowboys.
After scoring one touchdown for the Niners, T.O. sprinted straight for mid-field to celebrate his own glory smack-dab in the middle of the star at the 50-yard line. He got away with that one.
He pulled the exact same stunt later in the game after another touchdown. Except this time he was trailed by Cowboys safety George Teague, who ran Owens over in a cartoonish fashion.
T.O. jumped up like he was feeling no pain, because of course he did. He wouldn't be Terrell Owens if he did it any other way—but you always feel an unexpected takedown like that the next day.
Pirates Attempt to Celebrate
This year the Pittsburgh Pirates finally broke their epic losing streak, which saw them finish under .500 for 20 consecutive seasons. The longest losing streak of any professional sports franchise in North America.
Is it any wonder they didn't know how to celebrate a walk-off win back in 2010? Good things came few and far between for the Bucs, so you can't blame them for wanting to celebrate a win.
But you can blame them for awkwardly crashing into each other, sending one or two of them crashing into the dirt on the mound. Hopefully they get this all worked out before the playoffs this year.
Boley Bounces Ball off Boy's Face
In one of the most inexplicable celebrations most NFL fans have ever seen, Giants linebacker Michael Boley celebrated running back an interception for a touchdown against the Rams in a very unconventional way back in September 2011.
The incident wasn't as much painful for him as it was for the poor shmuck he drilled in the face with the football for no apparent reason. The unsuspecting kid in the backpack was an intern for the team at the time and you can bet he never saw that one coming.
Obviously, Boley was just caught up in the heat of the moment—most defensive players don't get to score touchdowns all that often—but if there anything worse than hurting yourself while celebrating, it's hurting someone else.
Always Run Your Own Victory Lap
At the 2009 Track and Field World Championships in Berlin, a female Jamaican sprinter celebrated the a victory by taking a victory lap that was offered to her by the weirdo bear mascot.
She jumped on board because…well…why wouldn't she? The bear takes off but then, as if scripted by the comedy gods themselves, quickly loses his footing and both parties come crashing to the ground.
Vernon Davis Injurs His...Ego
There are some celebrations gone wrong that hurt physically. Then there are those that fail to come together to such a degree that they actually hurt emotionally.
Such is the case with 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who scored a touchdown against the Packers back in September 2012. After scoring, he quickly jumped up and attempted to "dunk" the football over the goalpost.
He attempted…and failed. There's definitely a reason Davis is playing football, rather than basketball! You know this one had to have nicked up the ol' ego a bit.
Awkward Teenagers Are Awkward
There's nothing like ruining everything good that just happened by completely embarrassing yourself during a run-of-the-mill celebration. That's exactly what the high school basketball players in this video do.
Coming in for what looks like a brief timeout and maybe a substitution—it's definitely not the end of the game—a player goes in for a body bump with guy waiting for him near the sideline. Unfortunately for the guy waiting for him, the runner doesn't seem to understand the physics of the situation.
If someone gets a running start and comes in high with a jump on someone who is merely just standing there, the odds of either party landing on their feet are very slim. While the odds of the guy who is just standing there getting hurt and/or looking like a fool are great.
Nate Robinson Rebuffed by Paul Pierce
Poor Nate Robinson. In a game against the Knicks in December 2010 his former Celtics teammate Paul Pierce sunk a buzzer-beater against their New York rivals and all he wanted to do was share the moment.
Pierce, it seems, wanted the moment all to himself. After dodging Robinson the first time, allowing him to splat against him like a bird on a freshly cleaned window, Pierce ducked on the second attempt, letting his teammate sail over him completely.
Robinson went careening to the floor head first and at a very awkward angle. Thankfully he was uninjured, because that definitely could have been worse.
Thierry Henry Piles It on Opposing Goalie
In September 2010 New York Red Bulls' Thierry Henry celebrated a goal by teammate Mehdi Ballouchy in the best possible way—by taking out the opposing goalkeeper. Talk about adding injury to insult.
Joking, of course. Thierry wasn't targeting FC Dallas goalie Kevin Hartman, who suffered a ligament injury in his right knee as a result of the accidental contact.
Thierry apologized for the incident, but you know he was probably thinking "Better him than me…" Or maybe he's a much better person than me…which seems very possible.
MMA Fighter Wins, Feels Loser's Pain
MMA fights are relatively short and exceedingly brutal. Anyone who doesn't get beaten to a bloody pulp, walk away with a broken bone or end up unconscious probably feels like they're walking away with a minor win—even if they lose.
Of course, the winner usually walks away in much better shape than the loser. That's one of the excellent fringe benefits about being the winner. The winner of the fight in this video was all set to walk away pretty much unscathed…until he scathed himself.
By the end of his victory celebration, the loser was back on his feet and looking pretty good given the circumstances, but he was still trying to recover from a stunt that left him dazed and confused—and probably concussed.
Barber's Backflip Embarassment
In a game against the Panthers in October 2011, retired dud of a running back Marion Barber scored one of the few touchdowns of his career while playing for the Bears.
He decided to make an occasion of it—and who can blame him, because who knows if it would ever happen again—by attempting one of teammate Devin Hester's signature backflips.
Let's just say he didn't exactly stick the landing. Barber walked away with a bruised ego and likely a bruise dome to boot.
Bulldogs Wideout Lost for Season Celebrating Someone Else's TD
There were a lot of things that didn't go Georgia's way in their season opening loss to Clemson in September 2013. Of everything the Bulldogs would like to have back in that game, turning back the clock on wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell's ill-fated touchdown celebration has to be at the top of the list.
Their top wideout was lost for the remainder of the season after injuring the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while celebrating a touchdown in the first quarter. It wasn't even his own touchdown! Teammate Todd Gurley ran back a 75-yard TD and Mitchell just got a little too excited.
You can believe the rest of that Georgia team is going to be feeling the pain of that loss just as much, if not more, than Mitchell the rest of the season.
Gramatica's Goofy Celebration Costs Him
Kickers have a tough enough time in the NFL earning respect from the media, fans and even fellow players, who don't appreciate how important what they bring to the game really is.
Well…former Cardinals kicker Bill Gramatica certainly didn't do himself, or those of his ilk, any favors back in December 2001. That infamous celebration that saw him leap to the air in glory and crash back down to the ground with a torn ACL.
Maybe it would have been more acceptable had Gramatica just won the game, but he didn't. In fact, the field goal came early in the first half of the game and the three points scored weren't the first or last of the game. Of course that was Gramatica's last kick of the season.
That's One Way to Cap a Grand Slam
In May 2010 the Angels' Kendry Morales joined a very unfortunate club of athletes who have been seriously injured while celebrating on the field. We're not talking about tripping and falling on your face or a bruised ego here.
After hitting a walk-off grand slam, Morales was gleefully heading for home plate after rounding the bases. He decided to make things dramatic by jumping the last few feet—and it was definitely dramatic, just not in the way he had hoped.
Morales landed very awkwardly on his leg and was carted off the field and shuttled off to the hospital. It turned out he had suffered a break in his leg, which ended his season.
Gus Frerotte Defines His Career
In November 1997 the Redskins decided to make a change at quarterback, replacing Jeff Hostetler with Gus Frerotte for a division game against the Giants.
Things were going okay for Frerotte as the starter right up until the end of the first half when he decided to celebrate a one-yard touchdown run by head-butting a wall in the end zone.
He probably thought it would be fine because he had a helmet on and the wall was padded. Talk about a gross miscalculation on Frerotte's part. The game would finish with a tie in overtime, but he didn't return as the starter in the second half.
During the third quarter Frerotte was sent to the hospital by ambulance, accompanied by team doctors, and treated for a sprained neck. Which basically closed the book on this guy's career.
First Goal Is Memorable for All the Wrong Reasons
In July 2013 Brazilian footballer Maurides (cause you're nothing in soccer with two names) made headlines around the world when he scored his first professional goal in the 89th minute of a match during the Copa do Brasil.
Too bad all the headlines were regarding the injury he sustained while attempting to celebrate by performing a backflip. Which, for the record, didn't end well for him.
Maurides was taken from the pitch on a stretcher after spraining his knee during the stunt. On the bright side, at least fans were pretty certain he didn't just take a dive.