Sports Lists

Athletes Completely Losing Their Minds

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2013

Athletes Completely Losing Their Minds

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    Image via Associated Press
    Image via Associated Press

    Does anyone else remember that scene in the movie The Wedding Singer when Adam Sandler's character, Robbie Hart, goes completely nuts?

    You know, where he sings that song (NSFW) about his fiance who left him on the alter, making everyone around him think that he had lost his mind?

    I know that's a little out there, but it's the first thing I thought about when starting this piece.

    Why?

    Because when someone acts crazy—especially in sports—it gives us fans and media time to honestly question just how nuts they are.

    So this article is dedicated to all of you athletes out there who take your anger out on anything that you shouldn't, including equipment, teammates, opponents, officials and yes, even fans.

Amar'e Stoudemire Doesn't Put out the Fire

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    Although a player's legs are pretty damn important when playing basketball, we've seen some guys who have been able to hobble out there and give it their best shot.

    Unlike legs that can just move at a slower pace, though, the use of the hands while playing ball is crucial, allowing a player to dribble, pass and shoot.

    That's why last year's injury to Knicks' forward Amar'e Stoudemire—when he punched a fire extinguisher case after a loss—is so alarming, because it's pretty clear that his hands are his meal ticket when it comes to putting the ball through the net.

Luis Suarez Takes a Chomp

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    When a dentist asks you to bite down on something, that's usually a good time to do it.

    But when an athlete takes it upon themselves to do it to take frustration out on an opponent, that's probably not the best of ideas.

    Liverpool forward Luis Suarez found that out first-hand when he used his chompers as a weapon to bite down on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in a Premier League match late last season.

    It was actually the second time Suarez had done this, earning him a 10-game suspension and a variety of cannibal-themed nicknames.

Brandon Jacobs Loses His Head

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    No athlete ever enjoys being benched, but do these grown men really have to throw a temper tantrum to show their displeasure?

    Apparently, Giants' running back Brandon Jacobs thought so when he tore off his helmet and chucked it into the stands, hitting a few innocent bystanders who didn't even get to keep the helmet!

    Jacobs' little act brought a double meaning to the phrase, "losing your head."

Gavin Henson Throws Down Beer...Then Teammate Carl Fearns

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    David Rogers/Getty Images

    When a player screams something like, "Maybe we will have a charity boxing match so I can get a bit of respect back," to his teammate, that's usually a good sign that things are a little bit iffy between guys.

    That's what happened when two Bath Rugby players, Gavin Henson and Carl Fearns, were at a pub on a team-bonding outing back in July of this year.

    Henson may have just laughed off the incident, but after moving to his fifth club in three seasons, maybe it's time for him to rethink how intense he is and just save it for his opponents on the rugby pitch.

"Bo Knows" That He Doesn't Need That Bat

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    If there's one thing I really regret from being a sports fan growing up in the '90s, it's that I never really got to appreciate the wonder of Bo Jackson.

    While we all have had to live through crazy stories about how good he was and could have been, at least we're left seeing some videos of it all.

    And the time he broke a wooden bat over his head is one of those.

    Upset that he struck out, what other way would the physical specimen show his displeasure?

Gennaro Gattuso Will Choke You out

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    If there's one guy's fiery heart I always admired on the soccer pitch, it was former Italian and AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso.

    As a former team captain, Gattuso played with a passion that helped show teammates that winning was the only option.

    But as a rough player, sometimes his emotions could get the best of him, as he showed back in 2011 when he actually choked out and head-butted Tottenham's assistant coach, Joe Jordan, earning Gennaro a five-game ban.

    Whatever happened to respecting thy elders?

Axing Another Player Has to Be a Five-Minute Major

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    If you're the type of person who's going to start a hockey brawl by using your stick in an ax-like motion, I'd seriously consider going to some counseling.

    Now, I don't want to pass judgement on this guy—though I guess I technically just did—but bro, what in the hell caused you to do something like this?

    There isn't a "Yo Momma" joke out there that could have been that bad, right?

Roberto Alomar Spits When He Talks

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    Image via YouTube.com
    Image via YouTube.com

    After a called third strike went against Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar, he was luckily restrained by his manager, Davey Johnson, from going into full attack mode on home plate umpire, John Hirschbeck.

    That didn't stop Alomar from showing his disgust with the call by doing something, well, disgusting, by spitting in the face of the ump.

    While Hirschbeck seems to have forgiven Alomar for the incident, that doesn't erase the fact that it happened, with Robbie treating the ump like complete dirt—which is where one would normally look to hawk a loogie.

Delmon Young Goes Bat Crazy

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    Just like the previous baseball player, Roberto Alomar, Delmon Young showed that he, too, has a hard time getting along with authority.

    Or at least he did back in 2006 when he got sent back to his dugout on a called third strike that he was just a little bit upset with, tossing his bat back at the umpire to show him up.

    For flinging his bat like a boomerang, Young was suspended 50 games—the longest penalty ever given out to a player in the International League.

    Luckily, Delmon has slowed his roll a bit since he's been up in the majors.

Brandon Phillips Does Not Like Your Opinion

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    For all those people out there who think the Reds second baseman had a down year this past season, he doesn't want to hear about it.

    That's the impression he gave after going into manager Dusty Baker's office, finding a reporter who was critical of Phillips' production and high position in the batting order and ripping into him with a number of vulgarities in an effort to change his mind.

    Classic meltdown by Brandon.

    Even better, though, was the awkward smile that Baker gives throughout the entire thing, unaware that the camera is still rolling on just him.

Michael Westbrook Tackles Teammate Stephen Davis

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    Image via YouTube.com
    Image via YouTube.com

    Regardless of what was perceived to be said between then-Redskins teammates Michael Westbrook and Stephen Davis, I'm not sure something like this should ever happen.

    Showing that he wasn't going to have any of Davis' lip, the former receiver, Westbrook, knocked his offensive mate to the ground and continued to pummel him like a boxer would a speed bag.

    Westbrook may have been fined $50,000 for the mauling, but he probably could have used that money to talk with some about his obvious anger issues instead.

Dennis Rodman's Cameraman Kick

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    As a Bulls fan growing up, this is one that really stands out with me because it was so bizarre, even for the over-the-top Dennis Rodman.

    After falling into the cameramen along the baseline while hustling for a loose ball, "The Worm" must have taken exception with one guy in particular, kicking Eugene Amos in the groin, causing the guy to pretty much pass out.

    Even with all the stunts Rodman had pulled before, this might be the most disgraceful, as he was forced to sit for 11 games and lose $1 million.

    That's on top of him paying Amos $200,000, too, which I'm guessing allowed the dude to stop having to sit cross-legged under the hoop with a 25-pound camera on his shoulder.

Viktor Troicki Really Hates the Call

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    This is one that has been really popular since mid-summer when tennis player Viktor Troicki not only voiced his displeasure with a judge's call, but then promptly walked to the spot he believed the ball hit, even grabbing a cameraman to help prove his point.

    I'm not sure any of us have seen anything like this, and, since it didn't reverse the call, I'm not sure it'll become a trend moving forward, either.

Mike Tyson Gets Hungry...For Evander Holyfield's Ear

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    Just as I mentioned with Luis Suarez earlier, any time an athlete finds it in him to use his mouth as a weapon, it's always going to end poorly for everyone involved—whether you have the bite marks on you or are the one who actually bit down.

    For Mike Tyson, this all but proved the guy was crazy, as he didn't just take a piece out of Evander Holyfield's ear once, but decided he should even the score by doing it to both sides of his head.

    Thanks to trying human flesh, Tyson lost his boxing license and was fined $3 million, to which I ask, was it worth it, Iron Mike?

Eric Cantona Is Kung Fu Fighting

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    Although former Manchester United star Eric Cantona originally got sent off for a vengeful kick on opponent Richard Shaw of Crystal Palace, it was Cantona's kung fu kick on fan Matthew Simmons that really showed how nuts he was.

    Cantona was banned for nine months, fined £10,000 ($16,500) and was sentenced to 120 hours of community service for attacking the heckler.

    In 2007 though, he said, "I have a lot of good moments, but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan."

    I'm not sure if that's a sign that he's still crazy or just proud of being crazy at the time of the incident.

Ron Artest Will Knock You out

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    In what has clearly been the most famous example of an athlete losing his mind, former Pacers forward Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) was showing anything but peace as he stomped into the stands and attacked a fan after getting hit by a flying beer cup.

    Not only did he go after the scrawny kid in glasses, but it turned out to be the wrong guy.

    As punishment, the league suspended Artest a non-drug related record 73 games, which handcuffed his Pacers squad the entire season from ever reaching their full potential.

    The good news though? Turns out Artest and the actual beer tosser have befriended each other.

    I just hope they don't hang around each other with any alcohol involved whatsoever.

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