The 20 Hardest Non-Football Hits in Sports This Year
Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports
One of the best things about the fall being here is that the grille's are fired up, beer is flowing like Niagara Falls and grown men are wearing jerseys of people half their age because football is officially back.
And while the sports gives us some great moments—most of which are either because our fantasy team just won or because a big hit just happened—it's not the only sport where guys get absolutely leveled.
Don't believe me?
Then just take a look at these 20 videos and see some other monster hits that didn't require a helmet and shoulder pads.
That's Using Your Head
I know this isn't the best way to start off—considering it didn't happen this year—but I just can't resist putting this soccer shot on this list.
Dear dad, trying to relive your high school soccer glory days is great and all, but doing it with your infant son standing in goal less than 10 yards away isn't the best time to do it.
On a positive note, the kid did save the shot—as unorthodox as it was.
A Flying Subban
One thing that I'll give Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban credit for is that he's not afraid to go reckless at all times.
Going after the Bruins Milan Lucic earlier this year with a head full of steam, the Boston left winger was lucky to get out the way of the Subban steamroller, as the Montreal player went airborne, crashing into the boards with authority.
Usually the guy looking for a hit doesn't take the brunt of it. But in this case, it proved to be opposite.
His 'One Direction' to the Ground
Now I'm not one to find beauty in another man getting injured, but when that other "man"—used lightly here—happens to be one of the singers from the boy band, One Direction, I admit it's a little more amusing.
So when singer Louis Tomlinson got taken to the ground by pro soccer player Gabriel Agbonlahor during a charity soccer match last month—which also caused him to puke for some odd reason—it was hopefully a reminder as to why he uses his pipes as a talent rather than his legs.
Kung Fu Kicking It
If there were ever a red card more deserving than the one given to Werder Bremen's Franco Di Santo for his boot to the face of opposing player Bastian Oczipka, I'd really like to see it.
Sure, we've seen a kung fu kick from soccer players in the past, but that was after being heckled by a fan, not just trying to supposedly make a play on the ball.
Maybe Di Santo just thought he could earn a black belt on the pitch?
Knocked into Next Week
I know that there's a wrestling move called "The Sleeper Hold," but if you really want to make someone pass out, just try doing what boxer Craig Vitale did to his opponent, Joe Muir, in a fight earlier this year.
Forget all the submission moves and just stick to three good old-fashioned fists to the noggin. That will put someone on the canvas really fast.
Two Eyes on the Ball
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This baseball coach found out that it's important to always keep your eye on the ball—especially one that's coming right at you from the batter's box.
Great swing and solid contact by the batter, so I'm sure his manager dusted himself off the deck and was able to encourage him to "straighten it out," like all baseball coaches do.
An Absolute Crowd Pleaser
Anytime a hockey check can make an entire arena jump out of their seats with excitement, it usually means the hit was pretty rough.
If there's one thing to know about Jordin Tootoo, it's that he loves contact.
He definitely got his money's worth with this blow on Dallas Star Philip Larsen.
Erik Kratz Just Doesn't Care
Home-plate collisions are just a part of baseball.
If that's the case, then Philadelphia Phillie Erik Kratz proved that he can more than hold his own when taking a lowered shoulder from another guy.
Standing upright, Kratz protected the plate like a Don, absorbing the de-cleating attempt from Washington National Tyler Moore to make sure the run wasn't scored.
A Roundhouse to the Face
For anyone who thinks that being an MMA fighter would be a good profession, look no further than this video as to why it probably isn't.
Not only are guys in the Octagon going to try and put you on your ass by punching and kicking you, but when you're least expecting it, you might just be the victim of some crazy move that sends you to the mat—as this dude found out.
Props on the little shimmy at the end too.
Stop Texting and Watching
This one finds its way pretty high on my list because of how rare it actually was to happen.
While filming her brother's at-bat during a little league game, the batter's sister must have thought the protective net would do a better job than it proved, as the ball came right back and nailed her phone.
Luckily, she didn't get hit by the screamer, but for her poor phone, well, I just hope she has insurance on the thing.
A Freight Train or a Double-Decker Mega Bus?
Trying to keep up with the commentators on how to properly to describe this stick-breaking, lacrosse bulldozer would be silly of me.
One of the guys calls it a "freight train on Charles Street," while the other refers to it as a "double-decker mega bus."
However you want to explain it, the thing doesn't look like it'd be a whole lot of fun to be on the receiving end of.
Wrong End of a One-Man Wall
Go ahead and fix your socks or cover your junk up kid, because your opponent is about to do something incredibly nasty to you that doesn't even involve one of those body parts getting nailed.
Breaking out the rarely used cartwheel throw-in to get more length on his toss—and look super fancy—the throw went a little lower than he probably thought it would, absolutely pummeling another dude in the face.
My favorite part here is that the thrower seems to show absolutely zero sympathy at first, just looking for another ball to continue play.
Hard Hittin' Carlos Quentin
At first glance, you may think that this video makes my list because Carlos Quentin—the hard charging, retaliation-minded Padres batter—actually broke the collarbone of Dodgers hurler Zack Greinke.
But I was a former high school pitcher, so I'm giving love to the guy on the mound for holding his own in this fight, as Greinke not only lowers his shoulder as Quentin rampages into him, but on impact, the pitcher actually knocks his opponent back a little bit.
That's about all is needed to be said after seeing this vicious hit from Northampton rugby player Courtney Lawes on his opponent, Bedford's Mike Le Bourgeois.
Even after watching this over and over, I honestly can't tell if the ball was lateraled from Le Bourgeois or it just happened to fall into his teammate's arms after getting popped?
Either way, the full-back was left scraping himself off the grass.
Duck and Get out of the Way
Here's a little bit of advice to any guy who goes to a baseball game with his girlfriend: If a ball happens to be coming your way, be the man in the relationship and take one for the team if it means getting nailed by the ball.
Wouldn't you much rather have it be you with a black eye than your lady? (Say yes.)
This guy proved that chivalry was definitely dead, letting his chick use her face to try and catch this home run ball—which clearly didn't work.
The Butt Slide
Although I admit that this isn't really a hard hit, there's no denying that getting served a face full of another guy's butt constitutes getting owned.
As the Houston Astros' Jonathan Villar found out when it happened to him with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, a guy should always think twice when going in to a base head first.
Break Bread, Not Glass
I hope this high school hockey player was saving up his allowance. After sending an opponent through the glass with an unreal body check, he may need to repay the rink manager for the damage.
Hockey isn't quite football when it comes to punishing bone-breakers, but this one shows that it's pretty damn close.
The Utley Train Is a Rollin'
Man, the life of a major league catcher definitely isn't easy.
Besides having to squat all game, focus on catching or trapping a ball, worry about runners stealing bases and get clipped with foul balls, a large athlete will look to bury you should you try to cover up home plate.
Chicago Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro learned that during a game in August against the Phillies, as Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley put his head down and delivered a spearing hit while trying to score.
Navarro may have been carted off the field, but he did hang onto the ball, so that's something to be proud of.
Do You Hear Me Knockin'?
When you talk about devastating hits in the NHL, there might not be one harder than Eric Gryba of the Ottawa Senators on poor Canadiens player, Lars Eller.
As you might imagine, Eller was knocked out with a concussion, while Gryba was sent to the dressing room with a game misconduct penalty.
The good news is that Eller is back on the ice, helping to form a top line in the league so far in this season.
Keep Your Head on a Swivel
Anytime a hit makes it on the TV show The Crowd Goes Wild not just one, but two weeks in a row in their "Smashed Em' Bro" segment—as the YouTube video description says—it's one that had to be a slobber knocker.
And I will tell you that after watching this video, it reminds me why a 5'9", 160-pound guy like me never played rugby—because you have to be absolutely insane to take knocks like this with very little protection.