Ever catch a ball right on the chin? It's horrifying.
One second you're thinking and breathing in a pain-free world, and then ROCK-SHOCK-KABOOM—you're blind, disoriented and vaguely expecting a second shot to slap you upside the head. It's a sensation that stays with you for some time.
Ball fear is natural, considering the immutable truth that getting smacked in the mouth by hard ovals or spherical objects is a painful and humiliating occurrence in life.
No matter how many times it happens, taking a ball to the bridge of your nose will never leave you unfazed—but it's not the end of the world. You can pick up the pieces and carry on with your life, changed forever but fundamentally unbroken.
With that, the following are athletes, fans and officials who took balls to the face, and took them like a champ.
Remember this kid? The one who did flippy inbounds throw during rec soccer games?
Sure you do—he was born with a six pack and started buying beer in eighth grade. Now he sells Herbalife products door-to-door in a Subaru Baja.
In what would become a topic of debate for self-appointed "equal rights" advocates, a woman was hit by a baseball after her boyfriend hopped out of the way of a Pete Kozma solo home run in April.
I've already expressed my opinion on this little ditty, and I will state it again: We can debate whether or not men have a responsibility to "protect" their girls from flying baseballs, but there's no discussion to be had as to why any self-respecting fan would ever run from a home run ball.
You make a stab at that rock, no matter the circumstances.
Again—it's a souvenir, not a mortar shell.
After taking a Chandler Harnish pass to the face this September, Fox Sports sideline reporter Pam Oliver spent five days in a dark room in her home nursing a concussion.
That is, she scampered into the darkness after finishing her work at the game. Brava, Pam.
Here's to a classic Internet video and sports favorite—now remixed with the dulcet sounds of frothing nerd rage.
He won't be on the NFL Network's hands team, but Ian Rapoport toughed it out after taking a ball to the chin on the sidelines in 2012.
If you've ever played volleyball for any length of time, you'd know that the only thing better than spiking the ball is spiking it into your opponent's nasal cavity.
I'm not saying referee Antonio Petty liked getting hit with the ball, I'm just saying he didn't hate the landing.
If you've ever wondered what it's like to be on the receiving end of a side-armed basketball to the nose, here's a clinical example.
With no timeouts and facing a five-second violation, Washington's Tim Morris inbounded the rock off Alfred Aboya's face. Even more amazing, Morris was standing right in front of the UCLA bench when he slathered their teammate's vomer in basketball.
Big boy wants to tangle!
In the midst of decimating a much taller Chinese opponent, legendary streetballer Grayson "The Professor" Boucher decided to bounce the ball off the man's dome—a move that crossed the line, it would appear.
Granted, this move only crosses the line when you're being dismantled in front of everyone.
Walks into background of potentially awesome trick shot video. Gets facialized.
Nothing ever pans out for Bad Luck Brianne—not that it matters, considering she seems to expect getting plugged in the melon by rogue basketballs.
Cricket balls—unforgiving at the best of times, but usually just a nightmare on all fronts.
I can only imagine the unicorn horn that must have sprouted from this poor girl's head after this unfortunate shot.
Sorry, kid—but you're at the bottom of the totem pole.
You're going to have to take a few footballs to the face before you can work your way up to sideline reporter, where you'll also have to take a few footballs to the face.
In all fairness, she was wide open.
"Active hands, guys! Keep your head on the swivel! Expect the outlet pass!"
All the coaching advice in the world couldn't have saved Roy Hibbert from this poorly timed pass from David West. Sometimes your teammate's just chest passes the ball directly in your eyes from a few feet away.
Great intentions, poor execution.
This Boston man wanted sorely to snag this foul-line drive, but wound up grasping a handful of trips to the orthodontist instead.
Throw the ball in my face once? Shame on you. Throw the ball in my face twice? The shame is still on you, jackass.
After feigning an apology for pegging an opposing player in the face on a throw-in, this woman turned around and chucked the ball into a defender's teeth a second time.
The best part of this video might be the fans, who sound like anyone's parents reacting to a clearly unsportsmanlike moment on the field.
This line judge managed to maintain concentration and make the call as a 118 mph serve rocketed toward her face.
In contrast, I lack the concentration to remain on the same page for the duration of a 15-second YouTube advertisement. She wins.
This shot to the dome taken by New Zealand's Cory Jane was gruesome, terrifying and seemingly as bad if not worse than an actual kick to the face.
Of course, after a bit of "limbo action" and brief unconsciousness, Jane got up and continued playing. Rugby, ladies and gents.
Eric Mackenzie of the West Coast Eagles went headlong in the name of blocking this boot and earned himself a nice little nap for his efforts.
Mackenzie was knocked out but would recover. Also, he showed no signs of concussion after taking the hit—thus making it one of the worst naps ever taken on the pitch.
The sportscasters calling this game shared some wise words for the viewing public after Andray Blatche ended up being force-fed a rubber sandwich.
"You don't really like to play defense with your face, folks."
Ball in the face: Not exactly a starter, but definitely not the end.