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Athletes Who Bite

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2014

Athletes Who Bite

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    Jack Smith/Associated Press

    Teeth are a good thing to have for a variety of reasons.

    They obviously help chew food. They can open up tough packages when people can't do it with their hands. They help make a smile look good when talking to the opposite sex.

    Want to know what they're not good for? Biting people.

    In sports, though, some athletes have thought that biting their opposition would be a terrific idea—and here are a few of them.

Mike Ottinger

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    This one actually just happened a few months ago, as Central Michigan wrestler Mike Ottinger used some sort of new move on his opponent, Mathew Miller of Navy, when he bit his arm and got disqualified.

    That only fumed Ottinger even more, though.

    With the match declared over, he charged at Miller and tried to continue to take him down, showing what a great sport he truly was.

Brooks Laich

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    He may not be in the NHL any longer, but when he was, there were probably a number of guys who wanted to bite former player Sean Avery.

    An instigator who loved saying and doing anything he wanted to annoy people, Avery had his fair share of incidents during his career.

    One of those happened to be when Brooks Laich allegedly tried leaving some teeth marks on Avery.

    Not a bad way to get after a guy you really hate, huh?

Johan Le Roux

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    Back before many of these other ones, former South African rugby player Johan Le Roux was sent home early in 1994 when he bit Sean Fitzpatrick on the ear.

    We probably should have all seen this coming, seeing how Le Roux's nickname was "The Beast."

    What's even weirder than biting an opposing player? The Beast never even gave an explanation for doing it—meaning the guy was just crazy, if you ask me.

Dylan Hartley

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    One has to be really tough in order to play rugby.

    No pads. Jacked dudes running at full speed. Bone-crushing hits. These are all reasons why I could never withstand a minute in a match.

    One thing players don't anticipate, though? Getting bitten.

    But that was the case during a 2012 match when Dylan Hartley gnawed at opponent Stephen Ferris, which ultimately earned Hartley an eight-week ban—not sure it was worth it.

Jarkko Ruutu

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    If there's one thing that really sucks, it's getting a face full of another guy's hand—but that doesn't necessarily warrant biting the dude who does it.

    Unfortunately, former NHL player Jarkko Ruutu didn't seem to think so.

    Back in 2009—after a tussle with Andrew Peters—Ruutu took a snap at the former Buffalo Sabres player, nipping Peters' thumb in the process.

    For his bite, Jarkko earned a two-game suspension and was find more than $35,000.

Tree Rollins

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    We might know Danny Ainge now as the front office guru for the Boston Celtics, but during his playing days for the C's in 1983, he fell victim to a biting incident from then Atlanta Hawks center Tree Rollins.

    After being elbowed by Rollins, Ainge and the big man got into a skirmish that led to Ainge getting bit on his right hand.

    The headline "Tree Bites Man" ran the next day in the Boston Herald, with some actually believing that Rollins bit Ainge because of his feisty reputation.

Miguel Olivo

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    As you might imagine, this incident that occurred just last week is the reason you're even reading this article—because it's pretty nuts.

    During a minor league game last week, former major leaguer Miguel Olivo of the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes found himself in a heated argument with teammate Alex Guerrero in the dugout.

    Now, the story of teammates getting into it might have been talked about afterward anyway, but things got taken up a notch when Olivo bit Guerrero's ear, leaving police to investigate what actually happened.

    As you might imagine, Olivo has since been released.

Mircea Bornescu

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    Goalies are supposed to be intimidating while between the pipes but not when they're on the pitch and caught in a scuffle.

    I guess that Romanian club soccer goalie Mircea Bornescu didn't realize that, because he looked like he was bobbing for apples in a match last year against Gaz Metan Media, as he tried a few times to take off the ear of opposing player Tha'er Bawab with his mouth.

    Naturally—and deservedly—Bornescu wound up getting socked in the face thanks to his decision to bite down a number of times.

Anthony Watts

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    To all the fellas reading this right now, be prepared to feel some pain—because former rugby player Anthony Watts allegedly bit an opponent right on the...well, it was below the belt.

    I'm not really sure I need to say anything more than that, because the entire picture of an athlete biting another dude's weeny is pretty foul.

    Even with Watts being suspended for the incident, I'm not so sure that justice was served in this matter—even if he denies ever even doing it.

Luis Suarez

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    There's no denying the ability of Liverpool and Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, but one can question some of the choices he makes when using his chompers on opposing players.

    While there are players who use their mouth to trash-talk other guys, Suarez has built up a reputation as using it to bite guys, as he has been caught doing it twice.

    Still, as ESPN pointed out the other day, the guy is still one of the most talented players in the world.

Mike Tyson

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    Now you just knew this one would be on my list, didn't you?

    While all of the previously mentioned instances were popular and ridiculed in their own right, when Mike Tyson bit the ear of Evander Holyfield twice, the sports world was shocked.

    The former heavyweight champ, Tyson was banned from boxing for taking a bite out of Holyfield.

Olympians

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    I know that this is technically a bit of a cop-out, but the facts are there: Olympians just love to bite their medals after winning them.

    It's a tradition that goes back quite a while, and although it doesn't really harm anyone—except for themselves with the possible danger of chipping a tooth—it proves that athletes love to bite for a number of different reasons.

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