Lamest Sports Excuses Ever

Matt Haupert@@matthaupFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2014

Lamest Sports Excuses Ever

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    I apologize if this article doesn't turn out too great. My air conditioning broke, so I've been sweating all day, and I can't concentrate. Plus my pet turtle is sick, so I've been really distracted, and a ghost keeps sneaking into my room and rearranging my sentences.

    Not buying it? Good.

    In sports, the art of crafting a believable, sympathy-worthy excuse oftentimes becomes the most important skill for an athlete to master. Unfortunately—or fortunately, really—most athletes never master it.

    It's not just the athletes, though, that come up with ridiculous excuses for things that happen on and off the field in the sports world. It's also all of you.

    Indeed, athletes and fans together have been providing pathetically hilarious excuses for years—excuses for losses, excuses for cheating, excuses for injuring other players and much, much more.

    Some of the most beautifully pathetic of these are listed here for your reading pleasure.

    Anyway, I guess you can start clicking through the slides now.

    I was going to have a better conclusion; I swear. But my dog just came in and deleted everything I wrote, and then I contracted an illness from its hair, which caused me to lose my memory and forget all my ideas.

    I'm serious!

Rory's Toothache

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    Being the No. 1-ranked player in the world can be brutally difficult on both the mind and the teeth.

    After shooting seven over par through the first eight holes of his Friday round at the 2013 Honda Classic, Rory McIlroy could take it no more and simply dropped out of the tournament, claiming the cause of his troubles—as reported by Doug Ferguson of The Associated Press (via—was a sore tooth:

    I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me again last night, so I relieved it with Advil. It was very painful again this morning, and I was simply unable to concentrate. It was really bothering me and had begun to affect my playing partners.

    Ouchie, Rory! Don't worry, once that tooth comes out, you can place it under your pillow, and the tooth fairy will bring you a great big quarter. I think you're the toughest golfer in the world. But for now, please, quit your job.

    Hey, on a totally separate note—do you think now would be a good time to mention that Kobe Bryant once shot free throws on a torn Achilles tendon?

Chan Ho Park Has the Runs

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    There's a lot that goes into an effective pitching performance:

    • A powerful, accurate arm.
    • A careful plan.
    • A sense of calm and determination.
    • A strong will.
    • And well-controlled bowels.

    Chan Ho Park was missing the last of these in an Opening Day loss to the Red Sox in 2010, and he was perfectly honest about it in the video above, sending one journalist into a fit of laughter every time he uttered the word "diarrhea." 

    Sometimes, when all else seems to be in your favor, your poop gets away from you, and there's nothing you can do about it.

Overtrained Athlete Syndrome

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    Overtrained Athlete Syndrome sounds like it could be one of two things:

    1. A reality show about a bunch of meatheads getting jacked by going to the gym and drinking protein 11 times a day.
    2. A sci-fi comic book about a dorky young student who gets bitten by a spider and turns into a superhuman monster.

    It does not sound like a medical condition that causes athletes to experience hormonal spikes and test positive for performance-enhancing drugs they never took.

    Because, you know, it isn't.

    That didn't stop Brian Cushing from trying to convince the rest of us, as the Associated Press (h/t reported:

    I had a unique situation where something like this occurred and we have the science to back it up. It's taken months. It's really beyond what we ever thought and it's beyond the regular medical doctor.

    At the end of the day, training hard is the only performance-enhancing drug you really need.

    Don't feel bad if Cushing's condition doesn't make scientific sense to you. "Regular medical doctors" don't get it either.

106 Years of Excuses

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    Ah, the futile Chicago Cubs, owners of fewer World Series rings in the past century than you or me.

    A billy goat. A black cat. A guy named Bartman.

    Every time the Cubs come close to smelling victory, something awful happens. Something really, historically awful.

    In 2003, a mere five outs from a World Series berth, Steve Bartman interfered with Moises Alou, preventing a potential out on a foul ball down the left field line.

    Here's a quick list of things Steve Bartman didn't do:

    • Freak out and draw a bunch of attention to the incident. Leave that to Alou.
    • Boot a surefire double-play ball later in the inning that could have preserved a victory.
    • Give up eight runs in the inning.
    • Lose Game 7.

    Sorry, Cubs. Per usual, this one's on you.

Sosa's Corked Bat

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    Sammy Sosa hit a lot of home runs during his career. He's also been forced to make a lot of excuses.

    Perhaps his most amusing excuse came after a broken bat during a game in 2003 revealed that there was cork on the inside, which of course helps the ball travel farther and is illegal.

    As Damon Hack of The New York Times reported, Sosa had no intention of owning up to cheating:

    What happened today was something that wasn't meant to have happened. I took the wrong bat and I went up there and it happened. It's a bat I used for batting practice. It's a mistake. I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I guarantee to you, I never used anything illegal. I feel bad and I take the blame for it, and I have to move on.

    With steroid allegations that ended up completely tarnishing his legacy, "I never used anything illegal" takes on a whole new hilarious meaning.

    Regardless of whether or not it was an accident (but let's be honest, it wasn't), the game of the corked bat ended up being the least of Sosa's problems.

Suarez's Accidental Bite

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    The most memorable moment of this year's World Cup had nothing to do with a brilliant goal or a remarkable save. Rather, it revolved around the appetite of Uruguay's Luis Suarez.

    After Uruguay's match with Italy, Suarez was banned for four months for biting Italian opponent Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during the match.

    This somehow was not the first or second time that Suarez has been cited for biting an opponent during a match, a particularly disturbing habit that made it even harder to believe Suarez' excuse: He simply lost his balance and slipped.

    Think about that for a moment:

    When was the last time you were standing in your kitchen, accidentally slipped and inadvertently took a bite out of a delicious sandwich on the table as you fell to the ground?

    Oh well. If he's really being honest, I do have one piece of advice: Next time you're falling, try to catch yourself with your hands instead of your teeth.

Justin Gatlin's Vengeful Massage Therapist

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    My pitch for a brand-new prime-time drama:

    An angry massage therapist seeks revenge on a group of athletes for no particular reason by rubbing a mysterious magical cream on their legs during massages that will get them in big trouble. One innocent track star's dreams are ruined forever by this vagabond saboteur. Find out what happens next by tuning in for this week's episode of: The Gatlin Files.

    Too ridiculous?

    Well, not too ridiculous for the real Justin Gatlin, who somehow thought it would be wise to blame his positive test for performance-enhancing drugs on his massage therapist, claiming she had been rubbing a cream on his leg that included illegal substances.

    The moral of the story? Never get a massage from a therapist who holds a grudge.

Tyler Hamilton's Vanishing Twin

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    It's the first rule in the book:

    When you get in trouble, blame your sibling. If you don't have a sibling, say he died in utero, and blame him anyway.

    No seriously, it really works!

    Cyclist Tyler Hamilton tried to use this defense after being (correctly) accused of blood doping back in 2005, claiming that, as reported by Gina Kolata of The New York Times, "the small amount of different blood found mixed in with his own must have come from a 'vanishing twin.'" (Hamilton later admitted that not only was this a lie, but it wasn't even his idea.)

    Never trust anyone in the uterus, folks. It'll come back to haunt you 35 years in the future.


Suh Violently Loses His Balance

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    Let me explain something that should be very obvious and very simple:

    Regaining your balance after tripping does not require—in absolutely any circumstance—looking at the ground, cocking your leg like a gun and blasting your foot onto the ground as hard as humanly possible.

    Especially if there is a human being directly in the spot toward which your foot is headed.

    This is precisely what Ndamukong Suh did during a Thanksgiving Day game against the Packers in 2011, as evidenced in the video above, caught entirely on tape by the cameras that, by design, catch everything that happens during an NFL football game.

    And yet, Suh still tried to plead off-balanced, as reported by

    My intention was not to kick anybody, as I did not, removing myself. I was on top of a guy, being pulled down, and trying to get up off the ground -- and why you see me pushing his helmet down, because I'm trying to remove myself from the situation, and as I'm getting up, I'm getting pushed, so I'm getting myself on balance.

    In the video, Suh adds, "I know what I did, and the man upstairs knows what I did."

    If the man upstairs is Roger Goodell, then he certainly knows what Suh did, as he slapped him with a two-game suspension because of it.



Lighton Ndefwayl's Pesky Jockstrap

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    And now, for one final excuse that outdoes them allridiculous, pathetic and majestic all at the same time.

    After losing a tennis match to local rival Musumba Bwayla way back in 1992, Zambia's Lighton Ndefwayl had an explanation unlike any other, according to The Guardian:

    Bwayla is a stupid man and a hopeless player. He has a huge nose and is cross-eyed. Girls hate him. He beat me because my jockstrap was too tight and because when he serves he farts, and that made me lose my concentration, for which I am famous throughout Zambia.

    Well, as they always say: One man's gas is another man's ruin.


    Think I'm a genius? An idiot? Let me know on Twitter.