Did you hear the one about the ballplayer who got hurt while dreaming about spiders?
But wait, there's no punchline here, for this is a true story!
Reading this morning about the Detroit Tigers Brandon Inge's freak pillow injury motivated me to research the topic of slightly crazy, bizarre, freakish kinds of sports injuries. Some of these you likely have heard about before, but they're still funny enough to bring up again. Nothing gruesome—no falling off motorcycles—just the type of injury where you say to yourself, "well now I've heard it all."
So, in reverse order, I present to you:
MOST BIZARRE SPORTS INJURIES
5. The Sneeze
In 2004, Sammy Sosa sneezed violently, bringing on back spasms that placed the Cubbie slugger on the DL. Hey, it's nothing to sneeze at, really.
4. Isn't this supposed to be a protective piece of equipment?
Ken Griffey, Jr. has had a lot of injuries in his career, but none stranger than this one. Griff once missed a game after his protective cup slipped and pinched one of his testicles. Going 'balls out' will never have the same meaning again!
3. Penalty for excessive celebration
Kicker Bill Gramatica celebrated a 42 yard field goal by jumping up and when he came down, tearing his ACL, missing the rest of the season. Bet he got a kick out of that one.
2. That's using your head
In 1997, Quarterback Gus Frerotte decided to bang his head into the wall behind the end zone after a TD. He missed the rest of a key game with neck pains. Wonder if he was still wearing his helmet?
1. I don't like spiders and snakes
Glenallen Hill, who was named in conjunction with the Mitchell report as a former steroid abuser, once suffered cuts, scrapes and bruises while sleepwalking during a nightmare about spiders! No word on the condition of the spiders.
Oh, and back to the Inge story in case you hadn't heard. Apparently Brandon Inge was trying to push a pillow behind his son's head (his son sleeps with Brandon and his wife every night), resulting in an injury to his oblique muscle. Inge is 5 feet, eleven inches and close to 200 pounds, but he was apparently no match for that pillow.
While researching this topic, I ran across these additional, funny-but-true injuries:
Marty Cordova of the Twins once missed part of the 2002 season when he got burned in a tanning salon.
Steve Trout once missed a start after he fell off his bicycle.
David Wells tripped over a bar stool in his kitchen, knocking a bottle of wine to the floor, where he landed on the bottle and promptly severed a tendon in his wrist, requiring surgery.
Kevin Mitchell chipped a tooth biting into a stale doughnut.
Pitcher Adam Eaton stabbed himself while opening a DVD in 2001.
Vince Coleman missed the 1985 World Series after getting caught in the tarp machine.
Wade Boggs missed games after hurting himself putting on his cowboy boots.
Joel Zumaya strained his arm playing "Guitar Hero" on the PS2.
John Smoltz burned himself while ironing a shirt...he was wearing!