The 50 Most Horrifying Sights In Sports

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2011

The 50 Most Horrifying Sights In Sports

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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Many times, sports can be a beautiful thing. A well-played hockey match can be one of the most visually pleasing sights on earth. A good boxing match can be like poetry in motion. 

    But, at the same time, there are things you see in sports that can just make your blood run cold. They make dogs howl, milk curdle and make even the most fearless men shake in their boots. 

    These 50 people, events and videos are the most horrifying in all of sports. Please be warned that the images and videos you're about to see are extremely graphic and viewer discretion is strongly advised. 

    Those with weak constitutions should probably just stop here. 

    Now that they're out of the way, let's get on to the creepy, shall we?

50. Mary Pierce Shreds Her Knee

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    This one doesn't look so bad, but it's the sound that gets to you. Sends chills up and down my spine. 

49. Ricky Rudd's Crash, 1990

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    It's 1990 at the season ending race at Atlanta. The racers enter the pit and as he passes Bill Elliot's pit box, Ricky Rudd loses control of his car. 

    He spins wildly towards Elliot's crew, which is working to change tires and fuel the racer. Mike Ritch, the left-rear tire changer for Elliot's crew, is trapped between the two cars and killed almost on impact. 

    After this race, NASCAR decided speed limits on pit row might be a good idea. 

48. Kenyon Martin's Lips

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    No, that's not a birthmark under Martin's ear; that's a tattoo of his wife's, hip hop artist Trina, lips, with her name under them. 

    Yeah. I was creeped out too. The good news is that Martin had the ink removed last summer, when the couple split weeks before their wedding. 

    Let that be a lesson to all you would-be body art aficionados out there. Never tattoo a woman's lips on your neck. You might break up, and then it's just awkward. 

47. Rex Ryan

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    I think this one speaks for itself. Add that to the fact that Rex might be the scariest-looking head coach in the NFL, and you've got a recipe for a spot on this list. 

46. Jessica Dube Takes a Skate

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    I feel like pairs figure skating, with it's sharp metal blades whipping by your face, is sort of like pitching in baseball and taking line drives back at you. The second you're scared of it, you're finished. 

    But, even if you're not scared of it, that doesn't mean it can't happen. 

45. LeMans, 1955

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    In 1955, racing was a much more dangerous sport than it is now. They didn't have things like fences around the track, safety equipment for drivers or puncture-proof gas tanks, and when cars crashed, they had a nasty habit of breaking up into hunks of shrapnel that hurtled towards fans. 

    At the famous 24-hour race in LeMans, France, all those things came into play in 1955, when 49-year-old Pierre Levegh slammed into the wall in front of the grandstand. 

44. Watch Out For Javelin Throwers

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    Otherwise, you'll end up like this guy, who takes one squarely in the back. 

    Fortunately, he wasn't drinking water at the time, or we could have had one of those Tom & Jerry situations on our hands. 

43. John Terry Takes One To The Face

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    I would imagine this shot, taken by Chelsea defender John Terry against Arsenal, would be among the most painful experiences of his life. 

    At least until he passed out, that is. 

42. Randy Johnson Blows Up a Bird

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    For those of you who say baseball players make too much money, imagine standing in the batter's box knowing the pitcher you're facing just did this. 

41. Shaq Rapping

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    Be warned: this might make your ears bleed. 

    But, on the plus side, even with rap out as a post-basketball career for Shaq, he's still got acting to fall back on. Just look at his work in Shazam

40. Kurt Rambis

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Rambis might be the most awkward player in NBA history.

    Between the body hair, the moustache, the mullet, the glasses and the general awkwardness with which he carried himself, you always felt like Kurt was going to trip over the coach's foot and break something on the scorers table. 

39. Syracuse Goes All Orange

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    I don't know whether to laugh, cry or move into a different lane of traffic.

    Syracuse might be the Orange, but that doesn't mean your linemen should look like them.

38. Franck Ribery

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    Look, I know it's not his fault: Ribery was in a car accident when he was a kid. But he's still kind of, sort of, a little bit scary, don't you think? 

    And by a little, I mean, "holy cow, what happened?" scary.

37. John Daly's Pants

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    And you thought the Norwegian curling team's pants were bad. 

    The difference is, Daly's got dozens of pairs of pants like this, in all different colors. 

    In a sport in which hideous clothes are par for the course (get it? Scary puns too!), Daly's pants stand out as a particular crime against humanity. I'm not scared, I'm horrified and offended. 

36. Reche Caldwell's Eyes

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    The scary part is, Caldwell's eyes stay like this the entire game. No wonder he's out of football now.

    It's not that he was bad. It was that his team got creeped out by his bug eyes. 

    It's like he's peering into your soul. Let's just move on, shall we?

35. Richard Petty Should Be Dead

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    It was 1970. NASCAR was attempting to break into the mainstream, yet it lacked most of the modern safety equipment that keeps its drivers from dying in serious crashes. What could possibly go wrong?

    This. At the Rebel 400, Richard Petty, easily the biggest star of the burgeoning sport, slammed into the inner wall at Darlington. 

    His car flipped several times, and Petty's arm could be seen dangling out of the window, broken and limp because his car landed on it. 

34. Patrick Edwards Meets an Injury Cart

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    Yes, his leg does snap in two when he hits it. I saw this on television when it happened and had to change the channel. 

33. Don Mossi

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    Poor Don Mossi might be the ugliest baseball player in history. With a face that looks like it's melting, he didn't take a single decent picture his entire career.

    There was one upside, though. Mossi didn't have to pay to fly in planes, he just used his ears like gliders and rode wind currents from city to city. 

32. Randy Johnson's Mullet

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    That thing is so epic, I feel like Johnson should be at a Billy Ray Cyrus concert or maybe a NASCAR race, rather than being on a pitcher's mound. 

    Still, scary as it may be, Johnson's mullet was the source of his power. When he had it, you knew he was going to be unhittable. 

31. Stephen Jackson's Tattoo

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    For those of you who can't make that ink out, let me explain it to you. 

    The Charlotte Bobcats' forward is sporting a set of hands praying. But held in those hands is a gun

    I'm sure this tattoo has a deeper meaning, but I'm too terrified to find out. Somehow, the brawl in Detroit makes a lot more sense now, doesn't it?

30. Leon Spinks' Dental Plan

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    And by dental plan, I mean: "Dentist? What is this dentist you speak of?" 

    Leon's a former heavyweight champion and a big reason why every single boxer in the sport now wears a mouthguard. 

    You could seriously drive a truck through there. 

29. Abel Xavier's Hair

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    This might be one of the worst hairstyles I've ever seen. Xavier, a Portuguese international who bounced around the football world in his career, was renowned for it. 

    The worst part is, it's impossible to judge which of Xavier's hairstyles was the worst. They were all just so terrible in their own way. 

28. Sidney Crosby's Playoff Beard

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    Playoff beards are supposed to be thick forests of manliness (for proof, see Brett Keisel of the Pittsburgh Steelers). 

    But poor Sidney Crosby wound up looking like Freddy Mercury when he tried to grow his. Needless to say, we were all infinitely horrified and amused by his inability to get through puberty.

27. Djibril Cisse Snaps His Ankle In Half

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    The best part of this? The defender marking Cisse doesn't check to see if he's OK or needs help; instead, he's giving the referee the "I didn't do anything" face and gesture. 


26. Carlos Tevez

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    On the field, Carlos Tevez might be one of the world's more prolific strikers. 

    But off the field, he prefers to spend his time drawing pictures of wooly mammoths on cave walls and discovering fire. 

25. Kickboxer Snaps His Leg

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    This is just gruesome. I don't get why the guy tries to stand on the shin that just exploded. After all, he sees his leg wobbling as he brings it back down. 

24. Mark Madsen Dancing

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    This whole video is like a car wreck between Shaq rapping and Madsen's incredible dance moves. 

    You know it's horrible, but you can't stop watching. 

23. Nigel De Jong's Ninja Skills

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    Don't mess with Nigel de Jong. He'll mess you up good. 

22. Michael Waltrip Meets The Wall

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    What happens when you take a car going 150 miles per hour and slam it headlong into a cement barrier?


    This is why NASCAR mandated that tracks build tunnels to the infield, rather than having gates in the wall that could be left unfastened.

21. Joakim Noah

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Between the 12-year-old girl soccer player's hair to the wispy beard to the ridiculous eyebrows, Joakim Noah might be the scariest-looking person in the NBA.

    Fortunately, he's injured right now, so when you watch the Bulls, your eyes aren't assaulted nearly as much as they were before. 

20. The Rally Thong

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    I don't care if it's gold, red, green, blue, black or any other color you can think of.

    If you look like Jason Giambi or Aubrey Huff (or any man, for that matter), the word thong should be nowhere on your list list of "Clothes I'm Going to Wear Today."

    Slump or no slump, no one on Earth wants that visual. 

19. Iain Dowie

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    Jed Leicester/Getty Images

    Oh! I love this part, when Sloth rips off his shirt to show the Superman shirt undernea...oh, wait, this isn't Goonies

    Iain Downie is a fan of Rocky Road, though. 

18. Chris Kaman's Hair

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    No one's really sure what Kaman, the Los Angeles Clippers' center, was thinking with this haircut.

    We can still see your receding hairline, Chris. No need to try and hide it. 

    Fortunately, Kaman's been cutting his hair much shorter and neater in the last year or two, sparing us all the cruel and unusual punishment of seeing it. 

17. Alex Zanardi

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    This one was as bad as it looked at the time. Zanardi was rushed to a nearby hospital and still nearly died. 

    He lost both legs in the crash, but that hasn't stopped him from racing, thanks to a special shifter built into his steering wheel. 

16. Terrence Cody Shirtless

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    I feel like "topless" might be a more fitting way to describe this terrible assault on your eyes. 

    I don't know why Cody had to be shirtless for his combine weigh-in, and I don't know why someone decided to take a picture of it. 

    You can thank me later. 

15. Ken Daneyko

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    Daneyko was a legendary defenseman for the New Jersey Devils, who had his jersey retired by the team in 2006. 

    Apparently, he also didn't believe in mouth guards, which meant that he spent most of his career looking like Leon Spinks. 

    But, at the same time, would you get into a fight with this man? Neither would I. 

14. Willis McGahee's Knee Turns to Pasta

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    Here, Willis McGahee shows us what happens when a knee moving at full speed meets someone's helmet also moving at full speed in the opposite direction. 

    I remember when this happened. I was sure McGahee's career was over. 

    But he proved everyone wrong and is still in the NFL nine years later. 

13. Ron Artest Comes Into The Stands

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    Here we have exhibits A, B and C of why Artest is the scariest player in the NBA every time he steps on court. 

    Exhibit D is the time he carved "Tru Warier" into his hair to promote his record label.

12. Jason Kendall's Bone Pops Out

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    See that thing sticking out of Kendall's sock in this picture? 

    That's his leg. Specifically, the bone from his lower leg. Needless to say, he was out for the year after this one. 

11. Carlos Valderrama's Hair

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    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Valderrama's atrocity against all things hair was as much a part of his legend as his excellent touch in the midfield. 

    He was the most capped player in Columbian history, and if his hair looks larger than usual, it's because it's just eaten one of his smaller teammates. 

10. Marcin Wasilewski's Leg Snaps

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    This might be the most gruesome injury in football history. I will never understand how people call soccer a wussy sport and, after watching this, I feel like you'll agree with me. 

9. David Beckham's Cornrows

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    This isn't just horrifying, it's offensive and ridiculous. 

    Way to look like a nine-year-old girl, Becks. 

8. Bruce Pearl In Body Paint

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    Words cannot express the horror that is Bruce Pearl shirtless, slathered in body paint and jumping up and down. 

    Sure, he's in good shape for a guy his age, but it doesn't mean we want to see it.

7. Ezequiel Astacio

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    I don't know what's on Ezequiel Astacio's face, and, much like Franck Ribery, it's probably the result of something that happened in his childhood. 

    But that doesn't make it not scary enough to put him in the top 10. 

6. Shaun Livingston's Knee

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    I remember when this happened; I saw it on television at a restaurant and immediately stopped watching the game. 

    People's knees aren't supposed to do that. Poor Shaun hasn't been the same since. 

5. Mike Tyson

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    If you have to ask why Tyson's so high on this list, you haven't been paying attention the last 20 years. The man is a walking, talking freak show. 

4. Joe Theisman's Leg Snaps On National Television

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    How bad was this hit? Lawrence Taylor, at that point the meanest man in the NFL by a long shot, started waving frantically for the trainers to come help Theisman. 

    The injury ended Joe's career and was the first time you could hear a bone snap on Monday Night Football. 

3. Dennis Rodman

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    Once again, I think this speaks for itself. 

2. Clint Malarchuck's Throat

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    This might be one of the worst accidents in hockey history. Malarchuck, the goalie for the Buffalo Sabres, gets his jugular slashed by a teammate's skate blade. 

    He's the reason why goalies are required to wear some sort of throat guard attached to their helmets. 

    How do you know this qualifies as a horrific moment? An action figure has been made to commemorate the event.  

1. Al Davis

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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Why did Al beat out Malarchuck's neck and Dennis Rodman as the most horrifying sight in sports?  

    Well, let's take a look: his face appears to be decaying, he looks like the Cryptkeeper, his voice is like nails on a chalkboard, and he's running an NFL team despite possibly suffering from dementia. 

    Is that a good enough reason for you? 

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