18 Athletes Who Have Injured Themselves Celebrating

Jessica Marie@ItsMsJisnerCorrespondent IIJuly 18, 2013

18 Athletes Who Have Injured Themselves Celebrating

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    Winning is fun. Celebrating a huge win is even more fun. 
    Unless the end result is a trip to the disabled list. 
    Most players who enter the post-home run celebration man pile behind home plate come out unscathed, but every so often, things go awry and someone comes out of the party with a torn ligament or a concussion. 
    Most players who celebrate a game-saving interception or a pick-six come out the other end just fine, but there are the select few who celebrate so hard, their ACLs give out. 
    Kind of makes you think twice before you fist-pump and jump like there's no tomorrow, doesn't it? 

Dishonorable Mention: This Andy Murray Fan

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    When Andy Murray destroyed Novak Djokovic in straight sets to win Wimbledon this July and earn his second major, it was a big deal.

    A big enough deal, in fact, that this overzealous fan almost drowned himself over it.

    According to The Telegraph, a 45-year-old yachtsman was moored near the Isle of Wight when he "decided to take a celebratory dive into the sea on news of Murray's championship victory." That is where things went wrong: The man dislocated his shoulder as he hit the water.

    The man swam back toward the boat and managed to climb back aboard, but the Coast Guard still had to be called to the rescue.

Lindsey Vonn

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    There are embarrassing injuries, and then there are embarrassing injuries. 
    Olympic skier and current Tiger Woods arm candy Lindsey Vonn is the proud proprietor of one of the most embarrassing injuries of all. 
    In 2009, Vonn needed tendon surgery to her right thumb, not because of a fall or a collision on the slopes, but because she cut herself on a broken champagne bottle while celebrating victories in the Super-G and the downhill at the world championships. 
    The L.A. Times explains the scenario as such:
    Vonn's problems began when she couldn't open the champagne bottle because the cork broke. Someone used a ski to extract the remaining piece of cork, breaking the bottle in the process. Vonn didn't realize what had happened and grabbed the damaged bottle as the champagne flowed.
    Note to everyone ever: Think twice, or at all, before grabbing a broken champagne bottle with your bare hand. 

Ryan Dempster

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    Anytime an MLB player has to interrupt his season with a stay on the disabled list, it's a bummer. But anytime that stay could have easily been avoided, it is a major bummer. 
    In 2009, then-Chicago Cubs hurler Ryan Dempster was thrilled when his team scored a big win over the Brewers. So thrilled, in fact, that in his haste to hop over the dugout railing, he caught his foot and broke the big toe on his right foot. 
    Here's his explanation, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:
    Sunday after the game I was coming out of the dugout and stepping over the top of the railing there, I was sitting up on the ledge, and I caught my left foot on the rail as I was coming over and it just spun me around and slammed me into the ground. When I did it, I thought I just ripped my nail back on my foot. Unfortunately, the result wasn't very funny. If you ask Derrek Lee, he thought it was pretty funny, because the first person I saw when I looked up was D-Lee, and he was laughing. I'm sure it looked hysterical from his angle. 

Derrek Lee

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    Derrek Lee may want to hold his laughter, however, because he has been the victim of a freak celebration injury himself. And his was way more embarrassing. 
    In September of the same season as Dempster's injury, Lee gifted the Cubs with a game-tying run in the top of the ninth inning of a game against San Francisco. According to Fox Sports, Lee entered the dugout amidst celebration, and relief pitcher Angel Guzman slapped Lee's helmet-clad head, as baseball players are prone to do. 
    Except that the slap left Lee with neck spasms, forcing him out of that game and the next. 

Thomas Levet

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    Thomas Levet didn't swing too hard in order to hurt himself. He didn't trip over something. In fact, the tournament was over by the time he sustained this freak injury. 
    The French golfer emerged victorious in the 2011 French Open, winning by one shot, and he was so happy that he couldn't help but jump into the lake on the 18th green. 
    He emerged from the lake with a shin injury so severe that the fracture forced him to give up his spot in the British Open. 
    Oh, so that's why golfers don't jump into lakes when they sink putts! 

Jeff Baker

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    So to recap, we've seen Derrek Lee get injured by a helmet slap. 
    But this is worse. Way worse. 
    Earlier this season, current Texas Rangers utility man Jeff Baker was embarking on his usual round of post-scoring high fives when an over-exuberant teammate came at him a little too hard. The super-enthusiastic high five left Baker with a sprained thumb. 
    As for the aggressor, he will forever remain a mystery. Baker would only say this: "It is what it is. He feels terrible about it."

Darius McClure

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    Getting beaten on your home field by Boston College is bad enough. But when you're getting your butt kicked and, by some act of God, you do something good and then injure yourself celebrating that one silver lining in the midst an eventual loss…it's really bad. 
    Such was the situation Florida State's Darius McClure found himself in on one fateful November night in 2008. 
    McClure earned his first career interception late in the game against the Eagles, and upon celebrating, he landed wrong and suffered a season and career-ending knee injury
    By the way, this was a guy who had only missed two games since his redshirt freshman season, and also a guy who survived this ridiculous feat of basketball prowess

DeAngelo Hall

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    Um, so this is embarrassing. 
    In 2009, the Washington Redskins' DeAngelo Hall was already out of commission due to a sprained right knee. The injury kept him out of a game against the Saints, but it didn't put a damper on his enthusiasm. 
    In fact, Hall became such an enthusiastic cheerleader during the course of the eventual loss that, as he stood cheering on the sidelines, he gave himself back spasms to add to the sprained knee he was already dealing with. 
    Hall told the AP (via ESPN.com): 
    I probably should have been up in the suites relaxing, but I wanted to be down there with my teammates and encourage my guys on. I found myself almost jumping up and down every play.
    You have to love his energy, though. 

Maurides Roque Junior

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    Scoring your first professional goal is a big deal. If anything warrants an epic celebration, that does. 
    But Maurides Roque Junior's celebration got a little bit too epic. 
    In the 88th minute of a game earlier this month, the 19-year-old Brazilian soccer star netted a goal for the first time ever and embarked on an intricate celebration routine that included cartwheels and back flips. 
    Unfortunately, he couldn't quite land his back flip, topping over onto the ground before gesturing wildly to his teammates and coaches in a panic because his knee was sprained. 
    He was removed from the field on a stretcher. 
    So, lesson learned: No back flips when you score a goal. Just play it safe. Stick with the pacifier next time if you have a pacifier. That is more than enough.

Chris Coghlan

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    OK, so I lied. The helmet-slap wasn't the most embarrassing injury on this list. Nor was the over-exuberant high five. 
    Injuring yourself during a shaving cream pie attack is definitely the most embarrassing injury on this list. 
    In 2010, Coghlan, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year and Marlins outfielder, was assigned the task of smothering teammate Wes Helms with a shaving cream pie after Helms delivered a game-winning, pinch-hit single with the bases loaded in a game against the Braves. 
    In the process of carrying on the cherished pie tradition, though, Coghlan tore the meniscus in his left knee, which came with a 6-8 week recovery period. 
    Afterward, he had only this to say:
    It's very humbling when the game is taken away and you don't realize it because you play every day. If you ever get injured, you want to do it while you're out there competing, not when you're celebrating. Emotions get the best of you, you're excited. There's nothing wrong with that but be a little smarter when you're celebrating a win.
    Words of wisdom. 

Max Scherzer

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    When you're a professional baseball player, the beginning of October is the wrong time to injure yourself celebrating a big win. Even if that big win helps you get to the postseason, you don't want to miss the playoffs because you got a little bit too enthusiastic about celebrating.

    Last year, on the cusp of the postseason, Detroit Tigers righty Max Scherzer had to miss his final start of the season because he tweaked his ankle celebrating the Tigers' AL Central title.

    Manager Jim Leyland told the Associated Press (via SI.com) that someone stepped on his pitcher during the pig pile on the pitcher's mound, leaving him with "a slightly twisted ankle. You know, swollen, but it doesn't appear to be serious."

    Next time, stay on the outskirts of the pig pile.

Ted Ginn Jr.

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    There's nothing better than beginning a game by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

    Unless you're Ted Ginn Jr., and after you return that opening kickoff for a touchdown, one of your own teammates tackles you in the end zone and leaves you injured.

    In the 2007 BCS National Championship Game, the Buckeyes' Roy Hall tackled teammate Ginn in celebration, accidentally leaving the return man with a sprained left foot. Ginn had to leave the game after his big play thanks to his reckless teammate.

Dustan Mohr

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    Winning is fun, but when it's only the first couple weeks of the season, MLB players must find a way to contain themselves. It's a long, grueling schedule. Sustaining a self-inflicted injury during the first week only makes it longer.

    In 2005, former Colorado Rockies outfielder Dustan Mohr was so elated when teammate Clint Barmes hit a two-run bomb to give the Rockies a victory in their home opener, he strained his calf in an attempt to get out of the dugout and celebrate.

    Next time, do yourself a favor: Take it slow. Slow and steady wins the race. The celebration pile will still be there behind the plate when you get there.

Gus Frerotte

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    Here we come to one of the most infamous self-inflicted celebration injuries of all.

    Former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte was under center for the Washington Redskins in 1997. In a big game against the New York Giants, he made a big play, embarking on a one-yard touchdown run before deciding it was appropriate to celebrate.

    So the QB shot straight through the end zone toward the wall and headbutted it, and things quickly went awry. Clearly in pain, Frerotte was checked out by team trainers, and though he managed to make it back out onto the field for Washington's next possession, he didn't last long: According to Real Clear Sports, Frerotte was taken to the hospital for tests at halftime and didn't return due to a sprained neck.

Aubrey Huff

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    Those stupid dugout railings. Clearly, MLB needs to either do something about them or ban walk-off celebrations. The railings have proven too hazardous.

    In June 2012, then-San Francisco Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff was yet another victim of the dugout railing. After teammate Matt Cain threw a perfect game, Huff misjudged the railing in his haste to get out to the mound to celebrate and sprained his right knee. He had to be helped off the field.

    Manager Bruce Bochy told the AP (via SI.com):

    He's got a pretty good bruise in the right knee. He's going to lose some time, and he was going to have some at bats in the American League parks. It's a bad break for him and for us.

    That's for sure.

Paulo Diogo

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    So this one is both excruciatingly painful and embarrassing. What a terrible combo.

    In December 2004, Portuguese footballer Paulo Diogo—then playing for Servette FC—was so elated when he assisted on a goal in the 87th minute of a game against FC Schaffhausen that, in jubilation, he jumped onto the metal fence that separated the fans from the field. Unfortunately, he failed to realize that his wedding ring had gotten caught in the barrier, and when he jumped off the fence, the ring—and a chunk of his finger—came off.

    As if that wasn't bad enough, the refs also slapped him with a yellow card for excessive celebration.

Rob Johnson

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    Let this be a lesson: All MLB players must proceed with caution when celebrating walk-offs. Bad things happen when you celebrate too enthusiastically. If hockey players can celebrate their goals when there's a) ice and b) blades in the equation, baseball players should be able to get by unscathed, too.

    In 2009, former Seattle Mariners catcher Rob Johnson was one of the unfortunate few to injure himself reveling in a walk-off. After Ichiro Suzuki went deep to give the Mariners the win, Johnson sprained his left ankle jumping up and down.

    According to the Seattle Times, Johnson was celebrating next to home plate and his foot landed in the hole the right-handed batters dig in the box.

    Such a hazard.

Kendry Morales

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    Hitting a walk-off grand slam is a big deal. 
    Hitting a walk-off grand slam and then injuring yourself jumping onto home plate is an even bigger deal. 
    Former Angels infielder Kendry Morales was the victim of this freak accident in 2010, when his long ball gave the Angels a 5-1 walk-off win over the Mariners. Unfortunately, though, Morales himself didn't walk off with the rest of his teammates: When he jumped on home plate in jubilation, he slipped and broke his leg
    The celebration, as expected, was short-lived. 

Bill Gramatica

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    The most infamous celebration-related injury of all time belongs to Bill Gramatica. He will forever go down in history not only as the kicker who managed to injure himself when there was no contact involved, but also as the guy who tore his ACL jumping in the air.

    In December 2001, the Arizona Cardinals rookie kicker sent a 43-yard field goal through the uprights in the first half of a game against the Giants. In the ensuing celebration, he jumped in the air, then came down awkwardly on his right leg, immediately crumbling to the ground and clutching the knee. It just so happened that he tore his ACL in celebration and had to miss the remainder of the season.

    Congratulations, Bill.