18 Athletes Who Have Injured Themselves Celebrating
Dishonorable Mention: This Andy Murray Fan
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maurides Roque Junior
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.