The Most Dangerous Place in Sports

Gabe Zaldivar@gabezalPop Culture Lead WriterJanuary 24, 2014

The Most Dangerous Place in Sports

0 of 22

    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    The good news is you are close to all the action. Unfortunately, the bad news is that you are extremely close to all the action. 

    And with that, we bring you to all the reasons you might not want to sidle the sidelines at a sporting event. Oh sure, it looks like the best vantage point in the house, but it comes with its own set of pratfalls and possible disasters. 

    From coaches dropping haymakers to some dropping some serious cash because of fines, we have you covered. Of course, we also have some words of caution for you fans who want nothing more than to get close to all the action: Sometimes it's best to just watch the game from the cheap seats. 

    As always, feel free to suggest your own instances of sideline mayhem in the comments section below. 

    Now let's show you why the sidelines aren't always the best place in the house. 

    Note: We are playing fast and loose with the term sideline, but we hope you will forgive us with some of the more classic videos. 

Anyone See a Big Baby Fly Though Here?

1 of 22

    Contrary to popular opinion, Glen "Big Baby" Davis isn't all that aerodynamic. In fact, he also makes for a fairly horrible dirigible. 

    Here he is flying into the front row, which you might describe as him falling with style. 

The Agony of Reporting Part I

2 of 22

    Boy oh boy do we hope you enjoy watching reporters get smashed in the face with random sports equipment, because that seems to be a fairly regular danger of life on the sidelines. 

    Here you have Fox Sports reporter Pam Oliver taking a Chandler Harnish toss to the face and then handling it like a true professional. 

    Hit your target, Harnish. 

Tommy Lasorda Goes from Standing to Sitting in No Time

3 of 22

    Down goes Tommy. Down goes Tommy. 

    Let's take you back to the 2001 MLB All-Star Game, a grand time that featured former MLB volume swinger Vladimir Guerrero as well as the zaftig hijinks of one Tommy Lasorda. 

    Sports Illustrated's report at the time states the mishap went down in the sixth inning when Guerrero's bat splintered, sending a piece over to Lasorda who was serving as honorary manager for the game. 

    That's when Lasorda very nearly rolled right out of the stadium never to be seen again. 

Heads Up!

4 of 22

    If you are anywhere near the end zone and Michael Boley is running toward you holding the ball, we suggest you duck. 

    In fact, just run away. 

    The former Giants linebacker happens upon defensive gold in the form of a Rams turnover, and he takes it all the way to the house. That's when, it seems, he exacts revenge on the one man who doubted Boley all along. 

    Just kidding. As Yahoo! Sports reported at the time, Boley was just excited and didn't mean to hit Giants video intern Michael Brown, who came away just fine from the odd incident. 

    But seriously, just duck if an ecstatic Boley comes around. 

The Agony of Reporting Part II

5 of 22

    Oh you can try to get Fox Sports Wisconsin's Sophia Minnaert off her game, but you would have better luck rattling LeBron James or Peyton Manning. 

    The reporter was just trying to do her job during a May Brewers game, but instead had her microphone knocked to the ground when a ball was sent flying toward her midsection. 

    As Yahoo! Sports' Mark Townsend speculates, the ball was more than likely from an errant throw from one of the players. 

    We really need the name of that player, because a public shaming is well in order. 

Woody Hayes' Infamous Punch

6 of 22


    The 2014 Orange Bowl reminded fans about the last time Ohio State and Clemson met on the field in a bowl game. 

    The 1978 Gator Bowl was once again relived by ESPN's Brian Bennett, Fox Sports' David Whitley and others who brought us all back to the final game coached by the legendary Woody Hayes. 

    For context, Clemson had a 17-15 lead with two minutes to go, attempting to stave off a late run by Ohio State. Fortunately for Clemson, the Tigers' Charlie Bauman picked off a pass and ran it towards the OSU sideline. 

    That's when emotions got the best of Hayes, and he clocked Bauman in the neck area. Yeah, that didn't work out too well for Hayes, who had coached 28 years at OSU. 

    Hayes was fired the next day. 

The Play

7 of 22

    You've probably seen this play roughly a million times, but, like George Clooney and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, it seems to keep getting better with age. 

    In the waning moments of 1982's The Big Game, everybody at Memorial Stadium, especially the Stanford band, believed the game was well in hand for the Cardinal. 

    Thanks to the band's exuberance, close proximity to the field and five lateral passes by Cal, we get one of the greatest highlights in sports history. 

    Depending on your loyalty, you either cringe or cheer the second the Stanford band member gets knocked to the ground. 

    Now let this be a reminder that no good comes from leaving your seat early.

Mike Tomlin Tap Dances

8 of 22

    Even just standing around can get you in trouble on the sideline. 

    That's essentially what happened to the Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, who decided to chill just inches from the field of play as the Ravens' Jacoby Jones ran up the sideline. 

    For his transgression, Tomlin was fined a hefty $100,000 and the Steelers will lose a late-round draft pick, via CBS Sports

    If that wasnn't enough, Tomlin's gaffe now lives on in countless Internet memes. Perhaps coach might consider watching the actual game instead of the Jumbotron next time. 

The Agony of Reporting Part III

9 of 22

    Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown found reporting for ESPN during a 2012 fixture was far more perilous than he bargained for.  

    However, getting bludgeoned upside the head with an errant ball didn't knock his wits, because Keown managed to lob a nice jab back in the other direction later in the proceedings with, "I'm told it was Michael Brown. I don't think he was aiming for me, because he's not good enough to hit me from that distance."

    Ouch! That hurts more than any knock to the head. 

Nick Saban Is Not a Happy Man

10 of 22

    Of course, winning a big game means that the athletes hit the showers while one lucky coach, and some unfortunate reporters, get to enjoy an ice-cold bath. 

    Now really, there is a wealth of these videos on the Internet, but we are just so fond of Nick Saban and his reaction to this awkward bath in the waning moments of the 2010 National Championship against the Texas Longhorns. 

    Alabama certainly played a good game, defeating the Longhorns, 37-21, but they showed a complete inability to throw a Gatorade bath without nearly decapitating their coach. 

John Giannone

11 of 22

    We could have included reporter John Giannone's run-in with a puck with the rest of the unfortunate souls making up the "Agony of Reporting."

    However, and we hope you agree, he deserves his very own nod. 

    In a Feb. 2013 game between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers, MSG reporter Giannone found out in a painful manner that the game can indeed become far too interactive. A puck hit his face, necessitating a trainer come and patch him up. 

    As Yahoo! Sports' Harrison Mooney noted at the time, Giannone kept on working, because no amount of blood was going to keep him from doing his job.  

Pardon, Coming Through

12 of 22

    Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through. 

    As if getting run over by a referee wasn't bad enough, it seems Illinois coach Tim Beckman was actually called for a 15-yard penalty for generally being in the way. 

    Well, CBS Sports reports the official call was "sideline interference," but we just like to think that's a fancy way of saying he was in the way. 

The Agony of Reporting IV

13 of 22

    Ian Rapoport will be right with you, but he needs to deal with this sudden influx of footballs being thrown at his face first. 

    In a 2012 game between the Packers and Texans, Rapoport got the hard hits off to an early start by taking a face full of pigskin while breaking down the game at hand. 

    Yes, Rapoport, we all saw the football. The camera you are talking to is actually capturing every moment, and we are certainly glad it is. 

Whoopsie Daisy

14 of 22

    Unfortunately, we don't have much in the way of strong concrete details. The YouTube description merely offers, "Camera operator filming Chapman v Claremont football game tackled on the sideline." Thankfully, it offers the addendum, "She was ok!"

    Still, it looks like we can add holding a camera along a sideline to the list of things we won't be doing anytime soon. 

    Fortunately, we hear her state, "Yeah, I'm good." And now we can feel comfortable watching this with our feet up, enjoying a nice bowl of popcorn. 

Blake Griffin's Disaster

15 of 22

    Sitting in the front row of a Clippers game affords you an amazing vantage point for all those fancy Blake Griffin slam dunks you have heard about. 

    Unfortunately, it also means that Griffin may at some point spill all of your food and drink because of his propensity to turn a slight push into the most massive shove in sports. 

Wait for It

16 of 22

    Sometimes picking up the sounds of the game can get you into trouble, like it did for this sound guy who fought the good fight but collapsed to the turf in the end. 

    Gravity claims another. 


17 of 22

    Here's an oldie but a goodie. Well, it's an oldie where I come from

    In the posted video, we assume was filmed with a potato, you will find a moment nearly as old as the Internet itself. No need to fact check that last statement. 

    We assume the little kid is older and doing just fine, living the high life that comes with all the residuals garnered from classic Internet videos. 

    That's a thing right?

The Agony of Reporting V

18 of 22

    Watch out, Amy. Right behind you, Amy. Boom! Amy!

    Despite our constant warnings, this video always ends the same, with poor Amy Campbell getting an unexpected tackle, compliments of the football practice going on behind her. 

    Now, despite what looks like an extremely dangerous hit, Campbell came away relatively unscathed. A Fox Sports report let's us all breathe a bit easier, because the reporter escaped with a bruised knee. 

    Still, this reporting game looks pretty dangerous. 

Just Leave It Alone

19 of 22

    Thanks to this dated KOMO 4 News report, we know that the cheerleader who gets absolutely annihilated in the video was just fine. 

    We also now know that if there is a banner destined to be destroyed by a bunch of football players, we should stay clear from walking behind it. 

    Now, now, I know there is something that needs fixing on the back of that there banner, but trust that it's best if you forget all about it. 

That Glass Doesn't Look so Sturdy

20 of 22

    Dion Phaneuf has something against the safety glass surrounding the ice. 

    That's just one of the things you will learn in this compilation of NHL glass breaks brought together and placed ever so gently onto YouTube by Tall Hockey Blog

    We will still take seats right up against the glass. Although, it might be wise to bring an umbrella to some of these games. 

That Doesn't Look Right

21 of 22

    The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, but they had to get through the 49ers first, which was a far taller order for some. 

    Here is Jeremy Lane finding out that slipping through the Niners sideline can be just as hard-hitting an experience as on the field. 

    As ProFootballTalk reports, the 49ers have not yet heard from the NFL, which continues to investigate the matter. 


22 of 22

    Lastly, if you happen to be anywhere in the vicinity of me hitting a golf ball, you are going to get plunked. That just seems to be what my very special golf swing produces. 

    Still, we would advise seeking shelter even when one of the best in the world smacks a ball down the fairway. Then again, getting hit with Tiger Woods' ball does earn you a nice signed glove for your trouble. Not bad for a day's work.