16 Athletes Who Injured Themselves or Others While Celebrating on the Field
Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan submitted an early entry for “Most Foolish Play of the Year” during last night’s NFL season opener when, as part of the premature celebration of a inevitable pick-six, he dropped the football before reaching the end zone. The gaffe resulted in not only a Ravens touchback, but also an injury to fellow Denver linebacker Wesley Woodward, who was battered while trying to recover the ball. Unfortunate? No question. But as these 15 examples illustrate, even the most benign of celebrations can wreak havoc on those sharing in the merriment.
INJURIES TO LEGS (INCLUDING, AS THEY DO, KNEES)
2013: Georgia’s top receiver Malcolm Mitchell (#26) tears his ACL after jumping to celebrate a teammate’s touchdown
It looked innocuous. Life is unfair.
2013: Brazilian soccer player Maurides Roque Junior scores his first career goal, begins somersaulting, leaves on stretcher
Maurides learned very early into his career and at not too high a price — a knee sprain — the value of a high-five.
2012: A perfect game by Matt Cain leads to an imperfect celebration by Aubrey Huff, who sprains his knee leaping over dugout rail
- Huff pulled up lame, and got put out to pasture (the DL).
2012: Chris Coghlan tears the meniscus in his left knee while smashing teammate Wes Helms with pie after walk off single
It’s as easy as pie to mangle a knee ligament.
2012: Kendrys Morales breaks his leg stomping on home plate after walk off grand slam
From home plate to sitting at home.
2001: Kicker Bill Gramatica tears the ACL in his plant leg during a celebratory jump after netting a 43-yard field goal—in the first quarter
Though the less accomplished of the Gramatica kicking brothers, Bill led the league in enthusiasm.
1993: Charles Barkley tackles Kevin Johnson after a game-winning shot; Johnson winds up sidelined with a knee injury
“Kevin is tough, and people don’t really appreciate that,” Barkley said later. “I tested him when I got here to see how tough he was, and he satisfied me.”
INJURIES TO HEAD AND NECK (AND PRIDE)
1999: Kerwin Bell of the CFL’s Winnipeg Bombers spikes football between his legs, ball bounces back squarely into his junk
The unintentional, self-administered cup check.
1997: Gus Frerotte head-butts the end zone wall after touchdown run and sprains neck
The X-Rays were negative, thoughF rerotte’s pride was severely wounded.
INJURIES TO SHOULDERS
2013: Argentine soccer coach Mauricio Pellegrino dislocates shoulder while offering celebratory high five to no one
Everyone needs a partner.
2010: AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffers a similar but less severe humiliation, straining his arm with an exuberant fist pump following a bicycle kick goal
To his credit, the fist pump was as beautiful as the goal.
INJURIES TO HANDS AND FEET
2007: Buckeyes wideout Ted Ginn Jr. puts his best foot forward with touchdown return on opening kickoff, and then injures left foot in ensuing celebration
At some point during the exuberance, Ginn’s teammate slid into and sprained Ginn’s foot, rendering him a cheerleader for the remainder of the contest. It ranks pretty high on the misfortune scale, and barely registers on the Gus Frerotte Self-Inflicted Wounds Spectrum.
2004: Newlywed Swiss-Portuguese soccer player Paulo Diogo climbs fence while celebrating teammate’s goal, gets ring caught, rips off part of finger
Doctors could not re-attach the finger—but it’s soccer, so he doesn’t need hands .
SPECIAL IRONY SECTION
Excited youth hockey player jumps into boards and breaks through glass.
Somehow, he emerges unscathed.