Sports are a funny old game. They can make total strangers hug each other (kiss if you’re lucky and she’s hot), and they can induce tears in grown men who were once in the military. Sports are also prone to the odd strange moments that make you wonder whether Saturn must have been aligning with Mercury at the same time or something.
Some of the weirdest moments in sport are singular occurrences, and will probably never ever happen again. And if they weren’t seen by thousands of people, the US government would probably deny they ever happened until they eventually crop up years later on the History Channel as part of conspiracy season. But because bizarre moments do happen and are seen by so many people, we thought we’d take a look at some of them!
Try not to get too spooked out.
A Baseball Kills A Seagull
We never like writing about deaths in sport because it’s just so tragic and horrible, but baseball can be a cruel sport (especially if you’re a Colorado Rockies fan.)
Flying birds are not unusual, of course, but when they fly into baseball air space, they’re leaving themselves open to attack. Randy Johnson almost killed one when he delivered a ball, as did a few others. But none hit the bullseye in quite the same way as the burly Dave Winfield, who managed to kill a seagull in Toronto during the warm-up.
Mike Tyson Bites An Ear Off
Despite his squeaky voice, Mike Tyson was basically an animal in his heyday. He was one of the toughest, meanest heavyweights in the ring, who stalked the canvas like a bull that knew it had the better of the matador.
Back in 1997, when he was at the peak of his powers, he got into the ring with Evander Holyfield in a WBA Heavyweight Championship. Holyfield won the first three rounds, which caused Iron Mike to see red. In the fourth, he bit a huge chunk out of Holyfield’s right ear, causing the boxer to cry like a girl.
The ref decided to continue the match, despite there being blood all over the floor and up the walls.
But Tyson again went for Holyfield’s ear, this time his right, and was disqualified.
Tyson returned the ear in 2013, while the cleaner has finally got all the blood out of the canvas.
A Flying Bat Stops The Spurs
Animals can invade games now and then. Squirrels have been known to end up on soccer pitches, while birds sometimes get obliterated by Dave Winfield’s bat. At the Spurs v Suns game back in 2009, an actual vampire BAT invaded proceedings, halting play numerous times.
Naturally, one or two hypochondriacs in the crowd had to sweat out the risk that they might get infected by rabies. Perhaps some of them even pretended to their mates that they were heading out to the toilet.
“I’ve really gotta go, man. Nah, I’m not scared of bats and rabies and foaming at the mouth. I just really gotta go.”
But player Manu Ginobili got so fed up of the interference that he ignored all medical advice and single-handedly picked up the bat and handed it to a presumably terrified stadium worker.
Tennis Star Gets Stabbed
Tennis is one of the most middle-class sports around. If you want to get away from the hurly burly, manly action of football, rugby, or baseball, you turn to tennis, a sport in which you can eat strawberries from the stands without being called a girl.
But in 1993, horror came to visit the tennis courts, when 19-year-old rising star Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a quarter-final game in Germany.
She had to be rushed to hospital with a half inch wound that, although not life-threatening, still caused significant blood loss.
The stabbing occurred during a rest break, with Seles leading 6-4, 4-3.
“Nobody saw him coming,” said a spectator. And nobody has since been able to explain why it happened.
Wrestler Dies In British Wrestling
British wrestling was hugely popular with TV audiences in the sixties, seventies and eighties, and in some ways ushered in the glorious era of WWE. But its popularity waned after August 1987, when one of its most popular wrestlers, Big Daddy, managed to cause the death of a fellow wrestler.
In a tag-team match, it was Big Daddy and Greg Valentine v King Kong Kirk and King Kendo. Big Daddy delivered a splash and had King Kong Kirk in a pin. But instead of trying to wriggle himself out of the pin, Kirk turned a bad colour and lost consciousness. He was taken to hospital, where he died on arrival. Big Daddy was absolved of all blame, as it was discovered that Kirk had a serious heart condition.