When you are a professional sportsman one of your biggest fears is that injury will end your career prematurely. There is always a degree of danger involved in sports, whether it is cricket, soccer, baseball or basketball and one would expect most injuries to occur on the field right? Wrong!
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ goalkeeper and Nigerian national team member, Carl Ikeme missed out on half of the 2013 season after his temper got the better of him and he hit a tactics board, breaking his hand. Although Ikeme’s mishap is still the talk of the town, he isn’t the only sportsman in history to suffer a rather bizarre injury, and he also won’t be the last.
*The 70’s were brutal*
One of the strangest injuries in the history of sport belongs to former Man U goalkeeper Alex Stepney. Way back in 1975, long before the likes of Beckham and Ronaldo, Stepney was considered hot property at Manchester United. It is rather sad that he is more commonly remembered for dislocating his own jaw while shouting at his defenders than for his soccer skills. Five years earlier, in 1970, the career of Brentford goalkeeper Chic Brodie came to an abrupt end when he collided with a sheepdog that ran onto the soccer pitch. Brodie ended up shattering his kneecap which ended his career while the dog ran away with the ball.
*Tanning bed disaster*
Marty Cordova spent 162 games every year out in the sun as the left fielder for the Baltimore Orioles. Clearly, this wasn’t enough for him as he was known to have an affinity for steam rooms and tanning beds .
In 2002 Marty’s somewhat forgettable career took an unexpected twist when he was forced to miss a couple of games due to facial burns – from a tanning bed. Cordova was only meant to go for a touch-up at a local salon but ended up falling asleep and emerged a few hours later resembling a cooked prawn. His doctors recommended that he stays out of the sun for at least a couple of days, causing him to miss his team’s game in California. Cordova didn’t have the most lucrative career in baseball history but at least he always sported a healthy tan when he went out on the pitch.
*Breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day*
Dustin Penner is brutal in the ice hockey rink, often making short work of his opponents. At the breakfast table though, it doesn’t take more than a stack of freshly-baked pancakes to render the former Canadian pro-hockey player immobile. According to Penner he simply reached over to dig into more of the pancakes that his wife prepared for breakfast when his back seized up. Luckily he managed to drive himself to the rink where he got the required medical attention and only ended up missing one game. Talk about having a hard-hitting breakfast.
Looking at these injuries it is sometimes hard to imagine how ultra-fit professional sportsmen who survive season after season on the field or court without injury, fall victim to such seemingly silly things. It just goes to show that no matter how big a hero you are on the sports field, you are never too much of a man to be disarmed by a humble stack of pancakes or a tanning bed at your local salon.