10 Cringe-Worthy Sports Mishaps

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by Julia Ford

No matter how athletically talented you are, we’ve all had embarrassing moments while playing for a respective sports team.

For me, the only goal I ever scored during my soccer career was in my own team’s net. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Saturday morning game, which I hated.  I kept hearing the coach’s daughter scream at me to pass the ball to her, so I did, of course. Even though it defeats the purpose of everything soccer is, I hated when I had the ball. So, naturally, I wanted it gone. I passed to my teammate, and before the ball reached her, she walked away as if she wasn’t in front of the goal waiting to receive the ball. When it hit the net, I felt like the world was crashing around me. I can still hear my parents trying to pity-comfort my twelve-year-old self.

Now that we’ve broken the ice, let’s dive into the most embarrassing stories submitted by the Rival’s readers.

1) Try, try, try:

“My parents signed me up for golf when I was 11. I had various medical problems, but that didn't stop my parents' dreams of vicariously living through their child.

“On the first day of practice I got hit with clubs three different times and then a golf ball I hit went through my mom’s car window. When I told my mom that I wanted to quit, she signed me up for figure skating because I needed to do something ‘athletic.’ She signed me up for 11 different sport-like activities over the span of two years -- I either passed out or got concussed trying almost all of them.”

2) A not-so cheery break:

“I was a freshman in high school doing a tumbling pass for my competitive cheer team. I got my hand caught in the mat resulting in my middle finger to be shattered. Three pins and a surgery later, I now have a crooked middle finger, because when it had healed it healed almost sideways. I now love giving people my crooked middle finger and my mom said if she ever needs to identify my body she only has to look at my left hand.”

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3) A swift kick:

“I was playing soccer in middle school and I kicked my best friend, who happened to be playing goalie in the temple at full force while I was sprinting up to her. In my defense, I called out to her for the ball. My mom bought her an entire cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory as a get well present.”

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4) The danger of Cheerios:

“The only time I ever participated in a sport was a brief stint in 2006. My mom and dad signed me up for tennis and honestly, I would've continued the sport if not for this incident. I remember we were two months into tennis lessons and I had grown very fond of my purple Venus and Serena Williams tennis racket and my coaches.

“One morning, I had gotten to the racquet club pretty early, my stomach full of Honey Nut Cheerios and milk. I started my warm up, but pretty soon I heard a low rumbling. As someone with serial stomach troubles, I knew what tf was up. I walked up to a coach and excused myself to the bathroom. At this point I was trembling, my knees were shaky and my stomach was getting louder.

“I made it to the bathroom, but just barely, and threw up in the sink. As I examined my vomit, to my wonder I realized that I had thrown up perfectly round Honey Nut Cheerios into a public sink, where I could not wash them down with the faucet's stream of water. I frantically tried to spray them down into those tiny drain holes, but just ended up vomiting again. Eventually, I gave up, went back to practice, then ran into the arms of my mother and told her I wanted to quit tennis.”

5) Name-calling kills:

“So I was playing basketball in like 4th grade. And it was the middle of the game. I was open. I was the only one open. This was my time to shine. So I’m ready to get this ball. And then I hear my number being called (by the opponent’s coach, but I didn’t know that at the time). So I turn to look at the bench, thinking that it’s my coach telling me to move somewhere. Time stands still. The ball is thrown at me. I do not see the ball. The ball hits my head. I proceed to get whiplash in 30 seconds and the next thing I know I’m on the ground.”

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6) American Vandal season two comes to life:

“When I was on the wrestling team in high school while I was captain some kid took laxatives the day before, but also the day the coach made whoever didn’t make weight run the whole time... well, you know how this ends.”

7) A different kid of fake-out:

“I once brought my fake ID into the courts instead of my AU ID. But then, we all compared fakes, and I think I have the best one on the team…”

8) The delusion of the flag:

“I was playing on a flag football team and never really fit in, being one of the three girls in the league and the only girl on my team, but some of the boys went the extra mile to make me feel welcome. During a game, I finally got thrown the ball and actually caught it for once!! I then began celebrating the touchdown I thought I made. Turns out I was standing right outside the touchdown zone, someone pulled my flag and we lost the game. The catch also broke my ring finger on my right hand so all of this — at what cost?”

9) Family comes first:

“I was in 10th grade playing in a basketball game and this kid ripped my shoulder out the socket, just like what happened to Kevin Love. My girlfriend at the time came to watch with her mom and my grandma and I just kept trying not to cry. I rode to the hospital and they kept trying to relocate my shoulder and I was just hopped up on the drugs. My grandma left the room, and I yelled, ‘grandma don’t leave me!’ It was a real bonding moment.”

10) When hydration betrays:

“When I was in seventh grade, I was in the Boy Scouts. We were on a camping trip in the middle of the Texas summer and my mother has always drilled into me the importance of trying hydrated, so of course, I was drinking a lot of water. Like, a lot a lot. As we were walking to the archery range, I had to stop twice to pee before we even got there. It got to the point where the other boys were making fun of me, and as an adolescent, I was absolutely fuming at this latest way in which my body was betraying me.

“I resolved I wouldn't pee again until after we got back to the campsite, no matter what. Once we got there though, my bladder was already full again, and I was trying so hard to keep everything inside. One by one, all the other boys lined up to learn how to notch an arrow, aim, and fire at the target. My bladder felt like it was going to explode. Finally, it was my turn. I got up shakily from my bench, walked over to the instructor, and picked up a bow. He gave me the arrow. I rested it on the guard. And then, as I squinted hard with one eye and attempted to line up the head with the target, focusing hard on getting a bullseye, I felt a hot trickle of urine fall down my leg. I had concentrated so hard I pissed my pants.”

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As you can see, we all have similar adolescent experiences; our common connection might just be how miserably we all failed at sports during our younger years. Even though you may have an ugly scar, there’s strength in unity, right? So, the next time you have an embarrassing tumble, or miss a shot, reflect back on these tragic tales and remember that you are not alone. Happy Sports Week!

The Rival American