Queasy? Worst Sports Injuries of All Time
In the past week, Baltimore Oriole Manny Machado’s knee buckled as he rounded first base and Arizona Cardinal Rashad Johnson lost part of his finger mid-game. These injuries produced gruesome pictures and video. It’s the type of injury you don’t want to watch but you can’t turn away. Seeing these injuries got me thinking – what are the top five worst sports injuries of all time.
Now you don’t have to agree with me but when you think about the fact that you’re debating sports injuries you might realize how ridiculous that sounds. After each injury I’ll have a link to the video – click if you dare. Don’t worry I won’t show any pictures or videos in the actual article.
5) Have you ever seen a knee explode? A lot of times when a player tears his ACL the commentator describes it as exploding. But Shaun Livingston in 2007 probably has the closest thing to a blow-up as you can get. As he drove on a breakaway to the rim he came down very awkwardly dislocating his knee cap. But wait – he also tore his ACL, PCL and lateral meniscus. The icing on the cake was he also sprained his MCL.
4) Could there be a worse knee injury than Livingston’s? The answer is yes. In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl University of Miami running back Willis McGahee caught a screen pass and was immediately hit by a Buckeye defender. When that happened his leg went backwards and he tore the ACL, PCL and MCL. What makes McGahee’s injury worse than Livingston’s despite the fact that he tore all the muscles in the knee was the way it looked. Are you curios? Don’t worry the link to the video is below.
3) Joe Theismann’s career ended November 18th, 1985 when Lawrence Taylor sacked him and snapped his leg. A compound fracture where you clearly see his leg break in two and his bone is parallel to the field. It’s tough to see because the bone is on the field while the rest of the leg and knee are at a different angle. The hit was called the most shocking NFL hit of all time. I would tend to agree. When watching this video make sure you wait for the reverse angle. That’s where you will see the snap…if you’re so inclined to watch.
2) Hockey goaltenders are usually sparred from major injuries. They aren’t checked and they wear the most padding. But for Buffalo Sabre goalie Clint Malarchuk he took what most people believe is the worst sports injury ever. I think it’s number two. During a game in 1989 a St. Louis Blues player got checked into Malarchuk and the skate of the Blues player sliced Malarchuk’s jugular vein. Blood literally was squirting onto the ice at an alarming rate. He lost 1/3 of his blood and needed 300 stitches to close the wound. Doctors credit the team trainer for saving his life as he pinched the vein closed to stop the blood loss. Later doctors said that if the slice had occurred just a little bit higher he would have been dead in two minutes. While some will say this is the worst injury I will say it’s not because the video isn’t as clear and gruesome as the number one injury. But you can decide – the video is below.
1) The number one sports injury just happened in March of 2013. I’m sure you’ve heard and probably seen the video of Louisville’s Kevin Ware going for a block against Duke in an Elite 8 game and coming down at a weird angle and suffering a compound fracture. What makes the injury so bad is the HD video of the leg snapping and then you see him writhing in pain. The reaction of the bench says it all as they get a look at the injury and then the bone that actually breaks the skin and is sticking out. This is by far the one sports injury I don’t want to ever see again. The good news is that Ware is dunking again and is getting back to full strength.
Mike Zoller is a contributor for PorchDrinking.com. He works full-time in the Northwestern University Athletic Department. Follow him on Twitter @mikezoller.