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written by Sam Greenspan

I tore my ACL playing kickball. Here’s how pro athletes injured themselves in brutal ways.

So a few months ago, I hurt my knee. I could walk fine and didn’t think much of it but when it never got better I had it checked out. Turns out I tore my ACL and now, a week from Friday, I am having surgery.

I’m writing this list because I tore my ACL in an extremely comical way (for a 29-year-old)… and I need to feel better about myself by making fun of others.

I tore my ACL while playing kickball.

My friends and I all play in an adult kickball league. And while it’s great, a whole lot of fun, an amazing social thing, blah blah blah… on the surface level, I have to spend the rest of my life wearing a knee brace when I play sports because, at age 29, I tore my right ACL playing kickball.

(Specifically, I tore my ACL while running from third to home. I took a giant step to try to land on home and my knee twisted. And no, my run didn’t even count… I was thrown out because one of my teammates decided to bunt with the bases loaded.)

So I decided to dig through tons of lists of lame and stupid sports injuries to find 11 that were lamer than mine. So here’s my list of the 11 lamest and stupidest injuries in sports history.

We’ll call my adult kickball-related ACL tear number 12.

1 | Bill Gramatica tears his ACL celebrating a first quarter field goal

In 2001, as a rookie for the Arizona Cardinals, Gramatica hit a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter, to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead against the New york Giants. He celebrated like crazy… landed weird after jumping in the air to pump his fist… and tore his ACL.

2 | John Smoltz burns himself ironing a shirt… he was wearing

Smoltz has denied this actually happened, but it’s been pretty widely reported. And this is a comedy website, so faux-journalism is alright by me.

Allegedly, back when Smoltz was on the Atlanta Braves, he burned himself while he was ironing a shirt. Because… he decided to iron out the wrinkles while he was still *wearing* the shirt. That’s a stupid injury (for ironing a shirt while wearing it) AND a lame one (for ironing, in general).

3 | Glenallen Hill freaks out during a nightmare about spiders and falls through a glass table

In 1990, when Glenallen Hill was on the Toronto Blue Jays, he had a nightmare. Hill has arachnophobia and, in his dream, he was, quote, “trying to get away from spiders.”

He started sleeprunning away from the spiders and ended up slamming into a wall… falling through a glass table… and tumbling down about 10 stairs. He suffered enough cuts and bruises that the Blue Jays had to put him on the 15-day disabled list.

4 | Glenn Healy stabs himself while fixing bagpipes

In the summer of 2000, before Healy’s last season in the NHL (as a goalie on the Toronto Maple Leafs), Healy decided to fix up a set of antique bagpipes. While he was changing the bag, he sliced up his hand which required 40 stitches.

5 | Kevin Mitchell chips a tooth eating a stale donut

I couldn’t find the date on this one, but apparently, Kevin Mitchell has confirmed it happened, so it goes here.

At some point during his playing career, Mitchell wanted a donut. (Well, honestly, looking at Kevin Mitchell, that probably happened a few times during his playing career.)

He took a chocolate donut out of the freezer and put it in the microwave to defrost it. But he didn’t leave it in for long enough so, when he tried to bite into it, he chipped his tooth.

6 | Moises Alou injures himself when he runs over his son on a bicycle

Hey, here’s another ACL one. In the offseason before the 1999 baseball season, Moises Alou tore his ACL when he flew off a treadmill. But that’s not even close to the worst part…

During his rehab, he was riding a bicycle… and somehow he accidentally ran over his son. The kid was OK but it completely re-injured Alou’s ACL.

Note to self: During my rehab for my ACL, avoid my bicycle. Or, if I am riding my bike, avoid running over Moises Alou’s son.

7 | Charlie Hough breaks his pinky while pinky swearing

I couldn’t find a ton of corroboration on this one, but, according to several reports, at some point during Hough’s tenure on the Texas Rangers (1980-1990), he broke his pinky… while pinky swearing.

He should really go around to middle schools and give cautionary lectures about this at assemblies. (“So even if Jenny demands that you pinky-swear you won’t tell anyone she just got her period and didn’t spill spaghetti sauce on her white pants like she said she did… tell Jenny you respect her secret but you’ll only swear it by shaking hands, high fiving, or thumb wrestling.”)

8 | Joel Zumaya and Lionel Simmons both get injured from too much video game playing

When the Detroit Tigers were making their run to the World Series in 2006, one of their key relievers, Joel Zumaya, had to be kept out of the ALCS because of inflammation in his right arm.

Turns out, it was inflamed because he was playing way, way too much Guitar Hero. He would’ve gotten away with it, too, but one of the Tigers’ trainers realized Zumaya’s injuries were more like a guitar player’s than a pitcher’s… and figured it out.

The injury was a throwback to Lionel Simmons, who missed a few games in 1991, his rookie year with the Sacramento Kings, after he developed tendinitis in his right wrist from playing too much Game Boy.

9 | Rickey Henderson gets frostbite in the summer… from falling asleep on an icepack

There are dozens of insane Rickey stories, but this is one of the best. He once had to miss three games because he fell asleep on an icepack and got frostbite. In August.

He was angry about that. The icepack treatment was a new idea by his trainer and Rickey said, quote, “What is Rickey, a guinea pig?”

10 | Sammy Sosa hurts his back during a sneezing fit

In 2004, before a game against the San Diego Padres, Sammy Sosa had a violent sneezing fit. That caused back spasms… and forced him to miss the game.

11 | Kaz Matsui misses games because of somehow getting anal fissures

Matsui missed the first three weeks of the 2008 MLB season for the Houston Astros because of a surgery he received shortly before opening day.

That surgery was: To repair his anal fissures.

Anal fissures are defined as “an unnatural crack or tear in the anus skin” and can cause “rectal bleeding [or] severe, periodic pain after defication.”

The cause of Matsui’s anal fissures was not released. However, some of the possible causes of anal fissures are: Straining to defecate… severe and chronic constipation or diarrhea… or anal sex (receiving, naturally, although it’d be quite a testament to your skill if it happened while giving).