Saturday, 7 January 2017

Weird sports shit you don't see enough of

For all the time we waste watching sports you have to admit that eventually it gets so tedious and normal that you just want something insane, stupid or unusual to happen. Here's to odd scenarios continuing to surprise us.

Outfield players in goal
The ultimate, now sadly ruined by the era of having an extra keeper on the bench. These days you really have to be unlucky and lose two keepers before some poor untrained bastard is given the gloves and ordered to try and keep the damage down as best possible.

Given that Ipswich Town once lost 9-0 at Old Trafford I'd say Vinnie Jones did surprisingly well to keep the damage to six on this day. I feel an affinity with his performance, because he's going about it exactly how I used to when our idiotic indoor soccer goalkeeper failed to turn up and I had to do it. Any shot at the legs or head high was dealt with well, but due to total lack of understanding about positioning all you had to do was aim your shot at my torso and I'd either go to water and let it in or unconvincingly parry into an oncoming player who'd gleefully smash it home.

Wicketkeepers bowling
As the #1 ticketholder of the Tim Zoehrer Fan Club it comes as no surprise that this would tickle my fancy. The added bonus is that you not only do you get an odd player rolling the arm over, but also its closely related cousin the unqualified wicketkeeper. What a tragedy it was when Matthew Wade had to go off the other day and the Australians had another keeper in the XI who could replace him. Speaking of Matthew Wade, here he is doing his best Tim Zoehrer impersonation.

Stay tuned until around the two minute mark when you can hear Chappelli say "that's bollocks, no way" in the background. Which will just have to make do until he can find a video of the time he was caught saying "fuck" live on air.

Fat men throwing touchdown passes
Usually the heavier the player the funnier the highlight is no matter what the sport, but what really brings this 346 pound man's successful throw to life is the dainty way he just rolls it over the top. And what's with the weird mascot that walks on to celebrate at the end? The team is the Chiefs and it looks like an alien.

Trying to exploit unusual and forgotten rules for a score
Speaking of American Football, there is a little used 'free kick' rule where if you catch a kick you can have a free ping at a field goal without being troubled by the opposition. Nobody's landed one since 1976 but it hasn't stopped a few visionaries from trying in the dying seconds of a half.

Here's one from 1980, because clearly everyone who has uploaded footage of one since then is so scared of the NFL suing them that they only show the kick and not the lead up. Drink it in. Obviously I've already given away that he misses, but hooray for the novelty. Listen carefully for somebody's 'disappointed' reaction in the background after it's flubbed.

For an added bonus see players drop-kicking the conversion for a laugh, and a one point safety that the commentators provide no regard for until it's called.

Defenders kicking goals
Admittedly it was an end of season game so free of spark that at one point North Melbourne fans spent five minutes booing the wrong player, but after 60 games without a goal here's Tom McDonald kicking two in a couple of minutes. The historical significance was so great (for me anyway) that chippy North fans tried to start an argument about it. I've suffered enough that the views of North fans no longer seem relevant.

It's what we want, players who you would never consider as attacking threats going forward and kicking a crucial goal. This was hardly Neil Crompton in the 1964 Grand Final but I liked it. See also the day full back of the century Stephen Silvagni plundered Fitzroy for 10.6.

Players scoring directly from a corner 
There's nothing like the joy/agony of the ball whipping in and somehow finding its way into the net, preferably untouched but we'll take a cheap deflection as it long as it means the iconic vision of a keeper trying to pin the blame on his defenders by holding his hands in the air like it's anyone's fault but his.

On this night the long suffering Australian national team took out 30 years of frustration by battering a bunch of hapless amateurs from American Samoa - it started with a goal from a corner and ended in a demonstration of what a great soccering power we were. Unfortunately when it came to playing competent, professional teams we weren't much chop. Which makes beating the snot out of American Samoa look a bit less impressive eh?

Commentators cracking the shits
These days commentator 'controversy' is reduced to whatever stupid shit Brian Taylor has just said, but back in the day of REAL COMMENTATORS you'd have people who carried enough weight and respect that they could do a quick editorial and you didn't want to climb through the TV and throttle them.

'At him' goals
Is there anything more painful than a keeper dandily messing about with the ball at his feet instead of either picking it up or thumping it as far down the ground as possible? No there is not. Unfortunately I can't find a video of the prime example of what I'm looking for, so instead here's Colombia's eccentric netminder Rene Higuita trying to execute a fancy turn in midfield during the 1990 World Cup and quite frankly fucking it up.

Goalkeepers scoring
Any keeper will do, even if it's the old Chilavert style howitzer free kick from halfway, but for importance and reaction you'll do well to beat Jimmy Glass on the last day of the 1998/99 season. With Carlisle United dead and buried at the bottom of the football league the on-loan keeper decided to have a go.

Watch not just for Jimmy's goal, but for the poor bastard Scarborough fans who are pictured celebrating prematurely before we cut back to them looking like they're about to die in agony. It got worse, the whole club went tits up less than a decade later. If he ever visits Jimmy may wish to book his hotel room under a false name.

Dunks that break the goal
No explanation necessary due to the exciting visual when they shattered the backboard glass. Roll on the hundreds of kids who crippled themselves trying similarly rim shaking dunks in the mid 90s.

Boxers doing an elaborate pre-match dance ritual...
... preferably before having their previously perfect record ruined by a journeyman battering them in the first round. I first saw this just before the 2007 Grand Final, and it was a great warm-up for what was about to happen to Port Adelaide.

Spectacular crashes which end without injury
Hooray for the safety of motor racing drivers, and as much as people secretly deep down want to see a big stack and damn the consequences what better result that it ending with the car still (sort of) going in a straight line.

That's what we got when Christian Fittipaldi, the rather less successful member of the family, at the 1993 Italian Grand Prix. On the last lap his Minardi teammate Pierluigi Martini tried to shut the gate on him in the high profile battle for seventh (back when you only got points for six, good work mate) and chaos ensued. The location of the crash and the perfect landing meant they were both credited with finishing the race. No doubt words were exchanged in the Minardi garage afterwards.

Violent fighters walking out to incongruous theme songs
I tried to get into UFC, but for every comedy knockout or an arm being torn from the socket there's 20 minutes of people rotating on the canvas. Give me the legalised rorts and pageantry of the pro wrestling game or GTFO.

The other reason I can't get excited to participate is that I missed the era where Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipović would trot out to Duran Duran shortly before kicking somebody's head off. Call me when somebody starts walking to the ring to Afternoon Delight.

Unqualified players attempting the conversion
Why in god's name is there no available footage of John Skandalis trying to land one at Balmain Oval in his last game for Wests Tigers (first stint) in 2006? He'd had a ping at one a few years earlier, but I wasn't there to see that live so it didn't count.

To make up for that oversight in the history of YouTube here's some British bloke having a similarly unusual bash from an obscure angle with surprising results. And is that the guy who calls the darts on commentary?

Darts players having a bust-up
... and speaking of darts you'd think that despite its pub origins any sport where the crowd are encouraged to come dressed as Postman Pat would enjoy an air of decorum. Alas no, there's so many angry dartists that somebody has helpfully done an 18 minute compilation of their great moments.

One day crowds acting the goat
One day crowds in general really, but preferably the 80s/90s edition where the odd racist banner was off-set with some of the most entertaining civil disorder in the history of sports. Regrettably no footage exists of the SCG crowd hurling a frozen chicken at Pat Symcox, so we'll have to settle for the iconic footage of Shane Warne being used as a human shield to try and stop the Melbourne crowd achieving a holy trinity of getting blind off smuggled alcohol, throwing shit in the air/on the field, being chucked out to the strains of "You're going home in the back of a divvy van".

Note Bill Lawry covering up for Victorians by suggesting the trouble is down to a 'small minority' when the entire bottom deck of a stand is participating. Isn't this what you went to ODIs for back then? Even when they played for a trophy that seemed to mean something when you were 12 the real thrill in going to these games was watching (and occasionally being drenched in) what went up with the wave. So a few people were covered in urine or had a bottle land on their head, there are worse things that could happen.

We'd like your suggestions on other obscure happenings that you'd like to see more of. Send your suggestions on a postcard to:

GPO Box 999 in your capital city.

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