The world woke up on Valentine’s Day to the news of the murder of model Reeva Steencamp. She was allegedly shot to death by her boyfriend and Olympic hero Oscar Pistorius.
Just watching The Blade Runner take on the world’s best able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Games was a bit of a mind-blowing sight. This news of gunshots and Valentine’s Day love and loss provides probably the biggest WTF?! moment of the year, if not of all time.
It is hard to argue, but the news did get us here at Gamedayr thinking: Is this case, in fact, the wildest piece of news to come out of the sports’ world ever?
Well, we dug through the annals of history in an attempt to find and subsequently rank the craziest/wackiest/worst/most dumbfounding events to take place off the court and outside the sidelines.
What tops your list?
10. Tiger Woods cheats on wife with the entire universe — Dave Chappelle made fun of Tiger for being the “whitest black athlete” out there. Well, as it turns out, race was never an issue for Woods, who slept with women from all walks of life. Getting chased out of his house by his golf club-wielding wife and then slamming his car into a tree was probably not the most fun way to spend Thanksgiving — although it made for a great WTF?! moment for us dominating turkey and gravy at home.
9. Jason Grimsley climbed through a ventilation shaft to retrieve teammate Albert Belle’s corked bat — Very little about enhancing performance drugs and baseball surprises us anymore. However, Grimsley’s pulling of a John McClane really blows our collective minds. Fun fact: All of Belle’s bats were corked that year. Whammy!
8. Dock Ellis’ no-hitter while on LSD — Well, at least he didn’t make history while corking a bat or while on steroids, right?
7. Jarrod Wyatt, MMA fighter, eats his friend’s organs while tripping on mushrooms — A quote from the Associate Press:
When police arrived on March 21, 2010 at a home at the mouth of the Klamath River, they found Wyatt naked and covered in blood. He told the officers, “I killed him,” and said he had cut out [Taylor] Powell’s heart and tongue, according to court documents.
The officers found Powell’s body on the couch. His chest was cut open, and his heart, tongue and the skin of his face were gone, court records said. His heart was found charred in a wood-burning stove.
An autopsy determined the organs had been removed while Powell was still alive, the documents said.
Witnesses said the two ingested hallucinogenic mushrooms before the attack and believed they were involved in a struggle between God and the devil. Wyatt was reportedly convinced that the world was about to end and that Powell was the devil.
6. Mike Tyson literally takes a bite out of Evander Holyfield’s ear — Gross, all around, and Tyson was not on any drugs. That dude’s just straight up out of his mind. In the process, he blew our minds a little bit as well.
5. Tonya Harding hires a hit man to break rival Nancy Kerrigan’s leg — And he does it in the arena where the two are set to skate. WTF indeed.
4. Penn State and legendary coach Joe Paterno ignore the sexual abuse of several boys by defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky — Not all WTF sports moments are funny.
3. Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend was actually a man living in Hawaii — Craziest hoax story of all time, no question. Ronaiah Tuiasosopo played the Notre Dame superstar for a fool by pretending to be Lennay Kekua for literally years. Ouch.
2. Lance Armstrong finally admits steroid use to Oprah — The real WTF is in his admission. The dude hardly takes any blame for running probably the most sophisticated doping regime the world has ever seen. The country and world already hates you for being a dong, so WTF?? Just own up to it.
1. Oscar Pistorius goes to bed on Wednesday a national hero and international icon, woke up on Thursday an accused murderer — Wait, what?? WTF??
All-Star WTF: OJ Simpson, USC and Buffalo Bills running back, leads cops on car chase following alleged murder of wife — In all honesty, the dude was guilty, right?
Hall of Fame WTF: Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson, New York Yankees pitchers in the ’70s, agree to swap families — And the really crazy part of it is the fact that Peterson and Kekich’s ex-wife, Suzanne, are still together.
Let’s tie this all together: The 1970s brought drugs, swinging families and no-hitters. Definitely bizarre stuff, but mostly harmless save for Dock Ellis’ brain cells.
The 1990s brought straight up sports violence, with Tyson and Harding providing most of the entertainment.
The new millennium, however, has brought us scandals far outside the realm of the arena. In fact, whereas Ellis’ no-hitter obviously took place during a game and Tyson’s and Harding’s scandals each also took place during competition, nothing recently has happened on the field of play.
Unless, that is, you count Armstrong’s steroids, but it was really the lies and lack of contrition that did that dude in. Tiger’s fall from grace had nothing to do with golf, Te’o’s embarrassment had nothing to do with football and Pistorious’ action may never be fully understood.
Then there are those Yankees pitchers — their decisions to swing for the fences, so to speak, may never be topped.