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The 9 Weirdest Sports Stories Of 2011

by: Howard Cosmell On  Thursday, January 12, 2012
Tags:  2011   Al Davis   Kris Humphries   Sports   Tim Tebow   Weird  

Huh. After researching this piece, it would seem that 2011 wasn’t THAT weird a year for sports. Sure, there were a handful of really bizarre small stories, and a few somewhat bizarre big ones (Tebow, Paterno), but it seems as though athletes were on fairly decent behavior this year. What is the world coming to?

Fortunately, with the benefit of hindsight over the past thirty years or so, we know this is a statistical anomaly. After this stretch of decency, we can comfortably look forward to 2012 knowing that sports will be as crazy and depraved as ever. As we approach, let’s look back on the past year and determine how we can raise the bar on January 1st.

9. Jose Canseco Is A Boxer, I Guess

The fact that Jose Canseco started boxing and mixed martial arts isn’t all that surprising. He’s a goofy guy that will do anything for attention. In March, Jose was slated for a boxing match, only to try to pass his brother Ozzie off as himself. It’s the perfect plan. Only really, really dumb.

When fans noticed the difference in the fighter’s tattoos and Jose’s, they got hip to the fact, and Ozzie never got the opportunity to fight in his brother’s stead. Jose, because he’s totally rational, not only refused to return the deposit he received, but called out the promoter of the fight for not paying him the balance of the money.

If Ron Artest wasn’t on this list, then Jose would have a crack at “most delusional entrant.”

8. Matt Holliday’s Moth

On August 23rd, Matt Holliday exited a game against the Dodgers in the 8th inning. After catching a bug. A moth, to be specific. In his ear. With two outs, he called time and walked off the field, holding his hand to his ear. Trainers tried to lure the moth out by shining a light into his ear. Shockingly, that didn’t work, so they removed the moth using some long tweezers.

While he didn’t report any pain, this story might be the most uncomfortable scenario on this list, though the next entry is uncomfortable for an entirely different reason.

7. Ron Artest’s Awesome New Name

While Ron Artest changing his name probably doesn’t crack the list of the craziest things Artest has done, it’s still damn crazy. Thus it makes the list. In 2011, we said goodbye to Ron Artest, and said hello to Metta World Peace. Why Metta World Peace? Why “anything Ron Artest does?”

I’m sure Ron Artest has a Kanye West-level narcissism and thinks that the name change will compel all warring factions worldwide to put down their arms and hug each other.

Or he just thinks it will allow him to sell a few extra jerseys to the rubes. Whatevs.

6. Jakub Maly Buries Himself Alive

Leave it to a swimmer in a landlocked country to almost kill himself at the Beach. 19 year-old Jakub Maly managed to spend a day off in May digging a HUGE hole on a Florida beach. Six feet by seven feet, actually. However, when he jumped inside the hole, the sand began to swallow him, at 7 PM, a rescue effort was undertaken to remove the Maly. At 9 PM, he was taken to the hospital, though he sustained no injuries. Wait. Is “crippling embarrassment” an injury?

5. Joe Paterno’s Exit (Sans Dignity)

No one would have thought that Joe Paterno, perhaps college football’s most respected and revered coach, would not only walk away from the game midseason, but do so after being fired for not taking action in a child sex scandal. Regardless of whether or not you agree with the university’s decision, the fact remains that this news story (the scandal generally, and the Paterno angle specifically) hit sports fans like an atom bomb and resulted in one of the biggest reversal of fortunes for a sports legend in history.

4. Deron Williams Gets His Jersey Retired

Not be the Jazz, and certainly not by the Nets after jumping on board with them in 2011. Rather, Deron Williams managed to get his jersey retired by Besiktas, a Turkish league team, after playing only 15 games during the lockout. He averaged 22 points and 6.5 assists during his brief stint, which probably makes his career the most dominant Turkey has ever seen. Not to call them out on bestowing this distinction on Williams, but it comes across as a little desperate.

3. Tebow? Tebow

The much maligned quarterback who led the Florida Gators to so much success was drafted last year by the Denver Broncos to much criticism. He was regarded as a bad prospect with poor mechanics, short stature, and little else beyond a strong work ethic and unimpeachable character. Well, apparently that’s enough to turn a franchise around and take a nation by storm. Despite being the only NFL QB with a completion percentage below 50%, and a pass rating of only 75.9, he has become by far the most talked-about player in the NFL as he managed to guide Denver to a string of victories via foruth quarter comebacks. The phrase “all he does is win” has been bandied about with Tebow, leading many to believe that he receives some divine intervention to compensate for the gaps in his skills.

2. Kris Humphries Becomes Ridiculous

If you ever want to be taken seriously as an individual and be viewed as your own man, don’t marry Kim Kardashian. If you MUST marry Kim Kardashian, don’t let her divorce you after only 72 days. Because if you do, even if you sign a lucrative contract as a free agent, you will be laughed at and booed by most every crowd in America for the rest of your life. Short of averaging a triple-double for the next 10 years or so, he’s going to be called Mr. Kardashian for the rest of his life. And rightfully so.

1. Al Davis Proves He’s Not A Zombie By Actually Dying

In 2011, it would appear that Al Davis’ soul caught up to his long-dead body as he passed away at the age of 82. After six decades of running the Raiders, Davis had been a creepy old uncle that NFL fans had decided to just put up with until he died. He leaves behind a legacy of progressive innovation, Super Bowl titles, and, most importantly, leather jumpsuits.