There are so many stories of athletes who injured themselves while celebrating. You would think guys might start reining in their exuberance. After all, injuries threaten their livelihood, and celebration injuries are very unnecessary. But no. Excessive celebrations live on. And almost every year we see somebody in some sport go down because he just couldn’t control himself.
This year has been especially bad. Two different NFL players have now ended their seasons celebrating sacks, and in India a soccer played broke his neck and died celebrating a goal.
In light of all this, today we present to you a recent history of athletes who injured themselves while celebrating. They’ll definitely make you cringe next time your favorite million-dollar athlete celebrates a big play.
Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston tore his ACL celebrating a sack on Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo on October 26, 2014. The worst part about it? There was just 3:24 left in the game, and the Bears were down 48-23. So he really should not have been celebrating.
23. Lamarr Houston
On October 14, 2014, Peter Biaksangzuala celebrated a goal he'd just scored for Bethlehem Vengthlang FC of the Mizoram Premier League in India by doing a cartwheel and a back flip. Tragically, he landed on his head and broke his neck.
Biaksangzuala passed away five days later and will forever serve as the ultimate warning against foolish goal celebrations.
22. Peter Biaksangzuala
Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch tore his ACL celebrating a sack on Aaron Rodgers on September 21, 2014. As, this is the same celebration that did in Lamarr Houston, who apparently did not learn from Tulloch's mistake.
21. Stephen Tulloch
Former NASCAR champ Brad Keselowki broke a champagne bottle while celebrating his win at the Quaker State 400 on June 28, 2014. The incident left a bloody gash on his right hand that required four stitches, but he was back in his car the following week.
20. Brad Keselowski
Detroit pitcher Anibal Sanchez twisted an ankle in the dog pile on the field after the Tigers clinched the AL central crown on September 25, 2013. The injury wasn't severe enough to hamper further celebrations in the Tigers clubhouse (obviously), but it did force him to miss his final start of the regular season.
19. Anibal Sanchez
Top Georgia Bulldogs receiver Malcolm Mitchell tore his ACL and ended his sophomore season when he leapt into the air to celebration a 75-yard touchdown run by teammate Todd Gurley on August 31, 2013. He made his return in 2014 after missing the Bulldogs' first four games.
18. Malcolm Mitchell
Brazilian striker Maurides Roque Junior sprained his knee doing a summersault after scoring his first career goal for Porto Alegre's Internacional SC on July 10, 2013. It knocked him out of the lineup for 10 months.
Of course, as the case of poor Peter Biaksangzuala has taught us, it could have been so much worse.
17. Maurides Roque Junior
On June 13, 2012, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain thew just the 22nd perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, first baseman Aubrey Huff was a little too eager to get out to the mound to celebrate. He sprained his knee hopping over the railing and wound up on the DL.
16. Aubrey Huff
Aubrey Huff wasn't the only MLB player to injure himself celebrating a teammate's no-hitter in 2012. Two weeks earlier, when Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1, relief pitcher Ramon Ramirez injured his hamstring jumping up and down and wound up on the DL.
15. Ramon Ramirez
Golf celebrations are usually pretty tame. However, after Thomas Levet won the French Open on July 3, 2011, he decided to celebrate by jumping in a lake...and in doing so he broke his shin, forcing him to withdraw from the British Open.
14. Thomas Levet
Swedish soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic (currently of Paris Saint-Germain) scored a brilliant bicycle kick goal for AC Milan on November 20, 2010. Unfortunately, he put too much mustard on his celebratory fist pump and strained his arm.
Luckily, since soccer players are not allowed to use their hands, Zlatan did not have to come out of the game.
13. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan was very excited to give teammate Wes Helms the traditional shaving cream pie to the face after his walk-off hit on July 25, 2010. However, if he'd known he would tear the meniscus in his left knee and miss the rest of the year, he probably would have toned the celebration down a bit.
12. Chris Coghlan
Orioles Outfielder Luke Scott failed to observe one of baseball's great unwritten rules—"act like you've been there before"—when he hit a home run on June 30, 2010. As a result, his overly enthusiastic home run trot left him with a pulled hammy that kept him out of the lineup for 15 days.
11. Luke Scott
It's not every day you hit a walk-off grand slam, so emphatically stomping on home plate seemed like a pretty good idea to Angels first baseman Kendrys Morales when he did it on May 29, 2010.
In hindsight, though, it was probably not worth the broken leg that ended his season.
10. Kendrys Morales
The sad thing about DeAngelo Williams' celebration injury is that he was already injured when it occurred. Williams was on the sidelines with a sprained knee on December 6, 2009, when he started jumping up and down to celebrate a big play by one of his Washington teammates when he was overcome with back spasms.
9. DeAngelo Williams
Mariners backup catcher Rob Johnson sprained his ankle celebrating a walk-off home run by Ichiro Suzuki on September 18, 2009. Fortunately for him it was not severe, and he returned ot action six days later.
8. Rob Johnson
Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster got his foot stuck in the chain link fence while trying to hop over the dugout railing to celebrate a Cubs win on July 3, 2008. Result? A broken toe that landed him on the 15-day DL.
7. Ryan Dempster
NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski wasn't the first athlete to learn that celebrating a victory with champagne can be pretty dangerous. On February 9, 2009, Lindsey Vonn sliced a tendon in her right thumb with a broken champagne bottle while celebrating a downhill victory at the World Championships. The injury required surgery, but amazingly it did not keep her off the slopes.
6. Lindsey Vonn
Florida State safety Darius McClure played three whole seasons for the Seminoles before he recorded his first career interception against Boston College on November 15, 2008. Sadly, he landed awkwardly after jumping into the air and injured his knee. And since he was a senior with no NFL prospects, the injury ended his football career.
5. Darius McClure
Real Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola performed a backflip after scoring a goal on September 6, 2008, and in the process injured his ankle. He would go on to miss eight weeks.
The worst part? The goal Espindola scored was disallowed because he had been offsides.
4. Fabian Espindola
Rockies outfielder Dustan Mohr (yes, that's how you spell it) strained his calf celebrating the team's season-opening walk-off win on April 4, 2005. He spent the next 15 days on the DL.
3. Dustan Mohr
I warned you, didn't I? On December 5, 2004, Swiss-Portuguese soccer player Paolo Diogo celebrated a goal by Swiss side Servette FC by jumping up onto the fence surrounding the pitch. Unfortunately the newly wed was wearing his wedding ring at the time, and when he hopped down from the fence that ring got caught and completely tore off the tip of his finger.
Doctors were not able to reattach it.
2. Paolo Diogo
Last but not least, we have the poster boy for celebration injuries, Bill Gramatica. On December 15, 2001, the Cardinals kicker tore his ACL and ended his season while jumping up and down celebrating a 42-yard field goal. IN THE FIRST QUARTER!
Karma would go on to hand the Cardinals a 17-13 loss to the Giants.