You fear to look yet you cannot turn away.

I was going to give this the "Skip This if You Hate Sports" tag, but videos of people hurting themselves are something everyone can enjoy. While many of you are not big on sports, I've watched quite a bit throughout my life and every once in a while someone gets maimed to the extent that I am forced to remember "Oh, so THIS is why I'm cool with these people making millions of dollars." In fact, nothing irritates me more than listening to people (usually pasty, lazy people posting on sports message boards while on the clock at work) whine about what professional athletes make. Most NFL players can barely walk by the time they're 50, if they reach 50. They're putting themselves in a position to be crippled a few hundred times per week; I'm OK with them making whatever the market for their services will bear.

Having had the opportunity as a pseudo-journalist to go "behind the scenes" at an NFL training camp several years ago, I really grew to appreciate what athletes do to their bodies for our amusement. At the same time I am like a 13 year-old watching Jackass when I see some of this shit. If you're eating or you get queasy with minimal provocation, I'll urge caution. If you're a sick bastard who likes to watch car accidents and yell out "HOLY BALLS DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT DUDE'S LEG???" during football games, well, here you go.

Come on. Just let yourself enjoy it, you degenerate. Tangentially, this will have to be limited to videos available on the internets, meaning that the worst thing I've ever seen – Bryant Young's broken leg which left his leg below the knee turned 90 degrees off of the correct direction – has to be omitted, among others.

8. Soccer player Oupa Ngulube breaks his leg.

Wow, Joe Theismann's legendary leg break looks like a sprained ankle compared to this. Check the slow-mo starting at 0:54 (or right here). It gets worse from here on, people.

7. Greg Louganis' head + diving board = bad.

I recall watching this live as a child and being absolutely stunned that he got out of the pool. It's hard to watch this (especially the second video, starting around 0:40) without thinking "OK, yeah, that guy just died."

6. Willis McGahee's knee vs. the laws of physics.

The classic American football total knee blowout. One minute everyone is watching the game, then the next minute we are yelling "HOLY SHIT, DUDE!!!" at the television. Things just aren't supposed to bend that way. McGahee recovered to have a nice NFL career, although he probably wasn't as good as he could have been without the horrible injury.

5. Mary Pierce makes the scariest horror film ever.

This one really doesn't look like much, but the audio is…not pleasant. Extra bonus points for the stupid judge in the pantsuit who walks over like "Excuse me Ms. Pierce, are you alright?" The amount of time it required for her to get medical attention makes me wonder if tennis tournaments are run by monkeys. I like how everyone just stares at her for a minute or two. Way to go, Brits.

4. DeAndre Brown goes all Twizzler-legged.

God bless the American TV networks for being sure to replay injuries hundreds of times from multiple angles and at multiple speeds. Note how his opponent comes over for the standard "Nice play, let me help you up" routine but rapidly turns away in disgust to summon medical help from the sidelines. I am pretty sure the only thing holding his foot on his leg was the sock and perhaps a little skin. And WTF is that trainer doing? "Here, DeAndre. Tell me if it helps if I wiggle the dangling broken part around for no apparent reason. Does that hurt?"

3. Shun Fujimoto shrugs off a destroyed knee at the Olympics

The American stereotype of the Japanese usually involves superhuman levels of dedication and self-sacrifice. I think this was largely reinforced by Mr. Fujimoto's performance at the 1976 Olympics. With a shattered kneecap and torn ACL, he finished the last two events (9.7 on the pommel horse, 9.5 on rings) so the Japanese team could defeat the USSR. His ring dismount shoved the pieces of his shattered kneecap into his thigh. Read that again. He was also famously parodied on The Simpsons. The team surgeon said "How he managed to land without collapsing in screams is beyond my comprehension," which is doctor speak for "What the fuck, man…"

2. Napoleon McCallum redefines horrific knee blowouts

This…this isn't right. It unfolds in slow-motion, and I think we could start a new internet meme of reaction videos from people watching this for the first time. "Hmm, looks OK so far. He's starting to get caught in a pile up. Looks like his foot is OH HOLY FUCK, MAN!" Teammate Tim Brown later said he vomited on the sideline and had nightmares after seeing the injury. You can't un-see this shit. McCallum blew every knee ligament AND broke his leg in several places. Sadly, and somewhat obviously, his bright career ended here.

1. Clint Malarchuk really should not be alive right now

OK. Text before video on this one. The video is not pretty, but it's actually tame compared to how bad the injury was.

A skate clipped the Sabres goalie in the tiny area under his goal mask but above his chest protector, essentially…cutting his throat. The announcers (appropriately) flip the hell out, as do players on the ice. Malarchuk later stated, "All I wanted to do was get off the ice." OK, sounds reasonable for an injured player. "My mother was watching the game on TV, and I didn't want her to see me die."


Then he asked the trainer for a priest. This is where it gets intense. The trainer, a Canadian Army medic from the Vietnam War, reaches into the wound and pinches the carotid artery closed with his fingers. This is turning into, like, beer commercial levels of heroic manliness. "Fuck that priest noise, Clint. I am going to close your mortal wound with my goddamn bare hands." Doctors sealed him up with 300+ stitches and noted that had the cut been deeper or the medic not been such a hard-ass, the player would have been dead in less than 90 seconds. Jesus.

And that is why I support athletes' right to get paid whatever the market will pay them to maim and kill themselves in the name of mass entertainment.

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  • Anyone who would enjoy any of these videos has most likely not broken a bone or had a serious injury in their lives. I remember seeing the McGahee injury live and it was hard to watch the rest of that game.

  • There was one that happened either last year or the year before, I think in a C-USA game, where a streaking receiver's momentum took his shin into one of those carts at the edge of the stands, basically severing it from his body.

    And there's a photo of Celtic's Henrik Larsson getting his leg snapped in two places at once back around 2001. Lovely.

  • Seeing them live can sear them in your memory.I remember the Louganis and Mcgahee ones.

    Two others I remember are Tim Krumrie of the Bengals in the Super Bowl against the Niners. His broken leg looked like a fish flopping on the beach.

    The other is Henrik Larsson in a European game for Celtic. It was Thiesmannesque.

    Hockey and Football players deserve every penny they get. How many people could take a puck in the face like Seabrook for the Hawks this year, lose like 7 teeth and miss about three shifts.

  • Maybe the solution is to have less dangerous sports. I heard a report a while ago about how these injuries are the rule and not the exception in football.

  • One word: Motorsports. You'll see amazing recoveries and "oh, just a few bruises" crashes at youtube, but you'll need to go to places like streetfire to find the horrific ones.

    You want nightmares? Google "Shoya Tomizawa Moto2 crash" — he wrecked in a corner in the San Marino Moto2 race (the next step down from MotoGP)… and was run over by the two bikes right behind him, which also crashed. Tomizawa was killed instantly, the other two escaped with only minor injuries. He was 19.

  • A tennis match made the list! I do have to wonder, though – how did you hear about that one? I'm fairly confident that you weren't watching a women's tennis match between Mary Pierce and Vera Zvonareva at an Austrian tournament in 2006.

  • How did you not include the LT sack of Thiesman where his leg snapped! I cringe just from my memory of seeing it years ago!!!!!

  • Yes, likely the videos of meat packing plant injuries (were cameras allowed) would be far more gruesome, but could any of us stomach to watch them?

  • Why oh why oh why did you need to post these? Good thing I had cake wrecks to take my mind off the videos afterwards.

  • Crap on a crutch–now I've got that stuff in my brain for the rest of the day, thank you *so* very much.

    Actually, if these videos prove anything, it's that while the athletes themselves are properly compensated, the sportscasters are wildly overpaid, given the degree to which they completely break down and are initially lost for words, and then, to make matters worse, try to "sell" the moment emotionally: "Our job now is to make you feel sufficiently bad for the player, so we're going to use the same 'oh, that's a shame' tone we'd use if Tiger missed an easy putt."

    There's a creepiness to their broadcast-friendly sympathy, given how completely disproportionate it is to the agony on display, and how their attitude is always tinged by an awareness that, even if someone is literally ripped in two, it won't stop the remainder of the game once the body and blood are swept off the field.

  • Hey, if you're an invalid in your 50s, at least you're married to an aging Playboy Playmate. That should work out really well.

    @Tim H.:
    No politics Friday.

  • One of my favorite football players, Ed McCaffrey broke his leg in a pretty grotesque manner on Sept 10th, 2001. It doesn't look that bad initially, but then you the lower half of his leg is obviously no longer solidly connected to the upper half.

    Incidentally, I remember going to school on Sept. 11, 2001 depressed b/c of Eddie's injury. Something else happened that day that was way more shitty.

  • I'll always remember David Busst breaking his leg playing Man Utd…

    Poor bloke had 26 operations, caught MRSA and almost had to have it lopped off. Needless to say, he didn't play again.

    Whilst I've never broken a major bone myself, I saw another player snap his ankle when I was about 16. The noise is something you can't describe and won't forget until all those excessive booze and dope advisory warnings catch up with you…

  • While I freely admit the sight of blood makes me a little woozy, I soldiered through the Clint Malarchuk video. And I'm glad I did because the ending of the video is the best part: the cheesy Buick Riveria ad doing the color commentary while they assist this poor man off the ice.

    I can only hope something as classy is heard while I have near-death experience, maybe a Head-On commercial or the theme to Three's Company.

  • Ugly… thanks, Ed. Now my insomnia has insomnia.

    Still, these were easier to watch than the Ines Sainz post's comments were to read.

  • I like how everyone just stares at her for a minute or two. Way to go, Brits.

    The TV channel is British, but the match was played in Austria.

  • Chris from Britain says:

    Type in "David Busst injury" into youtube. An injury so bad the goalkeeper threw up and they had to clean the blood off the pitch for 5 minutes

  • I always thought that Kerri Strug's vault-with-broken-ankle to be pretty epic, since I think her ankle was broken before she started her run.

  • I always thought that Kerri Strug's vault-with-broken-ankle to be pretty epic, since I think her ankle was broken before she started her run.

    Word. And I don't think I want to see it, but Julissa Gomez's Yurchenko where she hit her head off the vaulting horse, paralysing her from the neck down.

  • I have seen the David Busst injury and I think the Ngulube one (#8 here) is similar enough that I didn't want to include them both. No doubt it is a horrendous injury, though. The goaltender is obviously in distress just looking at it.

  • Daryl Stingley. Receiver made quadrapalegic(sp) by some asshole raider DB in the seventies or eighties. I still remember his name. Horrible shit. The db clotheslined him and broke his neck, and to add insult to really bad injury, was totally blase about it….

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