Sports Celebrations Gone Awry

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Sports Celebrations Gone Awry

July 05, 2011

Photo By: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Photo By: Ben Margot/AP

Photo By: Mark J. Terrill/AP

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Photo By: Mark Elias/AP

Photo By: John Gasp/AP

Photo By: Travis Bell/AP

Photo By: Frank Franklin/AP

Photo By: Greg Trott/AP

Photo By: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Photo By: Denis/Poroy

Photo By: Killchiro Sato/AP

Thomas Levet

When Levet broke through to win his home tournament, the French Open, the attention quickly shifted from how he won to how he celebrated. His impromptu jump into a lake ended up breaking his shin, causing him to withdraw from the British Open a little more than a week later. Even worse, Levet had to endure criticism from fellow players. "I think it's the silliest thing that players have done over the years, I really do," Colin Montgomerie said. "I've always been suspect about people diving into lakes that don't know how deep it is and what's in there." Hey Monty, thanks for the support!

Photo By: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Bill Gramatica

Peyton Manning once referred to teammate Mike Vanderjagt as an "idiot kicker." Imagine what he would have called this guy if they ever played together? Gramatica will forever be best known for kicking a 42-yard field goal in the first (yes, FIRST) quarter of a 2001 regular-season game and then celebrating as if he'd just made an overtime kick to win his team the Super Bowl. He almost instantly crumpled into a ball after tearing his ACL, thus ending his rookie season. After the injury, older brother Martin, also an NFL kicker, toned down his celebrations for fear of suffering a similar fate.

Photo By: Ben Margot/AP

Kendry Morales

The first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hit a walk-off grand slam to beat the Mariners 5-1 on May 29, 2010. He hasn't played since. The up-and-coming slugger was supposed to be one of the Angels' biggest building blocks. Instead, the broken leg he suffered while being mobbed at home plate by his teammates served as a cautionary tale, causing the franchise to implement calmer celebrations since.

Photo By: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Dottie Pepper

Pepper's win in the 1999 Kraft Nabisco Championship should have been a career highlight, and a part of it was. But her traditional jump into the pond didn't end well, either. She attributed an ensuing illness to an infection contracted from the contaminated pond water. She went on to miss the next four weeks of the season. "I won't go into the details, but it was very ugly," she said in 2004.

Photo By: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Kevin Johnson and Charles Barkley

In this case, Johnson was the direct victim of a teammate's over exuberance -- and size. After Barkley made a circus shot at the buzzer to win one of the final games of the 1992-1993 regular season, the "Round Mound of Rebound" got a little carried away celebrating with his smaller teammate. The tomfoolery caused Johnson to injure his knee and the guard was forced to sit out the next three games, including the playoff opener.

Photo By: Mark Elias/AP

Dave Dravecky

Only the coldest of hearts would find Dravecky's story amusing. The left-handed major league pitcher had just embarked on an inspirational comeback after a cancerous tumor was removed from his left arm. In a highly-publicized return in August 1989, he pitched eight innings in a San Francisco Giants win, but during a start five days later, his humerus bone snapped and he was done for the season. The Giants would go on to beat the Cubs for the National League pennant, and in a cruel twist, Dravecky broke his arm a second time in the celebration at the pitching mound. After more cancer was discovered in his arm, Dravecky retired from baseball, but he continues to tell his story as a motivational speaker.

Photo By: John Gasp/AP

Gus Frerotte

It's one thing for kickers or guys playing other positions to make stupid mistakes, but quarterbacks? They're supposed to be the smart ones. Not in this case, though, as the Redskins quarterback scored his team's lone touchdown late in the first half of a 1997 regular-season game against the Giants and then pulled an all-time, um, bonehead mistake. Frerotte head-butted the wall around the end zone so hard that he sprained his neck. Instead of coming back out for the second half, the QB was forced to call an audible and take a trip to the hospital.

Photo By: Travis Bell/AP

Lindsey Vonn

What's more dangerous than racing down a mountain at breakneck speeds? How about trying to open a champagne bottle once you've taken your skis off? American ski racing champion Lindsey Vonn learned this the hard way when, in celebration of a victory in the world championships, she sliced her thumb grabbing a broken champagne bottle. Vonn cut a tendon in the thumb, needed emergency surgery, and was forced to miss her next race.

Photo By: Frank Franklin/AP

Deion Sanders

Sanders' show-boating antics were a big reason why he earned the nickname "Prime Time" and was one of the NFL's most popular players, but in this instance, his hot-dogging got the best of him. In 1994, while returning an interception 93 yards for a touchdown against his former team, the Atlanta Falcons, Sanders, always known for his blinding speed, started high-stepping from about the 50-yard line. He would make it to the end zone, but not after suffering some embarrassment by straining his groin. Fortunately for him and the San Francisco 49ers, the injury wasn't too serious and he would go on to help lead the team to the Super Bowl XXIX title.

Photo By: Greg Trott/AP

Carol Lewis (Mother of Stacy Lewis)

Imagine a mother's joy when her daughter breaks through to win her first major championship, as Stacy Lewis did last April at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Now imagine Carol Lewis' humiliation when, after taking part in the traditional dive into the pond adjacent to the 18th hole, she ends up breaking her leg. Lewis (left, blue shirt) fractured her fibula on the dive, but it ended up being a relatively minor injury. "(Carol) is doing fine. She may be on some pain medication, but the win is probably the best medicine," Stacy's agent J.S. Kang said the day after the win.

Photo By: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Jake Peavy

Wrapping up your division is exciting, but when the clinching game is a 9-1 blowout and there's still about a week left to go in the regular season, there's no reason to go nuts. That rule should apply tenfold to pitchers and even more so to a team's ace. But Peavy, San Diego's best player, managed to hurt himself in that 2005 post-game hubbub. After resting the final few games, he returned to the mound and promptly got rocked by the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the MLB Playoffs. Afterwords, it was discovered he had a broken rib, ending his season. His team's season also concluded a couple days later.

Photo By: Denis/Poroy

Ted Ginn Jr.

There's shooting yourself in the foot and then there's spraining your foot to shoot your team's chances in the foot. Ginn did the latter in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game. The most explosive player on the field returned the game's opening kick for a touchdown to give underdog Ohio State a huge boost, but after injuring himself (with the help of some teammates) celebrating, he spent the rest of the contest on the sidelines. The Buckeyes sputtered to just one more touchdown the rest of the contest in a 41-14 loss to the Florida Gators.

Photo By: Killchiro Sato/AP

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