National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State

Dangerous Games: Accidents and Injuries in Big-Time Sports

Playing (or even cheering) any sport can be a hazardous job. But hey — somebody's gotta do it.

There's the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and then there are those times when you get wonked in the face.

Oof! Quinn Rooney/Getty Images Oof! Spain’s Carlos Checa couldn’t get through the first lap before crashing out of the 2008 Superbike World Championship at Australia’s Phillip Island Circuit. Bam! Al Bello/Getty Images Bam! Amir Khan catches Chris Algieri with a skull-pounding uppercut en route to a unanimous decision in their 2015 Welterweight bout at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Whack! Lars Baron/Getty Images Whack! Some bicycle kicks have better results than others, as the Netherlands’ Demy De Zeeuw painfully found out courtesy of Uruguay’s Martin Caceres in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Semifinal. Crack! Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Crack! Bull-rider Mike Lee finds himself under hoof after being thrown off Sosa’s Alley Cat in the PBR 2017 Frontier Communications Clash in Sacramento. Ptoowey! Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Ptoowey! Rugby takes blood and guts...and blood. Just ask Rory Arnold of the Australian Wallabies, the worse for wear after a collision during a match against rival England in 2016. Flomp! Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images Flomp! Outfielders often run into walls. The Indians’ Austin Jackson took it to the next level, going head-over-heels into the Red Sox bullpen to rob a hitter of a home run at Fenway in 2017. Crash! Chris Trotman/Getty Images Crash! Every sport has its pitfalls, as Brad Keselowski's crew found during a pit stop at Poconos Raceway in 2015, with several crew members flying through the air and narrowly escaping injury. Splat! Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images Splat! Australian Rules Football is like the NFL — if the NFL had no pads, no helmets, and far fewer penalties. The rearranged features on the face of the Melbourne Demons’ Daisy Pearce speaks for itself. Splash! Alexander Hassenstein Splash! Steeplechase can produce some striking wipeouts, including this hard landing by Panama’s Rolanda Bell in the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing. Glop! Friedemann Vogel/Bongarts/Getty Images Glop! The Tour de France is grueling. It can also be gruesome, with massive pile-ups leaving riders (Erik Dekker of the Netherlands) bloody on the side of the road during the 93rd Tour de France. Crunch! Clive Mason/Getty Images Crunch! Middlesbrough’s Danny Mills makes it painfully clear that soccer can be a hazardous sport during a 2004 Premier League match against Manchester United. Whomp! Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images Whomp! Twisting through the air is rarely a good thing when you're in a car, and it certainly wasn't for Supercar driver Todd Hazelwood, who miraculously walked away unharmed from this violent wreck in the 2017 Sandown 500 in Melbourne, Australia. Twang! Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Twang! Former Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins committed a combined 2,594 fouls in his 13 year NBA career, and few of them were more flagrant than this hack-attack. Smush! Tom Pennington/Getty Images Smush! Ohio State may have rolled past Oregon 42-20 in the 2015 National Championship game, but the Buckeyes stumbled out of the gate, trying to avoid a fallen cheerleader. (An OSU spokesman later confirmed that the cheerleader somehow emerged from the chaos unharmed.) Scrrrape! Icon Sportswire/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Scrrrape! White Sox outfielder Jason Coats takes the whole “hit the dirt” thing literally as he goes head — and face — first into third base in a 2016 game against the Oakland A’s in Chicago.
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