Tiger Woods 1997 Masters Win
Tiger Woods is a name that is synonymous with golf; no man has done more for the recognition of golf as a sport than him. From his illustrious and fantastic career, one of the most memorable moments remains from 1997, which made him the youngest ever Masters win.
Following his win, an emotional Woods embraced his father Earl, the moment going down in sports history as the start of Tiger Woods’s domination of golf.
Michael Jordan’s Last Shot With Chicago Bulls
Michael Jordan’s last shot while he donned the uniform of the Chicago Bulls has gone down in sports history for many reasons. The first and foremost is the legendary basketball player’s last ever shot with the team.
The other reasons are that Jordan made the shot and it became the basket that won them their sixth NBA title in eight years. That’s what we call going out with a bang.
Brandi Chastain’s 1999 Game Win
In 1999, footballer Brandi Chastain became the face of female athletes worldwide. Her penalty kick in the final match against China won Team USA the FIFA Women’s World Cup that year.
For all the 90,000 fans who watched it, that moment is forever ingrained in their brain as a turning point. As for the women worldwide, it gave them another amazing sports hero to look up to!
The Broken Curse of the Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox didn’t have a perfect time for a very long time, 86 years to be precise. The Curse of the Bambino (as it was called) began when the team traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919.
For the next 86 years, the Red Sox didn’t win a single World Series. It was only in 2004 that the team finally lifted the trophy and made fans go wild.
The Undefeated Miami Dolphins
The football team Miami Dolphins went down in the history books for having a perfect season. The Super Bowl Champs proved their mettle in 1972 when they went through the regular season and playoffs without being defeated.
The undefeated champs became the first and only NFL team to have that honor. The moment is an impactful and important one in NFL history.
N.C. State’s Cinderella Story
College Basketball is a time when everybody is glued to their screens, and teams fight for the title the best they can. In 1983, sixth-seeded N.C. The state didn’t hope they’d get to the top, but they did all that and more.
Becoming one of the most memorable Cinderella stories in the history of March Madness, the team beat all the competition and won the 1983 NCAA National Championship. They’re now forever a part of college basketball history.
The English Premier League Finals 2012
This is another story of how a match was completely overthrown at the last minute with a team pulling a miraculous win. The match was between bitter rivals Manchester City and Manchester United.
United had more or less secured the victory, but in the very last minutes, Man City scored two goals, securing the title for the first time in 44 years. That day was bitter for United fans, but Man City fans all over the world rejoiced their title.
India’s Cricket Tour in Pakistan
Whenever there is a sports match between India vs Pakistan, the entire world gets excited, especially when it has to do with cricket. The game is viral in both countries and is a source of competition for the fans.
However, in 2004, the Indian cricket team toured Pakistan for matches as a part of a friendly sign. Let it never be said that sports didn’t bring people together.
Steve Redgrave’s Fifth Gold Medal
Steve Redgrave’s choice of sport was rowing, and the sportsman ensured that he gave the sport all he had. The rower had already won four consecutive gold medals in the Olympic Games when he participated in the Sydney 2000 Games.
The British rower, then 38, won his fifth consecutive medal in the 2000 games, cinching his status among the sporting giants of the world. Great Britain’s won the dramatic race by only 0.38 seconds.
Michael Phelps Breaks Olympic Record
Swimmer Michael Phelps is an Olympic legend. The decorated athlete holds the record for the most Olympic medals to have been won by somebody, with his count reaching a whopping 28.
However, the highlight of his career was during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Phelps won eight medals in the swimming category. This win helped him break the previously set record by U.S. Olympian Mark Spritz of seven medals and turned him from an excellent sportsman to a legendary one.
Bobby Riggs VS Billie Jean King
This is probably the most critical match in sports history in disavowing the age-old bias that men are better at sports than women.
Retired tennis player Bobby Riggs openly challenged all top female tennis players to a match in 1973, claiming that female tennis was a lesser sport. He played against champion Billie Jean King in a game. Billie Jean emerged victorious, making it a monumental moment for women in sports.
Liverpool Wins the 2005 Champion League
There is probably no other football match that has turned around so quickly and spectacularly as the one between Liverpool and AC Milan’s Champion League Final.
The 2005 match saw AC Milan reigning the scoreboard with 3-0 during halftime. While the team was busy celebrating, Liverpool was busy plotting. Soon, the scoreboard turned upside down when Liverpool scored three goals in under six minutes. The team leveled the game and went on to win it during the penalties.
Roger Bannister Breaks Four-Minute Mile
For a very long time, four minutes was the minimum time it took to finish a mile-long race. For middle-distance runners, that all changed in 1954 when British runner Roger Bannister managed to finish it under that time, but only barely.
Despite being able to train only 45 minutes daily due to his work in the medical field, the runner finished the race in three minutes and 59.4 seconds. Today, the record is three minutes 43.13 seconds, set by Hicham El Geurrouj in 1999.
Chris Hoy Wins 3 Medals
Cyclist Chris Hoy’s life changed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games when he managed to win three gold medals for the Great Britain team.
Following his win, Hoy became the face of Britain for the cycling world. He upped his medal count in 2012, winning two more gold medals. Hoy was granted a knighthood for his amazing feat and even voted Sports Personality of the Year.
Derek Redmond Finishes With Father’s Help
The footage of Derek Redmond hobbling along the track at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games is bound to make even the most cold-hearted person tearful. The runner was running the 400 m race when he tore his hamstring in the middle.
Despite the pain, Redmond seemed determined to finish out the lap. It was his father who barrelled past security and onto the track to help his son reach the finish. Although Redmond was disqualified from the race, the moment has gone down in history as one of the most touching moments ever.
England Wins Ashes Tournament After 18 Years
For England, cricket is a revered game. Sadly, the country hadn’t won the Ashes in 18 years, not since the 1986-87 series in Australia. All that came to an end after a spectacular match in 2005.
Under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan, the team managed to lift the trophy again in 2005. The cherry on top? They managed to become the champs at their home ground, at Lord’s in London.
Chicago Cubs Breaks Curse
Curses in the sports world are no joke. Athletes and sports fans are very superstitious about their favorite teams. The Chicago Cubs faced something similar for 106 years, with too many curses to track and zero World Series wins.
Finally, in 2016, the Chicago cubs lifted the trophy for the World Series, and fans of the team all around the country went wild. After a long and dramatic season and more than a century’s worth of losses, the Cubs finally became winners.
Malcolm Butler Steals Super Bowl Win
Super Bowl is the national pastime for the country, with every eye glued to the TV to see which team will triumph. In the 2016 Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks only needed a touchdown to secure their second title.
With only two minutes left on the board, the Seattle Seahawks made their play. However, Malcolm Butler jumped the route and stole the victory for his team. The Patriots added another victory to their name with this play, and the world witnessed one of the greatest plays in NFL history.
Eagles Use Philly Special in Super Bowl Finals
The Philadelphia Eagles were facing the most significant NFL dynasty, the Patriots, in the finals for Super Bowl LII. The 2018 match saw tensions running high, but the Eagles only managed to change the course of NFL history before halftime.
Coach Doug Pederson switched up the play with seconds remaining in the first half, keeping the offense on the field. This trick play went down in NFL history as Philly Special, and the Eagles won the series 41-33.
Villanova Wins National Championship At Buzzer
The 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship was a nail-biter for sure. UNC was behind by ten points with only five minutes remaining but managed to get the score evened out with only five seconds left on the buzzer.
At such a crucial point, Villanova junior Kris Jenkins shot a three-pointer, saving the game from going into overtime and cinching a heroic win for the Wildcats, their first title since 1985.
Alex Honnold Free Solos El Capitán
El Capitan is a 3,200 ft high granite summit and the ultimate climb for professional climber Alex Honnold. Honnold’s dream was to free solo the climb, meaning without the help of any equipment.
Despite all the risk it presented, so much so that even Honnold’s sponsors pulled out, the climber managed to complete the feat. Not only that, but he did it in only three hours and 56 minutes. Where there is a will, there indeed is a way.
Usain Bolt Proves He’s the Fastest Man Alive
Usain Bolt repeatedly proved to the world that he isn’t just a simple runner but the Fastest Man Alive. After clinching the title, the athlete had his status elevated to almost that of a superhero.
During the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, Bolt won gold medals in the 100, 200, and 4X100 meter races. The man is fast and knows it, and his photo smiling at his opponents while he bolts past them is proof of it.
Tua Tagovailoa Takes Over and Wins Championship
The Alabama Crimson Tide Football team had a rough go in the 2018 national championship. Come halftime, head coach Nick Saban decided to change up his lineup.
He benched starting quarterback Jalen Hurts and put freshman Tua Tagovailoa on the field. The next match with Tagovailoa on the field turned massively in favor of the Crimson Tide, with the team managing to push the game into overtime, finally winning and taking the title.
Patriots Win Super Bowl LI After Trailing Behind
The Patriots did not have the best start for the Super Bowl LI finals in 2017. Halfway through the third quarter, the legendary team trailed behind the Falcons, leading with scores 28-3.
However, the Patriots soon turned the game around and, in the final minutes, scored 25 points. The game got pushed into overtime, and the Patriots clinched the title with the most dramatic comeback in NFL history. The game later came to be known as 28-3.
Leicester City Wins Premier League
In 2016, Leicester City was one of the most unlikely teams to win the Premier League when they entered. The team went in with only a little chance to lift the trophy, but the determined team refused to back down.
The underdogs went on with full force in the season, finishing 23-12-3 and lifting the trophy! The most unlikely win in almost a decade.
Alex Ovechkin Finally Wins the Stanley Cup
Alex Ovechkin was the face of hockey for almost a decade in the United States. The sportsman was one of the best of his teams, dominating games and leading the NHL scoreboard six times in goal in ten years.
However, Ovechkin’s dream of lifting the Stanley Cup was long overdue despite all this. His team finally won the prestigious cup in 2018 and brought the title to D.C.
Derek Jeter’s Final Hit at Home Stadium
Derek Jeter is a superhero among Yankee fans. The baseball player had an illustrious and fruitful career that spanned over two decades and played his last match in 2014 in his home stadium — and what better way to end!
The legendary player’s last hit was a walk-off single that made the fans, his teammates, and even the announcers go wild. Such a brilliant ending couldn’t have been written even if somebody tried, proving that, sometimes, reality is better than fiction.
Kobe Bryant Scores 60 Points in Last Game
2016 saw the end of an era when Kobe Bryant took to the court for the last time. During his 20-season stint with the Lakers, the basketball legend was an 18-Time All-Star.
His last match was at the Staples Center, and fans were going crazy knowing the specialty of the match. What made it even better was that Bryant played the game and scored 60 points, all thanks to his teammates and the home crowd.
The 2018 U.S. Open Final
The 2018 Women’s U.S. Open Final was a game full of controversy and drama, not just because of the players but because of everything.
Not only was the game an amazing one — 20-year-old Naomi Osaka beating her idol Serena Williams to take home the title — but it had a lot of other memorable moments. Some include Osaka in tears after winning, Williams embracing the young champion, and the umpire Carlos Ramos being booed by the crowd.
Klay Thompson’s 37 – Point Quarter
Basketball has seen many elite scorers trying to score basket after basket to make records, break down the norms and emerge victorious.
Despite having many such players, the most outstanding performance ever in the NBA was given by Klay Thompson in a 2015 match against the Sacramento Kings. Thompson scored 37 points in a single quarter, an almost unheard of feat. For basketball fans, it was the closest any player had to come to a perfect video game title, ‘on fire.’
Odell Beckham Jr.’s Three-Fingered Catch
Football was thought to be played with brute strength and speed and was attributed to being a caveman sport. However, some key moments, like a 2014 Sunday Night Football Game, have changed the perception.
In this game, the famous Odell Beckham Jr. Made a beautiful catch near the goal line, using just three of his fingers. This proved that grace and flexibility are as important as everything else to play the game in the best way possible.
Isner Vs Mahut — The Longest Match in Tennis History
This was the match that refused to end, and the two players refused to give up. Nicholas Mahut and Jonathan Isner went toe to toe in 2010 at Wimbledon in a match that lasted for three days.
Isner ultimately won, but the match became known for its duration more than the consequent win. The two went down in history for their long game and would probably hold the record forever as Wimbledon changed the rules regarding its tie-breakers.
Jordan Spieth Makes the Shot of the Decade
Jordan Spieth’s miraculous Shot at No.13 in the 2017 British Open was probably the most impressive athletic achievement of the decade.
After taking an unplayable lie, Speith quickly regrouped with his caddie, and the duo searched for 20 minutes to devise the perfect plan for the shot. Thankfully, the duo found it, and Spieth won the tournament.
Iceland’s Good Summer in the 2016 Euro Tournament
The football world has countries that reign at the top and have done so for almost all their existence. Iceland has never really been a strong contender, but the summer of 2016 saw all that change.
The country of barely 350,000 residents not only managed to pass the group stage and gain entry into their first Euros tournament, but they also managed to take down England 2-1. No fan could have ever dreamt of this happening.
Tonya Harding Gets Banned From USFSA
Iconic historical sports moments are all amazing, but some remain memorable for darker things. Indeed, competition sometimes breeds darkness, which is never more accurate than in the Winter Olympics in 1994.
Figure skating rivals Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were all set to compete to make it to the U.S. Olympics team when Kerrigan’s knee was intentionally hurt. The culprit turned out to be Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly. Harding took a plea bargain, losing her title and getting banned from the USFSA.
Eric Heiden Sleeping in on His Big Day
Jitters before a big game are common, losing sleep over it even more so. That’s what happened to American speed skater Eric Heiden, who could not sleep before the fifth and final competition in the 1980 Olympics.
This led to him sleeping late and getting up late for his match! Thankfully, Heiden managed to get to the rink on time and won his fifth gold medal for the season, setting a new world record.
Federer Vs Nadal
In tennis, no male players are on a higher level than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The two have met repeatedly on the court and have even played one of the most extended games in tennis history with their 2008 Wimbledon final.
However, all this failed before the display of the two long-term rivals and friends at Federer’s farewell in 2022. The duo sat hand in hand, sobbing uncontrollably. The moment’s photo has garnered international acclaim, proving that sports bring everybody together.
New Zealand Team Performs a Ceremonial Dance
New Zealand’s rugby team shocked everybody in 1888 when they performed the ceremonial dance Haka in preparation for the game.
The dance, a pre-game ritual serving as a homage to the native people of New Zealand, the Maori, has become one of the most prominent pre-game rituals in sports history. The Māoris danced to show the tribe’s strength and unity, which are very important in any winning team.
Conor McGregor VS Aldo
Conor McGregor became an international sensation after his fight with the champion. Jose Aldo ended in a way nobody, serious McRoger fans, could have predicted.
13 seconds into the 2015 fight, McGregor knocked out opponent Aldo. The fight went down in history as the fastest finish for the UFC title, putting McGregor on top of the game worldwide.
American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown
The horse-racing world is elite. One of the most significant moments in the history of this exciting sport is when the horse American Pharaoh won the three powerful crowns in the same year.
No horse had achieved this feat for over 30 years when Bob Baffert’s house stole the triple crown in 2015. The three races include the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes.
The Undefeated Rocky Marciano
Boxing legend Rocky Marciano retired with 49 wins under his belt. He declared his hanging up of the gloves in 1952 at the age of 32.
What cements this moment as a historical one is that Marciano remained undefeated throughout his career, winning all the fights he had ever played in his professional career. The heavyweight champion started fighting professionally in 1948, and until he stopped fighting, he wowed people with his prowess in the ring.
The Rumble in the Jungle
Muhammad Ali was a legendary fighter, but the boxer went through many problems before emerging victorious. Ali had to let go of all these boxing titles in 1967, with the decision only being overturned in 1971.
Three years later, Ali met heavyweight champion George Foreman in a match that went on for eight rounds. Not only did Ali emerge victorious and reclaim his crown, the event, known as Rumble in the Jungle, cemented his status as a legend in the field.
Athletes have pretty dangerous jobs, though people don’t often recognize just how dangerous, since it is out of mind until someone gets hurt. The worst thing is when an athlete has a promising career ahead of them, only for it to be cut short by some horrific injury. Here are some amazing athletes who could have led much longer, more illustrious careers if only they hadn’t been cut short by some injury or another.
This rookie running back for the Patriots NFL team rushed more than 1,100 yards in his first year after being drafted. Unfortunately, a freak accident during the Beach Bowl led to an injury so severe his left leg nearly required amputation.
His career didn’t end there: he came back to the NFL in 2002, but only managed 20 rushes across a total of 12 games. Then he played a few years in the Canadian Football League before permanently calling it quits.
In the early 2000s, Culpepper looked like he was going to become the next big quarterback name in football. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2000 and 2003, and was at the head of the league with 4,717 passing yards in 2004, on top of astounding stats in completed passes, touchdown passes, and interceptions.
But just a year after that, he absolutely demolished his knee, tearing three major parts of it. Over the next four seasons of his career, he only managed to play 24 more games. Whereas Peyton Manning and Tom Brady went on to become legends, Culpepper’s career faded away due to his injury.
When Hardaway first started playing in the NBA alongside the likes of Shaq, it seemed like he was destined to enter the Hall of Fame. He was excellent as a point guard and always a threat for the triple-double, and he even had his own advertisements.
But in the 1997-1998 season, he injured his left knee, which led to him being benched. He would be forced to endure four more surgeries after the initial one before his career met a tragic end.
An avid hockey player, Savard made waves in 2006 as a top-line center, averaging just shy of 90 points per season between 2005 to 2009. Unfortunately, he suffered a severe concussion at the hands of Matt Cooke in 2010.
He returned for the 2010 postseason, only to suffer another concussion in 2011, which forced him out of the season. Since then, he has not been able to play, forcing his career to take a dramatic and tragic end.
Grant Hill was the third overall pick in the NBA draft of 1994 and was considered one of the best overall players in basketball at the time. Unfortunately, multiple ankle surgeries put an end to that.
With chronic ankle issues created by his many surgeries, Hill went on to play 200 games or so, but that was over the course of seven years. Considering that he had been considered one of the best at some point, it was a poor downhill spiral.
Bo Jackson is so famous that he comes up in pretty much every conversation about the world’s best athletes. He was the first athlete ever to become an All-Star in both the MLB and NFL, and he even ran track.
He went on to accomplish many great feats in both baseball and football, undoubtedly making him a legend, but his hip was dislocated in a freak injury during a football game in 1990. He only played a few more seasons afterward, due to never fully recovering from his injury.
Mark Prior is another example of the terrible luck the Chicago Cubs went through for over a century. This blue-chip ace, at the age of 22, went 18-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 2003. He was one of the top strikeout pitchers, fanning 266 batters.
Thing is, there wasn’t just one injury that crippled Prior’s career. By 2007, he was out of the major leagues due to a plethora of regular, chronic injury cases, ranging from elbows to shoulders and everything in-between.
Remember when we said the Cubs were cursed? Well, Kerry Wood was another blue-chip ace from the same team as Mark Prior, and he pretty much suffered the same fate. Wood went 14-11 with a 3.20 ERA, and Wood fanned 245 batters.
But Wood was also out of the game by 2007, thanks to the same problems as Mark Prior. Thanks to a plethora of injuries and chronic conditions that he just couldn’t best, his career was cut short of what it could have been.
Bill Walton is arguably one of the greatest college basketball players ever. At one point, his UCLA teams won 88 games in a row. He won the Naismith Trophy three times due to his astounding abilities.
Unfortunately, foot and ankle injuries gradually reduced how many games Walton was able to play with until he was just wasn’t getting enough time on the court to justify being there, and he soon retired.
When one thinks of tragic sports injuries, Tony Conigliaro is often at forefront of one’s thoughts. This Red Sox slugger his 32 home runs when he was just 20 and had 104 by the age of 22.
But unfortunately, he was hit in the face by a pitch, just below his eye in 1967. His vision started deteriorating from that point onwards, and his once guaranteed career of fame went down the drain.
Unlike some of the other athletes on this list, at least Kypreos got to play hockey for at least a decade before he was forced to bow out due to injuries. Ultimately, it’s less that he suffered one major injury and more that he racked up chronic issues due to multiple concussions over the years.
The worst thing is the final concussion that forced him to quit as a result of an impact from his own teammate, Ryan VanderBussche. People often look at football as the sport with the most injured athletes, but you’ll be surprised by how many hockey players are on this list.
Unfortunately for Alvin Williams, he spent most of his five seasons in the NBA being injured, in no small part due to a major knee injury that he suffered during his third season. Like many basketball players, this guard had a tough time coming back from it.
He actually made two attempts to return to his former glory after that injury, but he just never managed to do it, which led to a less than illustrious career, especially compared to what could have been.
This English soccer player was a force to be reckoned with in his heyday, being a player for the England national team, as well as West Ham United. Unfortunately, he broke his ankle in 2006, and that was the beginning of the end.
He actually managed to play one more season after recovering from his injury, but unfortunately, lingering pain and complications from the broken ankle prevented Ashton from really getting back into the game, and he had to retire at the early age of 26.
Here we have another athlete who actually got to play his sport for a long time: fifteen years in the NFL. However, he could have played much longer, if only Matt Johnson hadn’t seriously rattled his brain cage in 1998.
After the impact, Beukeboom suffered from many ailments related to post-concussion syndrome, including confusion, nausea, headaches, and memory loss. With all of those things plaguing him, he had no choice but to retire from the sport.
He may have played a total of ten years in the NFL, but Chris Spielman spent the last few of them battling serious neck injuries. An injury in 1997 seriously hampered his playing ability, as it was bad enough to result in neck surgery.
Spielman almost made a comeback in 1999, but when he once again suffered another neck injury before the regular season even started, he was forced to retire before any more serious injuries could be endured.
Scott Stevens is another example of a player who had a pretty great career, and it wasn’t a singular injury that forced him out of the game, as opposed to many injuries over the years taking their toll on him. With multiple concussions over his two decades of playing, he announced his retirement after the 2003 to 2004 season.
Not that he actually managed to finish that season, since he was diagnosed with the post-concussion in November of that year, forcing him to stay out of the game. Concussions remain one of the most dangerous hazards for football players, even today.
Steve Young is notable for the way he managed to successfully fill the illustrious shoes of Joe Montana. Unfortunately, his Hall of Fame career was filled to the brim with concussions: he had seven confirmed head injuries prior to 1999.
He suffered an eighth head injury that year, and after going through all of that, Steve Young pulled the plug on his career for his own safety. Smart move, in our books.
Cam Neely actually managed to play in all 13 seasons of his NHL career, prior to his retirement in 1996. Fans would have liked for that career to be even longer, but honestly, it was several seasons longer than it should have been in the first place.
Suffering a crippling knee injury during Game 3 of the Wales Conference Finals, Neely tried to return to form after the fact, but only managed to play in 162 games in the last five years of his NHL career, and he was never quite as amazing as he had been before.
Concussions are a serious threat in all contact sports, not just football. Keith Primeau had a career in the NHL that lasted sixteen years, but he faced numerous head injuries along the way. Nine games into the 2005-200 season, the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers sustained yet another concussion.
Following that injury, he was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, and Primeau decided to retire mere days afterward, putting his health above any more glory on the ice.
After just two seasons in Buffalo, Kevin Everett’s NFL career was cut seriously short. During the 2007-2008 season, Everett suffered a terrible spinal cord injury, coming very close to paralyzing him. Needless to say, playing the NFL again was impossible.
Ultimately, he was able to regain some control of his legs and walk under his own power again, but never to an extent that would allow him to play contact sports. Thus ended Everett’s once illustrious career.
Joe Theisman managed to play his entire career in the NFL with the Redskins, and in that time, he managed to help the team win two Super Bowls. Unfortunately, his career, which could have been even longer and more illustrious, ended due to a catastrophic injury in 1985.
Taking a hit from Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson, Theisman suffered a devastating injury when both bones in his lower right leg were broken. After that, he would never be able to play again.
Leg fractures are a common hazard for soccer players: with everything throwing their legs around with all their might, it is bound to happen sometime. Luc Nilis had a very successful career as a striker for both Belgium and the Netherlands, but one injury was enough to cut it short.
In September of 2000, he directly clashed with goalkeeper Richard Wright, and the result was a double compound fracture in his right shin. Even worse, that injury became infected at one point, and a possible amputation was in the cards. Needless to say, his career was over.
Michael Irvin was one of the most popular players in the league during his time as a wide receiver for the Cowboys. He was flashy and fun and knew how to make his presence known. Unfortunately, he suffered a career-ending injury in 1999 against the Eagles.
The sad part is that the Eagles fans were quite happy about the outcome, cheering as Irvin was carried out on a stretcher. We know it was technically a good thing for them, but that’s pretty messed up.
Kirby Puckett managed to play his entire eleven years in the MLB in Minnesota. Unfortunately, he took a fastball to the jaw in 1995, which broke it. He tried to recover from the injury in the Minors, but that was not to be.
In 1996, he woke up one night without vision in his right eye, and he was diagnosed with Glaucoma. Even after three surgeries, the issue was unable to be resolved, and he had no choice but to retire from the sport.
Mike Utley’s career with the Lions of the NFL seemed very promising at first, but in a game against the Rams in his third season, that career came to a very sudden end. The cause? A spinal injury that affected his sixth and seventh vertebrae.
As he was being carted away from the field, Utley gave fans a thumbs up, trying to tell them that everything would be alright. But unfortunately, it was later determined that he was paralyzed from the chest down.
LaFontaine had a very long career in the NHL, spanning fifteen years. However, one of those years was played against the advice of his physicians. He suffered a concussion in 1997 and was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. Afterward, the Sabres refused to let him play again.
The Rangers, on the other hand, had no such qualms, allowing LaFontaine to play one more season, though he suffered another concussion in that time. Once that happened, he didn’t come back to the ice.
This professional English soccer player was playing against Manchester United in 1996 when he suffered his career-ending injury. Much like another soccer player on this list, he suffered two compound fractures in both bones of his lower right leg.
The injury was so bad, his leg almost had to be amputated, and he even contracted the MRSA virus while in the hospital. With 26 operations related to his injury after that, Busst did not manage to return to the game.
Steve Moore had a noteworthy, but brief run in the NHL that only lasted three seasons, all thanks to a super cheap shot from the Canucks’ resident jerkwad, Todd Bertuzzi. The hit gave Moore a concussion and three cracked vertebra, permanently taking him out of the game.
For his violent offense, Bertuzzi was formally charged with assault, a crime that he ultimately plead guilty to. Hopefully, that lawsuit included a great deal of money.
This NFL athlete played out his whole career in Seattle, but that means it ended there as well. In the 2007 to 2008 season, Mack endured a herniated disk during a game against the Steelers. Unfortunately, that trauma led to spinal cord damage.
Fortunately, that damage didn’t paralyze Strong in any way, but considering the close call to his physical health, he decided to call it quits on the sport afterward.
McCleary’s case is unfortunate: in his first season playing hockey, he suffered a major eye injury, but he ultimately managed to recover from it and play again. A year later though, he was hit in the throat by a hockey puck.
The impact resulted in a fractured larynx and a collapsed lung, and even though he tried to come back to the game later, the shortness of breath he suffered from the injury made it impossible to properly condition himself for the sport.
It’s hard to know how far Reggie Brown may have gone in the NFL, after being drafted by the Lions in 1996. He was only able to play 32 games before suffering a career-ending injury in a match against the Jets: a spinal cord contusion.
He was fading in and out of consciousness for a whopping seventeen minutes before medics were actually able to stabilize his condition and safely remove him from the field. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to save his career along with that.
Stingley only played four years in the NFL, with all of them being as a wide receiver for the Patriots. Unfortunately, a collision with Raiders player Jack Tatum resulted in two broken vertebrae and a compressed spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the injury paralyzed him. He was able to regain some feeling in his arms over time but spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. It just goes to show that players are taking truly great risks for the game and the entertainment of the masses.
Unfortunately, LeGrand never even got to play in the NFL. He was a defensive tackle for the Rutgers but suffered a catastrophic spinal injury in a game against the Navy in 2010. When he was taken off the field, he was only able to move his head and nothing else.
Doctors later determined that he was paralyzed from the neck down. Considering risks like this, we have to applaud players for facing it head-on, though perhaps science should find some better ways to keep players safe from things like this.
Roy was a three-time All-Star by the time he had played just four NBA seasons, so he had established himself as an amazing player in no time. Unfortunately, his identity as one of the top guards in the game was compromised when knee issues forced early retirement at age 29.
His unfortunate fate was this: he had surgery to remove some cartilage from his left knee, then tore part of his right knee soon after. Lacking cartilage in both knees led to a degenerative knee condition that forced his retirement.
Weishuhn had a very brief NFL career, but in 1983, he made the record for the Patriots’ single-season tackles, with 229. That amazing record was something he set in his second season of playing, but unfortunately, that was his last season as well.
A knee injury took him out of the 1984 season, and the persisting complications cost him the 1985 season as well. He injured his groin and hamstring in 1986, which led to a stunted season, not to mention his last in the NFL. It’s amazing how hard he hit the record books, despite his brief career.