For most guys, the closest you get to a sports injury is breaking your ankle while drunkenly jumping around in a Space Walk on your 27th birthday. The great thing about being "most guys" is that you get to revise those injuries to "coming down awkwardly after dunking on a big black guy" without getting called on your bullshit.
Unfortunately for professional athletes, their contracts say they have to tell the truth about why they're not working today. And hence we get honest accounts of wimpdom such as:
Ken Griffey Jr. pinches a testicle with his own cup.
Getting smacked in the balls during a game is probably the manliest injury you can sustain on the sports field short of taking a puck to the face or being mauled by a lion in the Roman Coliseum. Sure, it makes you jump around like a five-year-old girl who has to pee, but it's the only injury that offers definitive proof of your manhood. But when you administer the punishment yourself, you destroy the magic, wonder and sheer hypnotic rhythm of the nut shot, and go from "wounded soldier every man feels for" to "episode of America's Funniest Home Videos."
Griffey is a Hall of Famer when it comes to pussified injuries. He fell into a big slump starting in the 2000 season thanks to a list of bizarre injuries that would make the mother of a redneck backyard wrestler feel grateful. By 2006, he had been held out of play by eight unrelated injuries, the second most embarrassing being a broken throwing hand sustained while wrestling with his son on his yacht in the Bahamas. For his son, who presumably started going by Bone Crusher and wearing a cape to school, this had to have been awesome. For Griffey Jr., who has a reputation of being overpaid and injury prone, the yacht/kid combo probably wasn't so good.
But the pinched testicle injury managed to top it. Having your balls crushed, like we said is one thing, but there's just something inherently unmanly about the word "pinch." It's something sisters do to each other, or overly dramatic people do to themselves when something good happens. It's not something you should be doing to your own sack. And by doing it with the device that is supposed to protect your manhood, you're just adding a layer of Mr. Bean-like slapstick futility that makes people want to buy you an ice cream cone and chuck your chin more than watch you play baseball.
Could it have been worse?
He could have ripped his testicle clean out of the socket while getting it waxed.
Cardinals' kicker Bill Gramatica tears his ACL celebrating a field goal...in the first quarter
Prior to Bill and his brother Martin entering the NFL, it was hard to imagine a field goal kicker sustaining any kind of injury. They're on the field for an average of 10 plays for the whole game and there's actually a penalty that says other players aren't allowed to touch them when they're kicking.
However, the Gramatica's hail from Argentina, where people who kick things for a living are allowed to use the same bathrooms as the rest of the population and are in some cases even looked up to. Upon entering the NFL, and apparently having never seen an NFL game before, the Gramatica's proceeded to celebrate wildly after every made field goal.
Football fans knew it was only a matter of time until a linebacker would say fuck it and deliver a hit that would take that Argentinian joi de vivre down a notch. The only question was whether it was going to be an opponent or a player on their own team. What no one could have anticipated was that, while Gramatica's shunning of field goal kicker etiquette most certainly angered the other players on the field, it angered God even more.
He scored a field goal against the New York Giants in 2001 that gave his team the first kill on the scoreboard. Ignoring the fact that it was the first half and the field goal was all but meaningless, Gramatica jumped up in celebration and came crashing down on his leg and tore his ACL. It was like a Greek tragedy, and Gramatica's spastic celebration the very retarded tragic flaw that brought him crashing to earth. This would all be funny if the injury hadn't transformed Gramatica into the Job of field goal kickers. After recovering, he played two more seasons with the Cardinals, got cut and joined the Miami Dolphins, who also cut him after only one game when he missed his first attempt at an NFL extra point in a game his team lost by one.
He is now the very shaky kicker for the Arena Football League's Tampa Bay Storm, a team that most people probably assume is a member of the WNBA when he tries to use it to pick up chicks at the bar.
Could it have been worse?
He could still be playing for the Arizona Cardinals.