Every time there is news about pro football, people immediately start talking about player safety. Concussions and other life-shortening injuries have made everyone sit back and wonder if it's all worth it. Others ask the obvious question: "If they know the game is shortening their lives, why do they keep playing?"
The answer is that many pro athletes are fucking insane. Let us show you some examples.
#5. NFL Safety Ronnie Lott Amputates His Finger So He Can Keep Playing
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You didn't have to be crazy to play as a hard-hitting safety back in the "injuries are a sign of weakness" era of the NFL, but it sure as fuck helped. For proof, we have 49ers great Ronnie Lott. In 1985, Lott happened to misplace his pinkie finger, and he found it in a red mist after two colliding helmets exploded the living hell out of it.
This is where most normal men would have passed out and/or run squealing to the nearest emergency room. But Lott knew that having surgery to repair the finger would probably have ended his season -- you have to let that shit heal. And he was not the kind of guy to let a splintered nub of a finger slow down his ability to deliver equally devastating injuries to other players.
So, he had that shit cut clean off. Because fingers are for little girls, not multimillion-dollar athletes.
"Padded gloves ... I'm just living a lie."
A legend circulated saying that Lott cut his finger off in the locker room immediately after it happened, when in fact he waited a couple of days, probably so he could show his mushy stump to his kids or something. Regardless, Lott finished out the season, and went the rest of his life without the hunk of finger:
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And when he types, he's only missing, like, three keys, tops.
#4. Running Back Terrell Davis Goes Blind, Wins Super Bowl MVP
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Super Bowl Sunday, 1998. The Denver Broncos were taking on the Green Bay Packers, with Denver riding the legs of running back Terrell Davis to the big game. It's the second quarter, and things are going great for Davis when, at the end of a play, he gets kicked in the head and goes out cold.
This sort of thing happens in football, of course, and after waking up, Davis told everyone that he was fine. He went to the sideline and then watched as the world went dark around him. While most of us would have just chalked that up to another power outage or possibly the apocalypse, Davis realized that he had just gone blind.
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On the plus side, he didn't have to see the Packers fans anymore.
This is when you'd think you'd take a moment to reconsider your life -- it's not a sane person's line of work that asks you to take blows to the head so hard that your goddamn eyes just stop working. After presumably feeling around his face to make sure the last hit hadn't knocked his eyeballs out of his skull, Davis went to sit down when the coach told him he was needed back in the game. He went in (of course) and ran one play, unable to see a goddamn thing.
The trainers then hauled Davis to the locker room and gave him migraine medication (temporary loss of vision can be a symptom of migraine headaches, something Davis suffered from). He sat there for what had to have been the longest 15 minutes of his life, wondering if he would go down forever as the guy who got hit so hard at the Super Bowl that he went fucking blind.
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"I always thought that if this ever happened it'd be due to my chronic masturbation."
When he could finally see a little bit in front of him, Davis returned to the field for the second half of the game. And he dominated -- Davis went on to rush for an additional 103 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, for a total of three. For comparison, the most touchdowns scored by any running back not named Terrell Davis in Super Bowl history is two.
#3. Hockey Player Clint Malarchuk Slices His Fucking Jugular Vein
When you think of what a brutal sport hockey is, you tend to think about the fights, or guys getting slammed into the wall. But you would think there'd be more horror stories involving the fact that everyone playing has razor-sharp blades on their feet. Well, they did almost murder a dude once, so there's that.
"Why should hockey masks have all the fun?"
It was March of 1989, and Clint Malarchuk's Buffalo Sabres were facing off against the St. Louis Blues. Malarchuk, who was in goal, was fighting a puck out of the crease when St. Louis winger Steve Tuttle flipped over. Tuttle's skate zipped up through the air and sliced Malarchuk's jugular vein open. Yeah, that jugular vein.
The fountain of blood that spurted from his neck was enough to give audience members heart attacks while players puked all over the ice.
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This was different from the vomiting that usually accompanies watching the Buffalo Sabres.
This is the part where normal, non-Canadian hockey beasts bleed out and die in a matter of minutes, traumatizing thousands of spectators for life. Malarchuk was having none of that (at least none of the first part, anyway). Malarchuk controlled his bleeding by sticking his glove directly inside the wound (in case that doesn't mean anything to you, hockey gloves tend to be so putrid smelling that shoving it in somebody's face on the ice is about as insulting as it gets).
Malarchuk calmly skated off the ice -- "so that my mother, who was watching the game back home on TV, wouldn't have to see me bleed to death" -- and the team trainer held a towel over the wound until they could get Malarchuk into surgery.
Tragically, the flashbacks got so bad, the towel would later hang itself.
Ninety minutes of surgery and 300 stitches later, doctors managed to save his life. And Malarchuk, presumably riding the high you receive when you punch Death right in his dick, wasn't about to hang around in a hospital bed with PTSD like some pussy. He spent just one night in the hospital and returned to practice four days later. A week after that, he was back in goal.
Well, shit, who could possibly top that?