The 5 Most Horrifying Sports Injuries of All Time

#2. Soccer's Anthony Van Loo Dies on the Field, Gets Back Up

Bongarts/Getty Images

Below is not a video of a player getting very, very sleepy in the middle of the game. This is what someone does when their heart stops and they die:

Anthony Van Loo's the guy in the video, and at the time it was documented he was, literally, dead. He had a pre-existing heart condition that probably should have kept him off the field, but he had been fitted with a nifty little device called a defibrillator. It works by defibrillating the everliving daylights out of your heart to restore it to its normal rhythm after it, you know, stops beating or some shit.
Pictured: Not playing possum.

When he dropped dead on the field, his entire team knew what had just happened. After all, the guy had a pre-existing condition, and it's never good when a person who was standing relatively still crashes to the ground. Well, it only took a few seconds for his built-in miracle of modern medicine to kick his slacker heart's ass into gear, and we see Van Loo sitting up shortly thereafter. He joined that tiny, elite group of humans who can tell you exactly what it's like to be dead.

"Coach? I just might need to call in sick for the rest of today's game."

Not only did he return from his trip off of this mortal coil, but he continued playing soccer, and in fact is still playing today.

Wait, how can there still be one entry left? We've had dudes get digits lopped off, throats slashed, and freaking die on the field of play. So what could possibly be left?


#1. Rugby Player Wayne Shelford Gets His Scrotum Torn Open

Russell Cheyne/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Few things these days really separate the men from the boys. Rugby's one of those things. There are a few criteria to meet before playing, such as being a hardened Englishman with a crew cut and loving the shit out of collars and horizontal stripes.

David Rogers/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Although it could be worse.

To understand this injury, it should be understood that there are certain developments over the course of a rugby match that basically all consist of demolishing each other, but have been given clever little names like "scrum" and "rucking." And outside of some ear protection (you know, so they don't get ripped off) and the cushion of some enormous balls, nobody wears any padding.

Anyway, Wayne "Buck" Shelford was a professional rugby player in New Zealand. It was 1986, and the opponent was the French rugby team. The match was so incredibly intense that they named it the Battle of Nantes, after a major French Revolution battle.

Russell Cheyne/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
Key differences: more headbands, less pelvic gyrating.

About 20 minutes into the match, Shelford found himself at the bottom of one of those gnarly "ruck" things we mentioned earlier, which is actually a writhing pile of really, really tough dudes in cleats who will do basically anything to get that ball. Any men reading this ought to grab their junk and a vomit bowl before they read the rest of this sentence, because we're about to tell you that Shelford had his scrotum ripped open by a cleat, and he jogged off the field with a testicle hanging out of him. Literally. Hanging.
To help get rid of that mental image, here's some puppies playing in the snow.

So what did Shelford do? Of course he's a tough dude, but come on -- a torn nut sack would make Superman curl into a whimpering ball.

But instead of passing out and/or dying, Shelford had the trainer stitch him up right there on the bench. They even filmed the surgery and broadcast it on TV to the French people watching at home. And then Shelford went right back in and kept playing. WITH A TORN SCROTUM.
Kittens on a warm summer day.

So, the next time you are considering calling in sick for work because you have a hangover, remember Shelford's ball sack. Then print out a picture of a torn scrotum and pin it to the wall of your cubicle to motivate yourself.

Erik tweets here, and he has a far more talented friend who runs a blog here.

For more truly bat-crazy athletes, check out 5 Insane True Tales of Wrestlers Refusing to Break Character and The 5 Most Badass (And Possibly Insane) Athletes Of All-Time.

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