Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tom Jones: Weird stories of 2012

We've all followed the major stories in sports over the past year: Lance Armstrong, Bountygate, the NHL lockout, the various championships won by various teams and individuals. But today we look back at some of the more interesting yet no-so-famous stories of 2012. We have good guys and bad guys, stories that will amaze and entertain you. Here are some of our favorite weird, bizarre and goofy stories of the year.

Worst idea

A German man decided to send photos of his privates to German Olympic high jumper Ariane Friedrich. Bad idea. Not only is she a world-class athlete, she is a cop. Friedrich posted the photos on Facebook, then pressed charges against the creep.

But he's a good 'driver'

Golfer Jose Maria Olazabal was racing to get from the Masters to the next tournament on his schedule. Literally. Olazabal, who missed the cut at Augusta, was pulled over in Georgia for doing 97 mph on a rural road. That meant a fine of $621. But it's good to be a pro golfer. Olazabal paid cash for his ticket and continued on his way.

I think I would have just watched it on TV

We never believe the dog-ate-my-homework excuse. But in this case, it really happened. A Seattle man lost his four tickets to the Masters because his Swiss mountain dog ate them. He induced the dog to drink hydrogen peroxide, which didn't harm the dog but made him throw up. The man then taped the tickets back together and was able to attend the tournament.

Those are fightin' words

It's common for fans of rival teams to get into arguments, and sometimes even throw a punch, but this one takes the prize: A 78-year-old Kentucky basketball fan got into a scrap with a 71-year-old Louisville fan while the two were waiting to get treatment at a dialysis clinic. But like good sports fans, they refused to press charges against the other.

So, what are you up to these days?

We love those "Whatever happened to … " stories. But this is the all-time best one: Suzy Favor Hamilton has the most shocking post-competition career ever. The three-time American Olympic middle-distance runner was recently discovered to have been a $600-an-hour call girl in Las Vegas. Hamilton, married and a mother of a 7-year-old daughter, said on Twitter: "I realize I have made highly irrational choices, and I take full responsibility for them. I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing."

Putting out the fire

New York Jets superfan "Fireman'' Ed Anzalone, who used to rile up the home crowd with his chant of "J-E-T-S," decided to Q-U-I-T after the team's embarrassing 30-point loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving night. He said he would no longer attend home games because "confrontations with other Jets fans have become more common.'' Once again, the action in the stands at Jets games is more interesting than the action on the field.

Click here for 'like'

A high school football coach in Ohio meant to send naked pictures of himself to a Facebook friend. But he posted them for all to see. He next had a status update for his Facebook friends along the lines of "I was fired from my teaching and coaching job.''


Bet you never thought being big was bad in football. But the Mesquite (Texas) Pee Wee Football Association banned a 12-year-old because he was just that — too big. In a league with a weight limit of 135 pounds, Elijah Earnheart was just a little over the limit: 6 feet 1, 297 pounds.

Maybe he should've played Blinded by the Light

A 21-year-old intern serving as the disc jockey for a Florida State League baseball game between Daytona and Fort Myers was ejected by an umpire. How come? After a controversial call, he played Three Blind Mice over the public address system. Apparently the men in blue didn't find it as funny as everyone else. Not only was he given the heave-ho, he was fined $25 by the league.

An incredible journey

A soccer ball covered in Japanese writing washed up on the shore of Middleton Island in Alaska. It is believed to have been debris from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March. The Japan Times reported the ball belonged to a 16-year-old high school student whose home was swept away.

Head games, Part I

A Canadian hunter camping in Ontario accidentally shot himself in the head when he tried to kill a mouse with the butt of his rifle. The good news: The bullet just grazed him, and he was hospitalized briefly. The bad news: Upon his release from the hospital, he was charged with careless use of a firearm. Geez, don't you think the story itself was punishment enough?

Heads games, Part II

Robin Yount, below, is still delivering great shots well after his Hall of Fame playing career with the Brewers. His latest target was Cubs manager Dale Sveum. In a Dick Cheney moment, Yount accidentally hit Sveum in the head with shrapnel while the two were quail hunting in Arizona. Fortunately, Sveum is okay, though he is still manager of the Cubs.

Weirdest injuries

In one of those "Wait, what?'' moments, Spurs star point guard Tony Parker, left, sustained a scratched retina when a fight broke out in a New York nightclub between the entourages of singers Chris Brown and Drake.

Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle sustained a cut on his left (pitching) thumb trying to open a jar of mayonnaise before a game. He still pitched but gave up two runs in a 4-0 loss.

The most pathetic injury, however, goes to Giants and former Rays star first baseman Aubrey Huff. He sprained his right knee jumping over the dugout railing to celebrate the perfect game of teammate Matt Cain.

Sign here, please

High school golfer Caroline Inglis easily shot the best score at the Oregon Class 5A state tournament. But she was disqualified because she signed an incorrect scorecard. She wasn't too broken up and said everyone knew she won, including her father, Bill. And no, Bill wasn't upset, either. When he was in high school in 1971, his high school team was disqualified from the state tournament because someone signed an incorrect card. That someone — Bill Inglis.

In this corner

Here's your strangest funeral of the year. The great boxer Hector "Macho" Camacho was shot and killed in November. At the funeral, his mistress of more than 20 years kissed his body, igniting a full-scale brawl between her and Camacho's wife and sisters.

You deserve a break today

Big man Joakim Noah was criticized by even his team when he chucked up a 3-point try with 3.8 seconds left and his Bulls leading the Magic 99-93. But cut the former Gator a break. All Noah was trying to do was feed his hometown fans. Those with tickets stubs get a free Big Mac from McDonald's whenever the Bulls score 100 points in a game. His coach was mad, and so was the Magic. Fans left unhappy, too. Noah missed the shot.

Coolest guy

Royals rightfielder Jeff Francoeur is one of our favorites. Last year he taped a $100 bill to a baseball and threw it into the stands for fans to buy themselves beverages. This year he had 20 personal pan pizzas delivered to the folks sitting in the rightfield seats in Oakland.

Tom Jones: Weird stories of 2012 12/27/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 27, 2012 8:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  2. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.

  3. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here

    The Heater


    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, they better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher they can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Twice the talent: IMG football expands to two teams this fall


    BRADENTON — When IMG Academy fielded its first varsity football team in 2013, there were 51 players on the roster. Since then, the roster has nearly tripled. With no junior varsity it was difficult for some to find playing time, and players do not come to IMG to sit the bench.

    The solution? Start another …

    DL Tre’von Riggins 
(6-4, 240) is a  Lakewood transfer.
  5. Rays power way to 5-1 win over Orioles on eve of crucial road trip

    The Heater

    St. PETERSBURG — The Rays didn't get many hits in the early going Wednesday, but they got a couple that went a long way and that was enough to beat the Orioles, 5-1.

    Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) hugs catcher Jesus Sucre (45) after Souza's solo home run in the seventh inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]