2014 was a good year for wacky sports stories

Moments after FSU defeated Auburn for the national title, the FSU online store offered T-shirts with Auburn winning.
Moments after FSU defeated Auburn for the national title, the FSU online store offered T-shirts with Auburn winning.
Published Dec. 23, 2014

The weird. The wacky. The bizarre. The just plain dumb and funny. Usually this time of year, we look back at the special athletes and the great moments of the year. But it's also time to look back at the offbeat sports of 2014. Enjoy.

They're collector's items

Moments after the BCS championship game between Auburn and Florida State, the FSU online store was selling T-shirts that read "Tigers 34 Noles 31.'' You would think the winning school would get the winning score right, right? FSU — that would be the 'Noles — won 34-31.


Pro wrestler Ric "Nature Boy'' Flair took some serious flak and even a few threats from Carolina Panthers fans after he gave a pep talk to the 49ers before their playoff game with Packers. Flair, a North Carolina resident, said, "What I can I say? I've always been a very good heel.''

No running in the house

Rangers pitcher Derek Holland missed the start of the season after tearing cartilage in his left knee when his dog ran into him while running up the stairs. Cursed? Well, his dog's name is Wrigley.

Blue cheese or ranch?

Molly Schuyler, a 5-7, 126-pound mother of four, ate 363 wings over 30 minutes to set the record at the Wing Bowl 22 in Philadelphia. Previous record was 337 by Takeru Kobayashi. Schuyler won $22,000. She also holds world record for eating a 72-ounce steak in less than three minutes. None of this is a misprint, including the 126-pound part.

Make my day

Actor and director Clint Eastwood (bottom left) saved the day at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am when he saved the life of tournament director Steve John. Apparently, John choked on a piece of cheese and Eastwood performed the Heimlich maneuver. Now get off my lawn.

Thanks, but ...

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson received plenty of congratulatory texts after he won the Daytona 500 back in February. One problem: he didn't win. The 2014 race was delayed by rain and Fox broadcast a re-run of the 2013 race, which Johnson did win. Maybe Johnson needs some smarter friends.

And the Oscar goes to ...

Baseball reliever John Axford is in the wrong business. On Facebook, he posted predictions for 18 Academy Award categories. And he was right on all 18. How about that: 18-for-18 on this picks. To bad he is not as good at pitching. He was only 10-for-13 in save opportunities with the Pirates.

Watch your step

Bizarre injury of the year goes to Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who had his spring training debut delayed because he stepped barefoot on a cactus. Where was he, in a cartoon?

What's the buzz?

A Yankees-Red Sox spring game in Tampa was delayed seven minutes. Quick-passing Florida rainstorm? Nope. Bees. Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said: "What I thought is, if you just do a line of honey out of the ballpark, the bees would maybe follow it and then leave us alone.''

... And a Diet Coke, please

This season, the Diamondbacks introduced a corn dog that cost $25. It is 18 inches long and stuffed with cheddar, jalapenos and bacon. Calories? The D'backs tweeted: "We're still counting.''

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene

Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter

We’ll send you news and analysis on the Bucs, Lightning, Rays and Florida’s college football teams every day.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Stepping up, paying up

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (right) was so sure that Duke would beat 14th-seeded Mercer in the NCAA Tournament that he promised fan Dylan Hoyt two tickets on the 50-yard line for a Falcons game if Duke lost. Sure enough, Duke lost. White made good on his word … and then some. White got Hoyt two Falcons tickets, two Super Bowl tickets and a VIP guest pass at Falcons training camp.

RIP Pele

CNN reported on Twitter in March that Brazilian soccer star Pele (above) had died. Except the 73-year-old was alive and (sorry the pun) still kicking. Nineteen minutes after the tweet went out, CNN corrected its error.

Make yourself a dang quesadilla

U.S. skiing great Bode Miller and his wife tried to take a quesadilla onto the course at the Masters, but were told they could not. Miller said, "If you pay $7,500 (for tickets), you should be able to bring out a quesadilla.'' And if you're lucky enough to get Masters tickets, you should stop your complaining.


Remember when Bobby Brady joined the chorus and was teased by his football teammates until Deacon Jones came to his rescue? He was no songbird. But Yale junior basketball player Brandon Sharrod (abover right) is. The 6-foot-6 forward left the basketball team after he was one of 14 students selected to be a part of the Whiffenpoofs, the school's famous male a cappella singing group that has been around since 1909 and includes composer Cole Porter as one of its former members. Hey, the Whiffenpoofs were Ivy League favorites.

This does sound like the Cubs

A 1927 photo of aviator Charles Lindberg (right) was included in a mural celebrating the 100th anniversary of Chicago's Wrigley Field. One problem: the photo was taken at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox and since demolished. This is who you work for now, Joe Maddon.

Iron Miguel

Evoking memories of Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, Dodgers Triple-A Albuquerque infielder Alex Guerrero needed plastic surgery after his left ear was bitten by teammate Miguel Olivo in a dugout fight. Olivo was angry that Guerrero failed to tag out a runner. Miguel is Spanish for Mike.

What are you, a wiseguy?

Worst news conference of the year following a Nicolas Mahut match at the French Open.

Reporter: Congratulations.

Mahut (left): Congratulations? I lost.

Reporter: You lost? Okay, what happened out there?

Mahut: Are you serious? Did you watch the match?

Reporter: No, I didn't. I was told that you won. I'm sorry.

Two minutes for ...

Flyers star Claude Giroux spent a night in jail after repeatedly grabbing the buttocks of an Ottawa police officer in a bar. Authorities said they believed alcohol was involved. Gee, you think?

Can they ring cowbells, too?

A Korean baseball team struggling with attendance put robot fans in the seats to improve the atmosphere at games. The robots can cheer, chant and even perform the wave. Can they travel? To the Trop?

May the fore be with you

The KLM Open in Amsterdam offered a unique hole-in-one prize pack. XCOR Aerospace offered a trip to space if anyone aced the 15th hole. Turns out, European Tour golfer Andy Sullivan did, in fact, make a hole-in-one in September. He isn't sure he will collect. "I'll see what the Mrs. says.''

The wrong man

Yes, even NFL players play fantasy football. Such as Giants tight end Larry Donnell (right). He even drafted himself. So he must have been really excited when he had a career day with seven catches for more than 50 yards and three touchdowns. But, turns out, Donnell benched himself that day in favor of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who didn't do a thing. Numbskull! Had he played himself that day, he would have won.