The 10 Most Unusual Things To Ever Happen In A Sporting Contest

By Ian John
October 24, 2023

We love our sporting bets at BCP and we particularly like it when we land a longer odds win. Albeit they don’t happen as often as we’d all like.

However, sometimes, something happens at a sporting event that you won’t find odds on even at a site with as many markets as bet365 Sport.

Over the years, we’ve seen some pretty strange things happen in or on the golf course, tennis court, football field, basketball court, boxing ring, ice rink and more.

So with that in mind, let’s take a look now at some of the weirdest and sometimes, funniest moments that have ever happened in a sporting contest over the years.

And we hope this little mix of sporting accidents, fights, mishaps and bloopers brings back some memories.

The 10 Most Unusual Things To Ever Happen In A Sporting Contest

  1. Antonio Brown’s Tampa Meltdown

A recent entry into this top ten list and something widely reported on just a couple of weeks back. It’s not that unusual for players to quit on teams in amateur sports, it’s rarer in professional sports, but it is extremely rare for a player to do so in the middle of a game and in a stadium full of fans.

That’s what happened the other week when Antonio Brown publicly quit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a game with the New York Jets.

There’s speculation that Brown may have planned something, with a woman he purportedly spent the night before with claiming that he had told her to watch the broadcast of the game tomorrow as he was going to do something. Although what that was, if the story is true, remains unclear.

Brown’s volatile personality has seen him kicked off a number of NFL rosters right now and you wonder if this may be his last chance gone up in smoke.

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  1. Iron Mike Takes A Chunk Out Of Holyfield’s Ear

Boxing is a hard, brutal but most of the time, respectful sport. Iron Mike Tyson, however, plunged the depths of what boxing can cause a man to do in his fight with Evander Holyfield.

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Tyson had already been embroiled in a costly lawsuit with his wife and had lost the first fight between the two in a surprise defeat to the former Cruiserweight world champion, but nothing would have prepared anyone for what happened in the second.

In the first fight, Tyson complained early that Holyfield had butted him, causing a cut above his eye, an issue he had complained about in the first fight. Referee Mills Lane disagreed stating that he felt the contact was accidental.

In the third round, Tyson took his revenge, sinking his teeth into Holyfield’s ear and biting off an inch piece which he spat onto the ring floor. After a lengthy stoppage, Tyson was deducted two points and the fight restarted, only for Tyson to attempt to do the same to Holyfield’s other ear.

This time, the fight stopped, Tyson was disqualified and later explained he bit Holyfield due to the headbutts in the fight. The two boxers have become firm friends since retirement.

  1. Janet Jackson’s. ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’

Super Bowl XXXVIII saw the Carolina Panthers take on the New England Patriots in Houston in February 2004. After a tight first half, which saw the Patriots lead 14-10, the famous Super Bowl halftime show was to feature Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake.

At the end of the final song, Rock Your Body, Timberlake sang the final line “Gotta have you naked by the end of this song” and pulled off a part of Jackson’s costume revealing a nipple shield adorned right breast for a fraction of a second.

The result was an outcry about the incident, deemed “Nipplegate”, which Jackson claimed was an accident, coining the now-famous term “wardrobe malfunction”.

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  1. Eric Cantona’s Kung Fu Kick

Eric Cantona was always a volatile character in his football career. A mercurial talent, he once went up to the three members of a disciplinary panel that had banned him and called them an “idiot” to their faces before walking off.

He had seen several red cards in his career — granted not as many red cards as Sergio Ramos —  before he came to England where he was a hit at Leeds United for one season before making the trip to Manchester United.

In January 1995, United played Crystal Palace and after Cantona had got embroiled into a row with England centre back Gareth Southgate, lashing out and kicking the Palace skipper, the Frenchman was red-carded.

As he left the field, a Palace fan ran down from the stands to hurl abuse at Cantona, who then leapt into the crowd aiming a kung fu kick at the Palace fan and a punch or two for good measure.

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Unsurprisingly, he received a lengthy 9-month ban for the incident, a two-week prison sentence and was stripped of the French National team captaincy.

And in 2021, Cantona admitted he regretted just one thing about the incident, that he did not kick the Palace fan harder. Same old Eric!

  1. Brad Fabel’s Birdie At The 1998 Players Championship

In the 1998 Players Championship, Brad Fabel stood on the tee of the famous Island Green 17th hole. Fabel managed to avoid the fate of many, by placing his tee shot neatly onto the green, giving him a difficult putt for a birdie.

However, another birdie had a different plan in mind. A seagull landed on the green and spotted the ball, eventually picking it up, flying off with it and then dropping it into the water.

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A similar fate befell Colin Montgomerie at a different tournament.

And for those golfers wondering about the rules? Well, Fabel was allowed to place his ball on the green where it had come to rest initially with no penalty. And no, he didn’t get the birdie, but the birdie did get him.

  1. Sonny Liston Takes A Dive Against Muhammed Ali

When Muhammed Ali beat Sonny Liston in 1964, the result was a shock and viewed by many as a fluke. The rematch was meant to put any doubts over who was the best to bed.

However, in the first round of the rematch, Ali seemed to land with a fairly innocuous right-handed shot, which surprisingly saw Liston fall to the canvas, and he was then counted out by the referee.

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An iconic picture exists of Ali standing over Liston seemingly telling him to get back up and it is perhaps this picture, along with the speculation at the time, that has led to the belief that Liston, who had close ties with the Mafia at the time, took a dive.

Whether he did or not remains a topic for debate to this day, with as many people saying he did, as those arguing that Ali’s punch was enough to put him down.

  1. Fan Man Invades The Ring At Bowe V Holyfield In 1993

Another crazy incident from the boxing ring came at the Riddick Bowe v Evander Holyfield fight in 1993. A year before, Holyfield had lost his titles to Bowe and wanted the rematch to take his chance to win them back.

Halfway through the fight, Holyfield seemed on course to land the win and as Round 7 began, he was ahead on most people’s cards. Then something caught his eye.

That was James Miller, or as he became known, Fan Man, due to the fact he was using a parachute and large fan to drop into the ring out of the sky.

Fan Man crashed into the ropes of the ring before being dragged away by angry fans and was promptly arrested.

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  1. Brian Harman’s Two Holes In Two.

A hole in one is the dream for many amateur golfers, but for most top professionals, they will have enjoyed several in their careers. Most PGA and European Tour events will see at least one, if not multiple holes in one scored over the course of the tournament.

However, Bryan Harman, playing in Round 4 of The Barclays tournament in 2015, enjoyed a day that he would never forget.

Early in the round, he had managed to ace the third hole of his final round, then stood on the tee at the 218 yard 14th hole, not really in contention in the Championship, and hit a sweet looking fairway wood at the green.

The ball bounced just off the green and rolled beautifully into the hole for a second hole-in-one of the round, something that the player, his partner and the commentators could scarcely believe.

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  1. Cameraman Takes Out Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt is the fastest man in history and by a considerable margin, so when he landed his fourth consecutive World 200m title in Beijing, he had removed his spikes and was walking barefoot around the outside of the stadium to greet the fans that had come to see him.

Of course, Bolt was a megastar at this time and TV wanted a piece of the action too and the Chinese broadcasters had decided to get close up to the action, they would use cameramen on Segways to move around the track and capture the action.

All was going well until one cameraman attempted a close up of Bolt and caught his Segway on a rail around the track, the momentum caused him to lose balance and clatter the Segway and himself into the fastest man in history, tumbling Bolt over in a worrying yet comical moment.

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Fortunately, the Jamaican was unhurt by the incident and the Cameraman probably decided to use his own two feet to get around the track from then on.

  1. Malice At The Palace

In terms of craziness, nothing can come close to the Malice at the Palace in November 2004. The incident, now the subject of a new documentary on Netflix, centered on Ron Artest of the Pacers, now called Metta World Peace.

Late in the game with the Pacers leading by 15, Artest fouled Ben Wallace of the Pistons from behind causing Wallac to shove Artest and a fight involving both sets of players began on the court.

The officials regained control of the scene and Artest, who had lain on the scorer’s table to calm himself down, was then hit by a drink thrown by a fan, John Green. This enraged Artest who raced into the stands, followed by several Pacers teammates to confront the fan.

Artest actually hit the wrong guy and when this happened other fans quickly got involved, leading to a huge brawl involving players of both teams, fans and eventually police and security officials.

The game was called with just under 46 seconds left due to the violence that followed.

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The players were hit with some of the largest bans and suspensions in the history of the NBA and it fundamentally changed how security was planned at NBA games going forward.

More Top 10 Lists

Check out out our other Top 10 Lists from Ian John:

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