5 Safety the Wrong Way
Eighty-million fans saw Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall catch a fumble, sprint down the field with no one in tow and take it for a touchdown before throwing the ball into the stands in victory. Trouble was, he ran the wrong way into his own end zone! The 1964 Vikings-49ers game has gone down in sports history as one of the most bizarre touchdown runs ever—and the Vikings still won with Marshall’s help.
4 Not So Rose-y
Pete Rose dropped up to 20 grand a day on bets. The all-time hits leader and arguably one of baseball’s best players was known to hit the track regularly, but it wasn’t until evidence pointed to bets on baseball—including his own team—that the crap hit the fan. He continually denied betting on America’s national pastime despite the mounting evidence. He was banned for life from baseball in 1989.
3 Tiger’s Crawl Out of the Hole
The divot golfer Tiger Woods thrust himself into back in 2009 threatened his career, toppled his marriage and caused sponsors to pull endorsements. Sex scandals tend to do that, especially when there’s about a dozen women involved. Truly bizarre was his SUV-fire hydrant entanglement after intense arguing with his then-wife, Elin Nordegren, coupled with silence and later denial. Perhaps the truly bizarre part of the story is how Woods found time for his dalliances while spending so much time on the greens, winning tournaments. After his infamous press conference, which did little to display sincere repentance, his career fell into a tailspin. It took four years to get back to the top of his game.
2 Naivete or Co-Conspirator?
First she was alive, then she died, then she was alive again. Lennay Kekua, the never met, oft-talked about “girlfriend” of Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o nearly derailed his promising football career. Why? She doesn’t exist. Te’o claims he was a victim of an elaborate hoax concocted by a man, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, who allegedly deceived him for well over a year. There is question why he lied about meeting Kekua, who was supposed to be in the hospital for leukemia—some say he concocted the whole story to elicit sympathy and heighten his chances for the coveted Heisman trophy. Te’o says he was just scared.
1 Holy Hot Sauce, Mike!
Mike Tyson’s infamous ear-biting bout with Evander Holyfield left a bad taste in his mouth—and it wasn’t just from the former heavyweight champ’s 1997 disqualification from the fight. Tyson now says that Holyfield’s ear tasted horrible, but would’ve been much tastier with the hot sauce that Holyfield currently promotes, according to “Business Insider.” Nothing like a bit of spicy cannibalism to round off the top five bizarre sports stories.