Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Trick or Treat: Sports Pranks
Trick or treat, smell my feet. Give me something good to eat! If you don't, I don't care. I'll pull down your underwear! In the spirit of Halloween, I have compiled a list of sports pranks. A very special thank you to @KevinJ42, Peter in California, and Mark in California for their submissions! Oh, and as far as I know, everyone still has their underwear and there were no stinky feet.
@KevinJ42 submits the hidden ball trick. This is a prank in which the third baseman pretends to hand ball to pitcher, but instead, he conceals it in his glove and tries to tag out the third base runner as he walks back to the base.
Peter in California submits that Chris Cohen pranked the Warriors for about fifteen years.
Mark in California submits a prank that Charles Barkley pulled on Manute Bol. Charles shows him several food items that are under silver covers. As Bol removes each one to see the food, he finds one with a teammate who frightens him.
I remember hearing this story on a tour of Harvard. This is probably one of the more famous college football pranks of all time. During the big game against Yale, some Yale students mixed up the Harvard tiles to spell, “We Suck.”
During the Chicago Bears training camp, Charles “Peanut” Tillman put Rex Grossman on a dolly and wrapped toilet paper around him. He ran around the field screaming that Hannibal Lector was out. This is the story that first endeared Tillman in my heart.
While with the Vancouver Canucks, Brad “May Day” May with his teammates tormented Matt Cooke. One day Cooke showed up what has been described as what might be the ugliest sweater ever known to man, and the guys took to teasing him a good bit. While Cooke was busy putting on his equipment, May took the sweater out of the locker, and with the help of some of the guys, they taped his number on the back of the sweater and put it up in the rafters. When Cooke came out to the ice, the guys started looking up to try to get him to see what they had done. As he realized what he was looking at, May Day turned to him and said, “Well, your number may never be retired, but that sweater is!”
Brad May went through his teammates’ pants pockets to retrieve their keys while the guys finished practice. He took all the keys off the rings and dumped them in a shoe box. As the guys began to leave the rink to get into their cars, they would stop to reach for their keys. Once they realized that they were gone, the players headed back to the locker room. No one was too happy that they had to find their keys amongst everyone else’s keys. Despite the fact that May put his own keys in the box, he was ratted out and the guys plotted their revenge. At the time, MayDay was driving a BMW convertible. It was a nice day in Vancouver, so he had driven with the top open. The guys had purchased those large tins of popcorn you can usually find during the holidays and filled the car with it. When May went to his car after practice, he had to play it cool as a few teammates were hiding in the bushes trying to get his reaction on camera.
Perhaps one of the most storied pranks is that of Taro Tsujimoto. In the 1974 NHL draft, GM Punch Imlach of the Buffalo Sabres became tired of the long and laborious process of telephoning draft picks and decided to have a little fun. With his 11th round draft pick, Imlach chose Taro Tsujimoto of the Tokyo Katanas. Once the draft had finished, the NHL recorded the pick and printed media guides as usual. However, Imlach did not admit to his prank until training camp was about to begin. There was no Tokyo Katanas and no Taro Tsujimoto. The NHL was not so happy about this, but Buffalo Sabres fans have kept the legend of Tsujimoto alive throughout the years.
I can’t find who the pranksters were now that I’m trying to find them, but there is one LA Kings prank I remember well. Two Kings players decided to prank Brad Richardson after a game. For all games, players are required to wear suits and nice dress shoes. The pranksters took his shoes out of his locker and cut off the bottoms, not completely so that he could put on the shoes and take a few steps before the bottoms would fall out. They waited just outside the locker room, and they were puzzled as Richardson strolled out... with his shoes. From inside, they heard a loud, “What the---?!” from inside. When they realized it was a fuming Wayne Simmonds, the pranksters laid low and ran. I think they mistook Simmonds’s #17 for Richardson’s #15 which were probably right next to each other.
If you would like to contribute, please use the comment box below, tweet me at @SportingAJenda, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading and have a happy Halloween!