It’s one of the most magical times of the year for sports fans. The NCAA Basketball Tournament looms, the NHL and NBA Playoffs are on the horizon, pitchers and catchers are reporting, the Barclays Premier League has entered the final stretch…our collective athletic cups runneth over. (That’s an unsavory image.)
So what better time for me to dazzle and amaze you with some incredible sports facts? None! None, I say!
(DISCLAIMER: for some reason, I have been unable to confirm the accuracy of all of these facts, but, you know…it’s the internet. They gotta be true.)
DID YOU KNOW…
Soccer players run, on average, seven miles a game. This is largely because A) they are lost or B) they really need to use the bathroom but can’t find one.
Craig MacTavish was the last NHL player to skate without a helmet. The last player to skate without a protective cup was Andre “No-Balls” Parenteau.
Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. played 2,632 consecutive games from April 30, 1982 to September 19, 1998. There is a fair deal of controversy surrounding this record, however, as for at least fourteen of these games, Ripken was supported “Weekend at Bernie’s” style between two other players who helped him “catch” and “run” whilst Ripken was semi-conscious.
85% of middle-school children will chuckle to themselves when the coach asks them to “Hand over the balls.”
Nowhere in the International Olympic Committee Guidelines does it mention anything about including bowling balls as props in Synchronized Swimming.
The first “hoops” in basketball were actually just peach baskets. The first “players” in basketball were pimply-faced white motherfuckers.
At 200 mph, NASCAR drivers in one second travel 293 feet, almost the length of a football field. (In other words, about half as fast as Barry Sanders.)
Gatorade is actually less than .5% alligator.
Contrary to popular belief, at no point in history is it recorded that regulation NFL footballs have been made of frozen rhinoceros turds.
Horse racing enthusiasts are often said to be “playing the ponies.” This is actually a common misnomer, the result of a misspelling. The original phrase was “paying with peonies” and dates back to the days of the Great Depression, when unpaid gambling debts resulted in a funeral for the bettor, complete with a wreath of flowers.
Rugby balls were originally made of pigs’ bladders, and had to be inflated by human breath, which led to…Jesus, never mind. I can’t, because this is actully 100% true, and you can Google the rest.