10 Athletes Who Have Battled Inanimate Objects And Lost

No. 5: Marty Cordova vs. Tanning Bed

Marty Cordova could play. The only problem for the 1995 Rookie of the Year and Las Vegas native is he played most of his career in Minnesota. But living in the freezing cold north doesn’t mean he neglected his skin: there are still tanning beds in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Cordova flew too close to the artificial sun one day in 2002, falling asleep in a tanning bed and having to miss a string of day games under doctor’s orders. In related news, “Jersey Shore” season 2 premieres on July 29.

No. 4: David Seamen vs. TV Remote

In a sport played with feet and heads, David Seamen made a career with his hands, providing English Premier League soccer club Arsenal with a stalwart presence in goal. Then he made headlines with them, breaking a bone in one of his hands while reaching for a TV remote. Hard to blame him though. English terrestrial TV has only five channels.

No. 3: Bill Gramatica vs. Jump Kick

Bill Gramatica’s NFL kicking career never quite measured up to that of his older brother, Martin. This is largely because Bill tore his ACL in his rookie season of 2001 by launching into one of his signature celebration performances after knocking through a routine first-quarter field goal. But have some sympathy for Bill: he’s a middle child. If you buy Freud, he just needed attention. And since this video has circulated continuously for a decade, it’s safe to say he’s gotten it.

No. 2: Clarence Blethen vs. Dentures

Blethen pitched for the Boston Red Sox during the Roaring Twenties, and he did it without any teeth. Outfitted with dentures off the field, the rookie thought he looked more intimidating to batters with the false teeth out. But one day in ’23, he forgot to take them out of his pocket when he went to the plate. He doubled, slid in to second and became the first ballplayer to ever be taken out of a game when his own teeth bit him.

No. 1: Abie Goldberry vs. Matches

Abie Goldberry played Junior Hockey in Quebec back in the 30’s. A decent goalie, he suffered from the same affliction that plagues many netminders: pathological weirdness. Maybe it was an especially cold night up north. Maybe it was a good-luck charm. Maybe he just needed a smoke, pronto. Whatever the case, Goldberry was carrying a pack of matches in his pocket one game and they caught fire when a puck struck them, lighting his jersey too. His teammates put out the fire but couldn’t extinguish the story.