There’s no such thing as a freak accident

Tony HawkI’m 46.  On Monday, I’ll be 47.  As any of you that are around that age have probably come to understand, at this point in my life, most of my movements are deliberate.

There’s a good reason for this.

My old boss, who is a few years older than me, injured himself skateboarding not long ago.  Needless to say, he was out of commission for a while with a busted this and a sprained that.  Call me kooky but if you’re deep into the 40-plus club, unless your name is Tony Hawk, you have no business being on a skateboard.

Like I said, my movements are deliberate.  It’s not that I’m not in shape.  I am.  And looking damn good if I do say so myself.  I’m just not going to do something out of the ordinary that will put my body in harm’s way.  I’m not going to jump off a cliff, get on a trampoline (non-sexually speaking) or do anything else that might land me in the emergency room explaining to the doctor “Well, you see what had happened was…”  Heck, I don’t even play basketball anymore.

When I meet someone new and go to shake their hand, if he grabs too tightly as if he needs to demonstrate he’s the most macho guy in the universe, I pull my hand back.  I work with my hands, man.  There’s a difference between a firm hand shake and an inescapable death grip.  I don’t need any dislocated fingers just because a guy has something to prove.

My job is my livelihood.  I’m not going to do anything to jeopardize my health or my availability which is why, when I heard about the two freak sports-related injuries this weekend, I simply shook my head knowing these athletes should have known better.

rory hurtThe world’s top golfer, Rory McIlroy was out playing soccer, which is understandable.  He’s a Brit and Brits play soccer.  Badly but they play soccer nonetheless.  Apparently, during said soccer match, Rory ruptured a ligament.  His foot is now in a boot.  This is a man who a) would have been defending two major golf titles in the coming months and now won’t be able to and b) made $48 million last year, $16 of that from golf.  Sure hope that was a good game of soccer.

New York Giants linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul was celebrating the Fourth of July like any good, red-blooded American… until a firework went off in his hand, blowing off one of his fingers.  Now, linebackers don’t necessarily need their fingers but it’s always better to have ten than nine.  The Giants were allegedly going to offer him a $60 million contract.  That offer, according to, is now off the table.  No word as to whether they’ll counter offer with nine-tenths of the same deal.

Remember when Mets pitcher Bob Ojeda sliced off a finger while gardening?  I understand wanting to keep your yard in shape but you’re a damn millionaire!  Put the sheers down and pay someone to do your gardening for you!  Or better yet, the produce section of your local market is generally injury-free.

Remember when Jay Williams went on that ill-fated motorcycle ride?  It ended his career.  That’s why they have these sorts of stipulations built into an athlete’s contract.  They’re not only there to protect their investment.  They’re designed to ward off stupidity.  Like my good friend J-Dub says, if only common sense was a little more common.

Look, it’s your life.  Do as you please.  If you want to go cliff-diving, bungee-jumping or running with the bulls, go right ahead.  Just understand the consequences of your actions.  Be prepared to not only lose a lot of money and perhaps a finger but also face the wrath of our ridicule if, or more likely when, things go awry.

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13 Replies to “There’s no such thing as a freak accident”

  1. You’re right. We’ve got way too many people in this country trying to be something that they are not.

  2. WTA tennis professional Caroline Wozniacki would beg to differ as Rory’s phallic symbol also suffered an injury before their relationship went sour . Freak accidents happen all time .

    The FSU quarterback Andrew Johnson didn’t mean to punch a female patron in the face (jaw) at a bar in what was said to be an altercation. He was merely showing off to his friends as showed them how to throw a deep spiral . Now that Johnson has been thrown off the team , his family suggest the experience will now make him a better person .

  3. Okay, Al.

    Now comes word from the kid’s defense attorney that she dropped an N-Bomb.

    Far be it from me to justify his actions… but what if she did?

    And what the hell is that kid doing in a bar anyway?

  4. My condolences on 47, although their sincerity must be weighed against the reality that my memory of that age is becoming increasingly vague.

    Is there a golf cart exception for stupidity? It seems to me that if Casey Martin could get one for being so dumb as to have been born with a birth defect, the least they could do is give Rory a break.

  5. Happy 47th Chris. Geez, I didn’t know you were THAT old (ha). I’ve only got 10 years on you. And indeed, my movements have been calculated for some time now…although I do enjoy a spirited game of slowed-down hoops from time to time still. Those two mentioned incidents with our superstars are hard to understand for us but…for them…they obviously were doing things they felt were “under control.” That’s why these are called accidents, making the assumption the individuals in question were not deliberately trying…to ruin their bleepin’ careers. If I were they I truly believe I would have stayed away from both activities with what was ahead on their calendars. I do love me some putt-putt golf as well. That’s on the list if I head your way some day.

  6. Happy upcoming 47th. I got you by about 6 years though. I might even be getting too old for putt-putt golf! Would be good to go on the whiskey though – think I’ve got enough strength to get the glass to my lips.

    On your other comment – what in the hell is FSU recruiting? Even Alabama hasn’t had this many knuckleheads in the headlines. Sure, UA has kids doing stupid, illegal stuff (and getting kicked out or suspended) but these FSU guys over the past few years have got to be ranked #1 in the country in stupidity. I hereby award them the National Championship.

  7. Ya’ lost me, Unc.

    Rory’s birth defect is being a soccer fan? Or just funny looking.

    Please understand I’m older so you’re going to have to speak more slowly.

  8. Burnsy…

    I don’t know if you’re friends with Dub on Facebook but he recently posted photos of him at putt-putt with the wife.

    I don’t think Bets set a line on that match but I can guess who he had as the favorite.

    I haven’t resigned myself to strictly putt putt yet as I’m still able to hit a semi-respectable round. But then again, that all depends on how you define “respectable.”

  9. I’ll have what I think might be a controversial piece up about that FSU quarterback, Moose, so stay tuned.

    I must be getting ornery in my golden years.

  10. God damn, Dad…WTF’?
    Happy B-Day btw…But I feel like I just got scolded by my grandpa.

    I’m 44 and play basketball 3 times a week. I went rock diving at Hermit Falls in Arcadia this weekend….40-60 foot drops….Had a fucking blast….I didn’t video my jumps, but here’s a video of Hermit Falls action:

    Thankfully, I kept my fingers because unlike JPP and the Bucs dipshit, I don’t get a boner off fireworks.

    On having fun doing physical activities, fuck it…YOLO
    I can recoup at my desk at work.

    I figure I’m going to have fun while I’m here…There will be plenty of time to rest when I’m dead. Besides, if you eat healthy, don’t drink, go to sleep early and all that, you’re still gonna die. Enjoy life.

    …If I were a pro athlete though, I don’t think I’d risk my career or the millions of dollars. Plenty of time to do the extreme shit after you retire.

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