Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tiger, You Are Not Alone

Yesterday's news about Tiger Woods hitting a hydrant, then a tree, then being dragged from his SUV by his gold-club-wielding wife is bizarre in the extreme. And the image of him bleeding on the street and drifting in and out of consciousness is a bit surreal. Perhaps I'm a cynic, but if I were the investigating officer, I'd file that accident report in the "There's More To That Story" folder.

However, Tiger is a decent enough guy, and I wouldn't want him to feel unduly embarrassed. So take heart Tiger, the world of racing has also had its share of bizarro, non-sports related injuries. For instance, whilst Tiger is a golfer who hurt himself driving, Jimmie Johnson is a driver who hurt himself golfing. Remember Jimmie's wrist-breaking cart tumble in 2006?

And just like any other year, 2009 has also seen a spate of oddball aches and pains:

Jimmie Johnson - the sequel: Johnson followed up his golf cart fall with a cut to his finger in early 2009. According to reports, Johnson sliced his left middle finger with a kitchen knife while trying to cut a hole in his firesuit. Hopefully, in 2010, Johnson will leave all wardrobe prep to the professionals.

Captain Biffle - Pardon the pun, but driver Greg Biffle took a lot of "ribbing" for his slip while boating with buddies earlier this year. Biffle suffered some painful bruised ribs as he leapt (unsuccessfully) from the dock to his boat. The injury caused The Biff to miss the Spring Nationwide race at Bristol for his admittedly boneheaded move. "So it's just one of those freak, stupid accidents where you take a fall and you have no way to stop it or brace it or grab, because I was over top of water. You're going to land on your ribs with all your weight, plus you jumped on top of it, so it was a stupid deal," Biffle said at the time.

Seriously, a Frisbee? - Who can forget Carl Edwards' fight with a Frisbee...or whatever it was that caused him to break his foot while participating in a pastime that's beloved by small children everywhere? Due to the resulting fractured foot, Cousin Carl spent a few weeks on crutches. And he also had to forego his signature race-winning backflip in favor of a less load-bearing move. Namely, the celebratory somersault.

A One-Man Wrecking Machine - In October, driver Michael Waltrip was involved in an off-track mashup in North Carolina that didn't hurt himself, per se, but did leave a motorcyclist with minor inuries. Ol' Mikey was cited for failure to yield, while the motorcyclist suffered some bruises and swelling. The incident proves my hypothesis that Waltrip must either be crash happy in his late career or in serious need of an eye exam - because the guy can't stay out of wrecks on the track either.

Photo info: Carl Edwards does a celebratory somersault after winning at Phoenix.


  1. I can't knock the frisbee thing. I've had my nose broken twice by a frisbee in ultimate frisbee games. Sad, huh?

    Nice recall in comparisons of boo boos.

  2. Waltrip has had a couple of off track accidents over the last few years. Seems they are always in the early morning hours.

  3. Great piece ... Don't forget A.J. Allmendinger's DUI ... And doncha wonder how many speeding tickets have been issued against the tribe? But let's not forget, too, that JC France, grandson of NASCAR's founder, was busted in October for driving drunk and in possession of cocaine while racing down a street. Whoops.

  4. Oh yeah, and this tidbit -- Carl Dean Combs, who raced in the early 1980s, was arrested last March when state agents in North Carolina found a still near the old North Wilkesboro Speedway.

    Combs made 24 Cup starts from 1981-84 with a best finish of eighth at Atlanta. He was also a five-time champion in what used to be NASCAR's Goody's Dash Series and was a crew chief for team owner Junior Johnson.

    Johnson, who served time in the 1950s for bootlegging, now sells liquor legally under the brand name Midnight Moon.

    Some traditions never die!