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When Athletes Lose It

Dec 27, 2006

The heat and intensity of competition can bring out both the best and worst in professional athletes. Some athletes respond to the pressures of competition by scoring big goals or making timely plays, others completely melt down and go absolutely nuts. From horrendous headbutts to brutal bitings, check out these freaky moments when athletes attack.

When Athletes Attack - The Zidane Headbutt

Zinedine Zidane is one of the world's best soccer players but he's now known as much for his famous meltdown at the 2006 World Cup as he is for his soccer skills. During the final minutes of the 2006 World Cup Final between Italy and France, Zidane headbutted Italian player, Marco Materazzi in the chest after the Italian apparently said something insulting to Zidane. Zidane was given a red card for his headbutt and kicked out of the game, which Italy eventually won on penalty kicks. It's not clear whether Materazzi insulted Zidane, his family or his haircut - but it doesn't really matter. His meltdown may have cost France the World Cup and damaged Zidane's reputation for life.

When Athletes Attack - The Tyson Ear Bite

Troubled boxer, Mike Tyson, is about as stable as a Middle East war zone - so major meltdowns aren't exactly a rare occurence for the former heavyweight champ. But Tyson's most infamous case of losing it happened in a 1997 fight against Evander Holyfield. During the third round of the fight, Tyson sunk his teeth into Holyfield's right ear and severed it. After the referee stopped the fight and penalized Tyson for the ear biting, the fight resumed, only to see Tyson chomp down on Holyfield's left ear. After bite number two, the referee had seen enough. Tyson was disqualified from the fight and Holyfield was declared the winner.

When Athletes Attack - The Bertuzzi Sucker Punch

One of hockey's nastiest incidents happenned at a heated game in 2004 between the Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche. During the game, Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punched Avalanche forward, Steve Moore, in the back of the head and drove his head into the ice. Bertuzzi claims the cheap shot was retaliation for a hit Moore put on Canucks' captain, Markus Naslund, a few weeks earlier. Moore ended up with a fractured neck and hasn't played hockey since, while Bertuzzi was suspended from hockey for 18 months and charged with assault for his on-ice meltdown.

When Athletes Attack - Ty Cobb Beats One-Handed Fan

Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers was one of baseball's greatest players, as well as one of the meanest. He was the kind of guy you'd cheer for at the game but hide from if you spotted him at the food fair at the mall. During a game in 1912, a fan was sitting behind the Tigers' dugout and heckling Cobb from the stands. Cobb ignored the heckling fan for a while but by the third inning he had a first-class meltdown and completely lost it. Cobb climbed 12 rows into the stands and began laying a serious beating on the fan. When someone tried to tell Cobb that the annoying fan had only one hand and couldn't really defend himself, Cobb apparently said, "I don't care if he has no feet," and continued to throw punches. Police eventually arrested Cobb for his meltdown and he was suspended for 10 games.

Have you ever lost it during the heat of competition? Have you ever seen another player, coach or parent have a crazy meltdown during a game? to Kidzworld.

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