I think I’ve embarrassed myself in almost every sport

Yesterday I was thinking about the MOST EMBARRASSING sports fail in my entire 39-year life. It was so bad… the kind of thing you’d see in a movie or in a YouTube video, like this.

Thankfully no one was recording me, so I’ll just have to tell you how it went down…

I was playing soccer, a sport I love to play. But I was playing a position I wasn’t cut out for: goalie. Yikes! So that already made me uncomfortable, plus I only knew one person on the team so I felt like I had a lot to live up to with all the teammates who probably expected me to help them win. Help them win, meaning stop the ball when someone kicks it towards the goal. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, just hold your horses right there!

One time someone kicked the ball from about mid-field. Not a hard kick, but it had some leg behind it. I was all alone since both teams were still mostly on the other end of the field. As the ball rolled towards me, I had zero pressure to do anything athletic. And “not do anything athletic” is exactly what I did! I remember thinking, “Oh man, I’m going to knock this ball so far.” I was so proud of myself for what I was about to do, the team would love me for it. They would carry me off the field on their shoulders. High fives all around. Tell their grandchildren about what their goalie did that day.

Well, they probably WILL still their family what happened… I moved towards the ball and engaged my kick approach. Head down. A few steps, then boom with the left foot…

In my defense, the field was really rough, so the ball was bouncy. So bouncy that when I made a swift kick, I came into contact with nothing. Nothing at all. Air. The stupid bouncing ball had bounced OVER my stupid foot! Embarrassing, right? Well, not as embarrassing as the ball bouncing over my foot AND rolling into the goal. Yep. That’s exactly what happened on the worst day of my sporting career.

I can’t ever show my face at the Donelson YMCA soccer fields again.

via Giphy.com

Other bad days include a critical “go on two” false start in flag football, an “I got up too quick from a slide” in softball where I got up too quick and fell backwards, another softball blooper where I slid head first into first base and was called out because I never actually reached the base, and my entire middle school basketball career was minutes long because my coach only played me a few minutes each game– entirely embarrassing! I still have room for other sports like volleyball, baseball (although I might have a story to share about that later), tennis, and maybe running.

Please don’t judge me. But I will accept any empathy from you, dear reader.

-Out of the Wilderness

Funny or Not, Here They Come

A current topic at work among some friends of mine is the question, to what degree of injury or embarrassment does something funny become unfunny?

The topic began with the discussion of the female reporter covering the Grammy Awards. Immediately after the news desk tossed it to her, she bumbled her words, saying nothing that made sense, not even speaking words at all. Here’s a clip:

I seem to be in the minority in thinking that when something is life-altering, it’s not funny. Another example I brought up to defend my stance is a guy riding a bicycle into a tree. I think it’s hilarious, as would most people I assume. Even the folks in this discussion agree it’s funny. But let’s say the guy became paralyzed from the neck down? Then, is it still funny? A resounding ‘no.’ So think back to the reporter who fumbled her words… funny? Admittedly, I laughed when I saw it. After discovering the reason, though, I no longer think it’s funny. She suffers from a rare form of migraine headache. To me, that’s a life-altering circumstance. I’m sure she’s still embarrassed by the whole on-air flap, and it’s not right or encouraging to her for me to laugh at her suffering. I bet we’ve all had a fair share of embarrassing or life-altering events, would you want someone laughing at you for those things? Here’s one of my embarrassing moments.

A colleague brought up the show, ‘America’s Funniest Videos,’ asking me, “Do you think they check with the people in each video to make sure the embarrassed party wasn’t paralized or life was not somehow altered by what happened in the video?” They don’t have the time for that, and my guess is they wouldn’t air the clip if they knew the person ended up paralyzed, or an animal died, or something with a negative result happened. Furthermore, would anyone even submit a clip to ‘Home Videos’ if the person in the video died, was paralyzed, dismembered or experienced a negative life-altering event? No.

My colleague also brought up Saturday Night Live. They often use people’s misfortunes, faults, physical traits as the focus of jokes in their performances. What do you think? Is there a line in which something potentially funny becomes unfunny? If so, where’s the line? Anyway, here are some funny clips: