Funniest Groundskeeping Malfunctions in Sports

Sports, Young Bloggers  /   /  By Leo T. Smith
Stone Soup Magazine
September 2018

Photo: Mark Hoffman, Journal Sentinel, courtesy https://www.indystar.com.

There have been lots of fails in sports over the years. Sometimes it will make Shaqtin a Fool (the NBA’s collection of silly incidents) or #SCNotTopTen (a twitter feed of sporting mishaps). Many times they go unnoticed. Most are by players, refs, or coaches. But perhaps the funniest are committed by… the grounds crew!! For example, on Sunday, week 13, for the Vikings versus Falcons football game, the hash marks that tell the referees where to place the ball were painted by the grounds crew too close together. If I were a player or referee, I would not be happy at all. Many other things similar to this have happened.

On Saturday, December 2nd, 2017, the Wisconsin Badgers played the Ohio State Buckeyes. During the game, Badgers’ running back Chris James ran the ball from the Buckeyes’ 1-yard line and the Buckeyes defense planted their feet to try not to give up ground. The turf completely ripped, which resulted in the first turf delay ever in the Big Ten conference’s championship game’s history.

On August 20th, 2014, the San Francisco Giants played the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Suddenly, the skies opened up and it began raining. It was just a 20-minute rain, so the crew got the tarp and started to lay it out. They couldn’t do this in time, as they were all panicking and running around the field. What was a 20-minute rain became an over 4-hour rain delay because the ground was drenched.

People don’t often think of the grounds crew while envisioning mishaps, but it happens a lot and it can be hilarious.

Do you have any funny incidents to share, either in professional sports, or your own experience as a player or grounds crew? If you do, post them in the comments section!

Leo T. Smith
About the Author

I am 10 and I live in Evanston, Illinois. I am a huge Bulls fan and I love sports in general.

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2 Comments
 
  1. Uncle Alan December 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm Reply

    Great stories and insights. Keep em coming!

  2. Maite Díez June 16, 2018 at 7:38 pm Reply

    In rugby I think it’s funny how the advertising painted onto the pitch comes off on the players as the game progresses. By the second half, many of the players have different colors smeared on their legs, arms, and uniforms! This especially happens when it rains.

    Thanks for your entertaining piece. I had never before really thought about this aspect of sports.

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