It’s all fun and games until one of the pyrotechnics machines malfunctions, and suddenly you’ve got a fire erupting on your football field.
That’s exactly what happened at Nissan Stadium ahead of the Colts-Titans game on Sunday. Fortunately, the staff acted swiftly to extinguish the flames and no one was injured — but it didn’t make the blazing in-stadium fire any less alarming for those in attendance.
While it might be the first of the NFL season, the pyrotechnics incident of 2019 is far from the first bizarre mishap in sports. Whether it be a weird flex by Mother Nature or untimely field irrigation, here are some of the moments that have left us in a collective state of confusion over the years:
Giants-Reds swarmed by bees, 2019
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 6, 2019
When bees attack! You really can’t make this stuff up. A swarm of bees set up shop by home plate at Great American Ball Park and eventually ventured into the stands, forcing an 18-minute delay to the start of the game.
Oddly enough, it’s not even the first time the Giants have been involved in a bee delay in Cincinnati, as a swarm went into the Giants’ dugout at Riverfront Stadium in 1976, forcing a 35-minute delay.
Un-bee-lievable. (I’m sorry, I’ll see myself out.)
IUP basketball team wears opponent’s jerseys, 2019
File it away under: Opponent stole my look. The visiting Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks showed up for their game against Edinboro without uniforms.
When questioned about the unique situation, a spokesperson for the school explained that one of the team managers simply “forgot to bring them.” So being the gracious hosts that they were, the Fighting Scots offered up their old road uniforms.
IUP went on to win the game 87-59 to capture the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division crown — we’re going to go out on a limb here and say that losing to a team rocking your own unis probably hits a little differently.
Celtics-Sixers premature confetti, 2018
Well, this was awkward. Tying up a playoff game in the final seconds of regulation only to eventually lose in OT is painful to begin with — add a premature confetti release to the mix and it’s downright brutal.
It was the final 10 seconds of Game 3 of the second-round matchup between the Celtics and the Sixers when chaos ensued. The game was tied 87-87, but Philly turned it over and gave Boston an easy layup with only 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Marco Belinelli then nailed an absurd jumper and this thing was headed to OT.
Cue the celebratory confetti.
… Oops. Classic case of peaking too soon.
The start of OT was delayed slightly so they could sweep up the aforementioned confetti. The Celts would go on to win the series 4-1.
Super Bowl XLVII power outage, 2013
Perhaps the most infamous of all stadium-related mishaps in sports: The time the lights went out during the Super Bowl.
It feels like just yesterday that Mercedes-Benz Superdome fell to darkness early in the third quarter, suspending play between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens for about 34 minutes. Officials from Entergy, the utility company supplying power to the Superdome, said the outage could be attributed to an “abnormality.”
Ah, yes, an abnormality — an explanation not even remotely satisfactory to Ravens fans who were convinced the incident was an attempt to halt Baltimore’s momentum.
San Francisco would go on to score 17 points in the span of 4 minutes, 10 seconds once play resumed, but the Niners’ comeback eventually came up short.
Diamondbacks-Mets sprinkler system interruption, 2005
Rain delays are common, sure. But how about sprinkler-induced infield flooding delays? Yeah, those are a little more rare, and a different animal entirely.
Pedro Martinez was on the mound at Shea Stadium as the sprinklers went off for an untimely field irrigation. Despite getting absolutely drenched, Pedro remained unbothered. The Hall of Famer even took a drink from the sprinkler, which is probably the most underrated part of this video.
The Mets would go on to win the game 6-1 and Pedro was quoted as saying, “Water is blessing to me, and I got wet.” It’s all about perspective, people.
Sharks mascot gets stuck, 1999
Somebody come get your man … er, shark.
In an NHL first, S.J. Sharkie — the San Jose Sharks mascot — got stuck while attempting to rappel down from the ceiling during pregame introductions.
Despite dangling helplessly 25 feet above the ice for quite some time, Sharkie’s spirits remained high as he continued to fire up the crowd. The San Jose staff brought over safety mats just in case the beloved mascot should fall as they attempted to rescue him from the precarious position.
Eventually they were able to pull him back up to the ceiling and to safety, but the dangling Sharkie situation would go on to live in NHL infamy.
John Elway says no Broncos are on the trading block despite slump
DENVER — John Elway says that despite Denver’s 1-4 start, none of his veteran players are on the trading block and the general manager remains committed to seeing his beloved Broncos out of their prolonged plummet.
The Broncos have won just 18 of their past 50 games and haven’t been to the playoffs since winning Super Bowl 50 in Peyton Manning’s final NFL game over three years ago.
Another slow start, this time under yet another new coach in Vic Fangio and yet another quarterback in Joe Flacco, has led to speculation the Broncos will shop veterans Emmanuel Sanders, Chris Harris Jr., Derek Wolfe and even scuffling superstar Von Miller ahead of the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
“You guys bring all those names up. I have not brought any names up,” Elway said Friday to reporters at an event outside Denver’s stadium honoring Hall of Fame inductees Champ Bailey and Pat Bowlen, along with some of the team’s all-time top 100 players, which included Elway and Manning.
“We’re trying to win football games,” Elway said. “So, no one from our side is on the trading block. We’re going to try to continue to win football games.”
Elway said he’s frustrated that it has taken so long to turn around Denver’s dive and reiterated a point he made this summer to The Associated Press that his job isn’t enjoyable right now — but he stressed he has no plans to walk away before fixing the team he led to two Super Bowl titles as a Hall of Fame quarterback and another as a front-office executive.
“I think the hardest thing about losing is you get in a situation to where something bad happens in a game and you say, ‘Here we go again,’ and that is a very tough thing to break,” Elway said. “That’s what we’ve got to get out of. I think it’s hurt us a couple of times. But we went out and got one last week, and so we’ve got to continue to stay positive with it and work our way through it.”
The Broncos, who host Tennessee (2-3) on Sunday, lost their first four games under Fangio, including two home games on last-second field goals, before snapping an eight-game overall skid with a 20-13 road win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
Elway said he’s committed to staying on and fulfilling his contract; he’s about halfway through a five-year extension signed in July 2017.
“Yeah, I don’t like to lose,” Elway said. “You know, it’s not enjoyable. But all we can do is continue to work. Not a whole lot we can do now except try to play better.”
Beyond safety Kareem Jackson, Elway’s 2018 free-agent class has been a bust so far. Cornerback Bryce Callahan (foot) and receiving running back Theo Riddick (shoulder) haven’t played and right tackle Ja’Wuan James (knee) has played just 10 snaps.
Callahan’s absence has hurt the most, forcing Fangio to shuffle his secondary. He recently had another procedure on his surgically repaired left foot.
“It’s been frustrating for everybody this year, including him,” Elway said. “We’ll see how the last thing goes and see if he’ll be able to get back this year or not. We’re hopeful, but we really don’t know.”
Elway said he likes the way Fangio has handled the tough times, saying, “He’s been a pillar,” and he sees Flacco and first-time offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello are “growing together and getting more comfortable with each other.”
Elway said he hasn’t made any decision on which of his sidelined players will come off injured reserve. One of those is rookie quarterback Drew Lock, who sprained the throwing thumb on his right hand in the preseason and is eligible to return to practice next week.
Also receiving an endorsement from Elway was Miller, who has just two sacks so far and lost pass-rush partner Bradley Chubb to a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago.
“It’s frustrating for Von — he gets a lot of attention,” Elway said. “But I think he’ll keep working at it, stay after it. He’s still the same player he always has been. … But you know, you lose a player like Chubb on the other side, it’s not going to help Von.”
Steelers rule out QB Mason Rudolph; Devlin Hodges to start vs. Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is officially out for Sunday night’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, paving the way for third-string quarterback Devlin Hodges to make his first career start.
“This is an opportunist league,” offensive lineman Ramon Foster said Friday. “Guys, they jump in starting roles because of somebody else’s misfortune. Careers are built like that.
“[Hodges] walks into the huddle like a little kid, but he plays big.”
Hodges, an undrafted rookie, took over in the third quarter of last Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens after Rudolph suffered a concussion on a hit by Earl Thomas. The veteran safety was fined $21,000 for the hit but plans to appeal.
Despite the head injury, Rudolph practiced throughout the week in a limited capacity. Hodges, however, took the majority of the first-team reps in practice.
Hodges tried out for the Steelers during rookie minicamp this year and earned an invitation to training camp. The Samford product, who won the 2018 Walter Payton Award as the best offensive player in the FCS, was cut after the final preseason game, but he rejoined the team as a practice squad addition a few weeks later. He was elevated to the 53-man roster when Ben Roethlisberger went on season-ending injured reserve following elbow surgery.
Hodges completed 7 of 9 passes for 68 yards in the overtime loss to the Ravens.
“You can see that preview in the game where he came in and we came down and put points on the board,” wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster said. “I’m not nervous at all. We’re going to L.A. It’s going to be a fun game.”
The Steelers also elevated practice squad quarterback Paxton Lynch to the active roster along with running back Trey Edmunds. The team released offensive lineman Fred Johnson and linebacker Jayrone Elliott to make room.
Packers’ Aaron Jones fined $10,527 for taunting Cowboys’ Byron Jones
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Jones waved goodbye to Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones on his way to the end zone last Sunday, and now the Green Bay Packers running back can wave goodbye to more than $10,000.
Jones said Friday that the NFL fined him $10,527 for “taunting/unsportsmanlike conduct.”
He was not penalized on the field for the play, which came on the third of his franchise record-tying four touchdown runs in Sunday’s 34-24 win over the Cowboys. Jones had 182 yards of total offense in the victory.
“I can’t say it was worth it, but the picture is a dope picture,” Jones said. “I can’t argue with that. I’m going to have that blown up one day in my house. I definitely got a nice picture out of it, but it hurts my pocket a little bit. I want that money.”
Jones said he would appeal the fine, hoping it might get reduced as a first-time offender.
After the game, Jones claimed he didn’t even realize that he waved at the Cowboys’ defender. He still claims he was “just in the zone.”
“Throughout the game it gets chippy, and I’m not a guy who starts talking trash,” Jones said. “But once you start talking trash to me, I usually don’t stop. I’m going to let you know when I make a play.”
The third-year pro said he thought he might get fined for throwing another one of his touchdown balls to his twin brother, Alvin, a former Baltimore Ravens linebacker who was in the stands with more than 30 family members and friends. The Jones brothers grew up in El Paso, Texas.
“They do fine you for throwing the ball [into the stands] and I was surprised I didn’t get fined for that,” Jones said.
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