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Original Issue

Signs of the Apocalypse

We've been collecting these harbingers of doom for 11 years now, but that doesn't mean the end isn't coming

JANUARY 24, 1994

To prove she was tougher than the Houston Oilers and their brawling assistant coach Buddy Ryan, Chiefs fan Chris Russert challenged anyone at her engagement party to trade punches. Lee Walters took the dare and knocked her back with a punch to the cheek. She then broke his nose. Walters is her fiancé.

APRIL 4, 1994

In response to scuffles between opposing players at several recent high school basketball games, the Marmonte League in Southern California has outlawed postgame handshakes.

JUNE 6, 1994

After a 40-year-old woman marathoner was killed by a mountain lion in the Sierra Nevada foothills in April and the lion was later shot by wildlife authorities, a fund for the cat's cub had raised, as of last week, $21,000 ... while a fund for the woman's two children had raised only $9,000.

JANUARY 23, 1995

A man in Troy, N.Y., has received a U.S. patent for a table- or wall-mounted mechanical arm designed to give a sports fan watching a game alone on television a high five after an exciting play.

MARCH 6, 1995

Twenty-six cheerleaders at Stratford High in Goose Creek, S.C., took part in an intrasquad shoplifting contest while they were in Florida for a cheerleading competition.

NOVEMBER 20, 1995

Cooperstown, N.Y., officials recently rejected a minor league baseball franchise on the grounds that the city is "really not a baseball town, per se."

JANUARY 22, 1996

Thirty-five Kansas City football fans last week signed up for Chiefs Grief, a therapy session designed to help people get over the team's Jan. 7 playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

JUNE 17, 1996

Until the country's sports minister objected, France's synchronized swimming team planned an Olympic program that evoked the Holocaust--featuring goose-stepping swimmers and a reenactment of the deaths of Jews in concentration camps, set to music from Schindler's List.

DECEMBER 16, 1996

Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc's entrance into last Saturday's Bulls--Miami Heat game was interrupted when his pager fell from the pocket of his warmup jacket.

OCTOBER 20, 1997 Mississippi State noseguard Eric Dotson missed Saturday's game because of injuries he sustained in a fight with a teammate over who was first in line to have his ankles taped.

NOVEMBER 3, 1997 According to a Boating magazine survey, a married boat owner is more likely to carry a wallet photograph of his boat than of his spouse or children.

AUGUST 3, 1998

Houghton Mifflin's recently released American history textbook for fifth-graders, Build Our Nation, covers the Depression and the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt in 33 lines, while devoting two pages to Cal Ripken Jr.

OCTOBER 12, 1998

Two Hightstown (N.J.) High cheerleaders were kicked off the squad and suspended for five days for giving laxative-laced cupcakes to their Hamilton High counterparts during a football game.

NOVEMBER 30, 1998

Before last Saturday's CalStanford game the mascots for both teams--Oski the Bear and the Stanford Tree--were required to take Breathalyzer tests.

JANUARY 18, 1999

After his Gators defeated Syracuse 31-10 in the Orange Bowl, Florida coach Steve Spurrier awarded himself a game ball.

FEBRUARY 1, 1999

Two birds were expelled from last week's Swedish national pigeon-racing championships after they tested positive for cortisone, a banned substance.

MARCH 8, 1999

Angered by a call during a soccer game in South Africa, a player pulled a knife and charged the referee, who got a gun from the sidelines and shot the player dead.

MARCH 22, 1999

The website offers a Sports Conflict Catcher to help prospective parents plan pregnancies so childbirth won't conflict with major sports events.

JUNE 21, 1999

James (Pate) Philip, president of the Illinois state senate, said he voted against a bill to protect referees and umpires from assaults because "maybe they deserve a pop once in a while."

DECEMBER 13, 1999

The $24.95 Stadium Pal--essentially a condom attached to a plastic bag worn under the pants--lets male football fans urinate without leaving their seats.

DECEMBER 27, 1999

The Vail, Colo., ski resort has installed computer kiosks along its runs so skiers can check stock quotes and make trades.

FEBRUARY 28, 2000

All Stretched Out Limo Service of Linthicum, Md., has received more than 40 requests to rent the bullet-riddled Lincoln Navigator involved in the Ray Lewis shooting, including one from a couple for Valentine's Day.

APRIL 24, 2000

A Tamaqua, Pa., police officer lost his job after a jury found him guilty of giving a 10-year-old Little League pitcher $2 to bean a 10-year-old batter.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2000

After birders complained to CBS that they'd heard geographically inappropriate species chirping in the background of some of its golf telecasts, the network admitted that it sometimes played taped birdsongs for "ambient sound."

MARCH 5, 2001

Boxer Darrin Morris, who died in October, climbed up the WBO's super middleweight rankings from seventh in November to sixth in December and fifth in January before officials realized he was out of title contention for good.

DECEMBER 24, 2001

The father of a 15-year-old boy who was cut from the varsity basketball team at Logan High in Union City, Calif., is suing the school district for $1.5 million because he says his son's chances of earning NBA riches have been damaged.

JUNE 3, 2002

To preempt hooliganism during the World Cup, a Japanese railroad company is gluing down the stones that line the tracks near Shizuoka soccer stadium.

FEBRUARY 10, 2003

A woman is suing a Lexington, Ky., surgeon and University of Kentucky sports booster because he cauterized uk onto her uterus before removing it in a hysterectomy.

MARCH 22, 2004

The Braves will have a Lexus-only parking lot at Turner Field this year.