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Original Issue

Agony of Ecstasy

Pity the poor athlete who gets injured while celebrating. Or, maybe, don't

IN LAST WEEK'S BCS Championship Game, Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. fielded the opening kickoff at his own seven and embarked upon a dazzling return. "I got tackled by one guy—in the end zone," he said. Alas, that one guy, teammate Roy Hall, slid into Ginn's left foot (right). His foot sprained, Ginn left the game for good. Celebrating, of course, is not always a happy thing.

2005: It's not even safe on the bench. Rockies outfielder Dustan Mohr was in the dugout when Clint Barmes hit a walk-off homer in the season opener. Mohr strained a calf jumping up and went on the DL.

2004: After a goal Paulo Diogo of Sweden's Servette jumped onto a fence. He snagged his wedding ring and tore off a chunk of his finger. As he looked for the digit (which surgeons couldn't reattach), he was given a yellow card for celebrating. "I'm not dead and life goes on," Diogo said. "So I have to live with one less finger."

2001: After kicking a field goal, the Cardinals' Bill Gramatica (left) tore his ACL jumping up and down. A year later, after celebrating a game-winner, he said, "I made sure to land with both feet at the same time."

1997: After the game-winning field goal in a 27--26 victory over Indiana, Wisconsin long-snapper Mike Schneck tackled kicker Matt Davenport (right)—causing Schneck to dislocate his elbow. Joked Schneck: "It was just my attempt to get some publicity."

1997: Redskins QB Gus Frerotte celebrated a TD against the Giants by headbutting a padded stadium wall (helmet on). The impact left him stunned, and he left the game woozy after holding the extra-point attempt and stumbling through the final series of the first half. He went to the hospital at halftime and was found to have a sprained neck.

1993: After hitting a game-winning shot for the Suns, 252-pound Charles Barkley jumped into the arms of 190-pound teammate Kevin Johnson—who, as a result, missed three games, including the playoff opener, with a knee injury.

1993: With teammates like this, who needs enemies? After Steve Morrow scored the winner for Arsenal against Sheffield Wednesday, Arsenal captain Tony Adams lifted the Irishman—and dropped him. Morrow (left) broke his arm and missed the FA Cup final.