On Jan. 5 excitable Iowa coach Fran McCaffery got a little too excited, flipping out, bumping a ref and getting ejected in a loss to Wisconsin. The Big Ten suspended him for the Hawkeyes' game last Thursday—which happened to be Fran McCaffery Bobblehead Night.
The Hawkeyes rescheduled the tribute, but the unfortunate trend of doll dedicatees being absent goes back at least as far as 2001, when Clippers forward Lamar Odom was a no-show because he'd been suspended for smoking weed. (The glassy eyes on those dolls were right on the money, though.) Something tells us Odom wasn't too chuffed, but for lesser athletes, missing one's nodder night can be soul-crushing. On Nov. 29 the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL gave out bobbleheads of defenseman Cody Lampl, who had moved up to the AHL weeks earlier. Said a bummed Lampl, "I think it's the biggest honor you can get. That an organization feels enough about you to make a caricature of you and pass it out to fans is something you'd never dream of."
A few days before Lampl's night, Warriors guard Stephen Curry had to sit out his with a concussion. "Is that ironic that @StephenCurry30 is missing his own bobblehead night because of head trauma???" tweeted teammate David Lee.
But they've got nothing on Jay Leach. On March 25, 2011, the AHL's Worcester (Mass.) Sharks handed out dolls of his wife, NESN broadcaster Kathryn Tappen, wearing a Leach jersey. Alas, he had been traded and missed his wife's big night. That was nothing new. A year earlier Leach was already two teams removed from the Lowell (Mass.) Devils when they handed out his doll. Said Tappen, "These bobbleheads, I think, are jinxing his stick-to-it-ness." There's a lot of that going around.
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
So Shaq and Satan are driving this Zamboni ...
BRIAN RAY/HAWKEYESPORTS.COM (BOBBLEHEAD)
Head Scratch After McCaffery lost his cool, Iowa had to reschedule his rock 'n' roll bobblehead tribute for Jan. 19.
JOHN FISHER/CAL SPORT MEDIA (MCCAFFERY)
ANDY MARLIN/NHLI/GETTY IMAGES (O'NEAL)