Scary Stories in Football

Lane Gillespie | KJHK Sports

With Halloween rapidly approaching, everyone is starting to dress up in their favorite outfits, watch horror movies and grab some of their favorite candy. People are also getting ready to share their favorite scary or unsettling stories. Sports have had their fair share of unsettling stories, especially football. Here are just a handful of some of the most unsettling football stories.

Blood, Sweat, Tears and… Ashes?

One of the greatest college football games in history was the Iron Bowl in 2013. Alabama at Auburn. One of the biggest rivalries, if not the biggest, in college football. In this instance, Alabama was set to try to kick a game-winning field goal with only seconds left in the game. Instead, the kick fell short and was returned by Auburn’s Chris Davis from one end zone to the other, giving Auburn the victory. Fans rushed the field. But fans were not the only thing on the field.

According to this article, there were ashes that were found on the field two days after the game. When Auburn officials found bone fragments in the ashes, they realized that the ashes were cremated remains. Officials were unsure if they were if they were human remains, saying, “It could have been grandma or it could have been grandma’s dog.” Dog or no dog, I would not be surprised if someone wanted their final resting place, or someone else’s, to be Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL.

“It’s really sad how many people believe in curses.” – Peyton Hillis

A spooky story would not be complete without a good ole fashioned hex. Well in sports, there are many curses. I can go on for days about sports curses, but let’s only dive into what I believe is the most interesting, and somehow consistent, curses in sports 

The Madden NFL Curse. Just hearing that name sends shivers up some people’s spines. One of the biggest video game franchises in history is the Madden NFL franchise, which releases a new installment of games every year. On each video game box art, there are certain players who appear on the cover of the game, such as being the cover of a cereal box. Before 1999, the person representing the cover was John Madden, however since them, they have been current players in the NFL. However, in most years, the player who appear on the cover had experienced a decline in performance, usually due to injury. The most recent NFL Madden cover athletes are Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady. While Brady is having a terrific season, Mahomes has had a less than memorable season (as of Oct. 27). He was also the cover of Madden NFL 19 and was injured in the middle of the season, but he did win the Super Bowl with the Chiefs that same year. People believe that this ended the Madden curse, but only time will tell if it has or not.

The Mother of All Officiating Mistakes… Because of a Near Death?

Since sports have been alive, there have been a countless number of mistakes made by officials, referees, umpires, etc., however the most notorious officiating mistake happened in 1990 with the infamous Fifth Down Game. The game was between the Colorado Buffaloes and the Missouri Tigers. The game was back-and-forth, with a multitude of lead changes. With less than three minutes left in the game, Colorado had the ball and eventually drove down the field. With 40 seconds left, they completed a pass just short of the goal line. On first down, Colorado spiked the ball. On the next play, Colorado tried to run the ball, but fell short. Colorado then called timeout. This is where it gets interesting: The officials on the field failed to change the down from 2nd down to 3rd down. On the next play, they ran the ball again and were sopped short. Then, they spiked the ball again, because the QB thought it was 3rd down, when it should have been 4th. Thus, the next play was 4th down on the field, but it was actually a 5th down. The buffaloes ran the ball again and scored a touchdown, winning the game.

So, this begs the question: Why did the down marker fail to switch? Well, it turns out that the official in charge of switching the markers was witnessing a fan have a heart attack and he had to be moved to the field for treatment. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital and eventually survived, but it’s unsettling to believe that one of the worst calls in athletics happened due to someone almost dying.

There you have it. Some of the most unsettling stories in football.