There is a long tradition of phobias in sports. Damian Lillard is afraid of statues. Eric Berry is terrified of horses. Rabbits and Andy Roddick just don’t mesh well. Now the torch has been passed to Zach Randolph, who told ESPN The Magazine’s Sam Alipour that he’s deeply toubled by a fear of cats.
“Naw, you’re right: You can’t be both a dog lover and a cat lover. I’ve got a crazy phobia about cats. For some reason, I’m always thinking they’re going to scratch me. If a cat walks up, I’m going, “Oh no, this dude about to scratch me — I know it!” Cats scare the hell out of me. I love animals, but I’m no cat lover. Guys usually aren’t.”
The technical term for Randolph’s fear of cats is ailurophobia. According to eHow (always reliable), “Historical figures and celebrities who suffered with ailurophobia were Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler.” Not sure what that says about Randolph’s future country-conquering exploits, but he might want to get his household affairs in order before considering expansion.