Chomp! Celebrate Shark Week With the Best Bites in Sports
Unlike the Jaws franchise, the shark species's other big pop culture staple, the Discovery Channel programming block known as Shark Week, has stood the test of time, currently in the midst of its 28th consecutive year.
When it comes to sports, the best known Sharks, of course, reside in San Jose, where the NHL hockey team made its first ever trip to the Stanley Cup Finals this past season. However, many players on the field/court/ice have done their best shark imitations...unfortunately choosing to do so via an impression of the shark's deadly bite. In honor of the week that Will Ferrell and John C Reilly just had to see, here are 6 memorable instances of biting in sports...
It's a shock Suarez wasn't cast alongside Blake Lively as the shark in this summer's well-received The Shallows because if not for another certain incident on this list, Suarez would be the head shark. The Uruguayan soccer superstar has been caught biting opponents not once, not twice, but thrice, with the most notable incident coming during the 2014 World Cup, in which Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in an elimination game. While Suarez was not carded in the 1-0 Uruguay win, he was immediately suspended from all competition for four months. The bite came just over a year after he pulled the same tactic during an English Premiere League match.
Oh, word of note Luis...if you have your own Wikipedia page dedicated to incidents throughout your career...that's not a good sign.
You may know the 80's NBA as that magical era that your grandfather claims "LEBRON AND STEPH WOULD NEVER SURVIVE!!!!". And looking at this video from the 1983 playoffs...it's hard not difficult to agree.
Here, in a game between the Celtics and Hawks, Danny Ainge, current Celtics GM and the-on court pest, tried to go at Atlanta big man Tree Rollins, leading to a massive on court scrum that resembles a WWE match than a basketball game. Rollins would bite Ainge at the bottom of the pile, leading to the humorous headline in the next days Boston Herald..."Tree Bites Man".
The Celtics and Hawks met in this season's playoffs, though both teams were bite free.
Biting incidents in the NHL are actually a lot more common than you'd think. Savard was on the attacking end in not one but two incidents. The first incident came in 2003, but really could be described as entrapment. During a scrum, Savard, then a member of the now-defunct Atlanta Thrashers, got into a scrum with Darcy Tucker of Toronto, who stuck his finger in Savard's mouth. Seeking any advantage he could against the Toronto pest, Savard bit down. For dessert, the league gave him a one game suspension.
Savard's shark tendencies resurfaced (no pun intended) in 2010, as a member of the Boston Bruins, during a postseason fight with the notorious Car Bomb himself, Dan Carcillo of Philadelphia. No stranger to controversy himself, Carcillo claimed that "men don't bite other men". Savard's second helping went unnoticed by the league, and he was free to continue in the playoffs. Carcillo got the last laugh, however, as his Flyers mounted a comeback from 3-0 in the series to win, in a year where they would win the Eastern Conference.
Andrew Shaw/Alex Burrows
Even the famous Stanley Cup Final is not immune to the teeth of competitors. In last year's Final, eventual champion Andrew Shaw of the Blackhawk was accused of biting Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay. I'm not sure what's more unusual about the incident...that Shaw wasn't even involved in the incident...Hedman was squaring off with Patrick Kane at the time...or that Shaw appeared to bit Hedman in the torso, evidenced by Shaw pointing it out to trainers at the bench.
Another, more standard(?), bite went down four years earlier at the 2011 Finals, where Burrows, a member of the Vancouver Canucks, chomped down on Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins. When Burrows escaped punishment, Canucks fans played up the incident, wearing shirts that read "Bite Me" along with the image. The B's got the last laugh though, as they crushed Vancouver in Game 7 of the series, a 5-0 final.
Some athletes, like Derek Jeter, go out in a blaze of glory. Others, like Dan Marino, not so much. For Miguel Olivo, a journeyman catch who spent 14 seasons in the Majors, his potential exit from baseball was...a little bit of both.
Playing out the twilight of his career in the Los Angeles Dodgers system in 2014, Olivio was with the Albuquerque Isotopes, batting a whopping .368. However, his glory came to an abrupt end when he bit the ear of teammate Alex Guerrero during an in-game altercation in the Albuquerque dugout. Hey Alex, need a lawyer? Well, good thing you're in Albuquerque...Better Call Saul!
Olivo was immediately released after the incident. Thought originally to be his swan song from America's pastime, he was signed by the Giants to a minor league contract last winter.
I mean, come on...did you REALLY think, I was going to do an article about biting in sports and not mentioned Tyson's epic chomp...actually, chompS!...of Evander Holyfield? You know this story by heart by now, so sit back, relax and enjoy one of the few times that the pay-per-view fight was actually worth the $89.95.
Want to take a bite of other incidents you remember? Sound off in the comments!
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