Category:
Sports

Conehead Sumo Wrestlers

1994: The Japan Sumo Association finally got around to banning the practice, apparently quite common among young sumo wrestlers, of implanting lumps of silicone beneath their scalp in order to meet the minimum height requirement of 5 feet 8 inches. The Association probably wouldn't have done anything if they hadn't become embarrassed by media reports of conehead wrestlers.

Before the silicone technique became popular, some wrestlers used to hit themselves on top of their head to raise large bumps before being measured.

Morristown Daily Record - July 13, 1994



Sumo wrestler Mainoumi, before and after scalp implant

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 27, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports, Wrestling, 1990s

Nose Billiards

Prof. Henry Lewis — a trick billiardist whose specialty was playing with his nose. He was also a champion at finger billiards. He spent his retirement years, when he was in his 70s and 80s, touring the country doing exhibition matches of nose billiards. As far as I can tell, he's the only person ever to have made a career out of doing this.

Oakland Tribune - June 8, 1919



The News Herald - Oct 22, 1925

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 27, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports

The BS Patriots



1971: After relocating the Boston Patriots from Boston to Foxborough (a half-hour south), team owner Billy Sullivan decided he needed to rename the team. So they became the Bay State Patriots.

A month later he changed the name again, to the New England Patriots. The reason this time: a radio announcer had referred to the team as the "BS Patriots." Sullivan explained, "We didn't think that abbreviation would reflect well on either the team or the league."

The Palm Beach Post - Mar 23, 1971

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 05, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Odd Names, Sports, 1970s

Bowling is for Bored Teens!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 06, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Sports, Teenagers, 1960s

The Football Nuns



Original article here.

I guess the choice of training camp for the Steelers once necessitated commissary duty by nuns. Plus other help, as seen below.

Not sure when this practice ended.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Dec 27, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Religion, Sports, 1970s

Follies of the Madmen #299

image

Not sure what the slugger prowess of stews has to do with running an airline. Nowadays, they could use a baseball bat for drunk-passenger control.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 15, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Sports, Air Travel and Airlines, 1960s

Follies of the Madmen #297

image

[Click to enlarge]

Maybe some Canadian WU-vie can explain the subtext of this ad. Three men hold up photos of hockey players while looking benignly but perhaps jealously at the fourth fellow who is smart enough to have a beer in his hand instead, with his own hockey photo (program book?) resting on a tabletop.

Huh?

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 28, 2016 - Comments (12)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Regionalism, Sports, 1960s, North America, Alcohol

Windsurfing Swans

In the latest issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, Olle Terenius of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences reports observing swans windsurfing (i.e. "using tailwind as a support for high-speed water transportation"). This is something that bird experts were apparently unaware that swans could do.

Terenius hopes to spread awareness of the phenomenon of windsurfing swans, although he notes that the general public may have been more aware that swans can do this than bird experts were. He says, "I think the reason that this is missing in the literature is that ornithologists who are out in the field only quickly note that they see a Mute swan and write it down on the list of bird observations, while the general public has observed windsurfing swans thinking that this is already a well-known phenomenon." (Science Daily)

Below are his field observations of windsurfing swans.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 22, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Sports

Staged shooting as motivational stunt

November 1993: As high school football coach Dale Christensen was giving a pep talk to his players in the school cafeteria, hours before a game, a fight broke out between two students and Christensen moved immediately to intercede.

Then shots rang out. Christensen fell to the ground, blood spreading across his shirt. Christensen's son (who was a player on the team) shouted, "My dad's been shot!" Panic erupted, and people started running, seeking cover from the shooter.

But a few seconds later, Christensen jumped back up and announced he was okay. The shooting had been fake — staged as a stunt to motivate the players.

Unfortunately for Christensen, he had a hard time getting anyone to understand why the fake shooting was motivational. He later noted, "people in general outside the football team... do not understand what he was trying to accomplish."

School officials definitely didn't understand. The team lost the game, and a few days later Christensen was forced to resign.

Reminds me of that coach who arranged for his players to view a bull castration before a game as a "motivational experience." When asked how it was motivational, he replied, "That's everybody's different perception."

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Nov 25, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 20, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Sports, 1990s

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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