Top 8 Fastest Ejections in Sports
September 18, 2012 | Lists
We don’t lose much sleep over the outcome of sporting events – in fact, on the odd occasion we’ve attended one, we’ve gained some while marooned in bleachers and quaffing overpriced beer on sunny days. While sports can be entertaining if the crowd is particularly vulgar, they can also be tedious. This is particularly true of baseball, in which even an exciting game rivals train spotting in terms of excitement (at least a train occasionally derails).
Behavior so bad that it merits an official forcing a player out of a game help to break up the tedium. Sports ejections liven up proceedings as they are usually prefaced by an entertaining breach of the rules and hopefully followed up by an unsportsmanlike meltdown by an incredulous player.
Ejections are not fully appreciated, as evidenced by the lack of due diligence in keeping stats related to them (and in baseball those are usually as rigorously kept as data sent back from the international space station). In an attempt to remedy that situation and recognize those who have livened up games with their appalling behavior, here we salute players who could have saved themselves the trouble of showing up as they didn’t stay for long – the 8 Fastest Ejections!
1. Soccer (league play): Giuseppe Lorenzo.
In a game in which it’s possible, like the fat kid in elementary school, to go long stretches without even touching the ball, this achievement by Giuseppe Lorenzo of the Italian Series A club Bologna, is all the more remarkable. In a 1990 match Lorenzo was sent packing 10 seconds in for hitting a Parma player. It would’ve been easier to accept in hockey, in which coaches frequently take a Tony Soprano-esque approach to the game, but is not what you’d expect in the comparatively civilized and dentally superior game of soccer.
Dishonorable Mention: Rashed Al Hooti (International Play)
Bahraini professional footballer Rashed Al Hooti holds the distinction of the fastest red card in international history after he was carded 42 seconds into a World Cup qualifier match with Iran in October 2011. This may have made him a superstar in, say, bull-riding but it didn’t do much to help Bahrain, who went on to be skunked 6-0 by Iran.
When it comes to being sent away basketball is more lenient than, say, the state of California with its Three Strikes Law. In the comparably crime-addled NBA, players are tossed after amassing six fouls. As a result, NBA coaches have to be strategic about when to sit their best players if they’ve amassed a few fouls (this is not a major concern for Toronto Raptors management, as they don’t have any good players).
With a name like Bubba, you’d expect an athlete distinguishing himself by smuggling a foreign object into a pie-eating contest, but this was for hard-court violations that kept in him the game for a shorter period of time than the player introductions and without the peppy music.
Bubba Wells’ record wasn’t set at the beginning of the game, like the others on the list, but his night was a short one, fouling out three minutes after coming off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks against the Chicago Bulls in 1997.
3. NBA Coach (Jerry Sloan).
Part of a coach’s unwritten duties is to verbally abuse officials for doing their jobs. However, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan went beyond casting aspersions on the moral virtue of an official’s closest female relations when he shoved a ref two minutes into a 2009 overtime loss to the Miami Heat. He was immediately booted in what many suggest (as there are no stats on this) was the quickest ejection of a coach in NBA history.
4. Baseball (John Lackey).
Intimidating batters by whizzing one at their noggins is a time-honored tradition — albeit a painful one for the guy getting beaned. However, while it’s possible for an umpire to overlook a single pitch that gets too close, more than one is an obvious attempt to rearrange someone’s dentistry.
Such was the case when Angels starter John Lackey took to the mound in a 2009 game against the Texas Rangers. Lackey threw only two pitches, one of which head-hunted Texas Ranger Ian Kinsler, the other hitting him in the torso before Lackey was told to hit the showers … or hit anything other than people.
Dishonorable Mention: As a pitcher, Babe Ruth was once ejected four pitches into a game. He erupted in anger (and a guy that size could make the usually stout umpires look like Frodo) and threw a punch at the ump before police rushed on to the field to subdue the Bambino.
5. Baseball Manager.
Kicking dirt on an umpire while questioning his mental faculties is something that all baseball managers must do from time to time to keep the respect of the locker room. However, Earl Weaver seemed to be particularly contemptuous of the guys calling the balls and strikes. He was kicked out of over 90 regular league games and holds the distinction of being kicked out twice before games. He made his objections memorable with good one-liners — returning to the dugout after an argument with an umpire, he shouted, “I’m going to check the rule book on that.” The umpire offered his own to check, to which Weaver replied, “That’s no good — I can’t read Braille.
6. Baseball Mascot.
Mascots have it tough, what with those heavy suits and people’s tendency to punch and kick them (it’s well known that they can’t feel pain because of all the padding), so it’s surprising that they don’t act out more often. In 1993, the Blue Jays’ BJ Birdy became the first — and to our knowledge — only mascot to be sent packing for making an offensive gesture. For those of you made uncomfortable by the thought of a man in a giant bird suit air-humping, fret not, the gesture was apparently just him mocking one of the umpire’s calls.
Honorable Mention: Wrestler Kicked Out of Cubs game.
Just when you thought a guy nicknamed “Mongo” could do no wrong, former pro wrestler and Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael gets booted out of a Cubs press box for yelling, “I’m going to have to have a talk with that umpire down there” before leading the crowd at Wrigley Field in a rendition of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
7. Hockey Goalie: Glenn Hall.
To get ejected in a sport where fighting is part of the structure of the games is an impressive accomplishment and a good way to go about it would be to physically engage a referee. St Louis goaltender Glenn Hall was tossed two minutes into a 1968 game against the New York Rangers after flicking his glove at a referee after he gave a Blues’ defenceman a penalty.
Dishonorable Mention: Team gets booted. A 2004 game between the Flyers and Senators saw a record-setting 20 ejections. The game was delayed for 90 minutes because there were so few eligible players left.
Again, football is the kind of sport that is so brutal by nature it would seem to be a tall order to get tossed out of a game — after all if being jumped on by a guy the size of a semi-trailer is legal, then what do you have to do to get thrown out? Well, punch someone for starters.
In 2009, Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears delivered an unsolicited knuckle sandwich to Cardinals player Deuce Lutui four plays in and was given the boot.
Steelers linebacker Joey Porter and Browns running back William Green mixed it up before a November 2004 game. The tussle cost them $10,000 each in fines and saw them tossed an impressive one hour before game time.