What is it with professional athletes and their apparent short-term memory? We’ve already seen how Jameis Winston ‘forgot’ to pay for crab legs. Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also used this most tenuous of excuses. However, the reason this is higher up the list is that he missed a drug test. When you’re an elite sports star, this is unforgivable.
Ferdinand received an eight-month ban from the sport after he failed to provide a sample to testers. He also paid a $50,000 fine in addition to the suspension. His club was furious because this was rather unprecedented in the league. But the FA wanted to make an example out of the England international and they taught everybody an important lesson. Maybe he should have stuck a sticky note to remind himself.
Cushing spent nine seasons with the Houston Texans. The linebacker is the franchise’s all-time leading tackler, quite the accolade. However, he was stymied by controversy throughout his career. After testing positive for a fertility drug in 2009, he somehow played the season. Furthermore, he even won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. However, the NFL then suspended him for a few games at the start of the next season.
The New Jersey native said he suffered from Overtrained Athlete Syndrome. He explained that this caused hormonal spikes and resulted in a false-positive test. However, if you claim to suffer from some kind of disease, you should at least pick one that’s real. No medical practitioner had ever heard of the condition and essentially said that he made it up. Needless to say, his excuses didn’t reduce his suspension.
Spain didn’t win the 2006 World Cup but they were on the rise. In one game, they bulldozed through Ukraine with a blistering 4-0 win. Their team with the likes of Fernando Torres, Xavi, and David Villa was just too good for the Eastern European side. However, the Ukrainians didn’t see it this way and proceeded to blame their humiliation on noisy frogs. Yes, you read that right.
It’s certainly one of the most unique excuses we’ve come across. Noisy amphibians outside of their hotel in Germany kept them from falling asleep. Then they allegedly agreed to find some frog-hunting apparatus and hunt them. They proceeded to spend most of the night doing this. We’d also like to remind you that the majority of these players were multimillionaires playing in the biggest leagues in Europe.
At least Ricky Williams was honest. The 12-season NFL veteran loved marijuana so much that he fell foul of drug testers on multiple occasions. When he failed a drug test in 2006, someone asked him what had happened. His justification was that he was so high that he forgot about it. You almost have to appreciate that kind of commitment to addiction. But unfortunately, the doping committee didn’t see it that way.
Very few athletes love marijuana as much as Williams does. After the NFL suspended him in 2006, he went North to the Toronto Argonauts instead of sitting on the sidelines. When he eventually returned to the Dolphins, he tested positive for the banned substance again. You would think that he would learn if he actually wanted to play, but he just loved it too much. Still, this is one of the craziest excuses ever.
Israel Adesanya destroyed Paulo Costa with a second-round TKO at 2020’s UFC 253. It was an unbelievable display from the Nigerian-born New Zealand native. However, Brazil’s Costa couldn’t comprehend that ‘The Last Stylebender’ had dissected him. ‘Borrachinha’ proceeded to unleash a host of embarrassing excuses in the weeks that followed that did nothing to improve his status in the eyes of fans.
He first claimed to have suffered an injury before the fight. This is a go-to, get-out clause for fighters when they lose. Needless to say, not many bought this and put it down to sour grapes. Then he tried to act as though Adesanya hadn’t totally destroyed him and continued to call for a rematch that nobody wanted except for him. This proves sometimes you just have to admit defeat and stay quiet.
Former WBO Super-Lightweight champion Linardatou fought and lost against the incredible Katie Taylor in 2019. Taylor won by unanimous decision as she showed far too much skill for her Greek opponent. However, Linardatou didn’t see it that way and condemned the decision. She then unleashed a blitz of excuses to explain why she had lost the fight. The only one that she forgot to admit was that she wasn’t as good as Taylor.
Linardatou labeled Taylor as ‘fake’ and accused judges of protecting her. However, if you’ve seen the fight then you’ll know that the Greek boxer swung like a wild woman and didn’t land many shots. Meanwhile, Taylor’s superior ringcraft and slick combinations were just too much for her. The delusional fighter continued to make excuses relating to judges and wouldn’t accept defeat graciously.
Many people regard Alan Pardew as one of soccer’s great charlatans. The English manager has coached a number of teams but it always ends in tears for those fans. His tenure in charge of Newcastle United ended in a meltdown. After their season threatened to collapse, Pardew came up with one of the best worst excuses ever. In short, he blamed the World Cup. The problem was, however, that it was six months away.
Pardew believed that the World Cup distracted his players and put them off their game. For some reason, he thought they were underperforming instead of trying harder. And still, only three members of the squad knew that they would definitely make their international squads. This just makes his excuses even more ridiculous. It’s easier to blame everybody except yourself.
Patrick was the most successful female driver in the history of Nascar but also notorious for her terrible range of excuses. This didn’t endear her to fans at all but, yet she still wouldn’t stop doing it. One of the worst came at the Brickyard 400 in 2014. There she went on an expletive-laden rant to her teammates. It’s nothing that male drivers don’t do too, but she was arguably a bigger star than most of them so she got more attention.
Nobody wants to hear you moan on about how unlucky you are or listen to you curse at them. Especially in the middle of the race, you should most likely be quiet and focus. In the end, she finished outside the top-10 in the race because she was doing busy ranting and making excuses instead of trying to get back to where she was before.
Italy played Denmark in the opening round of Euro 2004. The contest was one of the drabbest draws in the history of the competition. There would literally be nothing interesting to say about this game if the Italians hadn’t come out with one of the best excuses for the poor performance we’ve encountered. They blamed the texture and thickness of their socks for their terrible display against the Scandinavians.
First, Christian Panucci claimed his socks were rough and uncomfortable. Francesco Totti and Genarro Gattuso joined in. They said that their shoes were too tight and crushed their feet. Perhaps they should have gone to the Milan Fashion Show instead of the European Championships. Stunningly, these Italians didn’t make it out of their group.
Silva is one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time. After recovering from a gory leg break, he returned to action in late January 2015 against Nick Diaz. Silva won the fight but then tested positive for two banned steroids. In short, this stunned the world but the Brazilian denied knowingly ingesting the substances. Meanwhile, he pointed to his use of sexual enhancement pills as the source of the substances.
He tried to say that these sexual enhancement pills caused him to fail the drug test. The UFC’s anti-doping partner USADA suspended the former middleweight champion for a year after determining that he had ingested contaminated substances. One of the silliest excuses in the sport worked. Furthermore, the commission overturned the fight’s result to a no-contest because Diaz tested positive for marijuana.
Scotland is one of the most consistent teams in world soccer. They’re almost always awful. One of their worst periods in recent history was under manager Gordon Strachan. They failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup after a series of performances. Then Strachan raised eyebrows with one of the dumbest excuses in the history of sports. He claimed that Scottish people had weaker genetics than other nations.
The coach said that only Spain had smaller players than Scotland in Europe. We’re talking about the same Spain who won the previous World Cup and European Championships. In sum, this argument just doesn’t hold up. Pseudoscience doesn’t hide the fact that his leadership and tactics were shambolic. Finally, he departed after losing the support of his nation.
Carroll is a great coach but he produced arguably the worst call in Super Bowl history. In 2015, the Seattle Seahawks were a minute away from beating the New England Patriots. Everybody thought that Russell Wilson was about to hand off to Marshawn Lynch at the one-yard line. Instead, he threw towards Javon Kearse, but Pats rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler pulled off a stunning and dramatic interception.
Carroll tried to justify the play by explaining that the Patriots had their goal line unit on the field. This makes some sense but it still doesn’t excuse one of the most naive attempts we have ever seen. They should either have been more conservative with the ball or just given it to Lynch, who was one of the top backs in the league at the time. In the end, they paid the ultimate price.
Olympic track and field stars are notorious for doping. One of the most disappointing incidents came in 2006 when Gatlin tested positive for tetrahydrogestrinone. Banned substance THG improves your endurance by producing short-term energy when oxygen is short. Obviously, it’s not exactly kosher for a 100m Olympic gold medallist. When he failed a drug test, the sport’s governing body banned Gatlin for four years from the track and field competitions.
However, Gatlin’s coach came out with one of the most ridiculous excuses in the history of humanity. In short, he claimed that a massage therapist rubbed it into the athlete’s body without him knowing. This is about as likely as the Charlotte Hornets winning the NBA championship. Needless to say, he didn’t convince many if anyone with this defense and Gatlin served out his ban. It was a downward moment.
McGregor’s rivalry with Khabib Nurmagamedov was one of the most toxic in the history of combat sports. MMA fans saw a bus attack, multiple arrests, racism, as well as a brawl to top it all off. With all of this in mind, it’s easy to forget that there was actually a sanctioned fight. In the end, Khabib won this convincingly by fourth-round submission. However, ‘The Notorious’ is not one to let things go.
However, the most ridiculous of his excuses came as a comment on Joe Rogan’s Instagram. The podcaster and comedian shared a post relating his excitement about Khabib’s upcoming match against Justin Gaethje. He commented: “Chill bro, I’d a hangover.” ‘The Notorious’ was particularly unhinged before this bout but this is one of the worst excuses that we’ve ever heard.
It was 1996 and Manchester United played Southampton in the Premiership. United went 3-o down before half-time and their legendary manager Sir. Alex Ferguson wasn’t happy. He remarkably blamed their uniforms for negatively affecting their play. Usually ‘The Red Devils’ wore red jerseys with black or white shorts, but this time they had a drab grey away kit.
Ferguson forced his players to change their uniforms during the break. They managed to pull a goal back but still went on to lose. The manager ensured that his team never wore the grey uniform again because he believed that it affected the speed of eye muscle reactions. Actually he may have had a point, but excuses aside, his team was just rubbish against ‘The Saints.’ To the day, this is an iconic moment in league history.
Former WBC heavyweight champion Wilder lost his rematch to Tyson Fury in 2019. Wilder’s cornerman Mark Breland threw in the towel because Fury was battering his fighter. Sometimes you have to admit that the better man won and live to fight another day. But Wilder is unable to accept defeat and has unloaded an assault of excuses including the infamous, ‘My entrance outfit was too heavy.’
The Alabama native actually claimed that his garish 40-pound outfit (see above) weighed so much that it sapped his strength. Later, he released a bizarre, cringe-worthy video on Instagram complete with awful music, where he explained his disgust. He called Breland a traitor and even accused him of poisoning the water. It was just incredibly disappointing from one of the sport’s most inspirational figures.