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Notable Athlete-Branded Products

With sports stars lending their names to everything from furniture to salsa, Onion Sports breaks down some of the most notable athlete-branded products.

MLB Bans Cruel Practice Of Castrating Mascots

NEW YORK—Saying that the “antiquated and barbaric procedure” has no place in modern baseball, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced Monday that the league was banning the brutal practice of castrating mascots.

Area Man Convinced He Could Have Been NFL Bust

DES MOINES, IA—Insisting that he possessed the physical and mental attributes to be one of the most disappointing draft picks of all time, local man Keith Parker, 34, was reportedly convinced Thursday that he could have been an NFL bust.

Dwight Howard Clearly Doesn’t Know Team’s Name

WASHINGTON—Noting his confused expression and uncertainty while shouting incorrect nicknames throughout the playoff game, sources confirmed Wednesday night that Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard clearly does not know his own team’s name.
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Espionage In Sports

The Patriots may have used relatively high-tech methods to gather information on their opponents' strategies, but spying on the other team is nothing new. Onion Sports looks back at the history of sports espionage:

1905: Catcher Johnny Bassler invents a system of numerical signs he could make with his fingers after he noticed batters were listening to the pitch calls he was yelling

1966: Suspicious of being spied on, Vince Lombardi shoots down the Goodyear Blimp, bringing tensions to a head and leading to the first ever clash between the AFL and NFL

1973: The Dallas Cowboys' elaborate system of underground tunnels is discovered when the team is announced and accidentally comes rushing out from under the 50-yard line

1982: St. Louis Cardinals spymaster Dennis Gurgely adopts the alias "Don Mattingly" and infiltrates the New York Yankees in the guise of a first baseman; in his 14 years with the team, the Yankees did not win a single championship

1984: Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Wes "Wrong Huddle" Hopkins is fined $25,000

1991: Hulk Hogan defeats Sergeant Slaughter for the heavyweight title after simply listening to Slaughter's filmed tirade about what he was going to do to Hogan in the ring

1992: Mets pitcher Sid Fernandez is caught blatantly stealing signs from Mets catchers

1998: NASCAR officials accuse Jeff Gordon of using his rearview mirror to watch what the other cars are doing

2000: The growing practice of lip-reading on NFL sidelines forces Jon Gruden to cover his gorgeous yet rugged face with his playcard

2006: During the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL confiscates several strange television cameras and other video broadcast equipment from the RBC Center; it has never been determined who was filming these games, or why

2007: Bill Belichick purposely gets caught videotaping defensive play signals in order to divert public attention from his elite army of spies, who are cleverly disguised as fans, vendors, cheerleaders, referees, head coaches, and league commissioners

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