Top 18 Weird Sports Facts

In our last blog, Wacky Sports Rituals and Superstitions, we shared some of the strangest superstitions and rituals practiced by athletes and where they originated.

In the same fun spirit, we’ve done some more research on sports to find some of the weirdest sports trivia. Here are our top favorites!

  1. The Stanley Cup is Older than the NHL – The Stanley Cup is the highest possible goal for many hockey players. Young hockey players dream of the chance to play in the NHL and win The Stanley Cup. But did you know that The Stanley Cup existed before the NHL? Canadian Governor General Lord Stanley of Preston was the benefactor and namesake on The Stanley Cup which was created in 1893 – long before the NHL was established in 1917.
  2. Super Bowl Rings – Winning teams’ players aren’t the only ones to receive prestigious Super Bowl The NFL referees who officiate the Super Bowl also get rings – although not quite as exciting as the players’ rings.
  3. Stanley Cup Typo: Part 1 – In the 1971/72 hockey season, the Boston Bruins won The Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, the team’s name was incorrectly engraved “BQSTQN BRUINS”.
  4. Stanley Cup Typo: Part 2 Other misspelled engraved team names on The Stanley Cup: “MAPLE LEAES” and “ILANDERS”.
  5. Stanley Cup Typo: Part 3 – When the Edmonton Oilers won The Stanley Cup in the 83/84 season, the owner of the Oilers, Peter Pocklington, snuck his dad’s name onto the team’s roster. Once discovered, the NHL crossed out Pocklington’s name.
  6. Long MLB Games Not as Long as You Think – The Wall Street Journal reported that in “America’s Pastime” baseball, 90% of the game is spent just standing around! In fact, only 18 minutes per game is actual playing time including “balls in play, runner advancement attempts on stolen bases, wild pitches, pitches (balls, strikes, fouls and balls hit into play), trotting batters (on home runs, walks and hit-by-pitches), pickoff throws and even one fake-pickoff throw”.
  7. Hockey Refs in the Line of Fire – Until 1914, hockey referees were in the line of fire because hockey rules states that they had to place the hockey puck on the ice between both centres’ sticks. As you can imagine, in the melee to gain control of the puck, many referees were injured. So, in 1914, the rule was changed which allowed the referee to simply drop the puck between the centres’ sticks.
  8. Olympic Gold Medals are Not Gold – The last time Olympic Gold medals were made of solid gold was more than 100 years ago – in 1912. Now, gold medals are mad mostly of silver (over 90%), some copper (about 6%) and the remaining 1% is actually gold. Thanks to the Huffington Post for this bit of sports trivia.
  9. Hockey Pucks were Cow Patties – Hockey was played before hockey pucks were even invented. What did hockey players hit around the ice? Frozen cow patties!
  10. How Did Babe Ruth Keep Cool? – Playing baseball during hot summer days meant the players would often get uncomfortably hot. Babe Ruth had an interesting solution – cabbage! That’s right! Baby Ruth would take cabbage leaves, soak them in cold water and then wear then on his head underneath his ball cap to beat the heat.
  11. Squatting in the Net – Unbelievably, a Swedish hockey player scored a goal by squatting in the net to dislodge the puck that was stuck in his hockey pants.
  12. Bowling for Turkeys – Ever wonder where the bowling term “turkey” originated? Apparently, the tradition goes back to the days of the Great Depression. If a bowler bowled 3 strikes in a row, they would be awarded an actual turkey.
  13. Lightning Strikes Twice NFL quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck, was struck by lightning – not once, but twice! Fortunately, he survived both incidents. Even weirder is that fact that his wife was also once hit by lightning. It might be a good idea to keep your distance from this couple on a stormy day.
  14. That Goalie is on Fire! – Back in the 1930s, a goalie playing as a junior in Quebec had a bizarre accident on the ice. When he was hit with a puck, it caused a package of matches he had in his pocket to ignite which led to the goalie catching on fire! Luckily, his teammates managed to extinguish the fire but he was badly scorched during the incident.
  15. Hands Down – The expression “Hands Down” – as in “he won that game hands down” – originated is horse racing. It referenced how a jockey won the race without whipping the horse or drawing back on the reins.
  16. What Color is Your Underwear? – For Major League Baseball umpires, it is compulsory to wear black underwear. Why? Just in case their pants split during a game.
  17. The Great One: Part 1– A few fun facts about “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky… Without including points for scoring goals, Gretzky would still lead the scoring for any hockey player in history – just with his career assists points.
  18. The Great One: Part 2When Gretzky was only 6 years old, his hockey abilities were already so advanced that he played in a league with 10 years olds. Because the sweaters were much too big for him, he got into the habit of always tucking in his hockey jersey into his hockey pants, always on the right side. He continued this ritual throughout his hockey career.

What’s your favourite piece of sports trivia? Let us know in the comments below – and make sure to include a link!