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Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Inanimate objects threaten elite athletes

By Matt Lindner
Special to ESPN.com

Life can be pretty frustrating sometimes for even the most levelheaded person, let alone an athlete in the heat of battle.

All of us have taken our frustration out on some poor inanimate object because it’s smarter and healthier than doing so on another human being.

Unfortunately for the Knicks, star Amare Stoudemire took out his frustration on a very unforgiving object Monday night.

Amare Stoudemire
Amare Stoudemire needed stitches after punching the glass case of a fire extinguisher on Monday night.
After the Knicks fell to the Heat 104-94, Stoudemire decided it would be in his best interests to punch a fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher, however, had a bodyguard in the form of a glass case, which did serious damage to Stoudemire’s arm and will potentially sideline him for the remainder of the series.

Stoudemire now finds himself in elite company among professional athletes who have lost a battle with an inanimate object.

2010: Ryan Madson vs. AT&T Park metal chair – Back when he was with the Phillies, Madson blew a save against the Giants and kicked a chair in the tunnel to the clubhouse. Madson’s right toe was broken badly enough to require surgery that sidelined him for several weeks.

2004: Kevin Brown vs. Yankee Stadium wall – The notoriously hotheaded Brown had just surrendered three runs in six innings to the Orioles in the heat of a playoff race when he punched a wall with his left hand. The wall won, breaking two bones in Brown’s non-pitching hand and sidelining him for three weeks.

2004: Julian Tavarez vs. Minute Maid Park dugout phone – During Game 4 of the NLCS, Tavarez challenged a dugout phone. Pitching for the Cardinals, Tavarez yielded the go-ahead run and unleashed his fury on what he thought was a defenseless telephone. However, said phone broke Tavarez’s left hand. Tavarez played through the injury and pitched in the World Series, but the Cardinals were swept by the Red Sox.

1997: Gus Frerotte vs. Jack Kent Cooke Stadium end zone wall – Not all athletes vs. inanimate objects bouts occur out of anger. Frerotte infamously celebrated a 1-yard touchdown run by headbutting a concrete wall, spraining his neck and becoming an eternal punch line in the process.