Fortnite, the wrong ball and Michael Jackson statues: the world's weirdest sporting excuses
Basketball team the New York Knicks think Fortnite might be to blame for their poor form... here's some other outlandish excuses for a bad run of results.
"Fortnite, that’s my competitor right now," declared New York Knicks coach David Fizdale in December. His team are bottom of the Eastern Conference, and while they've won 11 games this season... they have lost 47. Ouch. Fizdale repeated his concerns on Wednesday (after another loss, sorry Knicks fans). "I do get concerned with how much rest they get, how it affects reaction time and irritability, things like that." Player Mitchell Robinson has admitted his coach may have a point. "We’d be up all night to like three in the morning playing that game. We need our sleep, for our energy to get us up higher, and stuff like that. I see where he was coming from.”
...and the Knicks aren't the only sporting/video game calamity. David James said after a bad game for Liverpool against Newcastle in 1997: "I was getting carried away playing Tekken II and Tomb Raider for hours on end." James went on to play for England 53 times, so he must have done something to sort out his gaming habit. Maybe he started playing Fifa?
Yes, this is a large statue of Michael Jackson outside Fulham's football ground. Mohamed Al-Fayed had the tribute to his friend erected while he owned the club. When Shahid Khan bought the club, he decided it wasn't for him and removed it. When the club were then relegated, Al-Fayed said what everyone was thinking: "This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price."
Manchester City's boss blamed the ball for Sergio Aguero not scoring a record-breaking goal in their match against Wolverhampton. "The ball was a different ball," said Pep Guardiola, "If we played with a different ball he would break the record. To score with that ball is a miracle." Is it fair to blame the ball Pep?
But if it's not the ball to blame, could it be the kit? Manchester United famously changed their kit during half-time in a match in 1996. In the first half they wore a grey away kit (pictured) but after complaints that the colour made it hard to see each other, the team changed into their blue away kit for the rest of the match!
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp blamed the pitch for his side’s goalless draw with Southampton earlier this year. Klopp argues that the pitch was too dry for his team to move the ball around quickly.
Tennis star Andy Murray blamed his shorts after a spare tennis ball fell out of his pocket not one, not two, but three times in a match in 2012! It wasn't just a bit of an embarrassment, it cost him two points against his opponent.