It was a good week for strange-injury enthusiasts. Five different Giants football players have had back problems during training camp. The presumptive culprit: the bedroom mattresses at the University of Albany, where players have been training, are just too small. "We're big humans," tight end Martellus Bennett told the New York Times. "You can't put a dinosaur in a twin-size bed."
The chatter brings to mind a list of all the bizarre injuries that have befallen otherwise sturdy athletes in the past. The ailments are too numerous to list them all, so we picked out a few involving athletes who have Minnesota ties.
The outfielder was the AL Rookie of the Year with the Twins in 1995 and knocked in 111 runs the following year. But what everyone seems to remember about Cordova is an incident toward the end of his career in 2002 when he was with Baltimore. As the story goes, Cordova fell asleep in a tanning bed and burned his face. It was bad enough that the Orioles -- playing an afternoon game in Oakland -- had Cordova sit out a game in order to not make it worse.
Aggie saved 204 games between 1990 and 1995. He also had one of the top five beards in Twin Cities sports history, about which even Kevin Love would have to agree. The Twins traded Aguilera to Boston in the middle of 1995 and then re-signed him in the offseason with the intent of making him a starting pitcher. The experiment met a rocky start when, late in spring training, Aguilera hurt his right wrist. While there was no conclusive evidence as to what happened, the pitcher seemed to think it happened when he lifted a suitcase. He made only one start before June 11. The Twins scored 877 runs that season -- still the most they have ever scored since moving from Washington -- but went only 78-84.
The crafty lefthander was 41 when he joined the Twins in 2004. He ended up pitching one of the biggest games of the season, going eight innings on Aug. 15 to beat Cleveland and keep the Twins in first place. In 2005, though, he fell victim to a freak injury: he scratched his right eye when he rolled over on a loose feather from his hotel pillow. Reports indicated he could have pitched in the game after it happened, but he didn't. So we'll say the feather got him.
He wound up with two separate stints quarterbacking the Vikings, making 13 starts in purple during the 2000s, but it was a play in 1997 when Frerotte was with Washington that made him an injury legend. After scoring on a touchdown run, Frerotte headbutted a padded wall. He sprained his neck and couldn't play in the second half. In fact, after making 12 starts that season, he started only one of the team's final four games.