Of course everyone poops, but not usually while competing in sports activities. However, if there’s anyone who should be excused for going “No. 2” in their pants, it should probably be athletes. After all, the most serious of sportsmen have to exert incredible amounts of physical effort in the heat of competition. And when an athlete digs deep, especially when they’re not feeling all that well, there’s always the danger of unleashing a load of brown treasure.
Think about their situation. Marathon runners have to push themselves for hours on end. Participants in contact sports like American football and mixed martial arts have to endure getting hit hard, very possibly in the gut. And surfers are quite a distance away from a rest room — unless they consider the ocean to be a communal toilet. So while messing up one’s underwear in the midst of sports competition may be disgusting, it should also be understandable, and to a certain extent, even a bit admirable.
Here are ten such athletes who have gained infamy — but also a healthy amount of esteem — for pooping their pants while competing:
10. Travis Wolford / MMA Fighter
After heavyweight Travis Wolford fought at Ruckus in the Cage held in Beckley, West Virginia on October 3, 2015, media outlets everywhere began calling him “The Brown Bomber.” Unfortunately, the name wasn’t a reference to Wolford’s explosive fighting skills. Instead, it referred to certain “bombs” he had left in the octagon after he was forced to submit to a chokehold by his opponent, Daniel Cooper. It took place when Wolford stood up after the referee had stopped the fight. The commentator remarked, “What a mess,” and jokingly asked, “Do we have any volunteers who want to clean it up?” Later, promoter Christopher Smith explained that the night before the fight, Wolford had attended a Chili Night and “during his bout . . . had a colossal explosion where chili beans and everything he ate landed all over the mat.”
9. John Cena / Professional Wrestler
John Cena may possess the physique of a Greek god, but even the WWE superstar doesn’t have absolute muscle control. This was proven by Cena’s very own admission during a Total Divas episode: “I pooped myself once. I had to throw away. It was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, I had food poisoning and I still went out to wrestle. Everybody knew — I was embarrassed.” Previously, Cena had told WWE magazine, “I took a DDT, rolled out and the time-keeper was there. I looked him in the eye and said, ‘Where do I puke?’ And he said, ‘Under the ring.’ So I went under the ring and puked and everyone knew it. But as I was puking I crapped my pants. Luckily, it was at the end of the match.”
8. Julie Moss / Triathlete
In February of 1982, Julie Moss was a 23-year-old wildcard entrant in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, featuring a 2.4-mile sea swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile foot race. She had entered the grueling contest merely as part of her thesis submission on physiology and training, but with only less than a mile to the finish line, she shockingly found herself ahead of the field. Unfortunately, just ten yards from the end, her legs gave way, and so did her muscle control, causing her to empty the contents of her bowels. As Wide World of Sports aired the unfolding drama, another racer flew past Moss, who, although on her knees, still managed to crawl across the finish line for a second-place finish. Yes, she may have lost the top prize and control of her bodily functions, but the moment is nevertheless remembered as one of the most moving and inspiring scenes in sporting history.
7. Robbie Tobeck / American Football Player
Retired 14-season (1993-2006) American football center Robbie Tobeck once suffered from diarrhea so bad that he lost ten pounds in one week, but an important game of the Seattle Seahawks against the Washington Redskins forced him to play despite the potentially messy consequences. In preparation for an anticipated eventuality, trainers had a bucket on hand just in case their ward had to go right there and then. They also brought an extra pair of pants for Tobeck — yes, it was that bad. And as foreseen, Robbie did mess up his underwear right in the opening minutes of the game after he had gotten hit hard. Nevertheless, Tobeck decided to stay on the field, and soon, the stench got so bad that all of the players knew what Robbie had done in his pants. In fact, two years later, when the Seahawks returned to Washington, someone cruelly planted a pack of adult diapers in Tobeck’s locker.
6. Humberto Brown / MMA Fighter
Unlike Travis Wolford who gained a new fight monicker after his cringe-worthy accident, featherweight Humberto Brown from Panama City already had the perfect name. This proved to be true on November 15, 2014, when Humberto faced Gabriel Benitez in an undercard fight for UFC 180 held at the Arena Ciudad de México in Mexico City. Benitez dominated Brown by technically submitting him via a standing guillotine choke in the thirtieth second of the third round. But even before the referee could stop the fight, it seems that something within Brown had already surrendered; a telling brown spot could clearly be seen on the back of his blue shorts.
5. Mikael Ekvall / Marathon Runner
After the 2008 Göteborg half-marathon, Sweden’s Micke Ekvall was nicknamed “bajsmannen,” which translates to “poop man.” He had finished the race at 21st, and photographs of him with a grimace on his face and brown liquid gushing down his legs immediately went viral after that. Surprisingly, however, Ekvall has remained positive about the experience. When asked, “Did you ever consider stopping to clean off?” he answered, “No, I’d lose time. If you quit once, it’s easy to do it again and again and again.” And since then, the resilient runner has accomplished much more; in 2014, he set the national record for Sweden at the Copenhagen half-marathon.
4. Kelly Slater / Surfer
American surfer Kelly Slater has won the championship of the World Surf League a record eleven times, including five that he won consecutively from 1994 to 1998. Perhaps even more impressively, he is both the youngest (at 20 years old) and the oldest (at 39 years old) to take home the title. However, even Slater has fallen victim to the occasional unpredictability of poop. In fact, he’s openly admitted to having gone “No. 2” in the ocean. In his words, “The secret . . . is being down current from everybody. You don’t want to go up current at your friends. That’s rude.” Well at least he’s considerate enough not to direct a brown floater towards his competitors, right?
3. Adam Lane, Jr. / American Football Player
Anyone who poops himself during a public event would likely never want to recall the moment, or would at least look back to the occasion with embarrassment. However, Florida running back Adam Lane [yes, in context, the position he plays is sadly appropriate] surprisingly calls his episode “the best thing that could have happened.” It took place early in the second quarter at the 2015 Birmingham Bowl between Lane’s team and East Carolina, which Florida won 28-20, by the way. From two yards out, Lane pranced into the end zone, and during that drive, somehow suffered an accident, resulting in a brown stain on the back of his white pants. Within minutes, though, Lane was back on the field with a new unstained pair. He recalled, “I got a lot of attention and just put me in a place where I was out there publicly and people knew who I was. I really didn’t get a lot of grief from it. A lot of people were really more focused on how well I did in the game more than anything. I feel like it was that way because I embraced it.”
2. Uta Pippig / Marathon Runner
German long-distance runner Uta Pippig had won the Boston Marathon for two years running, in 1994 and 1995. Before that, Portugal’s Rosa Mota had ruled it two straight times in 1987 and 1988, and even managed a third one in 1990. However, no woman had won the event for three consecutive years, and nothing was going to get in the way of Pippig — not even her monthly period or awful diarrhea. Falling behind Kenya’s Tegla Loroupe by 220 meters and her body giving up on her, Uta somehow managed to pull of the inspiring victory. “I had some problems with my period. I didn’t expect it would become this worse . . . diarrhea,” she recalled. To this day, Pippig still stands alone as the only woman to win three consecutive Boston Marathons.
1. Gary Lineker / Football Player
England’s Gary Lineker is his country’s record holder in terms of goals scored in FIFA World Cup finals (10 goals). One of his phenomenal displays took place at the 1990 edition, where he scored four goals. However, en route to the semifinal, Lineker had an embarrassing accident during his team’s very first group game against Ireland. The 5’9 striker was suffering from a stomach bug, and in the process of tackling an opponent, he unintentionally “relaxed” himself. Nearly twenty years later, in an interview with the BBC to celebrate his 50th birthday, Lineker recalled, “You can see me rubbing the ground like a dog; it was the most horrendous experience of my life. . . . But I tell you, I never found so much space in a game than I did that night after that happened.”