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Sports Articles: And Finally... Odd Fears!

And Finally... Odd Fears!
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And Finally.....Odd Fears!



We all have our fears, some are rational, such as my fear of heights that left me unable to enter a room on the 34th floor of a tower as it had ceiling to floor windows, some are not so rational, such as my fear of losing my youthful good looks, which will obviously never happen. Ed002 fears the world may one day run out of gin, while Ed007 hoards square sausages 'just in case'. Ed025's collection of budgie smugglers in unparralled anywhere in the world as he fears for the day when, in his words, "they go out of fashion and are no longer made". 25's fashion sense is so rooted in the past that he thinks a toga is modern!


In football, judging by the reaction to 'spygate' and the way so many people have jumped on the bandwagon of moral outrage crusade against Marcelo Bielsa, after he admitted he had sent scouts to watch other teams training session, there is a genuine fear of giving some tactical secret away before a game. Not that it really matters, as a good coach will be making numerous tactical rejigs throughout a game, but clearly it bothers some teams. 11 in the Championship at least, who have all complained about Bielsa's scouting.


list of fears

It reminds me of when Brendan Rodgers was doing his best David Brent impersonation as manager of Liverpool and the club went into a panic over leaks from within. They believed someone was giving out information about transfers and also revealing the team formation and which players would be picked prior to a match. The day before each game, social media was flooded with the correct team and formation and Rodgers was desperate for the club to plug this leak, as he felt it was putting him at a disadvantage.


The leak was eventually tracked down, and it was Rodgers himself and his policy of sending the team out to train the day before a game at Melwood in one set of coloured bibs, while they worked on team shape and formation! Houses overlooking the training ground could see quite clearly who was going to be playing the following day and exactly what formation they would use and residents were not shy about passing that on.


That just left the transfers, with one particular guy on social media calling the deals with accuracy, then communications director at the club, Jen Chang, tracked him down in real life. Chang ended up losing his job after threatening the man, who freely admitted he was just guessing anyway and had no source within the walls of Anfield. The club somehow feared they were giving away some kind of competitive advantage away, when it is clear that any Tom, Dick or Harry with an inkling of football could guess what they were up to anyway!


The most famous odd fear, certainly in football, is 'Non-Flying Dutchman' Dennis Bergkamp's fear of flying which he says developed while at Inter Milan, as they would regularly travel to away games in small planes. It meant he would have to leave for away games in European competition (or for his country) sometimes days in advance on the train to make it. He was just so good that he could still produce top class performances even without joining in training. John Madden, who is probably more famous these days due to the videogame series, was so afraid of flying and small spaces that he spent nearly a million dollars on the "Madden Cruiser". A converted bus loaded with all sorts of creature comforts that makes most homes look spartan. He has replaced the beloved bus a number of times over the years, as it covers tens of thousands of miles a season. You can even buy toy replicas of it, such is its fame now in the USA.


Tennis player Andy Roddick has an odder fear. The one-time World number 1 has a bunny phobia. Yes he genuinely is terrified of rabbits. I wonder if he developed it watching Bugs Bunny cartoons? Another American sports star, basketball player Damian Lillard, also has an odd fear, automatonophobia, the fear of statues. The fact that it occurs often enough to get named is odd enough! Rafa Nadal is so scared of the dark he leaves the lights on when he sleeps. Though he is also scared of dogs, storms, motorbikes, spiders and a number of other things, so sleeping with the lights on is not really a surprise.


Swimmer Rebecca Adlington is scared of the ocean, which seems odd for a swimmer. Though Michael Phelps was afraid of putting his face underwater when he first took up swimming, which is probably an odder fear for a swimmer. Former (I think he can be called that now) basketball player Nick Young is afraid of dolphins after trying to ride one and believing it was trying to drown him. Maybe it was just objecting to the stupid Swaggy P nickname Young adopted?


American football star Josh Freeman is terrified of elevators, a fear he first developed when his sister was stuck in one, only for it to then happen to him on a visit to the dentist. While he knows it was just 5 minutes he spent trapped, he says it felt like forever. He is not the only sportsman (though I use the term loosely in this case) as Manchester United's Phil Jones hates lifts too, though only when abroad. Maybe it is a Brexit thing?


Baseball player Adrian Beltre hates having his head touched, so much so that he throws tantrums when someone does so. There are some videos online of him losing it with team-mates who have done so and throwing his gloves at them during games. It really does not help though, as his tantrums just entice other team-mates to join in the torment! Sonny Liston was absolutely terrified of syringes and needles, which makes the supposed circumstances of his death suspicious. It was claimed Liston died of a heroin overdose and that needle marks were found on his arms after his death, which does seem unlikely to say the least for a man who was seriously petrified of needles.


The basketball world only got to enjoy Tim Duncan's skills because of his fear of sharks. Duncan was a competitive swimmer while growing up in the Virgin Islands before a hurricane destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool on the island. Rather than train in the sea, Duncan turned to hoops and became one of the best players of his generation. Eric Berry has been terrified of the Kansas City Chiefs' mascot for most of his career. The Chiefs have a horse called Warpaint and Berry has equinophobia. The NFL has tried to help him overcome the fear and he has mustered up the courage to pet Warpaint now, which is disappointing. I much prefer the idea of a huge American football star cringing away in fear from an animal most children love!


cat next to car


Former Ipswich Town footballer Matt Holland was scared of cats and dogs, which is a fear he is not the only footballer to suffer. Former Chelsea, Leeds United and Birmingham City striker Mikael Forssell was terrified of cats due to being allergic to them and once tweeted about being unable to go to training as there was a cat rubbing against his car's tyres. Forsell typed: "Im allergic to cats...I need to leave 2 training ... semi-scary ... been there now 4 about 20mins rubbing against rubber". Makes me feel a lot better about my fear of heights reading all the odd phobias around! Though it never helped Peter Crouch when he was struggling for form while at Aston Villa in 2002. Then manager, the late Graham Taylor tried to explain it: "One of the main problems for Peter is that he still has a bit of a phobia about being so tall."

Written by Ed001 January 29 2019 11:10:19


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