We’ve all had that feeling where we couldn’t be bothered to go into work and handed in a feeble excuse. Reasons such as the classic “my dog ate my homework” or “sorry boss, I’ve got a cold” when we’re really at home, feet up and twiddling our thumbs on our gamepad while we race through the latest Call of Duty campaign. But these excuses pale in the offering of some of the sportsmen and women that we watch on a regular occasion.

Some of these excuses are so lame we wondered why anyone would bother making them up in the first place. 


Big winger

Sir Alex Ferguson

We start off with perennial winger Alex Ferguson. He could have had a few entries of the list but we’ll go for this doozy he came up with back when Beckham, Giggs and Scholes were young whippersnappers.

…channelled his opprobrium…

Manchester Utd lost 3-1 away to Southampton and rather than ridicule his players for their disappointing performance, Ferguson channelled his opprobrium not against the ref or the opposition players but against their grey away kit. Recording a sequence of poor results in it (four defeats and one draw) Ferguson bemoaned that his team “couldn’t see” each other and decided that enough was enough, consigning the kit to the dustbin before the season was out.


So stressed!

John McEnroe

His “you cannot be serious” rant became the stuff of tennis legend with McEnroe see-sawing between being brilliant and combustible but during the US Open in 1978 he had a “legitimate” reason for being so angry.

…kept in the corner with a straight-jacket…

As his wife was pregnant at the time and McEnroe was extremely anxious. This stressed period in his life allowed him to claim “temporary insanity” while on the tennis court. Perhaps he should have been kept in the corner with a straight-jacket to calm himself down. Imagine if he started shouting in tongues?



Before every football tournament a cry rises in the vein of angry townsfolk getting the pitchforks and torches and threatening to burn down nearby sites. In football this rallying call is led by the goalkeepers and in each case it’s always about one thing.

The ball is too round.

…a different direction like a Hanna Barbera cartoon,

Thanks to wonders of science it’s been ascertained that the rounder the ball, the more unpredictable its movement, which causes the ball to deviate from its course which still does not explain how Robert Green managed to let that shot in. Unless the ball defies physics, stops in the air and decides to go in a different direction like a Hanna Barbera cartoon, we’d like to think that goalkeepers would concentrate on catching the ball rather than getting their excuses in pre-tournament. After all no one complains at the end of the tournament.


Lightning made us bad!

North Korean Women’s Football Team

Without doubt one of the strangest excuses we’ve ever heard for a poor performance of a football team. The North Korean team lost against the USA in the Women’s World Cup earlier this year. We’d like to think there’s no disgrace in losing to a team with the quality of the USA, however North Korean manager Kwang Min Kim saw the occasion as an opportunity to highlight the plight his team was under.

…lightning strike had injured four defenders…

Apparently several players had to be taken to hospital because a lightning strike had injured four defenders and “disrupted” their training. We take our hats off to Min Kim for coming up with a rather brilliant excuse, an excuse we may try in the future just to see if it works.

Images courtesy of Sir Alex Ferguson, John McEnroe and the North Korean Women’s Football Team


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