A List of Absurd but True and Alternative Sports Facts

Who doesn’t love tales of the weird, strange or unnatural? As people we get a kick out of Ripley’s Believe it or Not or the Guinness Book of World Records. There’s a reason why the bearded lady draws a crowd; curiosity may not necessarily kill the cat, but it surely leads us down a path for a good story…right?

I’ve curated some of my favorite sports facts and some of my alternative facts. Here they are. See if you can spot the alt-facts,without asking Jeeves (millennials go ask your cool older cousin).


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  • Jerry Rice chased down horses as a youth in Starkville, Mississppi prior to becoming the legendary NFL wide receiver.
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  • Actor, Clint Eastwood coached Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in high school football at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Eastwood made a lasting impression on Johnson and what developed his interest in acting.


  • Wilt Chamberlain never fouled out of a basketball game.
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  • Until 1936, the jump ball in basketball took place at center court after every made basket.


  • Former MLB catcher, Harry Chiti was the first player ever to be traded for himself.
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  • The Chicago Cubs were once owned by the son of the Chicago Bears, hence the name of course.


  • The Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers once combined to form the Steagles.
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  • The Washington Redskins are not, in fact, named after Native Americans. The  name was inspired by the owners wife while on vacation in Atlantic City. She was very sun burnt one afternoon the year prior to the NFL merger. The owner was so tickled by his wife’s rose colored skin that as a monument to her, due to her unexpected passing shortly thereafter.
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  • Famed baseball player, Tommy John resents baseball, manly because it cut his rising professional dart career woefully short.
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  • Ole Miss didn’t get it’s affectionate nickname from the student body at the University of Mississippi, but rather from the late Chancellor, John Newton Waddle in 1865. Waddle affection referred to Mrs. Waddle by Ole Miss.


  • Former NBA player, Popeye Jones has never seen the cartoon that shares his namesake and refuses to watch anything starring Robin Williams still to this day.

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