While there can be negative aspects of sports, at the end of the day sports are entertainment. Sure, multimillionaire athletes are performing for billionaire owners in high-pressure situations, and people’s livelihoods are on the line. But everyone watches and attends the games to ultimately have a good time.
A nice unexpected disruption can add a little levity to a serious sporting event. One of the funniest ways for that to happen is when an animal runs on the field. Let’s take a look at three hilarious times animals interrupted a live sporting event.
The Cubs let a black cat cross their paths
Nowadays, the Cubs are known as a perennial contender. Ever since their 2016 World Series championship, they’ve had consistently good-to-great playoff-caliber teams. It wasn’t always like this, however. Historically, the Cubs were known for being one of the most hapless franchises in all of baseball. Prior to their 2016 title, the last time they had won a World Series was 1908.
During the 1969 season, the Cubs led the NL East by 1.5 games over the New York Mets on September 9. In the fourth inning, umpires halted play when a black cat ran onto the field. The cat stopped near the Cubs’ on-deck circle, looked directly at then-Cubs manager Leo Durocher, and crossed in front of their dugout. The Cubs lost the game, cutting their lead to only a half-game.
The Mets kept winning while the Cubs kept losing. The Mets clinched the division on September 24 on their way to a World Series. The Cubs, having been jinxed by a black cat, would have to wait for their title.
The Indians use bugs to help beat the Yankees in the playoffs
The New York Yankees are known as one of the most powerful franchises in baseball history. They’ve won the World Series more times than anyone and always seem to be in the thick of the playoff hunt.
Now imagine the most successful franchise in sports history, brought to their knees by…a swarm of bugs?
In the 2007 American League Division Series, the Yankees squared off against the Cleveland Indians. In the eighth inning of game two, Yankees’ reliever Joba Chamberlain entered the game. This was Chamberlain’s first season in the big leagues and he had been mostly lights-out until that point.
That’s when a swarm of bugs known as midges started harassing the players on the field. Chamberlain was unable to deal with the distraction, throwing a wild pitch that let the tying run score. The Tribe went on to win the game in extra frames and subsequently, the series. Why the umpires failed to stop play until the swarm subsided is a mystery.
It was a massive loss for New York in more ways than one. First off, it began the descent of Chamberlain’s career. It was also the beginning of the end for the Joe Torre era, as the Yankees let him walk after the series concluded. The midges stopped coming soon thereafter, leading to the Indians losing to Boston in the ALCS.
Dog runs onto the pitch at an Argentinean soccer match
When two soccer clubs from Argentina, Quilmes and Belgrano, squared off, they expected to have to contend with each other. They didn’t anticipate anyone else entering the fray.
That’s where they were wrong, though. The match was interrupted by an interloper. But it wasn’t a disturbed fan trying to halt play. It was a black dog who apparently got lost somehow.
Quilmes player Sebastien Romero gave the adorable canine a nice scratch on the belly. His teammate, Jonathan Zacaria, picked it up and carried it to safety on the sidelines.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw. No word on whether the pup was brought back to help the team take penalty kicks later.