1. Convict demands
longer sentence in tribute to Larry Bird
Most people's reaction to receiving a 30-year prison
sentence for armed robbery would be dismay, horror and dejection.
Not Eric Torpy. When a raid in Oklahoma earned him 30 years
inside for armed robbery and shooting with intent to kill, the cocky criminal
demanded an extra three years added to his sentence, in tribute to the Boston
Celtics' legendary number 33, Larry Bird.
Torpy, now 32, has since regretted his devotion to Bird
after serving six years of his sentence.
"I kind of wished that I had 30 instead of 33," he
told AP. "Recently I've wisened up. That three is a big deal, you know?
Three years matters."
The armed robber - who will be ineligible for parole until
2033 - claims that his idol heard about the gesture, and was unimpressed by it.
"I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm an idiot," said
Torpy. "I mean, truthfully, most people do. My own family does, so I'm
pretty sure he does, too."
2. Football mascot
pays tribute to Olympic gold medallist
Amy Williams's gold medal in the skeleton at the 2010 Winter
Olympics was an astonishingly rare success for Britain at the quadrennial
So surely it's natural that Dunfermline Athletic's mascot
would want to celebrate - and what better way than to sledge down the stairs at
The stunt was just the latest in a long line of pranks by
Sammy the Tammy, who made headlines by pretending to wage war on Raith Rovers
fans by firing imaginary shells at them from his cardboard tank.
3. Restaurant marks
World Cup in South Africa by selling lion meat burgers
Who says Americans don't like soccer? One eatery in Arizona
loves the beautiful game so much that they decided to demonstrate their excitement
about the 2010 World Cup in South Africa by selling hamburgers made from lion
Il Vinaio in the desert town of Mesa - which describes
itself as an "American wine bistro with Mediterranean influences" -
served up the £15 burgers to curious punters throughout last summer's
tournament - much to the outrage of animal rights organisations. Even more
surprising than this story is that the meat was apparently supplied by a
free-range lion farm in the US.
4. Hajduk Split fans
literally light up city
Earlier this year Hajduk Spilt celebrated their 100th
anniversary by lighting up the city - literally.
Fans of the Croatian club all lit flares at midnight to
celebration the occasion and it seemed like the entire city was on board as
they night sky erupted in colour. The whole city was also covered in flags and
bunting and they even put a flag of the club's colours above the city's main
The club was originally founded by a group of Split students
in Prague in 1911, so what better way to
cap off the weekend's festivities than with a friendly match against Slavia
Prague, followed by a big rock concert and yet another fireworks display to
light up the night sky?
5. Ultimate sports
fan tattoo part 1. OUCH!
Dedication is one thing, a head covered entirely with
tattoos of your favourite team is quite another. While most normal sports fans
would be happy to show their loyalty by, say, buying a replica jersey or going
to watch a few games, this Oakland Raiders fan thought it would be a good idea to
get his entire head inked in a life-long homage to the NFL team.
6. Detroit Red Wings
fans throw octopuses on to the ice
A strange but true tradition for fans of the NHL team,
throwing cephalopod molluscs on the ice following big wins began back in 1952
during the Red Wings' Stanley Cup run. Brothers and owners of a fish shop in
Motor City Pete and Jerry Cusimano for some reason decided it would be a good
idea to lob an octopus over the glass and onto the ice during a game. Each
tentacle supposedly symbolised a win in the play-offs, eight wins being needed
to win two best-of-seven series.
Like the tentacles, the tradition stuck and the
invertebrates have been thrown on to the ice ever since, with the largest yet
recorded in 1996 - a huge 50-pounder. In a nice variation on the theme, rats
(albeit plastic ones) have also been known to be thrown on to the ice at the
home of the Florida Panthers.
7. Ultimate sports
fan tattoo part 2. DOUBLE OUCH!
We promised ourselves before starting this feature that we
wouldn't include more than one tattooed nutter. But in the light of the
dedication shown by Felipe Alvarez, we had to change our minds...Check out his
amazing effort here.
8. Millwall fans
declare love for Avram Grant with banner
Earning the open respect of your opponents is perhaps the
ultimate yardstick for achievement in sport. Who could fail
to be moved by top golfers' recent praise for the way the late Seve Ballesteros
shared tips with competitors on the practice range? And who could fail to be
tickled by Alex Ferguson's stories of sharing a nice bottle of red wine with Jose
Mourinho after watching their two sides go at it for 90 minutes?
At the other end of that spectrum is recently departed West
Ham boss Avram Grant, who was openly taunted by Millwall fans who paid to have
a banner flown over the DW Stadium declaring the Israeli a 'Millwall
When fans of your rival teams start crediting you with
leading your side to disaster, that last iota of respect you thought you had
just upped and left the building. And kudos to the Lions fans who took
Blackpool's recent creative taunts of Preston to the next logical step.
9. Australian Green
Bay Packers fan sells house and relocates wife and two kids to follow his team
for a single season
Followed your local club up and down the country, season
after season, taking in places such as Hereford and Hartlepool, Barnet and
Bury, Accrington and Aldershot? Think you're dedicated?
Think again. All else pales into insignificance when
compared to the Australian NFL fan who quit his job, upped sticks and moved
continents to follow his beloved Green Bay Packers.
Wayne Scullino, his wife and his two young children left
Sydney in 2007 to spend a year in the US and be able to go to every Packers
game. They paid for the trip through the sale of their house.
Mr Scullino said at the time: "One person said to me,
'Man, you're crazy! That's the craziest thing I ever heard. You're following
the Packers? They're not even any good."
But he said he responded: "Yeah, but things mean more to
The Packers did come good though, winning the Super Bowl earlier
this year. Unfortunately for Wayne, he had long since returned to Australia,
although naturally he jetted back out to the States for the game.
10. Cricket fan cycles to Australia for Ashes
When Olli Broom grew tired of his desk job, he did what any committed cricket fan would - he decided to go to Australia for the 2009/10 Ashes series. By bicycle.
The 29-year-old set off on October 10, 2008, and arrived in Brisbane for the first Test 14 months later.
Broom pedalled through 23 countries, covered a staggering 15,500 miles and raised £30,000 for charity.
Best of all, on his arrival, he watched England retain the Ashes with a 3-1 series win.