A PR person from a major deodorant company emailed me a few weeks ago. She wanted to send me some deodorant samples of a new formula designed for athletes -- so I could review it and write all sorts of high praise about how this deodorant made my life better. I wasn’t very interested in the pitch – I mean, how do you really test a deodorant in any objective way? So I offered her an alternative: Her company could sponsor a fun post about the three most hideous odors in sports. It would actually be interesting, if a bit edgy for our staid, well-established smelly-good company (betcha AXE would’ve jumped on it).
Well, I never heard from her again. But I decided to do the post anyway. No sponsor? No problem!
Alright, onto the list!
The Hot Yoga Dutch Oven
OK, even though I like yoga a lot, I can see how you can object to classifying it as a sport. Let’s leave that alone for now. I promise you, the Hot Yoga Dutch Oven is a legitimate stench. It happens when someone (ahem) goes to a hot yoga class. He then leaves his sweat-saturated yoga towel and shorts in his car overnight. He then goes out to his car the next morning – and gets hit in the face with the decaying-school-of-mackerel smell of wet, fermenting yoga gear.
This is obviously worse in summer.
I don’t know why I ever did this more than once. That’s really all it should take to learn my lesson. I guess it’s the same neurological short circuit that has made me burn the roof of my mouth on countless slices of way-too-hot pizza over the years.
The Goalie Bag Miasma of Doom
There are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t be a hockey goalie -- or allow anyone you know or love to do so: The mental anguish of letting in a goal, putting yourself in harm’s way, the absurd cost of equipment. But tops on my list is the smell.
Every piece of goalie gear is a utopia for funk that loves to stink. Now imagine putting all that gear together, throwing it into a dark bag, zipping it up and letting it sit. Oh, you think spraying that with some sort of smelly-good stuff will do anything? Ha! It laughs at your spritz of Febreeze and then ramps the stinkiness to 11 (it’s been awhile since my last This is Spinal Tap reference).
Opening that goalie bag unleashes pure disgustingness into the air. Remember when Han Solo sliced open a dead tauntaun and shoved Luke Skywalker into it to keep him from freezing? That’s about right.
The Tour de Crap
The Tour de France is pretty much the legalized month-long torture of about 200 spindly armed nutjobs with unearthly bike-handling skills. It’s bad enough as it is without a guy at the front of the pack flinging soupy feces on the trailing pack.
That’s the scenario the peloton dealt with in the 1986 Tour de France. Greg Lemond picked up a nice case of dysentery and clawed to the front. He did not stop for a squat in the bushes. He let fly from the saddle of his bike.
In the pre-Internet era, I read a quote from fellow American Bob Roll that said "His sickness was coming out of his shorts." The story went onto describe how Lemond’s diarrhea flowed over the waistband (or is it now a wasteband?) of his shorts. It would fall onto the rear tire, which would then launch it all over the trailing riders.
I’ve been able to find that reference on the Internet – the closest I’ve found was a far-more genteel "Only brown stains down the backs of his legs betrayed how acute was his distress."
Fortunately for the cute girls who have to pose with the stage winner and give him a kiss on the cheek, Lemond did not make the podium for that stage.
What horrific sports-related smells would you add to my list?
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