Mysteries are always fascinating as they revolve around unresolved issues about how to do it and why. The same thing can happen in sports where these bizarre sports mysteries spark our curiosity which can fuel debate in the community. These mysteries also remind us that sports are not all about the numbers and the competition but they are also stories of humans and their emotions.
Many of the mysteries that we will be talking about today may remain unsolved but they will always remain intriguing. These bizarre sports mysteries will continue to keep us wondering. Here are the top enigmas that are still unsolved even to this very day.
Death of Sonny Liston
One of the most enduring bizarre sports mysteries happened in January 1971. Geraldine Liston has been trying to contact her husband for several days now and had to travel to Las Vegas to check on him.
She later found her husband, boxing legend Sonny Liston, dead for several days. There were no signs of forced entry, no signs of struggle, no visible weapons, and the front door was littered with unopened boxes of milk. This was later used to confirm the time of his death.
It was also discovered that there were traces of heroin in the kitchen, but it could not have been Liston as he was severely afraid of needles.
Autopsy reports that there were traces of morphine and codeine but not enough to warrant an overdose; hence, the report said he died of natural causes due to heart failure and lung congestion. The strange circumstances leading to his death remain a mystery to this very day.
John Brisker’s Involvement With a Dictator
John Brisker had a great life ahead of him, especially with his talent and skill in playing basketball. He played college basketball for the Toledo Rockets and joined the Seattle Supersonics later on in the NBA.
During his time in the NBA, Brisker is known to be good friends with Idi Amin who was a Ugandan dictator. He traveled to Uganda to help launch an import-export business in April 1978.
This would be the last time he is seen in the media as there were speculations that he was either shot by a mercenary in Uganda during a fight or had an argument with the said dictator and then called for his execution.
There is even evidence from the State Department that said Brisker never traveled to Africa, but in May of 1985, he was declared dead in absentia, and the mystery of his demise will remain unsolved.
Jack “Dolly” Gray
One of the most bizarre sports mysteries came when a mysterious player who called himself Jack “Dolly” Gray played for the St. Louis All-Stars during a match against the Green Bay Packers.
The imposter approached Ollie Kraehe who was the owner and signed him to the team to play for that specific match. He introduced himself to be an All-American honoree in 1922 who was able to convince the owner and the coach to play at least three games.
It wasn’t until later on when Kraehe noticed the poor quality of play that he witnessed that he thought that Dolly Gray might not be the player he called himself to be.
This prompted Kraehe to exchange Dolly Gray to the Green Bay Packers, where he was able to display his talent and gained a 3-0 Packers victory. He then disappeared after they boarded the train to St. Louis.
The Suspicious Retirement of Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan was at the height of his basketball career when he decided to step down from playing and called it quits. Many people thought there was something suspicious, especially with the timing of his retirement.
Earlier, he was called by the authorities to testify and explained why a drug dealer had a check that had his name on it. Later on, he claimed that it was payment for a gambling loss.
This opened the flood doors for controversy when it was revealed that Jordan had a gambling problem. He was seen at a casino in the early morning hours of a critical game.
It was at this point that he suddenly declared that he was going to retire and days after, the investigation was dropped. Were there any agreements between the league and Jordan to save face? To this very day, we will never know.
The Consistency of Calling for Penalties
There is a long-standing debate whether officials are biased towards the team that they like especially when they make a call.
It is human nature to always have a bias, but what happens when a referee makes a call? Fans are always skeptical with referees, especially when calls are made against their team.
This was blown out of proportion during the entire Tom Donaghy investigation where there were no consistent calls for penalties. This made a lot of people wonder if there are standards when calling for such penalties.
To this very day, such a standard remains elusive and unsolved.
The Dirtiest Race in History
Track and field has always been one of the dirtiest and most controversial sports to date, especially during special events like the Olympics.
During the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Carl Lewis was able to finish second place in the 100-meter sprint for men with a time of 9.92 seconds. The race was won by Canada’s Ben Johnson with a final time of 9.79 seconds.
Things suddenly got out of hand when two days later, Johnson was discovered to be positive for a drug called stanozolol which was a kind of steroid that is prohibited from being used during the race. The gold medal was then awarded to Carl Lewis.
The controversy was that Lewis also got tested and failed all three tests before the games began and denied the use of such drugs. To this very day, no one knows if it was true or not, but Lewis still kept the gold medal to himself.
Sports fans will always remember all of these bizarre mysteries surrounding their favorite players. While we may never be able to find the truth, we get to see and read their stories to know that these players were once called legends in their own right before they became unsolved mysteries.