World-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died on Wednesday as a result of injuries sustained Sunday during a wheelchair rugby match.
The match, between Britain and Canada at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships, was the first in which Hawking ever played. He participated in the event to garner awareness for the sport and to raise money for his favorite charities.
Spectators noticed early on that Hawking appeared underprepared for the sport's physical intensity and was perhaps even clueless to the rules.
"He was just rolling around out there, not even reacting when the ball would smack him in the side of the head," said fan Andrew Lakowski. "It was like watching a windup toy drifting through a battlefield."
During halftime, Hawking was reportedly scolded by his coach for bleeding and drooling excessively on the court. In an attempt to apologize, his voice synthesizer sparked, briefly catching fire to his shirtsleeve.
Hawking was finally removed from the game in the third quarter after being leveled onto his side by two opposing defenders, the impact of which knocked out one of his eyes. Once on the sidelines, medics noted that Hawking was unable to respond to simple questions.
"He kept spouting off mathematical formulas from his voice box, and that got annoying on the drive to the hospital, so we eventually just plugged him into an iPod," said paramedic Daniel Murray.
The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation apologized for sanctioning Hawking's participation, acknowledging that they were not considering Hawking's best interests.
"We wanted to bring in a star, a SUPERNOVA, if you will. This will be remembered as a BLACK HOLE in our sport's history, and the GRAVITY of the situation will always be felt," said an IWRF spokesman by phone, audibly giving high-fives to people in the background with each pun.
Hawking's funeral will take place this weekend, after which, per his final wishes, his corpse will be launched into orbit, where he'll hurtle endlessly until colliding with an asteroid or the International Space Station. He was 68 years old. Hawking's team lost, 53-47.