Yes, fainting goats do exist. But they don’t actually faint: it’s a medical condition known as myotonia congenita. Basically, when startled, the goat’s muscles tense up and it keels over appearing as though the poor animal has suffered a heart attack, although the goat experiences no known pain in the matter.
We’ve been able to see fainting goats in person at several farms, where they were being used as decoys for predators such as wolves and coyotes; the fainting goat becomes easy prey while more valuable livestock (mostly herds of sheep) escape safely. It doesn’t take much to startle the little fellas, either; a loud clap or holler and “down goes Frazier!”
What we had never seen before, however, is a fainting goat on the gridiron. Arkansas State wide receiver Booker T. Mays III., albeit not a goat, changed that when he pulled the “fainting goat technique” during a recent game.
Chip Patterson details the story of how Mays’ fainting goat play came to be. Below’s a Youtube video of a fainting goat in action. If you’re interested in learning more about fainting goats, click here or risk fainting.