The Most Embarrassing Athlete Commercials Ever
Starring in a local or national commercial is a great way for an athlete to capitalize on his or her fame and make a quick and easy buck. So you can't really blame them—any one of us would do the same thing if given the opportunity.
That being said, there's a reason that these guys play professional sports rather than act or sing—it's because they usually suck at both. This list is only a sampling of embarrassing commercials, but it's nearly impossible to find one that isn't embarrassing.
Let's get this party started.
Alex Ovechkin: Eastern Motors
Washington Capitals superstar forward Alex Ovechkin is a man of many talents, but singing is not one of them.
His rendition of the D.C.-area Eastern Motors commercial makes me think he should stick to his Russian rap career.
John McEnroe and Friends: 7UP
Much of the music and style of the late '70s have not stood the test of time.
This 1979 7UP commercial featuring Larry Bird, Tony Dorsett and John McEnroe is no exception.
David Beckham: Meiji Chocolate
This ad that soccer superstar David Beckham did for Meiji Chocolate is one of the stranger athlete commercials I've seen.
He's speaking English, though the background music is in another language, and he seductively eats chocolate. Don Draper would not approve.
Hines Ward: C Harper Ford
In this commercial, retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward plays the human incarnation of the C Harper car dealership, and the crazy-looking weirdo next to him plays all those other dealerships.
It seems that C Harper guarantees the best prizes, while those other guys rely on balloons and soul patches to sell cars.
Chris Andersen: Mattress King
NBA free agent Chris Andersen did a local commercial for Mattress King.
The premise of the commercial was that Mattress King has "slamming" good deals, demonstrated by Anderson "slamming" a basketball.
It's very subtle.
Alex Rodriguez: Eagle Hardware & Garden
Way back when Alex Rodriguez was a Seattle Mariner (can you even remember that far back?), he did a commercial for a local store called Eagle Hardware & Garden.
A-Rod gets tips on wood, mulch and other big league-related things. In other news, A-Rod was a lot more likable back then.
Bronson Arroyo: J.T.M.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo did a local commercial for J.T.M., which is some kind of sandwich place.
He rocks out on the guitar, singing a tune called "Together Again." And it seems that the mustachioed man and his hoagie are together again.
It's very dramatic for a song about a sandwich.
Scottie Pippen: Mr. Submarine
In 1991, Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen did a local commercial for the Mr. Submarine chain.
It features Pippen and a six-foot sub he can't handle on his own. Naturally, they bring in a couple of cheerleaders to stand on either side of the giant sub and help him out.
This is about as classy as class gets.
Larry Bird, Julius Erving and Magic Johnson: Converse
NBA legends Larry Bird, Julius Erving and Magic Johnson all appear in this 1980s Converse commercial.
Bird and Dr. J. show off their incredible lack of acting skills, arguing over whose shoe it is, but then Magic Johnson comes in and saves the day with his natural delivery and surprise appearance.
Boston Celtics: Scotch 'n Sirloin
There are very few things from the 1980s that have stood the test of time, and this horrifying commercial for a local Boston restaurant is most certainly not one of them.
The volume has issues, but you really don't need to hear Larry Bird and his Celtics teammates clearly to understand how stupid this is.
Carson Palmer: John Morrell Hot Dogs
When you do a commercial for hot dogs, you open yourself up to all kinds of jokes and innuendo.
That is why former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer should have thought twice before agreeing to star in this commercial for John Morrell hot dogs.
In the commercial, he saves the day when a family barbecue runs low on sausages. Seriously.
Pete Rose: Kool-Aid
Considering the seedy reputation Pete Rose has earned for himself, this ridiculous 1986 commercial for Kool-Aid might be the most dignified thing he's ever done.
The Kool-Aid man busts through the score board, so you get the money shot. The rest, you'll have to find out for yourself.
John McEnroe: Bic Razors
Tennis legend John McEnroe shilled for Bic Shavers in the '80s, and he brought his patented shouting delivery to the role.
This came out before his epic "Are you serious?!?" rant, so you won't get any of that. But you will find out where he spends all the money he saves by buying Bic.
Bronson Arroyo: Champion Ford
I've seen this commercial that Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo did for Champion Ford a number of times, and I'm still not sure if it's an outtake or the actual commercial.
It seems as legitimate as any other low-budget local production until Arroyo says "sh*t," which is fairly uncommon in commercials...right?
Dustin Pedroia: Sullivan Tires
Back in 2008, Boston Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia starred in a local Boston commercial for Sullivan Tires, which featured a surprise cameo by retired Sox outfielder Jim Rice.
The little girl in the commercial absolutely wipes the floor with both athletes in terms of acting performance.
Jason Campbell: Eastern Motors
The D.C.-area car dealership Eastern Motors churns out a constant stream of commercials starring local athletes.
Some are actually pretty good, some are bad, and then there's former Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell.
His performance is uncomfortably wooden, and he fails at even portraying a human being.
Jonathan Ogden: Gebco Insurance
Retired Baltimore Raven Jonathan Ogden's popularity helped land him a spot in a series of commercials for Gebco Insurance.
This commercial is definitely the weirdest, but Ogden sings and/or dances in all of them.
Mickey Mantle: MP27
In 1976, New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle cashed in on his fame by starring in this horrifying commercial about athlete's foot.
Maybe Mantle's performance isn't that bad, but I'm too distracted by him rubbing medication on gigantic fungus-infested feet to even notice.
OKC Thunder: Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram
There's a reason that professional athletes are professional athletes and not singers. Right, Shaq?
This commercial for Norman Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram features various members of the Oklahoma City Thunder singing a ridiculously uncreative jingle. It is also very off-key.
Jimmy Johnson: ExtenZe
You have to give former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson credit; he obviously doesn't embarrass easily.
You have to be extremely comfortable with your manhood to become the national spokesman for an herbal supplement that claims to enhance a certain part of the male anatomy. Even more so if you claim to use it yourself.