The Weirdest Official Athlete Portraits
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Official athlete portraits are typically a vanilla affair, not unlike the lifeless poses that fill the pages of high school yearbooks. The photo captures the subject from their mid-chest and above—eyes perpetually staring ahead, face nearly emotionless.
But, like any vast, monotonous collection of images, any single face or pose that stands apart...is particularly striking.
After extensive scientific research and analysis, I've discovered that the ratio of lame-to-weird official athlete portraits nearly mirrors that found in the average high school yearbook.
Whereas that super quiet guy with a mullet from algebra class produced an awesomely out-there portrait with a sneer and metal sign with his hand, there are more than a few athletes who—intended or not—turned something innocuous into a moment of weird.
These are the weirdest official athlete portraits.
30. Peter Moylan, L.A. Dodgers
Dodgers relief pitcher Peter Moylan can't help that he has to wear glasses. Well, he could get contacts, or Lasik…but whatever.
The fact of the matter is that his vision is impaired and glasses are the way he he chooses to correct it. What Moylan does have control over is the glasses he wears—I can't imagine he was forced to buy these things at gun point.
Although, I kind of hope he was. That's the only explanation for why he was wearing those things at Los Angeles' official portrait day in January 2013.
29. Kobe Bryant & Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers
Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and their resident joker Metta World Peace, then Ron Artest, had their photo taken together at Los Angeles' media day back in September 2009.
They may be in the frame together, but Bryant and MWP sure don't look like their on the same page. I don't even think think they're looking at the same camera.
28. McKayla Maroney, American Olympian
American gymnast McKayla Maroney's U.S. Olympic Committee official portrait shoot in November 2011 is as weird as it is impressive.
Most of the photos taken at these photo shoots were on the bizarre side, taking the whole London theme more than a little too far.
But Maroney's balancing skills on the knees of some goofball playing one of the Queen's Guards are impressive. So much so that the whole thing looks Photoshopped.
27. Dustin Brown, L.A. Kings
Kings forward Dustin Brown busted out his Sunday best for his portrait at the NHL Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas in June 2012.
Doing the whole swag thing doesn't come as naturally for hockey players as NBA players, but Brown did his thing with the suit and tie.
Although, given all the work he put into getting ready for the awards show, couldn't he have thrown in some dentures too? Just for the photo!
26. Albert Haynesworth, NFL Free Agent
I should confess that I've written something very similar about former NFL defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth recently, but it really applies here. So whatever.
After becoming the most expensive piece of deadweight in Redskins history, the defensive tackle who wouldn't play defense or tackle, was traded to the Patriots for a bag of stale circus peanuts.
Haynesworth claimed to be really excited about playing for the Pats and was all compliments when he first arrived in 2011. I mean, doesn't that look like the head shot of someone who looks like he's happy to be somewhere?
He was cut before the regular season even began.
25. Gregor Blanco, San Francisco Giants
Giants had their team photo day in February 2013, and whoever decided it would be awesome to have some members of the team posing in whirlpool with a bat should be fired.
Not just fired, but be prohibited by laws from ever photographing anything again. Even for Instagram.
Poor Gregor Blanco. Look at that face. You know dang well that's the last place he wants to be and the last thing he wants to be doing. My whole life has been forced semi-smiles and I can recognize Blanco's from a mile away.
24. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
There are only a couple of NBA teams that do the whole official media day thing with publicity head shots like this—in case you were wondering what's with all the pictures of the Miami Heat.
Well, that's what's with it. Miami's "Big Three" were the toast of media day back in December 2011, but Chris Bosh was the only one of them who couldn't quite master the perfect head shot.
He's always giggling. Looking the other direction. Staring blankly. Or just generally doing something that makes him look even more out of place than he normally does.
23. Jordan Eberle & Ryan-Nugent Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers Jordan Eberle and Ryan-Nugent Hopkins attended the NHL Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas in June 2012. Guess what—so did much of the NHL.
They also got their portrait taken, much like everyone else. So at this point, all of that information is pretty run-of-the-mill.
What's a little less normal is the fact that they got their portraits taken together, back-to-back. Like how junior high girls pose for pictures with their friends.
And their faces are just hilarious, particularly Eberle's, who looks like he just woke up from a really epic nap. He probably should've stuck with the nap and skipped the portrait.
22. Rudy Fernández, Real Madrid Baloncesto
The Trail Blazers must have had some seriously high hopes for the 2008-09 season—why else would they have gone so above and beyond with the portraits for media day?
Above and beyond goofy, that is. Rudy Fernández,isn't all that ridiculous, except for the fact that it looks like he's giving you the crotch middle finger. Even though he's not actually.
The fact that you have to even examine it though is all too weird.
21. Lucas Duda, N.Y. Mets
All the pictures the photographer took of Mets left fielder Lucas Duda during their official portrait session in February 2013, it's hilarious that this is the one everyone agreed upon.
Although, everyone knows a dude like Duda. The guy in your social circle that goes out of his way to completely photobomb every single picture taken of him over his entire life.
It's like Duda is just photobombing himself here.
20. Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
The Lakers' Kobe Bryant is a mean mother on the basketball court, but is surprisingly photogenic and even more surprisingly funny when there's a camera on him.
At Los Angeles' media day in October 2012, this was just one of many noteworthy shots of Bryant mugging for the camera. The ridiculous backdrop just adds to the greatness.
19. Usain Bolt, Jamaican Olympian
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is already a legend, have won the gold in both the 100m and 200m sprints at the last two Olympics.
Well, that's not all he's won. Bolt was on hand at the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards and walked away with an adorable little statue.
And a gallery of ridiculous official head shots.
18. Vancouver Canucks Mascot, Fin the Whale
The Canucks mascot Fin (the Whale, as if that was a necessary distinction—like anyone was going to think this thing was a fire ant) was on hand at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.
Fin is actually a relatively new NHL mascot, he barely beat out a rabid beaver (among other submissions) to rep' Vancouver back in 2001. Personally, I think they should've gone with the rabid beaver.
But he looks like a pro out there posing for his official portrait at the All-Star Game. And by "pro," I mean something more along the lines of a working girl than a sports mascot.
17. Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
In February 2013 the Angels decided to in an entirely different direction with their official portraits on team photo day.
Perhaps it's because they, once again, landed the most coveted free agent on the market this last off season, former Ranger Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton gets paid a lot of money to look that stupid.
16. LeBron James, Miami Heat
Heat superstar LeBron James and his teammates seemed to have a lot of fun at Miami's media day back in December 2011.
Many of the photos were fun loving and ridiculous. And others, like this one, were just plain ridiculous. Anyone else wondering what LeBron's smile there is all about?
15. Josh Reddick, Oakland A's
So the A's may not have won the World Series in 2012, but it doesn't look like right fielder Josh Reddick has lost any confidence—despite that awful beard.
And why should he? Reddick has already got a pretty impressive little trophy of his own, which was on full display during Oakland's portrait session in February 2013.
14. Jerome Singleton, American Paralympic Athlete
American Paralympic track and field athlete Jerome Singleton is one of my favorite people in the world based on this goofy picture.
He didn't really go quite as far over the top as many of our other Olympic hopefuls did at the USOC's shoot in November 2011.
He didn't do too much—he did just enough! Singleton up in the face of a Queen's Guard stand in like he just said something nasty about his mother? Priceless.
13. Alex Rodriguez, N.Y. Yankees
As if anyone on earth needed yet another reason to dislike disabled Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez. But you can add that smug stare and those dead eyes to the list.
And what's with this photo anyway? Were the Yanks' official team head shots sponsored by Instagram in February 2012? Sure looks like it.
12. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard was among six net minders named to the 2012 NHL All-Star roster.
Like many of the official portraits taken that year, the "crotch up" shot was very popular.
11. Metta World Peace, L.A. Lakers
When it comes to Lakers looney Metta World Peace, who knows how "official" anything is. But this photo was among the gallery for the team's media day back in 2009.
MWP looks surprisingly normal in a hat (mask?) made out of an over-sized Dodgers' baseball thing. Perhaps he temporarily forgot that he played basketball and not baseball?
10. Darren O'Day, Baltimore Orioles
Orioles' pitcher Darren O'Day must still be glowing from Baltimore's surprise success in 2012—he looks like he should be skipping through a meadow.
They didn't get as far as the team would have liked last year, but clearly the positivity carried over to O'Day's official portrait from February 2013.
9. Greg Oden, NBA Free Agent
Remember back when Greg Oden was the next big thing and playing with the Trail Blazers back in 2008? Me either really...that whole thing lasted about three days.
But the Blazers must've been excited about Oden, because they really went above and beyond with their official portraits in September 2008—some creative stuff, no?
Although, those basketballs look like suns. Which may have been a better idea for the...I don't know...maybe the Suns?
8. Ryan Lochte, American Olympian
Have you ever thought to yourself, "Gee whiz, I wish I could see more of American swimmer Ryan Lochte's nipples and gold medals, without having to see his face."
Well here you go, weirdo person that probably doesn't exist anywhere in the world. I think we can all agree that we'd rather not see Lochte again until the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
But we all know that the world is a cruel, cruel place and that's just not going to happen.
7. Darnell Dockett, Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett is known as a character who marches to the beat of his own drum. Or something substantially less cliched than that, but with the same underlying message.
This is the guy who once took a shower live on UStream, live tweeted his own traffic stop, and tried to pick up 'Bama quarterback A.J. McCarron's girlfriend Katherine Webb while he was playing in the BCS Championship in 2013.
So is it any wonder that Dockett's official head shot in 2009 looked like this? Nope. It's not. And it's amazing. If you don't like Darnell Dockett, then I don't like you.
6. Tim Byrdak, N.Y. Mets
Hey man, when you play for the Mets you have to keep your sense of humor. That's the only way you're going to get through that stretch of prison time.
Man, Mets fans are gonna be annoyed.
Though, I suppose that's what Tim Bydrak was thinking when he posed for this photo at Mets media day in March 2012. His was the only one that looked anything like this.
5. Dwyane Wade, LeBron James & Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
You know the Heat's "Big Three," Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh have been excited about playing on their own little Dream Team since day one.
So is it any wonder they had so much fun hanging out together at Heat media day back in December 2011. It's like all three of them were looking ahead to their first championship together.
Well, at least two of them. Chris Bosh may be looking at something entirely different.
4. Carolina Hurricanes Mascot, Stormy
The Hurricanes mascot Stormy was among the many mascots to pose for official photographs at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.
Is it me, or does it look like Stormy might have a future as a Playboy model? The name certainly fits the bill—am I right?
3. Dwight Howard, L.A. Lakers
You can tell that Lakers media day and the players' official portraits happened well before the start of the regular season in 2012.
Otherwise, beleaguered big man Dwight Howard probably wouldn't have been as happy-go-lucky during the photo shoot.
Or maybe he would have. The Lakers troubles aside, Howard has always been known as a nice guy with a great sense of humor.
His first season in L.A. may be considered an official disaster if they don't make the playoffs, but there's no question he'll return to form by next season.
2. Charlie Cole, American Olympian
As funny as some of them were, like this one, the USOC's official portrait shoot didn't exactly convey the seriousness of the international competition.
Not that fun should be outlawed or anything, but everyone is all up-in-arms about China these days.
I wonder if they had any of their rowers pose using one of the Queen's Guards as a human rowboat, as Charlie Cole did in November 2011.
Whatever though. It's amazingly hilarious and Cole brought home a bronze medal for the U.S. of A.
1. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
Darren O'Day isn't the only Orioles' player still feeling fine over the positive direction in which the team seemed to move—drastically—in 2012.
First baseman Chris Davis is also feeling like a giggling little girl on Christmas. Props on the creativity though. Big props.
There were a few additional portraits that went over the 30 slides here, but they were just too ridiculous not to share.
Although, your day may have been a little better before you saw skeet shooter Kim Rhode pointing a gun in your face.
Speaking of someone who would never point a gun at your face, you should follow me on Twitter: