Rock Star Equivalent of Superstar Athletes

Amber Lee@@BlamberrSports Lists Lead WriterJuly 27, 2013

Rock Star Equivalent of Superstar Athletes

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    Superstar athletes are kind of like rock stars in their own right. Sure, they're not in a band, but they can make beautiful music of their own on their respective fields of play.

    When you get right down to it, music is the only thing that separates many superstar athletes from rock stars. Other than that, they've actually got an awful lot in common.

    They've both got the money. They've got the fame. And they've got the social status. That's why it should come as no surprise that an awful lot of athletes are currently living parallel existences with someone in the music industry.

    Some of these parallel existences are far more obvious than others. You'll see what that means...

Patrick Kane

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    Judgment-impaired Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane often makes headlines under less-than-desirable circumstances.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Justin Bieber!

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    Even though Patrick Kane has about five years on the Canadian tween sensation, he and Justin Bieber are two peas in a pod. They've both done their share of underage drinking and partying hard enough to fuel gossip sites and tabloids. 

    Neither of them seems terribly bright—particularly the Biebs. Kane played two or three years of high school hockey, but there is no indication he even got close to graduating. As for Bieber? Well, he's 19 and has already been famous for five years...

Derek Jeter

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    Aging Yankees treasure Derek Jeter has been playing in pinstripes so long that he's basically the mayor of Manhattan.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Jay Z!

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    If Yankees legend (and national treasure) Derek Jeter is the honorary mayor of Manhattan, then obviously Jay Z has dibs on the position across the East River in Brooklyn. The former minority owner of the Nets put Brooklyn on the map by bringing the Nets in from New Jersey.

    The commonalities don't stop there. The Jeet's best years are behind him, but he's still a welcomed presence whose value extends far beyond his statistical production. And Jay Z's recent album Magna Carta... Holy Grail is proof his best music is way behind him.

    It doesn't matter though—Jeet and Jay are doing just fine. They're both beloved and respected, not to mention rich as hell. Each always has a ridiculously hot woman keeping him company too; Jay Z has Beyonce, and Jeter has whoever he wants.

Tony Romo

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    Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo usually has flashy regular-season stats, but they rarely carry over to the playoffs—he's more style than substance.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Taylor Swift!

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    An outside-the-box choice that is sure to trigger rage in fans of both the Cowboys and the country cutie! I stand by it though.

    What Tony Romo and Taylor Swift have in common is that they are both attractive and successful individuals who are on a stage far greater than their talent—or what we've seen of it so far—deserves.

    Romo routinely puts up the kind of numbers that suggest he possesses the ability to succeed in the playoffs. But then he doesn't. Swift keeps boy-hopping (and bed-hopping) and churning out hit singles. But they're nothing more than the pathetic musings of a school girl's diary set to music.

    They're both far too old to be underperforming to this degree. Until Romo makes a splash in the playoffs and Swift gets dumped without writing a woefully unclever revenge song, all of their other success will be hollow.

Yasiel Puig

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    Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig was called up from the minors in May and six weeks later was *thisclose* to being named an All-Star. He has certainly taken the (baseball) world by storm.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Harry Styles!

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    Dodgers slugger Yasiel Puig and British boy bander Harry Styles have both enjoyed a relatively recent and meteoric rise to fame. Granted, their respective paths to success couldn't have been more different, but each arrived at the same place at a very young age.

    Born and raised in Cuba, Puig was unable to enter MLB through traditional means (the draft). He defected to Mexico in the summer of 2012 and quickly signed with the Dodgers as a free agent. One year later, he's one of the most buzzed-about players in the game.

    Styles and the other members of One Direction all auditioned separately for Season 7 of The X Factor, the British talent show Simon Cowell has been trying to force-feed Americans for the last few years. They didn't get far in the contest but were all scooped up as losers and repackaged as a boy band in 2011—a shockingly successful boy band.

    The career trajectory of Puig and Styles has been pretty much the same to date, but that will change at some point. Boy bands have a relatively short shelf life in the music industry, which means time is ticking for Styles. There are no such limitations on a baseball career, so Puig's star will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

Ryan Lochte

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    American Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte knows what he's doing in the pool, but how he gets by day-to-day with what seems to be a third-grade education is truly a wonder.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Jessica Simpson!

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    This one really speaks for itself. Anyone who caught an episode of the E! train wreck What Would Ryan Lochte Do? knows that Ryan Lochte isn't working with a full deck. He smiles so much because he has no idea what is going on.

    The level of "duh" on display in Lochte's reality show is reminiscent of the MTV classic (in the loosest sense of the world) Newlyweds, which documented the lives of busty blonde singer Jessica Simpson and (then) husband Nick Lachey in the months following their nuptials.

    Their respective forays into reality television made them stupidly famous. Or did it make them famously stupid? Whatever. It's like the chicken or the egg question. They both exist, so why bother debating?

Tom Brady

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    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady pretty much has it all, including three Super Bowl titles. As painful as it is to admit, Mr. Wonderful is the total package.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Justin Timberlake!

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    If Tom Brady and Justin Timberlake aren't already friends, they certainly should be. They're basically living identical lives in two very different worlds.

    They're both unlikely success stories. The Patriots used a compensatory pick to select Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft. Timberlake defied post-boy-band odds by forging a very successful solo career after parting ways with 'N Sync.

    Brady and Timberlake are ridiculously handsome, talented and successful with very beautiful wives. And they've both hosted Saturday Night Live. These guys have been at the top of their game for over a decade, and if it's possible, they may both be better-looking today than they were 10 years ago.

    Life is really not fair for the rest of us.

Mariano Rivera

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    Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera has, inexplicably, been at the top of his game for nearly two decades. He was featured on the most recent cover of New York magazine with the headline, "Pitching God."

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Paul McCartney!

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    If ageless Yankees pitching robot Mariano Rivera is a "Pitching God," then it's probably fair to call legendary Beatles singer/songwriter Paul McCartney a "Musical God."

    Obviously his association with the Beatles and John Lennon supersedes any musical crimes he committed with Wings in the '80s.

    Rivera and McCartney have been so good for so long that many of us can't even recall a time in which they weren't. I know I certainly can't. In fact, McCartney's greatness precedes me by a full 20 years.

LeBron James

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    Heat superstar LeBron James is a polarizing figure—people tend to love him or hate him, which is fair. But anyone who denies his greatness is either delusional or knows nothing about sports.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...


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    LeBron James and Kanye West. Talk about two names that can get the blood boiling in the easily angered, grudge-holding segment of the public. However, these guys have more than that (and red formal wear) in common.

    They weren't always so controversial. LeBron was very well liked before he ditched his home-state Cavaliers for the star-studded Heat in the most callous way humanly possible. Three years later, people seem to be coming around on this, but some residual anger will always exist.

    Kanye has always had a relatively unpleasant larger-than-life persona, which his immense talent used to more than compensate for. Then he grabbed a microphone from Taylor Swift at a stupid MTV awards show, and the nation had a collective conniption. He's struggled with likability ever since.

    In terms of their personalities, people are entitled to their opinions about these guys. You can love them or hate them—as long as you respect the skills. LeBron is, hands down, the best player in the NBA. And—Imma let you finish—but Kanye's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of the best albums of all time!

Johnny Manziel

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    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel hasn't let the expectations stemming from his historic 2012 Heisman season cramp his style. He's 20 years old and hell-bent on sowing those wild oats.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Miley Cyrus!

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    Sorry, Johnny Football fans, but Manziel and pop tart Miley Cyrus lead similar lives these days! Let's run down the evidence:

    • They're both 20 years old and believe that the "legal drinking age" is more of a rough guideline than a mandate.
    • They'll celebrate their 21st birthdays within two weeks of each other between late November and early December.
    • They're both Southerners—Manziel hails from Texas, Cyrus from Tennessee.
    • They both frequently explain away their bad, often illegal public behavior by citing their age and blaming the media for creating the story to begin with.
    • They're both beloved by TMZ.
    • Future success for them is anything but guaranteed, but they both behave like it is.

    And that's that. Let's see if Manziel can separate himself from this unflattering picture in the next year. Then we'll revisit.

Ryan Braun

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    Disgraced Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is a liar, cheater and overall garbage dump of a human being. He's made a fool of millions of people who willed themselves into believing his malarkey.

    Naturally, his rock star equivalent is...

Milli Vanilli!

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    Ah yes, Ryan Braun. What...a...fraud...

    Who else but the infamous '80s lip-sync act Milli Vanilli could be Braun's equivalent? Like the pop duo, he definitely looks the part of an all-American slugger. But would he even exist without a behind-the-scenes force pulling the strings for him?

    Milli Vanilli were propped up by a greedy (and superficial) record executive who preyed upon them and discarded them like trash once the crap hit the fan—leaving them to take the fall. At least their story inspires a little sympathy...maybe even a lot of sympathy, if you know the whole story.

    Braun's, on the other hand, does not. The driving force behind his success was steroids, which he sought out on his own. Braun pulled double duty serving as his own puppet master, using impassioned pleas and vehement denials to manipulate fans and media alike, while deflecting blame by pointing the finger at innocent people.

    Apparently he didn't know he could have just "blamed it on the rain." (See what I did there?)

    All jokes aside...Braun is, quite simply, the worst.

    **Conversely, following me on Twitter is, quite simply, the best. So you should do it.