The Worst Athlete Products

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2013

The Worst Athlete Products

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    The good thing about being a pro athlete?

    Well, besides getting paid to play a sport that the majority of the world does for fun, it has to be the fame and influence on others.

    And since fans are nearly obsessed with everything their favorite athlete does or wears—did you see how much those used Jordans went for?—companies are smart enough to parlay that into some interesting athlete-endorsed products.

    The bad news about being a pro athlete when it comes to those products?

    Not all of them end up being a wise business idea, which is why I'm giving my choices for the absolute worst of them all.

Terrell Owens' T.O.'s

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    Seems like this would be a pretty good fit, right?

    Take an obnoxious, cocky, prima donna wide receiver and put him on a cereal box to show kids that, if you eat like Terrell Owens, you can be Terrell Owens.

    I'm just not sure many kids would want to be the former wideout, though, seeing how he clashed with seemingly every quarterback he ever played with and currently finds himself in some financial trouble.

Kevin Love's Numb#rs Cologne

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    With a last name like "Love," you would think that a company pitching cologne to Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love would be salivating at the chance to tie in some sort of lush product.

    So it's not a surprise that he got his own cologne, but the name and the way it's written are.

    I get that Love is a double-double machine, but come on now, does any guy ever want to ask his girlfriend to get him a new bottle of "Numb#rs?" I hope not.

    That's not even taking into account what the stuff smells like.

Big Ben's Beef Jerky

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    For my money, there might not be a better guy snack than beef jerky.

    Packed with protein, low in fat and good enough to eat all in one sitting, the stuff is about as addicting as late-night Taco Bell to a drunk person.

    But, really, Ben Roethlisberger as the cover boy?

    The dude is a tank and extremely slippery in avoiding tackles, but if I see a bag of jerky on the shelves, I'm hitting that Pemmican or Oberto to soothe my appetite—not a brand that tries to sell itself as the "Super Championship Edition."

    What does that even mean?

Gronk Flakes

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    Living outside of the shipping area, I've never had these Gronk Flakes before, but I couldn't imagine them being anything more than an overhyped, cheaper version of Frosted Flakes.

    Sure, the burly tight end can say to his fans that he eats these things every single day to get hyped for a football game, but seeing how he's been injured the past couple of years, maybe the extra sugar has done more harm than good?

    Probably not, but I think I'm more upset at the fact "Gronk" doesn't have his own beer named after him. He shouldn't settle for these flakes for breakfast.

Michael Jordan Cologne

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    As one of the most diehard Michael Jordan fans you'd ever meet, I have to admit that when I was in sixth grade, you better believe that this scented piece of MJ was on my Christmas List—and yes, I did get it and wore it proudly.

    At that age though, all I cared about was impressing the middle school chicks with a smell other than adolescent B.O. I wasn't worried about both how much of this stuff I actually sprayed on, or if the scent was that great.

    Seeing how I used about half the bottle over the four years that it sat on my desk afterward, I quickly realized it wasn't as great as Jordan was on the court.

Pat Riley Basketball

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    Do I have the utmost respect for Miami Heat president Pat Riley?

    Hell yeah, I do.

    Not only did the guy go to my alma mater—The University of Kentucky—but he's either played on, coached or been an executive on nine NBA title teams.

    But "Riles" had to know that letting a video game developer use his name on a basketball game for Sega Genesis in 1990 was a bad idea.

    Not only did the game just come off as cheesy and had to compete with the super popular NBA Jam at the time, but it didn't get the licensing rights from the league. As a result, it had imaginary teams and players rather than the guys that every kid loved rooting for so much.

Jaromir Jagr Peanut Butter

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    Is this the most bizarre athlete product ever released, or just the one that has gotten one of the best reactions from a pro athlete in history?

    Eating peanut butter like it's prime steak each day, I know it's something that takes talent to mess up, so I'm sure this Jaromir Jagr stuff isn't all that bad.

    Maybe it's just the combination of peanut butter and Jagr that is making this strange to me.

Ray Lewis Snuggie

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    As a current ESPN analyst, former Baltimore Ravens All-Pro Ray Lewis is now nominating his weekly "C'mon Man!" plays.

    But every fan should be saying, "C'mon Man!" to Lewis after seeing the future Hall of Fame linebacker wrapped in a purple, RL52 snuggie.

    Sure, these things are super practical when sitting on the couch on a cold night. I just have a tough time imagining the 6'1" Lewis wrapping himself in one while watching a movie at home, so why did he agree to have a customized one to sell?

Pete Rose's Supercharg'r Energy Bar

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    Remember that play in the 1970 MLB All-Star Game when all-time hits leader Pete Rose bulled over catcher Ray Fosse at the plate?

    I'd imagine that "Charlie Hustle" may have had one-too-many Supercharg'r bars before that game, because he was a bit out of control on that one.

    With all the PED stuff going on in sports these days—particularly baseball—I wonder if these energy bars were put on the banned substance list, and that's why they're not in stores anymore?

Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian's Fragrance, Unbreakable

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    Unlike the aforementioned Jordan cologne, I have no idea whether or not this stuff smells good or not. I never bothered sampling it while walking through a department store, but I can tell you that it was a bad idea from the beginning.


    Well, I'd imagine the name "Unbreakable" came from the love between these two celebs. While wearing this fragrance, the name promised that you and your significant other would enjoy nothing but happiness and nirvana.

    That didn't seem to work out too well for Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, though, as they just axed their marriage.

    Note to other athletes: Go crazy slapping your name on a product but always be wary when an idea is pitched that involves your current girlfriend or wife, just in case the relationship doesn't work out.

Shaquille O'Neal's 'Luv Shaq' Vodka

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    I'm certain that we've seen this move by Shaquille O'Neal before.

    Oh, that's right—Shaq Fu.

    Seeing how that decision backfired on the former NBA center, I'd imagine he and his marketing people would advise against sticking his mug on anything before thinking long and hard about it.

    I'll say this—vodka and I had a bad experience a few times back in college—which is why I stick to whisky. But if I ever tried this "Luv Shaq" stuff, I'm sure I'd have a hangover for an entire week, because the big fella probably knows about the distilling process as well as he did about free-throw shooting.

Peyton Hillis Redzone Salsa

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    One good year.

    That's all it seems to take these days to land an athlete his own condiment and a picture on the side of the jar, because that's exactly what happened to current New York Giants running back Peyton Hillis.

    Seeing how Hillis wound up winning the Madden cover vote in 2012 and got himself a lifetime supply of his own salsa, I'd say he can look back on his football career and tell himself that it was an absolute success.

Ric Flair Finance

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    Who better to protect your long-term financial future than pro wrestler Ric Flair?

    I couldn't imagine anyone else might know more about loans and 401k's than a guy who rolls around on a mat in a speedo for a living.

    Of course, I'm probably being overly critical of the "Nature Boy," and I'm sure he's qualified—but I wouldn't hand him any of my cash.

Hulk Hogan's Pastamania

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    Come on now, we've all seen that hilariously famous picture of legendary wrestler Hulk Hogan wearing a cooking apron and holding a bowl of pasta before.

    While I always just assumed it was to help promote Chef Boyardee, I hadn't realized until a few years later that it was actually "The Hulkster's" own pasta that people were chowing on.

    If there is a guy to give nutrition and fitness advice, people could do a lot worse than Hogan. But this stuff tastes like complete garbage—it basically takes a microwavable dinner and puts extra turd on it.

Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men

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    I'm nearly speechless.

    Former three-time All-Pro Rosey Grier may have been one of the members of the Los Angeles Rams' "Fearsome Foursome," but he showed his sensitive side when he released this book of his sewing hobby for other guys to try and pick up.

    We've seen Joe Namath wear pantyhose and former college athlete and current actor Burt Reynolds pose for Playgirl, but Grier's attempt to sell needlepoints to dudes might just take the cake.

    On the plus side, at least he's never short on options for presents, as he just sews them up just like your grandma does.