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The Best Impressions by Athletes

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2013

The Best Impressions by Athletes

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    It might be great being you or me, but it's even better to at least try to be someone else at times.

    I'm not talking about acting like another person or actually lying to pretend to be them—although, I'm sure we've all done that before—but instead about impersonating them.

    With all the crazy things people in sports do and say, it's always funny when a few athletes show off their acting abilities—which is why I'm giving you the best athlete impressions.

Ryan Giggs (David Beckham)

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    Playing for esteemed club Manchester United for over 20 years, Ryan Giggs has shown he can do nearly anything on the soccer pitch—and he's still kicking it at age 40.

    As great as he's been with a ball at his feet, he showed that he's not too shabby imitating one of his former Man U teammates, David Beckham.

    "Becks" is an icon in the game of soccer, so it's rare to see someone poke fun at him.

    No matter, Giggs tells the story about how he and other players used to pile into Beckham's car in their early days with cleats on and that Becks had one concern with their muddy shoes—protecting the leather seats in his ride.

    Hey, he was just watching out for the resale value, right?

Tiger Woods (Charles Barkley)

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    For anyone who hasn't seen former NBA star Charles Barkley's golf swing before, then just watch this right quick to witness what not to do with a club and ball.

    And while Tiger Woods' golf game is pretty damn good, he has a little fun at "Sir Charles'" expense by showing the world just how awful the guy's technique really is—doing it in socks and then adding that it "might be a little better" than Barkley's.

    Low blow, Tiger.

Jonathan Papelbon (Terry Francona)

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    After being humiliated in a video you'll see a bit later in this article, ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian wanted to make sure he got a bit of revenge on a few of his coworkers.

    That's why he sought out a former player of then analyst Terry Francona, getting Jonathan Papelbon to show that "Tito" isn't as calm and collected as he might first appear.

    Stuffing his mouth with gum was a nice touch, as Francona gnaws on the stuff all game long to help calm nerves after kicking his dip habit.

Texas A&M Football Players (Teammates and Coaches)

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    There might not be anything better than having a guy's teammates joke on him about the way he talks or acts—I just wish someone had done Johnny Manziel.

    So seeing the Texas A&M Aggie football team do it before this season made me smirk a little bit—especially after a few of the guys found out how their players really portray them.

    And when a coach gets impersonated, everyone knows it's just G-rated, but it's still humorous.

Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum Impersonate One Another

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    Anytime an athlete hears fans grown, it seems like they just have to give in and do what they've been asked, right?

    Apparently, as San Francisco Giants teammates Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum just couldn't tell their fans no during the team's Fan Fest to help promote the 2013 season.

    Lincecum seemed a bit more bashful than Pence did at first. But once the outfielder displayed "Big Time Timmy Jim's" intense throwing motion, Lincecum countered with Pence's spastic batting stance.

    Good stuff all around, fellas.

Dwight Howard I (Kobe Bryant)

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    Dwight Howard may have admitted that his one-year experience in Los Angeles wasn't all roses—sighting a small tif with fellow superstar Kobe Bryant—but that doesn't mean he wasn't excited the day he was introduced to the media after being acquired.

    Hearing his impersonation of "The Black Mamba," I wonder why Kobe stayed on Howard's ass so much?

    Could it have anything to do with the hilarious tone he used to talk about their conversation?

    Probably not but we all know Kobe's not one who's ever going to get punked by anyone else.

Former Alabama Player Rob Ezell (Nick Saban)

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    When looking, talking or hearing a guy like Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, one typically tends to get a little intimidated—after all, he might just be the most powerful man in college football right now.

    But for one of his former players, Rob Ezell, he wasn't scared of the wrath of Saban, often impersonating the coach in front of the entire team.

    After hearing him rant and lay into his players, as Saban is often known to do, I'd say this is absolutely identical.

    And with Ezell a current grad assistant at Colorado State, I'm sure his fearless attitude and charisma was something Saban would have used in a recommendation letter for the dude.

Syracuse's Baye Moussa Keita (Jim Boeheim)

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    As I just mentioned with former Alabama football player Rob Ezell, impersonating a head coach—especially while still in college—can be like walking on thin ice.

    So I give major props to both Ezell and current Syracuse Orange player Baye Moussa Keita for not holding back their talents, as the big man lets his inner Jim Boeheim out.

    Who knows if it's actually anything like the Hall of Fame coach or not, but given his accent, it's pretty damn funny.

Aaron Rodgers (Allen Iverson)

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    This one is so awful that it's actually hilarious.

    After being asked by reporters during the 2011 preseason to do his best impression of the famous Allen Iverson practice rant, Green Bay Packers quarterback broke into this monotoned gem.

    There might be a ton of forced chuckles in there by media members, but I honestly couldn't stop watching it because it's so embarrassingly funny.

Dwight Howard II (Stan Van Gundy)

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    I already showed you his impression of former LA Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant, but the one that current Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard did of his former head coach Stan Van Gundy is even funnier.

    If you've ever heard Van Gundy scream, it sounds like a squealing animal or a younger sibling who is whining about the lack of attention it's getting.

    And even though Dwight was rumored to want the guy fired a few years ago while still playing in Orlando, he still did one hell of an impression of the high-pitched Stan Van Gundy.

J.P. Arencibia (Tim Kurkjian)

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    I'll give credit to ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian about a few things—and one of them is that he's really, really passionate about the sport of baseball.

    Putting that on display a few years ago after seeing the Texas Rangers drop 30 runs on the Baltimore Orioles in a game sort of put himself in a position to be poked fun at.

    Well, current Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia wasn't shy on showing Lil' Timmy just how funny he really sounds—with the analyst listening to it the entire time.

    The reactions by everyone are priceless.

Rob Gronkowski (Tom Brady)

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    OK, so New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski obviously wasn't serious with his impression of his quarterback, Tom Brady, but each time I watched this video, I laughed even harder than the time before.

    "Gronk's" high-pitched voice is the type of generic move someone would use to describe their annoying sister or girlfriend, not a future Hall of Famer.

    Having the Brady puppet—even though he's on a radio show—makes this one that much better.

Novak Djokovic (Numerous Tennis Players)

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    Tennis star Novak Djokovic might have six Grand Slam singles titles and be the current No. 2-ranked player in the world, but, as you can see, he doesn't take everything in the sport too seriously.

    The Serbian showed that here by impersonating some other players on the tour—male and female—not being bashful about who he wanted to roast.

    No disrespect to his opponent, Radek Stepanek, but seeing that this was before a match just shows how good "Djoko" really is—at both tennis and impressions.

Ryan Dempster (Harry Caray and Austin Powers' Characters)

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    It might not be any of his teammates he's mocking with some good acting skills, but pitcher Ryan Dempster does one hell of an impression of former Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray, as well as Austin Powers' characters Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard. 

    Although Dempster has had a decent career, I still think he should seriously consider making the leap to SNL or something to give actor Will Ferrell's Caray impression a run for its money.

Derek Holland (Tim Kurkjian and Harry Caray)

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    While I just mentioned the job that pitcher Ryan Dempster does of Caray, he may have met his match in former teammate while with the Texas Rangers, Derek Holland.

    As you can see from this video, Holland is a pro at entertaining, dropping a number of impersonations on Kurkjian during an interview—actually worried that it might be live, he was to, presumably, tone it down a bit.

    Tone it down he doesn't, though, giving a small sample size of his Frank Caliendo-like humor.

    I couldn't even imagine the laughs that the Rangers clubhouse had in 2012 when Holland and Dempster were on the Texas staff together.

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