Athletes Desperately Clinging to Fame

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2014

Athletes Desperately Clinging to Fame

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    You know what I noticed the other day while watching some of the college bowl games? How many current or ex-athletes were on the sidelines of their alma maters, rooting on their schools proudly.

    And while I'm totally cool with a guy like Adrian Peterson standing there to cheer on the Oklahoma Sooners, there were a few guys who made me wonder how in the hell they got a pass to be there.

    The problem is not that they weren't great athletes once before, but it's that they are so desperately trying to hold onto whatever little fame or face time they have left.

    So whether it's using their fame to score a spot on the sidelines of a college football game, signing up for a reality show or just saying annoying things to get attention, these are the worst athlete culprits who are clinging to fame.

Kris Humphries

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    Thankfully, Boston Celtics big man Kris Humphries saw his 15 minutes of fame pass him by after finally settling his divorce from reality diva Kim Kardashian.

    The dude still proved that he was willing to do anything to stay in the news by agreeing to appear on the show, though.

    Ironically enough, in the years since he was being lame by keeping up with the Kardashians, his numbers have actually gone down as well.

    Maybe Kris should try to find himself another reality star to help improve his game?

Alex Rodriguez

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    Is it too early to declare that current New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is just trying to hold on?

    Much like Humphries, that may be harsh, considering the fact that he's still technically playing—even if his record 211-game suspension is upheld. But after seeing everything A-Rod has tried to do over the course of his career to garner attention, it's not so far-fetched.

    Remember, this is the same guy who tried picking up girls during a playoff series just a year ago by writing his phone number on a baseball. He also signed up for Twitter and was blasted by his GM after just a few days of being active because of a tweet he sent out regarding his health and playing status.

    Rodriguez is a headlines whore, and I'm guessing he won't stop trying to get his name in them anytime soon.

Joe Namath

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    Look, I'm not trying to come across as someone who disrespects a Hall of Fame quarterback—though he may not have been worthy.

    The truth of the matter is that former New York Jets signal-caller Joe Namath is famous for one simple thing—guaranteeing the outcome of Super Bowl III—and even that shouldn't be completely mind-boggling.

    You see, as an athlete, you're supposed to think you can win. So when the Jets did just that to beat the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, Namath's proclamation shouldn't have been so surprising.

    Either way, every year around this time, Namath's name gets mentioned for his bold statement, leaving fans with the same worn-out narrative—and "Broadway Joe" just loves to soak it up.

Ryan Lochte

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    If there's one thing we should all be thankful for, it's the decision by TV execs to cancel the awful idea that was the show What Would Ryan Lochte Do? Seeing the gold medal-winning swimmer each week on there was as painful as getting a tooth pulled.

    With the cancellation of the show, Lochte has fallen out of the media recently—thank God—but that doesn't mean he's still not accustomed to creating a stir in some way.

    I still can't believe he actually trademarked that stupid "Jeah" saying of his.

Tonya Harding

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    Can someone please tell me why former figure skater Tonya Harding is even famous anymore?

    Oh, that's right; it's because she hired hitmen to take out one of her teammates and main threats in competition 20 years ago.

    Admitting that the attack she planned on Nancy Kerrigan capped her career, Harding has floated around the reality TV and celebrity boxing scenes, trying to do what she can to hold onto her 15 minutes from that awful incident.

    Hopefully the clock ticks quickly, because we should all be sick of her by now.

Brett Favre

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    I don't care that he's been retired for a few years now; it still seems like every time there's a quarterback lost for the season to an injury, Brett Favre's name somehow surfaces as an option.

    Even with his agent saying recently that No. 4 could still play in the NFL, it's not like Favre is necessarily out there waving his hands and shouting for attention. It just seems to come his way.

    Nevertheless, as we all know with the unwillingness for him to make a commitment regarding retirement, the old gunslinger seeks out attention when he can.

Shaquille O'Neal

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    Shaquille O'Neal is one of the funniest and most entertaining athletes ever—which is why I hate even adding him to this list—but he's slowly going down the path of annoyance.

    With all of the different shows that the big fella either finds himself on or hosting, Shaq might be best-served to say "no" every once in a while to help prevent overexposure.

    He's arguably the most dominating basketball player any of us have ever seen, but it's hard to take him seriously when he's seen acting like a goofball all the time.

    The dude definitely doesn't need the money.

Pete Rose

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    At some point, Pete Rose has to know it's just not going to happen for him.

    While I think that the former Cincinnati Reds great—and all-time MLB hits leader—should absolutely be inducted into the Hall of Fame, I'm not necessarily part of the masses, as he's been banned from baseball and isn't about to be reinstated anytime soon.

    It seems that, with each passing year, Rose cries about his stance in baseball, releasing either a new book, quote or interview in which he's pleading to get in.

    I hope it works out for him, but seeing that it's been nearly 25 years, I'm not sure it's going to change soon.

Mike Tyson

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    I'm not going to call former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson a sellout because, well, even as the former heavyweight champ, he could still knock me out with a simple hook. But Tyson is best known for becoming way too Hollywood after his last fight in 2005.

    With cameos in a few TV shows and movies—most notably The Hangover trilogy, for which he has since since admitted to being ripped out of his mind while filming—Tyson continues to do what he can to stay relevant in order to keep getting paid.

Terrell Owens

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    Although he's fifth on the NFL's all-time touchdowns list, one might say that former wideout Terrell Owens didn't fulfill his total potential—which speaks to how dominant an athlete this guy really was even with his distractions.

    Seeing how his career has gone since not finding a team for his services before the 2012 season, we should have all seen this coming.

    Given the fact that he gave himself the nickname T.O. to begin with, Owens has always been about self-promotion and unnecessary drama.

    That hasn't stopped since he's stopped playing, finding himself on several reality shows and still living through his glory days to earn some extra cash.

John Daly

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    Yeah, sure, PGA golfer John Daly can hit the snot out of a golf ball. But it's not 1994 anymore, so does anyone really care?

    Always a little bit rough around the edges, Daly continues to impress with his long drives and outrageous outfits, but he hasn't won in ages, and it's starting to seem like he's just playing for the massive paydays.

    Banking on the two Majors that he won, Daly should probably just call it quits and stop wasting everyone's time thinking that he stands a chance in any tournament in which he plays.

Chad Ochocinco

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    Known for being self-indulging and cocky during his playing days, former NFL wideout Chad Ochocinco used that personality to earn himself a few reality shows once he finally stepped off the field.

    Now that those shows have been cancelled, though, Ochocinco finds himself limited to either public appearances or, worse, interacting with fans through his Twitter account.

    I'm well aware of personal opinion and freedom of speech, but it's hard for me to understand why people continue to give Chad recognition in anything he says through social media.

    You had your day, man; it's time to just fade away.

Barry Bonds

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    It seems that everything Barry Bonds does these days is about proving his innocence and clearing his name of any wrongdoing with PEDs.

    The problem for him is that no one is buying it.

    Although Bonds is the career home runs leader in Major League Baseball, he can't even get a sniff of what the Hall of Fame smells like.

    I'm not sure if that's right or wrong, considering the era he played in, but one thing is clear: He's doing whatever he can to convince voters that he should be among the best in Cooperstown—and holding onto the slim hope each year.

Jose Canseco

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    Personally speaking, I can't stand former MLB All-Star Jose Canseco.

    Sure, Canseco had a number of both good and bad moments during his 17-year career, but since hanging up his cleats, he hasn't done anything but put shame on his name.

    From being the whistle-blower in the steroid era to competing against other B-list celebs on reality shows and, finally, being accused of standing up a date he got from a dating show, Canseco is trying way too hard to stay relevant.

Dennis Rodman

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    Dennis Rodman might have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, thanks to his playing days in which he was a pest who overachieved in his career, but his name is synonymous with just being a pest off the court nowadays.

    Even during his time in the league, "The Worm" put on stunts like signing his book wearing a wedding dress and agreeing to wrestle former Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone.

    Since he retired, though, Rodman has been the worst of any athlete, agreeing to take part in a variety of reality shows and now acting as the main source of communication between the U.S. and North Korean prime minister Kim Jong-un—scary stuff.