15 Things Athletes Actually Do on Their Days Off

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2014

15 Things Athletes Actually Do on Their Days Off

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    Kena Betancur/Associated Press

    If there's one thing that everyone enjoys, it's a day off.

    And since counting down the days until a holiday gets a bit tiresome and playing hooky from school or work is a little risky, when folks do get a day to themselves, I'm hoping that they take advantage of it.

    Athletes are absolutely no different.

    While most of these guys get paid millions to play a sport, it's obvious that the job entails a lot of work, so when they can take a day away from the madness of playing in games, training or talking to the media, here are what a few of them are doing to help clear their minds.

Hunting (Various Athletes)

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    Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

    Last year around this same time, I wrote a piece on athletes who love putting on their camouflage to go out in the woods and hunt.

    And although it's not my thing, there are a variety of athletes who think that taking a day off from work to go shoot some animals is the perfect way to unwind, with guys like Jared Allen, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chris Kaman among the many who partake in the hobby.

Drinking Beer (2012 Boston Red Sox)

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    Kathy Willens/Associated Press

    Is this too much of a low blow? Maybe.

    Still, the facts came out that there were a number of pitchers during the Boston Red Sox's pathetic 2012 season who weren't bashful on slamming some good old brewskies on days that they weren't pitching.

    Names weren't technically released—although a few have been tossed around—but I can't help but imagine doing the same thing seeing how the Sox struggled to a 69-93 record, which saw them in the cellar of the AL East.

Fishing (Various Athletes)

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    Jessica Tara Cox/Associated Press

    As this picture—and this article—proves, Los Angeles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout seems to have more talent than most people.

    Not only did he snag himself a 550-pound grouper while fishing last year, but he's also finished as runner-up in the AL MVP voting for the past two years.

    Trout's not the only one who can be seen carrying a tackle box to relax during an off-day, though, as there are plenty of guys—especially during spring training—who toss their fishing lines out when they're not tossing baseballs.

    Of course, some trips have resulted in a few injuries.

Playing Video Games (Kevin Durant)

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    Layne Murdoch/Getty Images

    Although he's still just 25 years old, Oklahoma Thunder forward Kevin Durant probably feels like he's been playing hoops his whole life—which he probably has, seeing how good he is.

    So when he can put his feet up and relax without a basketball in his hands, he replaces it by holding a video game controller, as Durant has openly admitted that it's all he really does.

    Seeing how sick he is on the hardwood, I wonder if he's equally as dominant on the sticks?

Reading Comics (Lance Briggs)

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Many of his opponents on the football field probably confuse Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs for being a Hulk-like superhero because of his combo of strength and speed.

    Although he doesn't appear to actually turn into a caped crusader for each game, it seems like he wishes he could given his love for comics.

    If the Pro Bowler isn't getting ready for a game, Briggs is often going through his own collection or looking to add to it.

Attending Other Sporting Events (Various Athletes)

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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    When they aren't out on the court or field competing in their own sport, many pro athletes get their fill by taking in a different sport.

    Naturally, a lot of these guys are friends, so they usually chat it up with other players from the front row, while also taking some pressure off themselves from having a hand in winning and losing.

    And yes, some enjoy the game a bit too much—just take a look at Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Playing Bingo (Cristiano Ronaldo)

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    One of the greatest goalscorers in the world over the past few seasons, Real Madrid and Portugal national team superstar Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't just pad his numbers on the pitch.

    CR7 admitted years ago that one of his favorite hobbies is actually play bingo, meaning that, if you're lucky enough, going to see your grandma one evening could lead you to meeting the star—just don't count on it.

Cooking (Hanley Ramirez)

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    If most ladies love a guy who can cook, then LA Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez might just be a dude every girl wants their own emulate.

    That's because the three-time All-Star doesn't only claim to be a good cook, he also admits to enjoying it as well.

    For we dudes who generally stick to frozen pizzas, it might just be time to pick up some pointers from Ramirez.

Dancing (Lolo Jones)

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    Michael Sohn/Associated Press

    Dual-Olympian Lolo Jones may still be searching for that first medal—from either the Summer or Winter Games—but I can tell that when she's out on the planks and busting a move, she seems to be the best.

    Seeing how she consumes nearly 9,000 calories a day while training, Lolo finds tons of ways to make sure she doesn't let herself get too big—and dancing during her off-days is just an alternative way to do so.

Drawing (Ryan Lochte)

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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte might come across as a bit of an airhead for some of the sayings he regularly uses, but maybe we shouldn't sell the guy so short.

    That's because Lochte has claimed to be quite the artist, often putting pencil to canvas during the days he's not swimming all day.

    I'm not sure if he's the next van Gogh, but at least it's something to help clear his mind.

    Lochte can be seen at the 50-second mark in the video.

Working Retail (Matt Elam)

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    You've really got to applaud Baltimore Ravens safety Matt Elam on what he has been doing now that the NFL season is over.

    A first-round pick in 2013, Elam already has millions of dollars in the bank that should keep him financially safe for the near future.

    But instead of going on lavish trips to unwind, Elam has taken a job at a sports apparel store, working 20 hours a week to gain experience for whenever his football days are over, as he plans on running his own.

    He might not have time to keep the gig during the season, but when he's not required to study film or hit other guys, the safety chooses to man the register.

Tattooing (Daniel Agger)

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    DRESLING JENS/Associated Press

    Daniel Agger might be known as the tatted-up captain of both Liverpool and the Danish national team, but he's more than just another inked athlete.

    That's because Agger is actually a qualified tattoo artist, even promising his Liverpool mates some permanent ink should they win the Premiership a few seasons ago.

    He may not be under the needle every single off-day, but there's a good chance he may be giving someone a new tat to show off.

Playing Golf (David Ortiz)

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    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has proven himself to be one of the biggest winners of the past decade, earning three World Series rings to go with nine All-Star selections and numerous awards in the same time frame.

    As feared as Big Papi is in the batter's box, he might be just as much of a big bopper in the tee box, as he can regularly be seen grippin' and rippin' with teammates on off-days during spring training.

    Seeing how Ortiz hosts a golf tournament each year, I'm guessing he tries to swing a club just as often as he does a bat to avoid embarrassment at his own event.

Driving Go-Karts (Colby Lewis)

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    While driving a go-kart might not be something that you or I have done since we were in middle school, Texas Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis seems to do it anytime he can.

    With a track set up in his backyard, Lewis lets his wild driving skills come out in a miniature race car rather than in a street legal one.

    Lewis has even tested his skills against NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick—who has been out to his place in California.

Taking Photos (C.J. Wilson)

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    Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

    Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson seems to have a pretty dope life.

    Not only did he get paid in 2012—signing a five-year, $77.5 million deal with the Angels—but he also married model Lisalla Montenegro and is one of the spokespeople for Head and Shoulders.

    But as busy as Wilson seems to be, he still finds time to document his travels through photography when he's not suited up, making sure he experiences everything certain places have to offer.