15 Athletes Who Went Undercover

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2014

15 Athletes Who Went Undercover

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    Although it's April, and no one is probably thinking about Halloween this year, one reason why the holiday is so much fun—besides a reason to get drunk—is because people get to dress up as something they often never get the chance to be.

    And while normal folks are expected to be in disguise just one night each year, a few of our favorite athletes have gone undercover for a number of different reasons.

    Who are my favorites? Keep reading to find out a few of them.

Clinton Portis

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    Disguise: Choo Choo

    He may not be in the NFL anymore, but when former running back Clinton Portis did play, he had one of the best characters ever seen in sports.

    Thought up by his own crazy mind, his fake persona as Choo Choo wins for being one of the most outrageous—and light-hearted—disguises an athlete has shown before.

LeBron James

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    Disguise: The LeBrons

    There probably isn't a person on this planet who could mistake Miami Heat star LeBron James for anyone other than himself.

    Standing a ridiculous 6'8" and weighing a cut 240 pounds, he might try and disguise himself, but it would never work.

    Still, that didn't stop Nike from dressing him up to show his many different attributes off the court. He acted as serious, stylish, young and wise during a campaign that ran a few years ago.

Peyton Manning

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    Disguise: A Peyton Manning Fan

    It isn't much of a disguise, but Peyton Manning's mustache look definitely counts.

    Acting as if he's anyone but himself, the quarterback with the "laser, rocket arm" wouldn't make it too far in a crowd dressed like that, but it worked well for him while helping Sprint with its mobile service a couple of seasons ago.

Joe Kelly

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    Disguise: An Old Guy

    Following a 2013 season that saw him go 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals, pitcher Joe Kelly looks like he needs to disguise himself in order to avoid fans.

    And it paid off just fine for him during a test run, as he completely fooled rapper—and Cards fan—Nelly.

    It's pretty amazing what a little makeup, hunched-back, bald wig and a scratchy voice can do to a guy.

Chris Paul

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    Disguise: Cliff Paul

    Opposing NBA teams should be happy that these State Farm commercials didn't discover something in Chris Paul's background—a long lost brother.

    That's because as dominant as he is as a point guard on the floor, I'd imagine head coaches would lose plenty of sleep if there were two of him out there—even if one plays an insurance agent in these commercials.

    Luckily for all teams not named the L.A. Clippers, Cliff Paul is just a figment of advertising imagination.

Arian Foster and Marshawn Lynch

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    Disguises: Darian Foster and Marshawn Lynch Sr.

    They probably won't be recurring roles for these two All-Pro running backs, but when Madden 25 aired the big backs in a commercial to help promote the video game last year, I couldn't help but laugh.

    Giving their younger selves advice, Foster and Lynch both actually go "Beast Mode" with their disguises in this ad.

Derek Jeter

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    Disguise: A Yankees Wife

    All I can say is thank goodness New York Yankees future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter isn't a woman.

    While he has done a heck of a good job of dating hotties, when he slips on the makeup and wig, he's not as desirable as his ladies are.

    Stick to baseball, bro, because the whole "Yankee Wives" look just isn't working for you.

Kevin Love

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    Disguise: Wes

    An absolute double-double machine every night, Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love is one of the best players 25 years old or younger.

    But his disguise as Old Man Wes in the Pepsi Max commercials would have fans think otherwise, as he looks too old and washed up to work the paint like he actually does.

    Get him on the court, though, and kids will learn to respect their elders.

Michael Jordan

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    Disguise: Johnny Kilroy

    When Michael Jordan retired for the first time in 1993, Nike ran a few ads with him disguised as fictional basketball player Johnny Kilroy to help the company continue to sell shoes.

    With a secret "popcorn tape" that had other players talking about how Kilroy had the same skills as MJ, Nike created a clever character that some fans might have forgotten ever existed.

Bryce Harper

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    Disguise: A fake reporter

    Although he has awful mic positioning, MLB Fan Cavers had no idea that Bryce Harper was actually pranking them as he fake interviewed them.

    Even after revealing himself—and showing one fan his MLB players card—there were a few doubters among the bunch.

    Still, the last guy wasn't about to get fooled, calling out Harper on his joke.

Deion Sanders

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    Disguise: Leon Sandcastle

    As a way to help promote the NFL draft a few years ago, the league put together a fictional character known as Leon Sandcastle—played by Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.

    Complete with an amazing 'fro and epic mustache, Sandcastle was shown performing drills at the NFL combine in hopes of becoming the top pick in the draft.

    As great of an athlete as Sanders was when he played, I honestly wouldn't put it past him doing something like this—and actually succeeding.

Nate Robinson and Maya Moore

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    Disguises: Lights and Betty Lou Jenkins

    NBA player Nate Robinson is quite the unique personality. He is often seen displaying some amazing athleticism for a guy who's only 5'9".

    So when Pepsi Max dressed him up as Lights Jenkins—one of Uncle Drew's old teammates turned jazz musician—I'm guessing that Robinson had some fun with it.

    Oh, and let's not forgot about WNBA MVP Maya Moore earning a spot on the floor, too.

    Moore plays the sister of Lights, Betty Lou. But don't be fooled: The girl could still school any of us.

Lindsey Vonn

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    Disguise: A Vail employee

    Not only is Lindsey Vonn a three-time Olympian and two-time medal winner, but she happens to be dating one of the biggest star athletes on the planet, Tiger Woods.

    Add in her good looks, and I'd imagine people recognize her pretty fast.

    Looks like I'm wrong, though, as Vail Ski Resort put her in disguise and had her sell lift tickets without consumers knowing anything about who she really was.

    Naturally, once word got out, lift tickets at the resort skyrocketed.

Kyrie Irving

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    Disguise: Uncle Drew

    One of the more recognizable and likable athlete disguises of the past few years, Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving's Uncle Drew has been an absolute hit for Pepsi Max—which developed the campaign and character.

    He may be the last one chosen nearly every time he suits up in a pickup game, but the other ballers would be wise to learn a few things from him.

Larry Johnson

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    Disguise: Grandmama

    Everyone who remembers the '90s can relate with the love that former NBA All-Star Larry Johnson's Grandmama received.

    Developed by shoe company Converse to help promote Johnson's kicks, Grandmama might appear to look like a sweet and innocent geezer, but wait till she steps on the court and starts dunking on fools.

    Anyone who remembers his appearance on the show Family Matters knows what I'm talking about.