The 10 Weirdest Athletes of All Time
adj. weird·er, weird·est
Of a strikingly odd or unusual character; strange.
There have been many characters over the years in the world of sports, but some guys just take it to a whole different level. Some are "The 10 Weirdest Athletes of All Time."
In the following pages, you will meet the chosen 10. They are strange, shocking, and in some cases, downright crazy. Welcome to the Freak Show.
10. Clinton Portis
Clinton Portis likes to dress up as various characters and perform interviews as them.
There’s the Mad Scientist, who wears glasses like Geordi from Star Trek and claims that his wild hair came from sticking his finger in an electric socket.
There’s Southeast Jerome from Southeast D.C., who was on his way to the bright lights of New York to go dancing.
There’s Dr. I Don’t Know, who wears pink-rimmed glasses that used to be white, but were stained with blood during surgery, and doesn’t know why the Redskins lost 36-0 to the Giants.
There’s Dolemite Jenkins, who like to dance with men and even asked a reporter if he wanted to cut the rug. Portis later revealed that Jenkins, who rocked a red curly-haired wig and dorky glasses, was inspired by the movie Napoleon Dynamite.
There’s also Choo-Choo, Bud Foxx, Prime Minister Yah Mon, Dolla Bill...
9. Chad Ochocinco
As if changing one’s surname from Johnson to Ochocinco isn’t weird enough. Johnson is famous for his ridiculous and often hysterical touchdown celebrations.
He’s performed CPR on the ball, made a bogus proposal to a cheerleader, and held up a sign that read, “Dear NFL, Please Don’t Fine Me Again.”
He’s raced a thoroughbred for charity (he won, for the record) and has sported some of the oddest hairstyles sports have ever seen.
Ochocinco’s newest obsession is his Twitter account, which he posts on as often as 50 times a day.
Here is my personal favorite Ochocinco-ism from Twitter: "You think Brett will put me in one of those Wrangler Jeans commercials, straight up, year supply of Wranglers for Esteban, awesome."
If you're wondering, Esteban is one of his many alter egos.
8. Bill "Spaceman" Lee
Pitcher Bill Lee is perhaps the most interesting man to ever step onto a baseball diamond. He represented the counterculture in America during a time, the 1970s, when a distinct counterculture existed.
Lee was a man of the Earth. He spoke to animals, supported environmental causes, practiced yoga, and consumed A LOT of pot.
In fact, he was once fined $250 by Major League Baseball for sprinkling marijuana on his pancakes.
Lee was also well-known for his outspoken personality. A constant source of quotes for the media, Lee let loose on issues ranging from population control to school busing in Boston.
Lee was also extremely intelligent. He studied Eastern philosophy, the works of Einstein, and later wrote four books. Fittingly, Lee was a lefty. You know what they say about lefties.
7. Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramirez once high-fived a Red Sox fan in Baltimore after making a catch in left field and still found time to fire the ball back to the infield for a double play.
He once strangely massaged the head of then teammate Julian Tavarez, another odd duck, in the dugout during a game.
He spent “free time” between innings at Fenway hanging out in the Green Monster, occasionally on his cell phone.
He once made a diving catch on a relay throw from teammate Johnny Damon that wasn’t intended for him. He took his spot in left field with a water bottle in his back pocket on one occasion.
That’s just Manny Being Manny.
6. Jimmy Piersall
Piersall, an outfielder in the 1950s and 1960s, collected a laundry list of strange incidents during his playing days.
Perhaps the most well-known was the fistfight he had with Billy Martin prior to a game in 1952. I know what you’re thinking; a lot of guys probably threw hands with Billy Martin in their playing days, but Piersall’s strange behavior only begins there.
That same year he spanked the four-year old son of teammate Vern Stephens in the Red Sox clubhouse during a game.
He once stepped to the plate playing air guitar with his bat while wearing a Beatles wig and frequently talked to Babe Ruth’s bust in Monument Park when visiting Yankees Stadium.
Piersall later became the subject of the movie "Fear Strikes Out" about his battle with bipolar disorder.
Later in his life, he said, "Probably the best thing that ever happened to me was going nuts. Who ever heard of Jimmy Piersall until that happened?"
5. Turk Wendell
Wendell, a pitcher for a number of teams from 1993 to 2004, was nearly as entertaining as he was downright weird. Wendall chewed black licorice while he pitched and brushed his teeth between every inning.
Speaking of teeth, he wore necklace strung with the teeth of animals he had killed during his many hunting outings.
Wendell was also extremely superstitious. He leaped over the baseline whenever he took or left the field and required that umpires roll him the ball at the beginning of each inning instead of throwing it.
Wendell was obsessed with the movie Major League and wore the number 99 as a tribute to Charlie Sheen’s character, Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn.
Wendell became one of the game’s most liked players due to his quirky behaviors and eccentric personality.
4. Joe Namath
“Broadway Joe” was as unusual as he was great. The always flamboyant Namath often wore full length fur coats on the sideline.
His appearance in an ad for Beautymist pantyhose in 1974 still reigns as the strangest athlete endorsement of all time because he was shown wearing said pantyhose.
He once retired briefly to protest the NFL’s insistence that he sell his partial share in a New York City bar with mafia ties.
Despite having retired nearly 25 years ago, Namath still finds ways to put himself into the headlines.
In 2004, during an interview with ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber, a drunken Namath informed Kolber that he wanted to kiss her. Soon after, Namath sought treatment for alcohol addiction.
3. Mark "The Bird" Fidrych
Fidrych, whose nickname was derived from his resemblance to Big Bird, was the 1976 AL Rookie of the Year but only played until 1980.
However, he made a huge impact in his five seasons in the big leagues. Fidrych frequently spoke to the ball while on the mound and aimed it like a dart before starting his windup.
Fidrych would ask umpires to take back balls he believed “had hits in them” and insisted that they come back as pop-ups.
Fidrych became a sensation in Detroit, with attendance skyrocketing whenever he was scheduled to start.
Perhaps Fidrych’s most endearing quality was his insistence that if he wasn’t pitching in the major leagues, he would be pumping gas back in his hometown of Northborough, Mass.
2. Dennis Rodman
Oh, where to start. “The Worm” has made a career out of being different. From dyeing his hair every color over the rainbow to his rendezvous with Madonna, Rodman has always found a way to make himself the center of attention.
He married hottie Carmen Electra, and after showing up in a wedding dress to promote his autobiography, himself.
He once skipped a practice during the NBA Finals to participate in a professional wrestling bout with friend Hulk Hogan.
Rodman’s had his own reality television show, posed nude for PETA, and been in a couple of bad movies. Then there are all the piercings, the tattoos and the arrests.
Somehow along the way, he managed to win five world championships and be a seven time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection. What hasn’t Rodman done?
1. Mike Tyson
The chronicles of Mike Tyson are well known. From the early days of being Iron Mike, one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time, to the tattoo-faced oddball we know today.
Along the way, Tyson manufactured some of the strangest and disturbing quotes in sports history. In 2002, Tyson told Lennox Lewis, “I want your heart. I want to eat your children.”
He also once advised a female reporter to stop talking unless she wanted to fornicate, because he only does interviews with women if he fornicates with them first.
While his whole life would qualify as strange, Tyson owns the holy grail of peculiar events in sports history. In 1997, Tyson bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear in the third round of their heavyweight showdown.
Tyson returned to the spotlight in 2009 with his cameo in the hilarious Vegas caper The Hangover. It’s widely believed to be his best performance since knocking out Michael Spinks in only 91 seconds in 1988.
Look for my next list soon...21 Hotties To Watch For At 21st Winter Olympic Games. On the left is a very nice preview.