Anytime someone from a past random list makes the news during the week, it means it’s time to dust off that list, update it, and run it again. This week it’s the most famous athletes-turned-politicians, first run a couple of years ago during the presidential election. Don’t worry, they are already getting candidates ready for 2012, for those who don’t die because of the apocalypse that everyone is warning us about.
7. Jerry Lawler
He made a run as a mayoral candidate in his home city of Memphis and got 12% of the vote. It makes perfect sense that the most wrestling-crazed city’s most-loved hometown wrestler can’t win the election for mayor, but another wrestler can win the highest office in the state of Minnesota. The best part about the mayoral election was that there was a scandal involving Lawler having naked pictures of his then-wife, the former Miss Kitty in the WWF, on his website. Lawler defended them and attacked his opponent, saying that he was just jealous. Awesome.
6. J.C. Watts
A former Oklahoma quarterback, Watts is best known now as the last black Republican to serve in Congress. He also makes frequent appearances on the Sean Hannity radio show, who always seems very proud to know Watts.
5. Jim Bunning
He is a Hall of Fame pitcher and threw two no-hitters, including a perfect game. As a politician, it is fitting that he got in through the Veterans Committee. He made news this week after objecting to extend unemployment benefits to people who were about to be dropped from the rolls. What is the baseball equivalent to that? The catcher appealing every single pitch to the first base umpire? The manager coming out after every play to ask the umpire to appeal to one of his partners?###MORE###
4. Jack Kemp
In the original version of this list, I tried to predict current athletes most likely to enter politics. Curt Schilling was one of the guys that I mentioned! The Republicans thought about running him in Massachusetts! Actually, some say that it was the mention of Schilling as a “Yankee fan” that helped sway that election towards Scott Brown. One wonders if the drunk driving incident hurts Charles Barkley’s chances of running for governor of Alabama. On the list of “things that need to happen that actually could,” that would darn near be #1. The debates would be must-watch television.
3. Jesse Ventura
He came out of nowhere to win the Minnesota governorship after previously being the mayor of a small town. During his reign, he took a side job as an XFL analyst, which is one of those things that you don’t realize how truly amazing it is until a few years have gone by. A governor who was a former wrestler was also doing analysis for a startup football league led by Vince McMahon. And it was on the NBC network. Did the XFL really happen? Now Ventura has a conspiracy show on one of those random channels and thinks that 9/11 could have been a government plot. How many other elected officials are this crazy and we just don’t know?
2. Bill Bradley
An NBA Hall of Famer, Bradley has run for president on two occasions. On another note, what percentage of American viewers made themselves feel better last Sunday by making “America’s hat,” “51st state,” or “congrats on winning a sport that’s barely in the top ten in popularity in America” jokes about Canada? 65%?
He definitely qualifies as an athlete–weightlifting, bodybuilding, Mr. Universe, Kindergarten Cop, Jingle All The Way, even an appearance on Smackdown! in 1999 to promote the horrible, atrocious movie “End of Days.” Arnold’s stock as a governor has plummeted since the time of this original list. One wonders what he’ll do after leaving the governor’s mansion. I’m rooting for True Lies 2.