The 20 Most Interesting Post-Retirement Athlete Careers
There are some athletes whose personalities, bad habits, good deeds, or sometimes multiple talents can keep them in the limelight long after they've cleaned out their lockers for the last time. The following 20 have kept sports fans and others talking long after their glory days as an athlete, and despite the picture here of America's most memorable murder trial, I'm going to do what so many athletes should have done and avoid the "Juice".
The Shreveport, Louisiana native and Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback has still been entertaining football fans since 1994 on "FOX NFL Sunday."
Bradshaw has also recorded six country/western albums as a musician and appeared on the television series Married with Children, Malcolm in the Middle, and movies including "Cannonball Run" and "Failure to Launch".
Bradshaw has also opened up about his own diagnosed clinical depression. Those kind of genuine admissions paired with a jovial attitude and obvious sense of humor have made him a favorite to FOX NFL Sunday viewers.
Scoring the two most famous goals in soccer history in one game, becoming addicted to cocaine, battling obesity, befriending Fidel Castro, publicly describing George W. Bush as "human garbage", firing an air rifle at a group of reporters, undergoing stomach-stapling surgery, and evading millions of dollars worth of income taxes.
Just all part of the resumé for Diego Maradona. This June the sport's most controversial man will add another chapter to his very public life when he leads his native country Argentina in the 2010 World Cup as the team's manager.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
After winning a football national championship in 1991 with the University of Miami, Dwayne Johnson had a brief career in the Canadian Football League and then sought a role in professional wrestling. His popularity in the WWE led to other opportunities in film and television.
Johnson (seen here in an episode of Disney's "Hannah Montana") has appeared in a wide range of films aiming at different age demographics. He has starred in the movies "The Scorpion King" and "Walking Tall" as well as appearing as a host on "Saturday Night Live."
Johnson also founded the "Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation" which does charitable work for terminally-ill children.
The twice-crowned World Heavyweight Champion compiled a 76-4 career record but is probably better known to a younger generation as "the guy who makes the grill."
Foreman is actually simply the spokesperson for the product, named the "George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine," an indoor electric grill that has sold in excess of 100 million units since its release in 1994.
The All-American, National Champion, Heisman Trophy winning University of Florida quarterback struggled to make it as a professional, but found a calling with Desire Street Ministries, a non-profit, faith-based organization headquartered in the 9th ward of New Orleans.
After suffering significant loss to his own home and the ministry offices during Hurricane Katrina, Wuerffel regrouped the organization in Pensacola before revitalizing the operations in New Orleans and Atlanta. Wuerffel continues to epitomize the New Orleanian spirit of "rebirth" in his dedication to a life of service.
Baseball's all time hits leader was banned from the game for life in 1989 amid accusations that he gambled on baseball as a player and a manager, but gradually gained sympathy and support from baseball fans everywhere.
Included in his ban is ineligibility for the baseball Hall of Fame, an issue that still rages on in debate among the pundits and fans of the game. In 1999, Rose appeared in Atlanta prior to Game Two of the World Series between the Yankees and Braves for the presentation of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
The Turner Field crowd gave resounding approval when Rose was announced, and immediately following the ceremony the former Cincinnati Red was interviewed by NBC's Jim Gray. Gray began a harassing line of questioning on live television, insisting that Rose admit to his past transgressions.
Rose was defensive, refusing to validate any of the long-standing allegations. The moment provided a crossroads for the two men, as support for Rose skyrocketed after the interview, and public disgust for Gray followed. In 2004, Rose's autobiography "My Prison Without Bars" was published, and he came clean on his gambling habits in the past, but insisted that he never placed bets on his own team.
The 6'10" Amaechi spent the bulk of his NBA career playing for the Magic and Jazz, and was best known for turning down a $17 million contract offer from the Lakers, choosing instead to remain in Orlando with a "mere" 6-figure salary.
Today, however, Amaechi is best known for his headline-grabbing announcement in 2007 that he is gay. His discussion of his sexual orientation rocked the basketball culture news media, and became one of the year's most controversial sports topics.
He was the first and only NBA player to publicly share the fact that he is gay, drawing support and ridicule from both sports fans and political activists. Amaechi released a book about life as a "closeted" athlete titled "Man in the Middle".
Alcoholism, gambling addiction, sub-standard golf etiquette. The list goes on.
Daly has long been one of the most controversial figures associated with the sport of golf (but something tells me the attention isn't on him anymore) and has had a highly-publicized personal life.
In 2005, Daly sued the Jacksonville-based newspaper, the Florida Times-Union for libel, and also alleged at one point that many PGA Tour participants were cocaine-users. Daly has maintained a sense of humor about himself, evident when he refused to be involved in a British Open Champions Dinner, saying "you can't get this fat boy into a suit."
The two-sport star (basketball and track) at the University of North Carolina went on to win five gold medals while representing the United States in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In 2007, she admitted to steroid use, including the time period when she won her gold medals, and was forced by the USOC to forfeit all five of them. Her admission of usage of performance enhancing drugs came after lying to a grand jury concerning the same topic, and landed her in jail for a six month span in 2008.
Marion's name has also been linked to allegations of check fraud, and the former sprinter had her $2.5 million Chapel Hill mansion foreclosed on in 2006.
Many consider "Super Mario" to be one of the definite top five hockey players of all time, and after the Penguins' Stanley Cup winning run in 2009, Lemieux has also made history as an owner.
That championship season gave him the distinction of being the only man to win a Stanley Cup as both a player and owner, and forever solidified him as a Pittsburgh sports legend.
His dedication to the organization has never been doubted, as he saved the team from bankruptcy in 1999 and took a leading role in keeping the franchise in Pittsburgh when it was being suggested throughout the 2000s that the Penguins would move to another city.
Lemieux battled Hodgkin's Lymphoma for the majority of his playing career, and many close the game acknowledge that his personal achievements and statistics could have been far greater if he had enjoyed optimal health. Lemieux founded the Mario Lemieux Foundation in 1993 which works to fund medical research projects.
Always known for his outspoken and controversial nature, Barkley has never stepped out of the spotlight even after retirement in 2000. As a regular contributor to TNT's NBA studio, Barkley has been known for his humor and candid remarks.
He told ESPN's Trey Wingo that he had once lost $2.5 million to gambling in the course of a "six-hour period." Barkley has long voiced his interest in politics and his support of the Republican party, and in 2008 announced that he would run for Governor of Alabama in 2014.
Barkley has since referred to himself as an Independent, saying "the Republicans are full of it, the Democrats are a little less full of it." Barkley will no doubt be the center of controversy for years to come.
The Florida State University standout and Pro-Bowler for the Buccaneers and Falcons may pride himself more in his off-field accomplishments.
A tireless worker, Dunn started the Warrick Dunn Foundation, and the Homes for the Holidays organization. The latter helps single parents purchase homes, starting with a down payment from Dunn himself.
Extremely community oriented, Dunn has helped purchase nearly 100 homes for single parents in the towns that he has played football: His high school hometown of Baton Rouge, his collegiate home of Tallahassee, and his professional communities Atlanta and Tampa. In December of 2009 it was announced that Warrick Dunn would become a part-owner of the Falcons, joining Arthur Blank in the front office in Atlanta.
In 2008, Clemens became the sports world's definition of the term "fall from grace." The Cy Young winner, World Series champion, and MLB All-Star was thrust into the forefront of the Mitchell Report controversy after it was determined that he used steroids at several points in his major league career.
Clemens further separated himself from other alleged steroid users as he continuously, and sometimes angrily, defended himself from the accusations. When it couldn't seem to get worse, country music singer Mindy McCready told news outlets that she had engaged in an affair with Clemens that began when she was 15 years old.
The Olympic gold medalist, NCAA Champion, and NBA champion announced in 1991 that he had been diagnosed as HIV positive.
Johnson has since become a successful entrepreneur and activist, involved with many organizations in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Johnson has been involved in politics, worked as a spokesperson for GlaxoSmithKline, and briefly hosted his own late night show titled "The Magic Hour." He currently works as an analyst for ESPN's "NBA Countdown".
The 38th President of the United States may have fallen on the "right" side of many issues, but he lined up at center for the University of Michigan as part of their national champion winning teams in 1931 and 1932.
Being elected president speaks for itself in terms of being "interesting", but Ford never lost his love for football. It's been said that he asked to be woken up for updates on a game between Ohio State and Michigan while he was attending a summit in the Soviet Union during his presidency.
One of the most feared linebackers in NFL history, the hard hitting Taylor has been no stranger to trouble off the field. By his own admission, Taylor has struggled with illicit drugs, alcohol, and sex addiction.
He revealed on "60 Minutes" that during his playing days, he would hire and send prostitutes to opposing teams' hotels in an attempt to "tire them out" the night before a game. Most recently, Taylor was charged in 2010 with the statutory rape of a 16 year-old.
There are not ample words nor sufficient time to fully describe the ridiculous tendencies of this former figure skater.
After the sickeningly high publicity of her involvement in the 1994 attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan, Harding has experienced a series of embarrassing events that will always make her the butt of many jokes.
The Oregon native was known for her obnoxious personality on the ice, and has outdone herself with a stint as a boxer, appearances in reality TV, false police reports, and many more D-list celebrity activities.
A former soccer player that any American football fan could appreciate, the intimidating Jones has transitioned into a successful film career. After debuting in "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," the 1988 FA Cup Champion took starring roles in films including "Snatch", "Swordfish", "EuroTrip", and "X-Men: The Last Stand."
A man remembered for his ill temper and violent nature on field, Jones has capitalized on that image in the roles that he is given. The peak of his violent tendencies during his footballing career came when he intentionally struck fellow Englishman Paul Gascoigne in the testicles.
Billie Jean King called Navratilova "the greatest singles, doubles, and mixed doubles player that has ever lived."
The 18-time singles grand slam champion had her Czechoslovakian citizenship stripped in 1975, and was destined for a life in political activism.
Never shying away from controversial topics, Martina has spoken in defense of Gay/Lesbian rights, support of PETA, and has been critical of Communist movements of the past and present. Many Tennis media outlets consider her the greatest female player of all time.
Armstrong may have returned to cycling in 2009, but there's arguably no athlete in the past decade that has been an icon of triumph both in and out of his sport. From 2005-2008 Armstrong spent his time promoting his wildly successful
Livestrong foundation, which claims "We fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer." Armstrong has become a celebrity for not only his unprecedented achievements on the track, but his overcoming of cancer and against-all-odds determination in his personal life.