Top 20 Under-the-Radar Craziest Athletes

Elliott PohnlFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2010

Top 20 Under-the-Radar Craziest Athletes

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Sports history has been filled with spectacular exhibitions of bizarre behavior bordering on the psychotic.

    The same athletes we idolize after seeing their talents remain shrouded in mystery.

    We wonder what motivates their actions, their words, the erratic interactions with society that often leave their legacies tainted beyond repair.

    We find ourselves wanting to know what makes them tick.

    The answer is pretty simple.

    The man, or in some cases the woman, is just plum crazy.

    Here’s a look at the 20 craziest athletes in sports, with the video to prove it.

No. 20: Lawrence Taylor

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    Lawrence Taylor just looks crazy, and he basically is.

    Who knows what he would have been able to accomplish had he not been addicted to smoking crack.

    In some ways, Taylor's life has rebounded. But just when his problems appear to be over, he finds himself in trouble yet again.

    The man who was known as the fiercest linebacker to ever play the game spent years lost in a drug-induced malaise.

    That's crazy.

No. 19: David Wells

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    David Wells is back in the news today after essentially saying his former manager, Joe Torre, was basically a big, fat, coward.

    What else would you expect from one of the craziest dudes out there?

    Wells has never been shy to make his opinions known, whether it's flipping off the crowd or fending off heckling fans while enjoying the nightlife.

    He simply says what ever he feels like, as evidenced by this clip.

No. 18: Terrell Owens

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    Terrell Owens really enjoys attention, which is probably why he has entered the magical world of reality television.

    Whether it was his suicide attempt that wasn't, crying over his love of Tony Romo, or holding a press conference while doing sit-ups in his driveway after breakfast, T.O. isn't afraid to let the public see who he really is.

    Let's see you take those shades off, Terrell...

No. 17: Chad Ochocinco

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    You don't have to punch people to be crazy.

    Chad Ochocinco is outspoken, but very well-liked for the most part.

    Whether it's his antics on his reality dating show or the bizarre touchdown celebrations, we are fortunate to get a glimpse into his twisted mind.

    Who knows, maybe he could even have an acting career after football?

No. 16: Ray Lewis

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    For a while, it looked as if Ray Lewis was somehow tied up in a stabbing. Is that not enough to be considered crazy?

    Ray-Ray scrambled out of that little incident in Atlanta and has been a straight shooter ever since.

    His actions on the field are characterized by an intensity bordering on the insane.

    For my money, there would be nothing scarier than walking down a dark alley and seeing Ray Lewis running at you at full speed...

    The man is just plain scary.

No. 15: Bill Romanowski

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    Anytime steroids are involved, anger issues tend to crop up here and there.

    Or, in the case of Bill Romanowski, spitting issues.

    His most famous incident came against J.J. Stokes of the 49ers, but there were others. Then there was the whole "I broke your face incident" in the twilight of his career with the Broncos

    Romo's troubled mental state was examined here on 60 Minutes.


No. 14: Glen "Big Baby" Davis

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    Glen Davis is mentality unstable. There, I said it.

    One of the most amusing moments in the recent history of the NBA came when Kevin Garnett yelled at a young, pudgy Big Baby.

    The whole situation was absolutely hilarious, as was Mike Breen's explanation to the viewers.

    "Sometimes it's tough."

    Yes, yes it is.

No. 13: Doc Ellis

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    Doc Ellis pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD. Anyone who does that has to be crazy.

    The legendary performance came in 1970.

    Arguably best part about this very interesting video was that he went to his friend's girlfriend's house after he took LSD.

    Hmm...

    According to Ellis, he couldn't even see any of the hitters all afternoon.

    That's just nuts.

     

No. 12: John Rocker

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    After a string of fun crazy dudes, it's time for a not so fun crazy dude.

    Who can forget John Rocker, who made some of the most famous remarks of bigotry in recent memory directed at the city of New York, saying among other things he especially hated all the foreigners who lived there.

    Not exactly the smartest way of making friends.

    Rocker's career went down the tubes after that, which makes you wonder if he actually wished he had kept his big mouth shut.

No. 11: John Henderson

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    Surprised to see him with such a lofty ranking on this list?

    You won't be after you watch the clip of his pregame ritual.

No. 10: Tonya Harding

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    It doesn't get much more annoying than Nancy Kerrigan, and it doesn't get much crazier than Tonya Harding.

    Seeing her now, almost 20 years after the infamous arranged-mugging, it's difficult to imagine Tonya was ever a figure skater.

    "Why, Why...Why!?!?"

No. 9: Eric Cantona

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    Cantona liked drawing red cards during his career, and wasn't afraid to mix it up with anyone else who got in his way.

    It's soccer, not Kung Fu, right?

No. 8: Sean Avery

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    Sean Avery is one of many hot-heads in the NHL.

    The whole Elisha Cuthbert "sloppy seconds" fiasco pretty much sums it up.

    The best part was hearing Avery ask the reporter, "you got a camera?" before popping off.

    Officially, he was suspended for making "mean spirited remarks."

    At least he loves Canada.

No. 7: John Daly

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    John Daly is certainly a character.

    Whether it's his bouts with alcohol, his stormy marital situation or trashing a hotel room at the British Open, Daly always seems to stay in the news.

    Frankly, he always will no matter what he does on the course.

No. 6: Nyjer Morgan

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    Nyjer Morgan is arguably the least well-liked member of this exclusive list.

    His temper has always been bad, and his overall attitude towards life in general seems to be pretty awful.

    Here's what Marlins third baseman Wes Helms thinks about Nyjer...

No. 5: John Starks

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    Those who watched the NBA will remember John Starks and his bizarre actions from time to time.

    He had a special place in his heart for the Bulls, as demonstrated here in this hit against Scottie Pippen.

    Starks just had something crazy about him.

    It's usually the quiet ones you have to watch...

No. 4: Milton Bradley

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    Anytime somebody tears their ACL while getting ejected, they have a temper problem.

    Milton Bradley finally came clean and admitted he was crazy earlier this year in Seattle, when he actually sought treatment for whatever is wrong with him.

    "Keep talking...you ain't got nuthin to say...you're an idiot."

    That pretty much sums it up.

No. 3: Rasheed Wallace

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    The king of the ejection.

    'Sheed will be remembered as a player who never lived up to his vast potential.

    Instead of leading the formation of another dynasty in Portland, his temper got the best of him and the Blazers never made it out of the West in his prime.

    In his later years, he cooled down a bit but still lashed out from time to time.

    We'll miss you, Rasheed.

No. 2: Dennis Rodman

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    Dennis Rodman is one weird dude.

    In addition to a nasty temper, he has skipped a playoff game to "hang out" with Madonna, kicked a camera man dressed like a woman.

    Even after his retirement, he is still an entertaining figure.

No. 1: Ron Artest

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    Queensbridge in the house!

    Ron Artest will be remembered as one of the craziest athletes ever.

    From his involvement in the Basketbrawl at the Palace to his numerous ejections, Artest has made a name for himself.

    In the process, his antics have overshadowed his abilities as one of the better defensive players in the modern era.

    There will always be questions and there will never be answers when it comes to what really made Artest tick.