The 25 Most Intimidating Enforcers in Recent Sports History
Forget Freddy Krueger, these guys are the stuff of quarterbacks' nightmares! These men and woman really know how to change momentum, break your bones and take your mental game down a notch.
No matter what the sport, just hearing the names of some of these guys will evoke memories of bone-crushing hits, trash-talking tirades and media frenzies.
I proudly give you...The 25 Most Intimidating Enforcers in Recent Sports History.
Also check out: Randy Moss and the 25 Biggest Egos in Sports
Honorable Mention: All Blacks Team, Rugby
Does New Zealand need a police department or should the All Blacks just walk the streets when they aren't playing rugby?
Truth be told, I don't know much else about them, except they are the first team out of rugby followers' mouths when the topic of intimidating teams comes up.
25. Warren Sapp, NFL Defensive Tackle
"His 96.5 career sacks are the highest career total sacks for a defensive tackle and the 28th highest overall for a defensive lineman. His 77 sacks with the Buccaneers is second in the team's history. During Sapp's career, he has been the source of some controversy because of his hard-hitting style of play and his occasional verbal outbursts, both on the field and off. Some of these resulted in NFL fines, and he was once ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct."
24. Serena Williams, No. 1 Female Tennis Player in the World
There's something about a man in a skirt across the tennis court from you that strikes terror in your heart
Serena Williams has to be one of the most intimidating tennis players in the world, let alone in women's sports. Just look what she does to this defenseless racket.
23. William Perry, NFL Defensive Lineman
William Perry, affectionately known as "The Fridge," was intimidating for his sheer size and also athletic ability. The Chicago Bears used him on defense as a QB-eating machine, but were able to give him the ball in short-yardage situations.
Perry also had reliable hands. His ability to be everywhere makes him intimidating and enforcing, and there can't be a Top 25 Enforcer countdown without him!
22. Zinedine Zidane, French Footballer
There are not too many true enforcers left in soccer, as the bully-style player is slowly being replaced with the Academy Award-style flopper.
However, Zinedine Zidane, hands down, is the scariest footballer and/or soccer player in recent history.
Zidane said that he "would rather die" than apologize to Italy's Marco Materazzi for headbutting him in the 2006 World Cup Final, but also admitted that he “could never have lived with himself” had he been allowed to remain on the pitch and help France win the match.
"Following his red card in the final, Zidane retired from professional football,and confirmed that he would not go back on his decision. He was sentenced by FIFA to a three-game suspension for his red card, but since he had retired from professional football, performed three days of community service instead."
21. Chris Pronger, NHL Defenseman
This defenseman is colder than the ice he skates on. Standing 6'6" and tipping the scales at 220 lbs, Pronger is a force to reckon with anytime a forward crosses the offensive blue line.
The big man also has the ability to score with a hard slap shot. The dual threat has made a career from intimidation and currently makes his living for the Philadelphia Flyers.
20. Ron Artest, NBA Forward
Nothing is more intimidating than crazy. Ron Artest has drawn numerous comparisons to Chicago Bulls bad boy Dennis Rodman, but cross-dressing doesn't come close to fighting fans in the stands or dropping opponents' pants on the court.
Other teams must dread facing Artest, wondering how much blood they may lose during the game or if they will be the unwilling victim of a peep show.
19. Albert Belle, MLB Outfielder
Albert Belle's off-the-field and on-the-field attitude were about the same: MEAN.
This guy was the calmer Mike Tyson of baseball. To go along with his anger issues, Belle was a power hitter that intimidated opposing pitchers.
18. Charles Barkley, Former NBA Star and Current Mouth
He could dunk, he could block, he could dribble and he could rebound. Now all he can do is play golf and make fun of everyone not named Charles Barkley.
Still enforcing from his La-Z-Boy, Sir Charles, the Round Mound of Rebound, was as intimidating as they come in his playing days. The perfect combination of skill and trash talk, Barkley is a legend.
Warning: Video's music track not suitable for children.
17. Mike Singletary, NFL Linebacker
Mike Singletary played for the Chicago Bears from 1981-92, playing in 172 games while being the leader of the team's defense and averaging 161 tackles per season.
In addition to his stellar statistics, Singletary was also an expert in intimidation. His constant vocal presence in the defensive backfield and ability to trash talk much larger opponents earns him a spot on the countdown. Expect him to stay in these discussions for years to come.
16. Quinton" Rampage" Jackson, UFC Fighter
Famous for his body slams, Rampage Jackson made a name for himself crushing opponents in the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan before taking the UFC world by storm.
How would you like to be on the other end of an atomic bomb?
15. Dennis Rodman, NBA Rebounder
When the topic of Dennis Rodman's on-the-court performance comes up (and believe me, that's rare compared to his personal life), everyone always asks me, "How can anyone get that many rebounds in one game?"
It's simple, really. Everyone gives Rodman a four-foot radius in fear of getting pantsed, kicked, elbowed in the groin or licked.
14. Scott Parker, NHL Right Winger
One could argue suffering a concussion in 2005 by taking a blow to the head from a puck turned Scott Parker crazy, but I think the screws were loose long before he saw stars.
Parker was forced to retire early from the NHL as no team wanted that kind of responsibility. Parker was known more for picking fights immediately after lacing up his skates than his actual playing ability. This meanie is frightening!
13. Shaquille O'Neal, NBA Big Man
He's Shaq, and he amuses us, so we will look the other way and forget about Kazaam.
A man of his size is certainly an intimidating sight, but Shaq has also made a living being an enforcer and entertainer.
12. Roger Clemens, MLB Pitcher
Roger Clemens is one of those pitchers who made their living pitching inside. Clemens could win the crowd over with the sweet sounds of chin music every fifth day.
Clemens was as intimidating as they come in his playing days. That's why it is such a shame that he probably looks like a raisin now with all the steroids drying up.
11. Mark Messier, NHL Center
Nicknamed "The Moose" for his size, strength and overall presence, Messier spent 25 years in the NHL. Along the way, he picked fights with countless opponents, giving him a violent reputation that suited him just fine.
The poster child for toughness in the NHL of the 1990s, Messier is still regarded as one of the best and more intimidating hockey players to ever live. He's still alive, right? After 25 years in the NHL, one starts to wonder...
10. Wanderlei Silva, MMA & UFC
His nickname is "The Axe Murderer" and he's from Brazil. What else do you need?
Another product of Japan's Pride Fighting Championships, Silva earns most of his wins via knockout or referee stoppage due to strikes. Silva appears to defeat his opponent before the match even begins, with his mental game on high octane.
I wonder how many shirts he tears through a day.
9. Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Shot Blocker
I'm intimidated just trying to say his full name. Dude's name is: Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo. In no way is that an exaggeration.
Anyways, Mutombo used all 7'2" of his body to become one of the most prolific shot blockers in NBA history. Guards thought twice before driving to the rack against this Congolese-American oak tree.
8. Brain Urlacher, NFL Linebacker
Brian Urlacher cemented his place on the countdown by winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2000 and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2005, becoming only the fifth player in NFL history to win both awards.
The name Urlacher has become synonymous with sound defense and quick reads. Urlacher is likely destined for the Hall of Fame, and with good reason.
7. Randy Johnson, MLB Pitcher
The 6'10" sidearm slinger toted a upper-90s fastball and a nasty demeanor in his playing days.
"The Big Unit" took the Seattle Mariners far in his days, and anyone who can collect 4,000 strikeouts in a Major League career is intimidating someone and enforcing others back to the pine at the end of the dugout.
6. Dave Schultz, NHL Left Winger
Schultz still holds the NHL record for total penalty minutes in a career, and he only played 11 seasons in the league.
If you search his name in YouTube, I challenge you to find footage of him scoring a goal. Impossible!
5. Brock Lesnar, MMA and Wrestling
A versatile enforcer, Lesnar is a former WWE standout, UFC Heavyweight Champion and even played preseason football with the Minnesota Vikings.
Lesnar did all this before starting MMA, and has the ability to strike fear wherever he goes. At 6'3", 264 lbs, good luck getting past him in line at the Sizzler.
4. Nolan Ryan, MLB Pitcher
Nolan Ryan played 26 seasons in the major leagues and could still throw over 100 mph after turning 40 years of age. He currently holds the Major League record for strikeouts in a career, which seemingly can only be broken by God.
Aside from the amazing career, Ryan is known for his on-the-mound beat-down of Robin Ventura. Poor Robin Ventura.
3. Chuck Liddell, MMA and UFC
What makes Chuck Liddell an enforcer isn't just his knockouts, but his ability to win in multiple combat genres and sports.
Liddell is a successful kickboxer, MMA legend and former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion.
He is also well-versed in Kenpo karate and Koei-Kan karate. I don't know about you, but I'd let him have my snack pack at the lunch table.
2. Ray Lewis, NFL Linebacker
Hands-down the most electrifying player in the NFL, Ray Lewis fires up teammates, excites the home and away crowds with his warm-up routines and downright punishes on the field.
Perhaps the most intimidating athlete in the NFL of his era, Lewis is pure enforcement, and earns the top spot among American football players on the countdown with ease.
Here's to you, Ray! Please don't hurt me.
1. Mike Tyson, Boxing
The incident is infamous and will forever be the tag line of Tyson's legacy. When you bite off a chunk of another man's ear, you will also forever be known as a legitimate enforcer of the bizarre kind.
This type of individual is scary on so many levels, and most of them only loosely have to do with sports. Tyson is an enforcer at the grocery store, steakhouse, biker bar and petting zoo. If you smudged Tyson's Pumas, you might lose a body part.
For fear of dismemberment of the eating of my first-born child, Mike Tyson earns the top spot on the Top 25 Countdown of Most Intimidating Enforcers in Recent Sports History.