Blake Griffin, Barry Bonds, and the Ugliest Cross Dressers in Sports
Male athletes are generally known as a macho breed, but there are some that aren't afraid to show off their feminine side...and I mean really show it off.
It takes a man who is extremely comfortable with his sexuality to dress in drag, but that doesn't mean the end result is always pleasant.
There is a way to do it well, but these athletes have a lot to learn about the art of dressing like a lady. They're not enough The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and a little too much To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.
With that, here's a look at the 20 ugliest cross dressers in sports history, in reverse order. Each athlete will receive a grade on the "Female Scale." That is to say "could this man actually pass himself off as a woman?"
As you'll see, the answer is a resounding, "nope".
20. Yuichiro Nagashima
I had never heard of Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima before today, and that's why I love my job. He's a Japanese kickboxer who also happens to be a Cosplayer...a term that I had never heard before (I can't explain properly, so click here for Wikipedia's definition).
Apparently it's an anime thing and Nagashima comes to the ring in outrageous womens outfits. We've chosen this one, but there are many other options.
Strength: Swagger - this guy clearly knows how to strut his stuff like a woman, and he certainly appears to be singing along to the entrance music.
Weakness: Wig - while I'm sure it's the trademark of whatever character he is trying to portray, the green wig is a clear giveaway that it's not his real hair.
Female Scale: 10/10 - if I didn't know better I would think this was a female kickboxer heading towards the ring.
19. Derek Jeter
It's rare that athletes get the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live, but Derek Jeter's popularity in New York made him an easy choice in 2001. In this sketch, Jeter showed that he doesn't take himself too seriously by dressing up as a female Yankees fan.
Strength: Costume - the outfit is pretty much flawless. Not too showy, accentuates the arms that aren't too bulky to be female. Great wig work and makeup.
Weakness: None - it's Derek freakin' Jeter.
Female Scale: 9/10 - you wouldn't think twice if you saw Jeter walking into the womens restroom. But who would have thought this would only be the second most womanly thing done by a Yankee?
18. Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson was one of the best college basketball players of all time at UNLV and had a tremendous impact on the NBA in his first few seasons before injuries derailed his career. That being said, he is most likely going to be remembered for his alter-ego, Grandmama.
Strength: Costume - with the floral house frock, pearls, glasses, and church hat, Johnson clearly evokes the image of a grandmother.
Weakness: Hard to find (the basketball shoes are clearly for the ad, so he can't be penalized for them), but I'm going to have to say the mustache. Although some grandmas do have mustaches, they're usually a bit lighter.
Female Scale: 8/10 - the costume does it all, but Johnson could easily be mistaken for an elderly lady crossing the street...a 6-7 lady with arms the size of Hulk Hogan.
17. Shaquille O'Neal
Shaq and his girlfriend Hoopz pulled this classic role reversal for Halloween 2010 with Hoopz dressing as a male pimp and Shaq dressing as "Shaquita", his number one girl.
Strength: Dance moves - Shaq has obviously studied female movement, and though his lip syncing is a bit suspect, his dancing is dead on.
Weakness: Wig - while the short hair seems to work, whipping his hair back and forth would have been more convincing with a fuller head of hair.
Female Scale: 8/10 - if Shaquita was standing she'd have no chance, but since she's sitting down in the car it's quite conceivable that she could be mistaken for a woman.
16. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman is probably the first person that comes to mind when you think of "cross dressing athletes," and he surely doesn't disappoint. His most famous stunt came when he showed up to a book signing in a wedding dress, but we like this look from Halloween 2007.
Strength: Hair - Rodman has clearly pulled off the edgy, short-haired cut...almost reminiscent of Rihanna.
Weakness: Makeup - Dennis usually takes care to make sure his makeup is perfect, but I don't know what's going on here. Maybe it was at the end of a long night of partying but it's blotchy and runny...just a mess.
Female Scale: 7/10 - As Cher from Clueless put it, Rodman is a "full-on Monet." From far away he's ok, but up close he's a big old mess.
15. Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley's funniest moment of hosting Saturday Night Live in 2010 didn't even happen during the show-- it happened during rehearsals. Barkley dressed up as Alicia Keys for a promo for NBC's Football Night in America and these were the results.
Strength: Lip-syncing - an important part of being a drag queen is lip syncing, and Barkley seems to have nailed this one pretty flawlessly.
Weakness: Receding Hair Line - I know it's tough to make Charles Barkley look like he has hair, but the fact that the hairline starts halfway up his head isn't helping his cause.
Female Scale: 7/10 - if you had never heard of Charles Barkley and saw this "lady" singing, you might not question it until you saw a close-up.
14. Nicolas Mahut
Paul Kane/Getty Images
Nicolas Mahut may have lost some brain cells in his marathon Wimbledon match with American John Isner. In January 2011, Mahut took the words "exhibition match" a little too seriously when he played in this outfit.
Strength: Headband - Mahut eliminates the need for a wig by using a pink headband to hold back his hair, a common technique among female athletes.
Weakness: Skirt - Mahut would have done himself (and everybody watching) a huge favor if he had elected to go with a slightly longer skirt. The hairy legs are a dead giveaway.
Female Scale: 6/10 - given the muscular nature of some of the ladies on tour, Mahut could definitely be confused for a top-ranked female tennis player. Just don't expect him to be in the SI Swimsuit Edition athletes' section any time soon.
13. David Price
Even though David Price was a #1 overall pick who would eventually help the Rays get to the World Series in 2008, every rookie has to go through hazing. In baseball for some reason, that usually involves dressing up like a woman...
Strength: Movie Star Look - maybe it's the sunglasses, maybe it's because he doesn't want the cameras taking pictures of him looking like this, but Price is pulling off the "I'm trying to avoid the paparazzi" look extremely well.
Weakness: Pink Shoes - not sure where they found shoes like that in his size, but they look like something that would be on a three-year old's doll.
Female Scale: 5/10 - Price seems to be pulling off the look and attitude, but the full beard easily ruins the illusion.
12. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Before Arnold was a politician, or even an actor, he was an athlete. The seven-time Mr. Olympia had no problem putting on a dress for the 1994 smash hit, Junior, in which he plays a pregnant man...um, right.
Strength: Wig - I don't know who does his wig work, but whoever it is did a good job. Danny DeVito's wig could use some work, however.
Weakness: Makeup - Arnold has strong, masculine facial features, so it would take a lot of makeup to make them more feminine. Clearly not enough here.
Female Scale: 4/10 - the fact that he's pregnant has to make you wonder, but upon closer look there's no way that's a woman.
11. Ricky Williams
This outfit was for the cover of ESPN: The Magazine. I'm not sure if Mike Ditka is supposed to be the groom or the father of the bride, but either way it's creepy.
Strength: Hair - the wig is extremely feminine and does a great job portraying-- wait, that's just his regular hair. Nevermind.
Weakness: Sleeves - because Ricky has some of the largest biceps on the face of the Earth, he might have wanted to go with some sleeves to cover up the arms. We have tickets to a wedding, not to a gun show.
Female Scale: 4/10 - at first glance it could be a strong, tattooed woman capable of being a great running back in the NFL if she didn't think smoking weed was more important.
10. Clinton Portis
Clinton Portis is known for his various costumes, and this one is Choo-Choo the dance instructor. He never says that he's a woman and makes no attempt to disguise his voice, but the frilly shirt, wig, and sunglasses indicate that he's most likely female.
Strength: Sunglasses - Portis jumps on the female trend of sunglasses that are much too large for the face, and pulls them off to perfection.
Weakness: Mixing Genres - Portis clearly goes for the "Geisha" hairdo but instead of a kimono he's wearing some sort of Spanish Flamenco outfit. A more unified wardrobe would have been more convincing.
Female Scale: 4/10 - No chance of being mistaken for a woman from the front, but perhaps from behind...if the person was half-blind and forgot his glasses.
9. Bobby Hebert
Hebert is a former Saints quarterback who now hosts a radio show in New Orleans. After the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010, he showed up for the Mardi Gras parade dressed like this to show his support.
Strength: Sequins - using the Saints colors, Hebert has managed to put together a look you wouldn't be surprised to find on a woman his age.
Weakness: Hair/Tiara - nothing says "I'm a drag queen" more than wearing a tiara and a bad wig with pig tails.
Female Scale: 3/10 - I'm sure the parade-goers got a kick out of it, but I doubt any one of them thought this was actually a woman.
8. Barry Bonds
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
In spring training of 2006, Barry Bonds decided to play the role of Paula Abdul in the Giants' version of American Idol. It was a role he took very, very, seriously.
Strength: Accessories - Bonds makes good use of the sunglasses and necklace to give the image that he is a trendy female.
Weakness: Costume - the low-cut top exposes far too much of Bonds' steroid-aided masculine physique. He's even bigger than female bodybuilders.
Female Scale: 3/10 - from the neck up he could actually pull it off, but below that it's not even close.
7. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
Apparently the Monte Carlo Masters is a tennis event that we all need to attend. Players' night is apparently a huge party where anything goes, including Jo-Wilfred Tsonga posing in drag.
Strength: Commitment - hey, if you're going to dress as a woman you might as well go all out, right? Tsonga shows seriously commitment with this outfit, complete with feather boa and bustier.
Weakness: I think we all know the part of the picture that we seriously wish was cropped out. I'll give you a hint: it's not Caroline Wozniacki.
Female Scale: 2/10 - I know there's probably a lot of drinking going on at the party, but you'd have to be wearing some extra-strength beer goggles to mistake him for a woman.
6. Logan Morrison
Logan Morrison was a victim of rookie hazing with the Florida Marlins, and he was given the "Baywatch" outfit to wear, complete with certain "enhancements".
Strength: To be honest, none that I can see...the prosthetic breasts are a nice touch though.
Weakness: Everything - red wig, creepy smile, unflattering pose...there's not much going right here.
Female Scale: 2/10 - let's just put it this way: if you were drowning on the beach you would definitely refuse mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from this guy.
5. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
The Rock loves the kids, so he decided to scare the living crap out of them by dressing like this at the 2009 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards.
Strength: Dress - clearly this dress is something a woman would wear...although the length may not exactly be age-appropriate...in either case.
Weakness: Strap - the Tarzan look only works if your shoulder isn't massive and covered with tribal tattoos.
Female Scale: 2/10 - the beard and the gigantic quads kind of ruin the illusion of a female.
4. Oscar De La Hoya
There aren't many sports that are more manly than boxing but, as Oscar De La Hoya shows, boxers also have a feminine side.
Strength: Heels - it takes a brave man to try to walk in heels, and even the most graceful of athletes can take a tumble, so bravo (or should I say, brava) for the courage.
Weakness: Five O'Clock Shadow: come on, Oscar, you couldn't shave before you put on the fishnets?
Female Scale: 2/10 - with the hat and wig he can nearly pull it off. But then again, not really.
3. Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard is known for donning a cape and morphing into Superman, but little did we know that he's hiding another costume in that phone booth. Here the "jambalaya man?" does his best female impersonation behind teammate JJ Redick.
Strength: Wig - the blonde curly look is exactly what divas across the country would wear for a big concert performance.
Weakness: Voice - I know he's going for a bluesy Toni Braxton vibe, but it's not quite working. He needs to take it up an octave if he's going to convince anyone.
Female Scale: 1/10 - serious potential, but the effort just isn't there.
2. Blake Griffin
Usually rookie athletes are forced to dress up in women's clothing. That's not the case with this year's likely NBA Rookie of the Year, Blake Griffin, whose drag pictures surfaced well before his NBA days.
He willingly dressed up in drag and the results were just as horrific.
Strength: Costume - bedazzled pink tanktop straight off the rack of Forever 21.
Weakness: Wig - looks more like a 70s disco perm than an actual woman's hairdo.
Female Scale: 1/10 - worth a second glance, but no real sense of womanhood.
1. Alex Reid
Alex Reid is an MMA fighter who apparently also dabbles in cross dressing. I've never heard of him, but he clearly likes to go through his girlfriend's closet to find outfits.
Strength: Veil - anything he can do to cover the face is definitely a positive.
Weakness: Fishnet Bodysuit - if you plan on impersonating a woman, it might not be the best idea to show off your "situation"...or lack thereof.
Female Scale: 0/10 - No chance of being mistaken for a woman here...not even for a second...100% chance of nightmares, though.