The 25 Biggest Bros in Sports

Sean Swaby@seanswabyUK Staff WriterJuly 27, 2011

The 25 Biggest Bros in Sports

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    What do you get when you mix Chuck Norris, Andrew Jackson and James Dean, then add a dose of Creatine and a faux-hawk? 

    A cultural phenomenon—or, in other words, a “bro.”

    Bros have always been prevalent in social society, but it wasn’t until recently that the word has evolved into an entirely different beast and exploded in male vocabularies everywhere.

    Noun: Man, that guy in the Ed Hardy shirt is a total bro.

    Adjective: Wait, you went to the gym twice in the same day? That’s way too bro for me.

    Verb: We’re going to crush some Bud Light, drink some Jäger and go bro out at Circa tonight.

    Not surprisingly, the brolification of the word has extended its fist-pumping influence beyond the Jersey Shore and into the sports stratosphere.

    So how does one gauge the biggest bro of them all? Instead of detailing the obvious bro traits (womanly conquests, beer-guzzling ability, general appearance), we give you Gaston, the original bro from Disney’s The Beauty and the Beast:

    No one's slick as Gaston

    No one's quick as Gaston

    No one's neck's as incredibly thick as Gaston's

    For there's no man in town half as manly

    Perfect, a pure paragon!

    You can ask any Tom, Dick or Stanley

    And they'll tell you whose team they prefer to be on

    So which bro in sports sets the bro bar so high that all aspiring bros should form envious bromance with?

    Bro-wse on to find out.

Bode Miller

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    In Bode’s world, that whole taking-the-Olympics-seriously thing is pretty overrated. I mean, why actually try to succeed on the world’s biggest stage when you can simply get drunk in Italy, as Miller did in 2006?

    Brode (sic) scoffed at the idea of skiing sober in a competition that athletes wait four years for a select few chances at greatness. But hey, at least it was a damn fine party.

Charles Barkley

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    When The Round Mound of Rebound turned popular TNT hoops personality was picked up for driving under the influence late in 2008, he admitted to the local authorities his major lapse in judgement was largely in part due to his craving for something other than a donut.

    He (allegedly) unearthed a gem that was so powerful, so alluring that he got behind the wheel and put his, and other lives, at risk.

    A hint: It’s something that all bros aspire to find, but you won’t find it in your local paper’s “best of” section at the end of the year.

Ryan Braun

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    Ryan Braun didn’t want to pay for his bro gear, so he started his own line of it.

    Bonus can of spray tan included.

Jim Rome

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    Bros don’t back down from anyone. Ever.

    No one can threaten the bro’s stature, even if the bro’s opponent is bigger and stronger. The ego battle between bros is a war, and as Jim Rome demonstrates, he’s a soldier.

    The TV and radio personality also tends to replace subject’s names with words like “dude” and “my man.”

    To boot, Rome is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), a place made famous for beach cruisers, babes and booze and a notorious hotbed for bros and bro-like behavior.

Chris Cooley

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    Chris Cooley runs a blog. Yes, it’s actually pretty witty.

    But his bro points derive from when the Redskins tight end decided to snap a shot of himself studying his playbook in the raw and accidentally posted the image on his blog with a portion of his manhood.

    Stupid, or just ahead of the curve in the mobile world of errant cock shots? (We’re talking to you, Brett Favre, Greg Oden, Santonio Holmes, Grady Sizemore, etc.)

Tiger Woods

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    Soft-spoken Stanford graduate whose popularity stems from a game played on country clubs in polo shirts...bro?

    Ah yes, then he went all Hank Moody on every female he encountered.

    Certainly, most were surprised. But those who read Charles Pierce’s iconic, meticulous, controversial 1997 account of a younger, brasher Tiger Woods shouldn’t be surprised by his bro-like shenanigans.

    Unfortunately, none of Tiger’s jokes in the Esquire piece are fit even for Bleacher Report print. But we’ll say this: Bros love inappropriate, politically incorrect jokes. Bros also love porn stars.

    Tiger Woods, you’re a bro.

Brett Favre

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    The saga between Jenn Sterger and the ol’ something-that’s-not-a-gunslinger is well documented and highly bro.

    Something else bro-like? The Simpsons—and no one has pulled off a better Hans Moleman football-to-the-groin moment than Favre.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Gym, tan, lau...ah, screw it, I’m going to go tan more.

    Ronaldo just reeks of bro. The endless supply of WAGs, the prima donna attitude and the hair. Can’t forget about the hair.

    It still makes little sense to load up on faux-hawk gel before running and sweating for 90-plus minutes, but BROnaldo does it anyway.

Matt Leinart

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    Beer bongs. Babes. Bro.

    Leinart moved from one place where a bro should thrive—Los Angeles—and he did, only he squandered an opportunity to thrive in another bro hot spot (Phoenix).

    Leinart also dated an excruciatingly good-looking basketball USC basketball player (very bro) but then got her pregnant and apparently neglected her (not bro).

Michael Jordan

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    Underscored by Jordan’s game-winning shots, epic moves and general overall badass-ness is that Jordan loves to party. is completely on to Jordan’s antics.

    Also: Bros are cocky. Bros back down from no one and nothing.

    Jordan famously guaranteed a win against the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 1998 and delivered.

    He also loves cigars, golf and gambling—three very bro-like activities.

Scott Van Pelt

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    Van Pelt, apparently, has a very long checklist, and if a woman violates even one thing on said list, they’re done (listen to the video). He also goes all Swingers on this young lady, and every bro had or currently has a Swingers poster on their college wall because it’s money, baby.

    During my senior year at UC Santa Barbara, sometime around 2006, I also happened to start talking to a dude at a poker table in Las Vegas who claimed to be a college roommate of Van Pelt’s at Maryland.

    This man, while sipping on a few vodka Red Bulls with me, claimed that he and Van Pelt and their other college buddies flew out to Vegas on the regular because, as he claimed, “Girls, they typically didn’t know who he was. The door guys at any club in Vegas? Oh yeah, they love him and we could skip any line.”

    A budding bromance with the door man? Very bro.

Barry Zito

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    Barry Zito is known around most of the baseball landscape for two things: his outlandish contract and his eccentric, almost hipster-like persona. And, occasionally, his curveball.

    So why does a rich quasi-music-loving hipster make a list filled with brolific bros?

    He made Deadspin’s epic moments in drunken hookup failure for stealing an everyman’s girl not once, but twice. On both sides of the Bay, no less.

Wilt Chamberlain

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    If Chamberlain even got remotely close to his claim that he slept with 20,000 women, bros: Salute. This. Man.

Pat Burrell

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    Burrell’s brohavior is stuff of legend in San Francisco and Philadelphia.

    Not only does he browse the web while slamming Bud Lights, but he’s also rumored to hang out nightly in San Francisco’s Marina District—a mecca for bronanigans around last call—drinking and searching for a postgame workout.

    No, really, Burrell apparently stays in shape in his mid 30s through his late-night revelry because, you know, that “stuff” burns calories.

    Pat Broell (sic) is truly a bro among men.

Bruce Pearl

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    Anyone who’s ever frequented a college gym has heard a common catchphrase among males: the “frat-boy workout.” In short, it’s just working the “beauty muscles”: biceps, triceps and pectorals.

    Bruce Pearl, the 51-year-old ex-Tennessee men’s basketball coach, doesn’t do what most men do his age at the gym. While most middle-aged men are simply worried about keeping that cholesterol down and futilely trying to keep their beer gut in check, Pearl was out crushing weights with his then-Volunteer players.

    According to a 2007 Sports Illustrated account, not only was he keeping up with players less than half his age, he was trumping them in the ultimate test of testosterone, the bench press. 

    Add that to the fact that he allegedly enjoys feeling up ESPN’s Erin Andrews and showing off his shirtless physique, and Pearl is among the 50-plus bro elite.

Alex Ovechkin

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    Most athletes do mundane motions for their pregame ritual: you know, listen to their iPods, stretch, go over the game plan, etc. Boring stuff, but stuff that works.

    Others, like the 2004 Boston Red Sox, tow a fine, bro-like line and take shots of Jack Daniel’s to take the pregame edge off.

    Alex Ovechkin?

    He does what most red-blooded males try to do after the game beforehand: get laid. No, really. And it allegedly works. Just listen to the man.

Andy Roddick

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    Andy Roddick is not only married to Sports Illustrated dreamboat and object of all bros’ affection Brooklyn Decker, but Roddick also absolutely loves beer.

    SI took note of Roddick’s affection for frosty man soda and actually chronicled the many, many times that the 28-year-old went out of his way to mention beer. A sample:

    • Roddick on facing Justin Gimelstob, who was playing in his final U.S. Open (Aug. 2007): "I want to send him into retirement and then buy him a beer."

    • On what he'd be doing were he not a tennis player (Aug. 2007): "I'd probably be in my eighth year of college, trying to qualify for my third Beer Olympiad."

    • On coach Jimmy Connors's reaction after Roddick lost in the Australian Open semifinals (Jan. 2007): "He gave me a beer."

Kyle Orton

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    When a website whose intent is solely to compile pictures and stories of athletes getting drunk ( hands you the simple yet perfectly applicable moniker “The Bottle,” you’ve etched yourself in some sort of bro folklore.

    Drinking Jack Daniel’s straight from the bottle helps too.

Pat McAfee

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    Golf ain’t the country club of the sports world: Being part of the Indianapolis Colts special teams unit since Peyton Manning joined the NFL in 1996 is by far the most kosher job in all of sports.

    David Wells made a strong case that a starting pitcher has the most conducive job to off-the-field shenanigans when he allegedly pitched a perfect game half drunk, but then Pat McAfee went and one-upped him.

    Wait, who? Oh yeah, McAfee, the guy that punts the ball, like, once a game (when Manning gets bored). So what’d he do?

    He got tanked and got caught swimming in a canal at 4 a.m. in 43-degree weather. According to the police report, McAfee, in his drunken state, answered the local law enforcement as follows:

    The former WVU punter said he "wasn't sure" if he had been in the canal or not, but that he knew "it was raining."

    When asked how much he had to drink, McAfee responded, "a lot, because I'm drunk."

Lenny Dykstra

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    A mandatory broquirement (sic) is to be cocksure. Lenny Dykstra took the word to an almost new meaning. Actually, in a 2009 interview with when attempting to defend his financial decisions (see: made it rain so much he’s drowning in a sea of debt), he retorted:

    “Have I got a 12-inch...or what?” 

    Dykstra was so cocky and sure of his financial worth that he invested in high-end magazine The Players Club with little to no knowledge of the publishing industry while the rest of the print industry was barely struggling to stay afloat. His retort for that flimsy investment, according to the same piece?

    “It’s about living the dream, bro.”

    “Nails” and his SoCal swagger and negligence of, well, laws that govern money have put Dykstra in absolute financial ruin.

    But hey, at least he’s still got his 12-inch you-know-what.

Sean Avery

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    Bros wear hangovers to work the next morning like a badge of honor. Hickies and “mistakes” too. Sean Avery took his conquests to an entirely new and very much public level.

    Avery actually went out of his way and sought out reporters to simply point out that while fellow NHL players were currently dating several of his ex-conquests, he marked his proverbial “territory” first:

    "I'm really happy to be back in Calgary; I love Canada," he said. "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about, but enjoy the game tonight." He then walked out of the locker room.

Wade Boggs

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    There are really no tangible ways, numbers or NFL combine-like measurements to judge one’s brottributes (sic).

    Pounding upwards of 60 domestic swills during a cross-country flight is an obvious exception to the rule.

    Bros, Mr. Wade Boggs.

Mark Grace

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    In the adolescent bro years, budding bros mark their proverbial “territory” by means of leaving hickies on girls’ necks and childishly bragging about it to their friends.

    And then there’s Mark Grace. Grace marks his territory on bartenders—in permanent ink.

    Grace also famously popularized the phrase “slump buster”—a term that most bros will claim ignorance to. He is a classic old-school bro.

Matt Stafford

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    Sometimes romance can be a serendipitous, unpredictable thing.

    Sometimes you just repeatedly take your shirt off, pound beers and grind on attractive women.

    And there you have Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in a nutshell.

    Bonus bro points: flipping off the camera like a misunderstood junior high school kid.

Jeff Reed

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    What exactly is it about kickers developing profound bro-like mentalities? Is it because most kickers were likely failed and/or crappy soccer players who lacked the athleticism to cut it on the pitch, so they took their golden leg to the gridiron?

    I mean, kickers typically aren’t usually the type to bask in female adulation at the bar scene.

    But Reed, like Pat McAfee, embraced the rather non-demanding lifestyle of the kicker and rode the bromentum to newfound levels of bro.

    Reed not only got hit with a drunk in public (just hours after a game), but he also got busted for taking out his frustration on a convenience store paper towel dispenser.

    And then there’s the hair and the spray tan. Get some bro, Jeff.