Sports Lists logoSports Lists

The 25 Strangest Athletes in Sports

Kelsey GivensAnalyst IISeptember 4, 2011

The 25 Strangest Athletes in Sports

1 of 26

    They're known for their talent, team contributions and...their personalities.

    From the eccentric to the odd, some athletes in the game today and in days past have been more recognizable for their quirky personalities than their actual playing abilities.

    With weird pregame rituals, superstitions and actions, these athletes add a whole other element to any game they are associated with.

    Here is a list of 25 of the strangest athletes in sports.

No. 25: John Daly

2 of 26

    Let's just start by saying that anyone wearing pants that hideous is a little odd, but in addition, his addictions and outlandish gambling habits land John Daly on this list.

    It's been reported that he lost between $50 million to $60 million over a period of 15 years.

No. 24: Chris Bosh

3 of 26

    He may be a very talented basketball and part of the dream team for the Heat, but Chris Bosh is a bit of an odd one.

    Who else could come up with such random, hilarious and out there videos like Bosh does? Not to mention he's Ringo to the other Heatles—and Kenny if the Heat were South Park.

    Maybe Butters.

No. 23: Tim Tebow

4 of 26

    Possibly it's the passion he has for everything. Whatever it is, there's just something about Tim Tebow that doesn't seem quite like any other people in the game today.

No. 22: Tug McGraw

5 of 26

    Father of famous singer Tim McGraw, this former baseball player not only set a couple of team records during his tenure, including pitching the final out in the 1980 World Series, but also managed to produce a comic book called Scroogie and come up with some odd catchphrases, including "Ya Gotta Believe."

No. 21: Sean Avery

6 of 26

    More so than his personality, Sean Avery's playing style on the ice is truly a strange sight to behold.

    Sometimes more lacrosse-like than hockey-like, the NHL even had to come up with the Sean Avery rule thanks to his odd distraction tactics.

No. 20: Ron Artest

7 of 26

    This one is pretty self-explanatory, but Ron Artest has had some odd quotes and behavior over the years.

    Those oddities, however, make him all the more endearing, including in this press conference after a Lakers victory.

No. 19: Clinton Portis

8 of 26

    Anyone who gives a press conference in different characters every time automatically makes this list.

    Check out this video of possible character options for Portis.

No. 18: Manny Ramirez

9 of 26

    Between his reported prima-donna-like moments and his "Manny being Manny" moments on the field, this is one strange athlete.

No. 17: Shaquille O'Neal

10 of 26

    Again, another athlete whose appearance on this list needs no explanation.

    From making videos of himself dressed in drag singing in his car to the odd pranks and tweets he sends, Shaq may be hilarious, but he is one strange athlete.

No. 16: Rene Higuita

11 of 26

    The Evel Knievel of soccer, goalkeeper Rene Higuita was known for dribbling the ball far out of the goal down the field, which proved to be disastrous on more than one occasion. He was also well known for his scorpion kick.

    In addition to his crazy playing strategies, Higuita ruined his career by testing positive for cocaine.

No. 15: Chad Ochocinco

12 of 26

    Who changes their last name to match their jersey number?

    Apparently this guy.

No. 14: Ricky Williams

13 of 26

    He may have had his oddities, like wearing his helmet during postgame interviews, but he also may be one of the most interesting players in the NFL.

    During his several suspensions for testing positive for marijuana, Williams studied holistic medicine and Hinduism and even taught yoga while playing football in Canada.

No. 13: Jason Terry

14 of 26

    This is one reportedly superstitious player.

    Apparently he used to sleep in the other team's uniform before every game.

No. 12: Barry Zito

15 of 26

    Barry Zito is truly an odd one.

    At his introductory press conference he told everyone he liked the way his number, 75, looked like a shelf to hold up his name.

    In addition to odd comments like this, he apparently takes scented candles, stuffed animals and silk pillows with him all the time on the road.

No. 11: Turk Wendell

16 of 26

    Another odd one in the game of baseball, Wendell is best known for his odd behavior on the field.

    Examples include crouching when the catcher stood, having the umpire roll him the ball instead of throw it, brushing his teeth between innings and wearing a necklace made of the teeth of animals he's hunted and killed.

No. 10: Nyjer Morgan

17 of 26

    Not only did he give himself a nickname that has seemingly nothing to do with his name or playing abilities, but he also seems to have a quick, violent temper.

No. 9: Brett Favre

18 of 26

    Is he done? Is he coming back? He did what? I thought he was a good, wholesome family man...

    This is one NFL player full of strange contradictions.

No. 8: Jimmy Piersall

19 of 26

    Jimmy Piersall did a lot of weird things on the field, like wearing a Beatles wig, running around center field trying to distract other players (slide 11) and ducking behind a monument to talk with Babe Ruth.

No. 7: Gilbert Arenas

20 of 26

    Probably one of the most superstitious players ever in the NBA, Gilbert Arenas had a laundry list of odd behaviors and rituals he has to do to play well.

    Some of these include eating Boston Market before every game, tickling Antawn Jamison’s armpit in the huddle and leaving his free-agency decision up to a coin toss.

No. 6: Dennis Rodman

21 of 26

    Again, an athlete who needs no explanation as to why he is on this list.

    His variety of hair colors, wearing a dress out in public, head-butting opponents and short wrestling career have defined this strange athlete.

No. 5: Brian Wilson

22 of 26

    Fear the beard...

    Brian Wilson is not only known for dying his huge, bushy beard, but also for telling reporters he found out in a dream that he is a certified ninja and that he was fined for his neon orange feet for "having to much awesome" on his feet.

No. 4: Joe Namath

23 of 26

    A classic oddball, Joe Namath was known for being eccentric throughout his career.

    From wearing a long, white fur coat on the sidelines to establishing himself as a sex symbol through pantyhose commercials, Namath was an odd one.

No. 3: Mike Tyson

24 of 26

    Aside from just a strange personality, Mike Tyson is most famous in his career for biting off a guy's ear and making some really odd threats in the ring.

No. 2: Mark "The Bird" Fidrych

25 of 26

    One of the strangest players to have ever played in the major leagues, Mark Fidrych was known for talking to the ball, believing the ball had a certain number of hits in it and asking for the ball to be put back in the bag to "goof around" with the others and come out with more hits.

No. 1: Bill Lee

26 of 26

    This is hands down the strangest player ever to grace the world of sports.

    He admitted to smoking marijuana, had a super outspoken personality and even threatened to bite an umpire's ear off once.

    On top of all of that, he was known not only for speaking candidly with reporters, but also speaking with them about anything and everything under the sun.

    His oddness was so well known that Warren Zevon wrote a song about him.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices