The 20 Saddest Reality Show Athletes Ever

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2013

The 20 Saddest Reality Show Athletes Ever

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    Everyone wants to be a reality star these days, don't they?

    Unfortunately, some of those very people are our favorite athletes.

    While it can be cool to see some athletes stepping out of their element and into something completely random, it doesn't always end well for them.

    Need proof? Just take a look at these 20 athletes who had a sad experience in front of the camera—and yes, we have a feeling Ryan Lochte will be on this list come next year.

20. Lamar Odom

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    Embarrassment Factor: 1.5/10

    Though Lamar Odom found himself on "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," at first, he was able to parlay the chemistry he had on it with current wife Khloé into their own TV show, "Khloé & Lamar."

    The best thing about either one of these shows is that, though Khloé catches heat for not being the hottest sister—that usually goes to Kim—she proves she's absolutely the most normal.

19. Dennis Rodman

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    Embarrassment Factor: 2.6/10

    It's bad enough that the five-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer went on "The Celebrity Apprentice" once.

    But when the Donald came calling again to take part in the All-Star edition, "The Worm" just couldn't resist.

    On his first go-round, Dennis Rodman got fired for partying a bit too much.

    His encore performance left him not paying too much attention to detail, forgetting how to spell Trump's wife's name.

    Bad move.

18. Ndamukong Suh

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    Embarrassment Factor: 3.1/10

    When Ndamukong Suh wants to be, he's easily in the discussion as one of the most dominating forces on the defensive line in the NFL.

    But for some reason he wants to focus on his diving skills in the offseason and embarrass—and potentially injure—himself jumping from three stories high.

    Just ask his teammates how they feel about him doing something like that.

17. Shaquille O'Neal

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    Embarrassment Factor: 3.5/10

    Thanks to Shaq's last two TV decisions, it seems he can't be a hit with everything he touches.

    Not only did the big man airball his "Shaq Vs." gig—where he was paired with other people to compete in different categories—but his newest show "Upload" looks like an absolute disaster.

16. Mitch Berger

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    Embarrassment Factor: 3.8/10

    Though Mitch Berger won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in '08, the fact is he did it as a punter.

    Sure, earning millions of dollars to do something like that is pretty cool, but going on "Millionaire Matchmaker" isn't something we'd personally like to do—mainly because we're not technically worth seven figures.

    At least he found his match though!

15. Pete Rose

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    Embarrassment Factor: 4.2/10

    At this point in Rose's life, is he even remembered as one of the greatest baseball players to ever put on a uniform?

    He may be MLB's all-time hits leader, but that doesn't mean he still appeals to a national audience—as proof by the ratings of his show "Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs." coming in with paltry numbers.

14. Terry Crews

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    Embarrassment Factor: 4.5/10

    As someone who is probably best known for his acting career more than his three-year NFL run, we can't come down too hard on Terry Crews.

    We can poke a little fun his way though after seeing him star in sitcoms like "Are We There Yet?" and "Everybody Hates Chris," along with reality shows "The Family Crews" and the celebrity weight loss challenge, "Stars Earn Stripes."

13. Pac-Man Jones

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    Embarrassment Factor: 5/10

    Over the course of Pac-Man's six-year career, we've seen plenty of unfortunate decisions.

    Fights at strip joints.


    The works.

    But him actually getting in a fight on the sports series "Pros vs. Joes," may just take the cake.

12. Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens

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    Embarrassment Factor: 5.4/10

    If there were ever two athletes who could draw a crowd, it'd be former wideouts Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens—or so TV network Versus thought.

    After an absolute dismal performance in ratings, the show got axed, proving when you're a loudmouth athlete, people don't seem to care as much when you're not playing a sport anymore.

11. Freddie Mitchell

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    Embarrassment Factor: 5.7/10

    As if the whole "Fred-Ex" thing wasn't enough of a stunt by the former NFL wideout, he tried putting his face out there in a different way—by showing he just wanted some love.

    Like the aforementioned Mitch Berger, Freddie Mitchell appeared on an episode of "Millionaire Matchmaker"—which we embarrassingly enough actually watched—wining and dining his date on a helicopter ride over Los Angeles.

    Unfortunately for him, he didn't find what he was looking for.

10. John Rocker

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    Embarrassment Factor: 5.9/10

    Rocker probably hurt his rep more when he shared his opinions on New York City back in 2000 more than he did on a reality show.

    But since he's most famous for that diarrhea of the mouth way back when, the fact that he had to resort to an appearance on "Pros vs. Joesjust to get some face time earns him a look here.

9. Deion Sanders

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    Embarrassment Factor: 6.2/10

    Though we've never watched the show, this clip alone makes us love Deion even more than we already did.

    "My legs paid for all this..." Classic Sanders move.

    Our problem isn't with the content itself, but that one of the league's biggest playmakers ever resorted to doing a reality gig—and it aired on the Oxygen channel!

8. Glenn Pakulak

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    Embarrassment Factor: 6.4/10

    We remember seeing the previews for the show "Most Eligible: Dallas" and thinking, "Good God, this is everything that's wrong with society."

    Low and behold, former NFL punter Glenn Pakulak wanted to boast about how wealthy and attractive he and his friends were though, earning him a bust in the "Broner Hall of Fame."

7. Mark Philippoussis

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    Embarrassment Factor: 6.8/10

    As a former tennis player who reached as high as No. 8 on the world rankings and reaching the finals of two Grand Slams, you'd think you'd just fall into retirement by laying low.

    Not Mark Philippoussis though, who found a spot onto the matchmaking show "Age of Love," where he was the contestant trying to decide between older 40-something "cougars", and the young 20-something "kittens."

    Yes, that really happened.

6. Jesse Palmer

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    Embarrassment Factor: 7.1/10

    Who says that life as an NFL backup quarterback is tough?

    Sure, they might not crack the starting lineup, but Jesse Palmer proved there are other ways to get their name out there—though it might not be the best route.

    The former NFL signal-caller was plucked as the "Bachelor" back in 2004, choosing Jessica Bowlin as his go-to receiver.

    Too bad it didn't work out for him, though his decision most likely helped him land his current gig as an ESPN analyst.

5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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    Embarrassment Factor: 7.5/10

    When Kareem broke the NBA scoring record with his patented hook shot back in 1984, we bet he'd never think he'd be standing on a diving board, attempting to do some crazy dive off of it.

    Yet there he is as part of the "Splash" contestants, trying to pull off the unthinkable—a seven-footer contorting his body enough to look graceful.

    If you've watched the show, you know he hasn't proven it to work yet.

4. Christian Okoye

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    Embarrassment Factor: 7.8/10

    Maybe Okoye's just really into some role-playing?

    That's the only thought we have after recalling his time on the short-lived reality show "Pirate Master," where he actually lived on a pirate ship in search of $1 million worth of "treasure."

    Argggh, that just sounds like a foolish decision for the "Nigerian Nightmare."

3. Jose Canseco

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    Embarrassment Factor: 8.2/10

    Canseco could easily top our list of saddest reality athlete, but at this point in his life, isn't he expected to do stunts like this?

    Scoring gigs on reality shows like "CelebriDate," "The Apprentice," and "The Surreal Life"—among others—he's a walking publicity stunt.

    To no one's surprise, he has yet another "acting" spot currently filming as we speak.

2. Kris Humphries

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    Embarrassment Factor: 8.6/10

    Though Kris Humphries can complain all he wants about his decision to be on the show "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," the truth is, his relationship with Kim Kardashian made him somewhat relevant.

    Think he'd even be on the ballot for the "Most Disliked NBA Player" had he not appeared on that show?

    Heck no.

    He looked like a Grade A jackass, but it may have actually helped make his celebrity even bigger.

1. Barry Bonds

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    Embarrassment Factor: 9.2/10

    Oh Barry, what are you doing?

    Though his baseball legacy has widely been tarnished due to all the PED talk, Bonds still technically sits atop the MLB career home runs list—which is why he's No. 1 here.

    He's just too big a star to do something like this.

    As if dressing up in women's garb during a spring training gaffe in 2006 wasn't demeaning enough, Bonds did the show "Bonds on Bonds," showing how all the steroids talk affected him.

    Sports fans didn't really show too much sympathy for the guy though.