The 15 Athletes Most Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

Eric NewmanCorrespondent IIIJune 24, 2013

The 15 Athletes Most Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

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    The dead have risen and they are ravenous. Their hankering for the succulent flesh of the living is insatiable. They stalk the city streets and country roads in lumbering hordes devouring terrified citizenry.

    Want to survive? You'd best choose your company wisely. You need someone clever. Someone strong. Someone with street smarts and survival skills. Someone who won't slow you down.

    Click on to review your best choices. Meet the 15 athletes who would be most likely to survive a world ruled by the undead.

Zdeno Chara

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    Towering over fellow man—both the living and the undead—Chara is a 6'9" bruiser with "appetites for destruction" moods.

    Get him riled up and he's likely to single-handedly take apart a who platoon of walking corpses.

    Check out this tribute to the Bruins' defenseman and his notorious temper. 

Mario Williams

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    Hey never hurts to hang with a 6'6", 292 lb. guy who has a unique talent for defense. Quite good company to keep in these zombies-rule-the-Earth times.

    But what makes Williams even more valuable is his experience as an outdoorsman. Flee from those zombies into the frigid winter woodlands of Western New York and "Super Mario" will see to it that your belly is always full of venison.

Bakkies Botha

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    Botha's rugby rap sheet reads like the screenplay to a horror film:

    The zombies aren't go to play fair, so you shouldn't either. Why not take up with someone who can show you a dirty move or two? Or seven.

Joe Thomas

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    Cleveland's All-Pro offensive lineman Joe Thomas is an expert bow and rifle hunter, fisherman, who started fishing at just two years of age.

    His father said this of him: "He'd pop out of bed, ready to go even at 3 a.m. and never complained about a 10 hour drive to get to the lake. He was a kid who thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and would make the sacrifices."

    He has even co-hosted a television show about the great outdoors.

    Load up a pontoon boat with supplies and go live in the zombie-free middle of Lake Erie with Joe. You'll be just fine.

David Prewitt

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    Avid outdoorsman? Check.

    Military background? Check (he was a scout sniper team leader in the United States Marine Corps. He served in Iraq).

    Hand-to-hand combat skills? Check. He's an MMA fighter.

    The guy even has rodeo and jousting experience (yeah, jousting).

    If dragons existed, he could probably slay them.

Jason Babin

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    During one of Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jason Babin's bear hunts up in Cold Bay, Alaska (need you read any further to be convinced of his worthiness as a post-apocalypse traveling companion?), the weather took a turn for the worse. Babin and his guide were unable to depart as scheduled.

    The next several days brought freezing temperatures and winds so strong that they bent the tent down into Babin's sleeping bag.

    Babin and his guide lived off freeze-dried food and ice that they hacked off a glacier and then melted.

    Full disclosure: Stick with Babin and you might get eaten by a grizzly instead of a zombie. But somehow that seems like a slightly better way to go.

Usain Bolt

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    Face it, as careful as you are, at some point the zombies are going to ambush you. When it happens, you'll have two choices, run—and run hard—or become ghoul fodder.

    Though you may not be able to keep up with the fastest man on the planet, at least he'll be able to zigzag about creating diversions and scouting the best way for you to go.

Lance Mackey

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    Mackey has won the Iditarod, a grueling 1,200 dog sled race through the Alaskan wilderness, a staggering four times. In a row!

    And in two of those years, he also won the Yukon Quest, another 1,000-mile race.

    In 2010, the champion musher and throat cancer survivor was inducted into Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

    Some have dubbed him "the toughest athlete alive."

Johny Hendricks

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    With a professional fight record of 15-1, Hendricks has proven himself a true MMA powerhouse. Next up for him is UFC 167 in which he'll taken on the legendary Georges St. Pierre.

    But his hunting skills are what might keep you alive for a few more months. And Hendricks isn't just about taking down passive little deer; he goes for cunning and elusive quarry such as coyotes and wild boar.

LeBron James

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    You and LeBron are creeping west on Dade Boulevard in South Beach. If you make it across the Venetian causeway, you'll be back on the mainland and have a much better shot at finding food and hiding places. From behind you hear the snarl of the undead; a mob of them that were ambling about in Island View Park have caught your scent. You run out onto the causeway only to spot dozens of the ghouls up ahead. They ooze towards you from Star Island, smacking their lips and grunting. You're trapped.

    LeBron is strong, yes, but strength won't help you against these numbers. He's fast, but again, no real help on this narrow causeway. So just what is it about LBJ that makes him a survivalist?

    Love him or hate him, no one can argue that the man lacks determination. And survival experts will tell you that is the single most important factor in a survival scenario. Give up and you're dead. Fight on and there just might be a way.

    LeBron will get you off that causeway, don't worry. You'll live to fight zombies another day.

Sebastien Chabal

11 of 15 names Chabal as the number one biggest badass in the history of rugby. And he sure looks the part, doesn't he? In his native France he's known as L'Homme des cavernes. Yeah, you guessed it: Caveman.

    See Sebastien decimate anything in his path with the intensity of a class 5 twister. See him turn some of the burliest men on the planet to quivering boys.

    While the undead don't seem to emote fear, they will at least be inconvenienced as Chabal clears a path for you with one of his signature charges and sends them flying like so many bowling pins.

Mike Adams

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    Someone in your band of survivors is bound to get injured and there's nothing worse than being faced with the noble decision to leave no man behind and the more pragmatic decision to save your own skin.

    That's why you want to team up with dudes that can take an injury and still not slow you down. Guys like Steeler's offensive tackle Mike Adams.

    Adams recently took a blade to the gut during a botched robbery attempt. Did he curl up in the fetal position and moan in agony? He did not. He chased after his assailants, one of whom had reportedly held a gun to Adam's face.

    Adam's later had stomach surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Buck Shelford

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    Shelford may be getting a bit older—he's 55 now—but he is still one of the first names to come up when people think of brutish athletes.

    I mean come on, a guy who gets knocked out, loses four teeth, and has HIS SCROTUM TORN OPEN then wants to return to the pitch to keep playing can only be something of the undead himself.

Bo Jackson

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    Bo is a passionate and skilled hunter. Good with firearms, good with a bow. But is he good in a crises? If zombies launched a surprise attack, would he panic?

    Likely not. A black bear once made the mistake of getting right up in Bo's face. He shot it with a pistol at point-blank range. When the bear didn't topple, Bo fired off a second shot and finished off the job. To round out the morning's activities, he skinned the bear on the spot, and dragged its 70-pound hide all the way back to camp.

    Zombies, beware!

Shane Carwin

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    Carwin can fight, sure. But if you and your crew want to keep one step ahead of the walking dead, it'd be best to keep Carwin off the front line.

    See, Carwin has a degree mechanical engineering. Yeah, you know that field in which people are trained to create and build mechanical devices. Stuff like, oh say, engines, bio-medical tools, weapons. Think any of those things would come in handy in a zombie apocalypse?