Most Basic Bros in Sports
At this point, most everyone has heard more than enough about the female version of the basic bro—let’s call it the basic broad. It has a surprisingly thorough entry on Wikipedia, which claims the term has been around since 2010, before really catching fire earlier this year.
Often used in a derogatory manner, labeling someone “basic” generally means the labeler thinks the labelee is boring, bland, predictable or otherwise uncool. But it really depends on the spirit in which it's being used.
The truth is, most of us are basic in our own ways. If things are going right in your life after college, worrying about being cool eventually becomes exhausting, as does being in the presence of people who are always keeping score. Which is why “basic” isn’t necessarily an insult.
When it comes to being basic in sports, we’re talking largely about bros who like exclusively bro things—things like mustaches, hunting, fishing, guns, fireworks and red Solo cups. They’re not into manscaping, pedicures, spa days, fur coats or diamond necklaces.
We’ll never see a basic bro sitting next to Anna Wintour during fashion week. Not just because he wouldn’t want to, but also because she wouldn’t let him. We’re talking the exact opposite of Tom Brady—guys who, off the field, would blend right in at most family barbecues.
Let's take a look at some of the most basic bros in sports.
Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
Though he shaved several inches of hair from his head and face after being named the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, Zach Mettenberger’s many messy looks over the last several years were classic basic bro. He used to show them off proudly via selfies on Twitter, but sadly, his account has recently disappeared.
Mike Golic, ESPN
It’s hard to know if ESPN’s Mike Golic is truly as basic bro as he seems or if it’s just amplified by the proudly metrosexual presence of Mike Greenberg, who has been his radio partner since 1998. Their first names are probably the only thing these two have in common.
Unlike Greeny, Golic isn’t into fashion—it’s mostly polo shirts and sweatshirts. He isn’t into manscaping or discussing his beard—shaving once a day is less tedious. He doesn’t change his hair, stress about germs, eat hummus at tailgate parties (or anything else healthy for that matter) or keep an appropriate distance from his mic.
Basically Golic’s a meatball, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
For someone who didn’t spend much time in the college ranks, Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper sure has the vibe of the kind of stereotypically abrasive frat guy you’d expect to have a real problem with “nerds.” He’s also the only guy on this list with nothing complimentary about his basic bro-ness.
On Harper’s generally ridiculous hair often perilously sits an ill-positioned hat that does nothing to help his case. He’s known for being egomaniacal, immature and needlessly abrasive, with a penchant for taunting his opponents. He isn’t much of a drinker, having instead replaced booze with extreme fitness in the basic bro checklist.
Off the field, Harper is hardly what you’d call a fashion...monger...which could explain his decision to design “navy sharkskin tuxedos” for his upcoming wedding. The good news is that they’re not made from sharks, but the bad news is that they’re made from the lining in diving suits.
Eli Manning, New York Giants & Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Aside from what they’ve chosen to reveal through interviews and documentaries, we don’t actually know all that much about the Manning brothers off the field. However, what we do know about Peyton and Eli is all pretty basic bro-type of stuff.
They’re not into fashion—they still wear the jerseys with the longer sleeves, their suits aren’t particularly tailored or stylish, they’re not ashamed to wear mom jeans (probably because they don’t know or care what mom jeans are) and they’ve both been rocking pretty much the same haircut their entire adult lives.
You know when you see LeBron James or Blake Griffin in a Kia ad and you’re like, stop tryin’ to pretend you’d ever be caught dead in a Kia? Well, if Peyton Manning drove a Buick, you’d be like, yeah...I guess that makes sense.
John Daly, PGA
Golfer John Daly is really a basic bro pioneer—the PGA is known for being too stuffy and button-down for its own good. He’s been on the tour for almost 25 years, despite being the perfect personification of everything the PGA powers that be probably don’t want in a golfer.
Daly has a history of hard living, which includes an awful lot of gambling (he says he lost $90 million!) and drinking. He was arrested and held for a 24-hour detox after being found passed out in front of a North Carolina Hooters in 2008. Apparently, he’s cleaned himself up, but he still smokes 40 cigarettes and drinks 10-12 Diet Cokes daily.
Then there’s his look. Daly’s bleached blonde hair and ample figure aren’t common on the tour; nor are the type of aggressively silly outfits he tends to favor. He is, was and will forever be unapologetically basic.
Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has risen to such a level of basic bro-ness that it has actually risen above the fact that he holds both Swedish and French citizenship, in addition to American. He’s worldly, but not too worldly to overcome.
Noah is abrasively unfashionable, at least by traditional standards, and has even been forced to change clothes during the course of a game. The only thing bigger than his mouth is his hair, which isn’t quite as big as it once was, but he’s still rocking the most controversial bun in sports.
In the offseason, Noah likes to “eat well and drink well,” according to a recent interview in Maxim. He loves his wine, advises his father to drink beer to calm his nerves and is a beer pong superstar.
Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills quarterback Kyle Orton, who has proven himself generally a qualified and capable starter in three different cities now, probably hasn’t received enough credit or respect over the course of his 10-year career in the NFL. It may have something to do with the fact that he has never looked the part.
For one, there’s enough hilarious drunken photos of Orton floating around the Internet to be featured on a recent “best of” list. Even if you haven’t seen any of the dozens of photos, Orton just looks like a dude who drinks. That goofy haircut, authoritative mustache and less than godlike physique would certainly make more sense perched on a stool at a dive bar than on a football field.
Orton is one of the most basic of all basic bros.
Chris Kaman, Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Kaman has played for five different teams over his 11-year career in the NBA. The journeyman is probably better known for his interesting hairstyles and enthusiasm for guns and fireworks more than anything he’s done on the court.
A dedicated hunter, Kaman added several new guns to his collection in 2011 in preparation for the Rapture—ya' know, "just incase." The Rapture didn’t happen (yet!), but those ’88 Ford Tauruses aren’t going to shoot themselves! And back in 2010, he spent $10,000 on fireworks for the Fourth of July.
Fireworks that Kaman shot off his front lawn. Now that’s basic.
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
These days, the NHL isn’t a league known for big personalities, which is why Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane stands out—he’s reminiscent of a much different time. Over the years, he’s rocked an absurd mullet as hard, if not harder, as some of the game’s greats.
Though he seems to have cleaned up his act, 26-year-old Kane has a history of very hard, very public partying. On a notorious trip to the University of Wisconsin in 2012, he was spotted by students at a number of different frat parties, one of which he was tossed from after allegedly choking someone.
It certainly wasn’t Kane’s only documented party boy antics, but it was definitely the craziest. Despite toning it down, there’s no question that he remains a blue-collar, Buffalo-born and bred basic bro at heart.
Jared Allen, Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen might be the loudest and proudest basic bro of them all. If he wasn’t such a great football player, he’d probably have his own reality show on the Discovery Channel, documenting his various outdoor pursuits and daily shenanigans.
Allen wears cowboy hats to formal events and wears camo or flannel everywhere else. He’s had quite a few different hairstyles over the years, but the mullet-mustache combo is his signature look. He enjoys hunting, fishing, guns and occasionally punching his friends “square in [the] wiener.”
All that aside, Allen’s love of the No. 69 is the mostly hilariously basic thing ever. His jersey No. is 69, his Twitter handle is @JaredAllen69 and his official website (on which he’s posing with a shotgun and wearing a cowboy hat) is Jared Allen 69Inc.