Usain Bolt and the Oddest Two-Sport Wannabes of All Time

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2010

Usain Bolt and the Oddest Two-Sport Wannabes of All Time

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    DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - MAY 19:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica rests after winning the men's 100 metre race during the Colorful Daegu Pre-Championships Meeting 2010 at Daegu Stadium on May 19, 2010 in Daegu, South Korea. Bolt won the race at 9.86.  (Photo by Chung S
    Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

    Usain Bolt has decided that his talents on the track would be suited to helping Manchester United succeed on the pitch.

    Before you completely dismiss Bolt's declaration, consider he played soccer in high school and has even trained with Man U in the past.

    But at the same time, it seems very unlikely he can even come close to having enough ball skills to make the jump into uncharted territory for a track star. With that in mind, it now seems safe to go ahead and dismiss Bolt's dream.

    The allure of crossing into a new sporting arena has attracted dozens of professional athletes throughout history. Some have been at least slightly successful, others have failed and others, like Bolt, haven't even tried quite yet.

    Here's a look at 10 of the oddest two-sport wannabes of all time.

No. 10: Roy Jones Jr, Boxing to Basketball

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    LAS VEGAS - APRIL 03:  Roy Jones Jr. has a  cut over his left eye tended to in his corner between rounds of his light heavyweight bout against Bernard Hopkins at the Mandalay Bay Events Center April 3, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hopkins won by unanimous d
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Roy Jones Jr. isn't just the token huge dude at the gym who fires up jumpers that nearly break the backboard. He can actually ball.

    He makes this list simply because he is much better at boxing, and the parallels between the two sports of his choice are so very few.

    Jones is the only man in history to play a professional basketball game and win a boxing match in the same day, a feat he accomplished on June 15, 1996, when he played for the USBL's Jacksonville Barracudas and defeated Eric Lucas in a fight. 

    The love of basketball still hasn't faded, but at least Jones knew when to quit trying to play professionally.

No. 9: Terrell Owens, Football to Basketball

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  NFL player Terrell Owens on the court during halftime of Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Like Roy Jones Jr., Terrell Owens isn't horrible at basketball. He just isn't nearly as good as he thinks he is.

    T.O. played college basketball at Tennessee-Chattanooga, spent time with the Sacramento Kings summer league team, and played in the USBL.

    His dream of playing in the NBA will never come true, but at least he will be able to dominate in the annual NBA All-Star celebrity game against the likes of Anthony Kim and Michael Rapaport.

No. 8: Brandon Marshall, Football to Basketball (In His Dreams)

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 21:  Brandon Marshall #19 of the Miami Dolphins runs after making a reception during the preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 21, 2010 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Gett
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Usain Bolt wants to play for Manchester United. Brandon Marshall wants to play for the Miami Heat. What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?

    Marshall has said he plans to launch an NBA career as a secondary occupation in the event of an NFL labor stoppage.

    It's not hard to imagine Marshall being able to play pro ball, but the USBL seems like a better option. Baby steps, Brandon.

No. 7: Justin Gatlin, Track to Football

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    World record holder Justin Gatlin wins the men's 100-meter dash June 23 at the 2006 AT&T Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    Justin Gatlin hadn't play organized football since 10th grade, but he had nothing better to do while serving a suspension from track competition for doping.

    He worked out at the University of Tennessee's pro day, and attracted interest from Tampa Bay and Houston.

    The Bucs even gave the sprinter a tryout contract, but his attempt to make the NFL as a wide receiver ended when the team cut him.

No. 6: Jerry Rice and Tony Romo, Football to Golf

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    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 12:  Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Spyglass Hill Golf Course on February 12 2010 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Jerry Rice and Tony Romo aren't awful at golf, they just aren't really good enough to avoid making this list.

    Both players have worked tirelessly to improve their game. Rice has dabbled with the Nationwide Tour, and Romo has twice tried to qualify for the U.S. Open in 2005 and again in 2010.

    He nearly made the field this year, but withdrew after a rain delay despite not being completely out of contention.

    Don't rule out another attempt at qualifying by Romo in the future.

No. 5: Usain Bolt, Track to Soccer (In His Dreams)

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    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - AUGUST 06: Usain Bolt of Jamaica in the men's 100m heats during the IAAF Diamond League meeting at the Olympic Stadium on August 6, 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Bolt has played organized soccer and loves the game, so his understanding of the strategy behind the sport wouldn't be a problem.

    His speed is impossible to ignore, but so too is the little matter of actually being able to dribble, fend off physical play, and actually kick the ball into the goal.

    It's not completely impossible for Bolt to see his dreams come true. It just seems like he should stick to what he is good at...Really good at.

No. 4: Michael Westbrook, Football to MMA

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    06 Jan 2002:  Michael Westbrook #82 of the Washington Redskins is unable to get a handle on a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during week 17 NFL action at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Michael Westbrook never lived up to expectations at the NFL level after a fantastic college career. By contrast, anything he does at the MMA level will exceed all expectations.

    Westbrook has participated in exactly three official fights as a heavyweight in the last five years. He has also become a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu artist, although his exact proficiency in the sport is unclear.

    It appears Westbrook's second career is going about as well as his first.

No. 3: Todd MacCulloch, Basketball to Pinball (Seriously)

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Todd MacColloch was once an overpaid big man who was asked to defend Shaq in the NBA Finals while playing for the Sixers.

    Now, he is an avid pinball player, and a good one at that.

    MacColloch's transformation into another "sport" distinguishes himself from many of his counterparts on this list. At the same time, there's nothing admirable about a 7-foot dude having to resort to a child's game to become successful.

    The Nets gave him a six-year, $34 million contract without knowing he would soon use the money to expand his pinball machine collection.

    Talk about putting money to good use.

No. 2: Brock Lesnar, WWE to Football

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    DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  MMA fighter Brock Lesnar walks in the garage area during practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Even though Brock Lesnar's brute strength is impossible to ignore, it seemed unlikely he would ever get an NFL career off the ground.

    The Vikings signed him to a training camp deal and he actually made some impact as a defensive lineman, but he was cut before the regular season began.

    After that, the South Dakota native decided to return his focus to what he does best. Good decision.

No. 1: Michael Jordan, Basketball to Baseball

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    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 26:  Michael Jordan of the Scottsdale Scorpions takes batting practice before an Arizona Fall League game at Scottsdale Stadium on October 26, 1994 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Was there any doubt?

    Michael Jordan's decision to walk away from his platform as quite possible the best basketball player ever at the peak of his game will never be completely understood.

    M.J.'s dreams of making his father proud were never realized thanks to an inability to hit those nasty minor league curveballs.

    Thankfully, Jordan was able to admit he was in over his head and return to where he clearly belonged.