Tuesday, 14 February 2012

More E! than ESPN: 20 Famous Athletes Who Aren't Famously Athletic

Ballers and Chains
"Ballers" used loosely: Whether with their teams or around paparazzi, these guys are usually in the way of someone else's shot.

Marko Jaric (Adrianna Lima's husband)
One of these things, an NBA no-name last seen playing in Italy, is not like the other, a Victoria's Secret model and our de facto Miss Universe. But you already knew there is no God, right?

Hank Baskett (Kendra Wilkinson's husband)
When Baskett's Colts and fellow E!-lister Reggie Bush's Saints met in Super Bowl XLIV, it was billed by some (hint: not us) as "Kendra versus Kim." While Bush added to a career full of nondescript performances, Baskett had the only notable one of his, bouncing off his facemask the surprise onside kick that led to the Saints' momentum-shifting score. So, guess we know who won that battle: the people of New Orleans.

Eric Johnson (Jessica Simpson's fiancé)
Even the most bigoted Romophobe would have to admit that this former tight end, whose NFL stint lasted all of seven seasons, is a downgrade from Tony in the career department.

Mike Fisher (Carrie Underwood's husband)
See Simpson, Jessica. Though if someone watched hockey, they'd make the case that the Nashville Predators center is actually a pretty good player. That's your cue, guys. Anyone?

Mike Comrie (Hilary Duff's husband)
The third most-asked question this week, after "Did you know that Hilary Duff is pregnant?" and "Who the hell cares?" is "Who the hell is Mike Comrie?" The answer: an NHL career journeyman, which is like the double whammy of major-league irrelevancy.

rophies Without Trophies
We'll come out and say it: Attractive women get a lot of attention in sports. For better or worse, these sexy sportswomen usually get better spreads in Sports Illustrated than in Vegas.

Anna Kournikova
The prototypical hot female athlete who can't and shouldn't be taken seriously, winning far more Sexiest Women titles than WTA singles tournaments. And we don't really have to count, because the latter is zero.

Maria Sharapova
When the relative unknown upset Serena Williams at Wimbledon at the age of 17, hopes were high that we'd found a leggy yet legit tennis player. But a string of injuries and Grand Slam disappointments later, the undoubtedly talented Sharapova is still raking in more attention from her swimsuit shoots, and more money from her record endorsement deal with Nike, than from her success on the court.

Michelle Wie
It's hard to live up to being hyped as a phenom since the age of 13, but winning more than two LPGA tournaments would be a good step. More proof that the only missing pieces from Annika Sörenstam's career were pin-up good looks and not being accused of being a man.

Danica Patrick
Unlike Tiger, it's not for past success that Danica Patrick's results get Woods-like special placement in every race update. Being the most successful woman in IndyCar and NASCAR history is a feel-good story; all those GoDaddy.com commercials, though, feel decidedly less clean.

Too Big to Fail
It's not all gossip rags and lad mags. These athletes have seen their share of sporting accomplishments—but for one reason or another, their brands are bigger than their bite.

Andy Roddick
Maybe he's had tragically poor timing. Maybe the prime of his career was snuffed out by one Roger Federer. Either way, as it stands, Andy Roddick is most famous for his supersonic serve, marrying this fetching lady, and the rest of his tennis game, in that order.

Yao Ming
He coulda been a contender. It's not the gentle giant's fault that "when healthy" will always be a glaring disclaimer to his often-dominant game. Nor is it the fault of millions of Chinese fans that they've had exactly one good reason to watch the NBA, and one shoo-in All-Star vote. Yao's global reach and impact make him a good candidate for the nebulous criteria of the Basketball Hall of Fame. His on-court career? Sadly, not so much.

David Beckham
Though the twice-runner-up for FIFA Player of the Year has had a fine career, it has long since taken a backseat to underwear ads and forming a power couple with Posh Spice. The only thing getting bent these days is L.A. Galaxy fans, as their cast-off Euro superstar spends most of his time either loafing around or being injured.

Apolo Ohno
What does it take for a speed skater to become a huge celebrity? Our quadrennial national fervor for sports we otherwise never watch is probably most of it; otherwise, Americans have probably seen more of him dancing with the stars than skating on the ice.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
It's easier to become one of the biggest names in NASCAR when your name comes from, well, one of the biggest names in NASCAR. Otherwise, 18 total Sprint Cup wins and zero championships doesn't translate into being the highest-paid driver in the sport.

Chad Ochocinco
Somewhere between the finely planned and heavily fined touchdown celebrations and the 2.6 million Twitter followers was an explosive All-Pro receiver. Too bad Chad seems to have lost a step in recent years without gaining a verbal filter; bets are on as to whether Eight Five will have more 1,000-yard seasons or name changes from here on out.

Joe Namath
Before we get Mean Green paint poured all over our cars, Broadway Joe is one of the coolest athletes of all time. He deserves credit for sporting a badass fur coat, as well the gigantic brass pair it must've taken to guarantee victory over the Colts in Super Bowl III. That said, a 50.1% completion percentage, a 2-1 record in the playoffs, and 173 touchdowns to 220 picks aren't exactly legendary. In fact, Super Bowl aside, the rest of Namath's playing career probably comes third on his list of accomplishments, behind inspiring Kissing Suzy Kolber.

The Kardashian Annex
Not only can no one explain why they're famous, they've taken a whole crew of paramours along for the ride.

Lamar Odom
Sorry Lamar, but your Sixth Man of the Year award can't atone for marrying the most-maligned Kardashian sister and being plastered all over reality television. Stick to being the Lakers' all-purpose big man and WTF-tastic PowerBar commercials, though, and you might be all right.

Kris Humphries
Look, we like Kris Humphries. Dude can rock a swimsuit. But being an above-average forward for the Nets is invariably going to be overshadowed by marrying a Kardashian. Best of luck, Kris. Your wife is currently filing a lawsuit because someone looks like her, so you'll need it.

Bret Lockett
When you're an undrafted special teams player with seven tackles to your NFL career, a good way to upgrade your name cachet is alleging an affair with a famous socialite you've never met. In the words of TMZ: "Here comes the lawsuit!" On the plus side, it probably beats "Here comes Kris Humphries!"

Reggie Bush
After a Heisman-winning career at USC, the second pick in the 2006 draft has spent most of his time in the NFL producing middling stats yet being lauded by Saints brass as a critical part of their offense—so important that they traded him to the Dolphins this offseason as a salary dump. But hey, at least he isn't Matt Leinart.

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