With the Superb... er... sorry, NFL, forgot about your copyright. With the Big Game almost upon us, what say we talk about sports, baby?
Growing up, there was always “that guy” or “that girl” in high school who could not only letter in one sport, but absolutely dominate in it, but could also, at the drop of a jockstrap, play the next season's sport. Whether it was football and wrestling, baseball and track, softball and volleyball, or basketball and football, chances are, every school had a multi-sport athlete. If it was a fella, not only was their letter jacket covered in pin, medals and letters, but on their right or left arm was most likely the hottest girl in school.
Not that that isn't awesome and all, but it wasn't very lucrative to have that kind of talent in high school. In the big leagues though? Hell yes! Everyone's heard of Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson (Bo knows!), but there are many, many multi-sport athletes out there that have excelled at multiple sports, or have almost made it in one, only to try another and dominate that sport.
10. Troy Aikman
Anyone who knows football knows this guy as the lifetime member of the Dallas Cowboys football team. No other NFL team has had him throw their snaps. But in high school, another one of his loves was baseball. He was his team's star catcher and shortstop (hopefully not at the same time).
The New York Mets sent a scout to offer him a spot on the club, but Troy had promised his father he would go to college, and used football to get him there. It was a good choice; Aikman went on to win all 3 of the superbowls he led his team to, and was inducted into the pro football hall of fame in 2006. Plus, he played with Emmitt Smith. How cool is that!
9. Tom Brady
Famous not only for his quarterbacking, he's also fairly well known for his ever-evolving long hair and his super famous and super hot wife, Gisele Bündchen. Not going into the deflategate thing that he'll be most deflategate famous for, there is one other thing he's done that not many people know about.
Like Troy Aikman, he was pretty darn good at baseball in high school. More specifically, catching. So, in 1995, the Montreal Expos drafted Brady in the 18th round. He and everyone else knew that he was bound for the University of Michigan, and then onto the NFL, but the Expos still tried. Brady's high school produced Barry Bonds and Gregg Jefferies, so why not? And like Aikman, his love was with football. But makes you think, what if?
8. Tony Gwynn
Growing up in the '80s and '90s, a kid who loved collecting baseball cards and watching games also loved the heck out of Tony Gwynn. Hearing about him passing away at the young age of 54 in 2014 still stings. But his sports history is a pretty remarkable story.
Not only does he have some outstanding baseball stats, but he still holds records in the San Diego State University basketball program, 33 years after his last game. He played baseball in college too; so when the San Diego Padres and San Diego Clippers came calling on June 10, 1981, they both drafted him on the same day. The SAME DAY! His lover for baseball, unlike Troy and Tom, won out, and he became one of the best right fielders to ever play the game.
7. Frank Thomas
Another baseball player of the '90s that so many kids idolized, one could look at that massive mountain of a man and think, maybe he played some football in his life too. And that he did; along with Bo Jackson and Charles Barkley, helped make the football and basketball teams at that college what they are today.
While Bo won the Heisman, and is the more famous of the two-sport athletes, Frank got the nickname The Big Hurt. Nothing tops that badass nickname! The future hall of famer would play one year at tight end at the college, and an injury would help him change his mind to baseball, which he played for three years.
6. Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain was famous for many things, on and off the court. First to score more than 30,000 cumulative points? Check. First and only player to score 100 points in a game? Check. Most points in one season, with 4,029? Check. Claiming he slept with 20,000 women? Brown checkin' brown cow! Keeping his personal life out of this, the guy who holds 5 of the top 7 most points ever scored in a single game record (there's a three way tie for the fourth most with 73, between Wilt, David Thompson, and, well, Wilt). Only Kobe Bryant has even come close, with 81 points scored in 2006.
But what about Wilt's other sports? They all need a separate paragraph from his basketball stats. In high school track, he was a high jumper (not surprising), a runner, shot putter, and long jumper. When he went on to play basketball at the University of Kansas, he could run the 100 yard dash in 10.9 seconds, and also threw the shot put again, triple jumped, and was a damn good high jumper. After he retired from the NBA in 1973, he also played pro volleyball and dabbled in auto racing late in the decade. He boxed as well, and was offered a pro football contract with the Kansas City Chiefs in 1966. The title of this list mentions seconds sports, but Wilt kind of blew that away.
5. Walter Ray Willams, Jr.
Yes, bowling is too a sport! Maybe not quite as action packed and cheer-inducing as basketball, baseball and football, but it's still a form of exercise. This PBA and USBC hall of famer is also a member of the National Horseshoe Pitching Hall of Fame. Who knew there was such a thing?
Walter Ray does! Not surprising, seeing how the underhand horseshoe pitch is pretty similar to the bowling swing. He probably made the right decision with bowling; he's made millions from that, while only pulling in a few thousand with horseshoes. But winning the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of American world championship six times, in 1978-1981, 1985, 1991 and 1994, is nothing to shake a stick at.
4. Holly Holm & Ronda Rousey
Seeing how much media attention these two fighting beauties have gotten lately, it only seemed fitting to pair them up. Let's just hope Holly doesn't again do what she did to Ronda the last time they met up. Ouch!
Holly started her sports life with soccer, gymnastics, swimming and diving, before finding her calling in boxing and kickboxing. She does MMA now, and of course, became a household name after recently knocking Ronda Rousey out (check the video above), who herself became super famous for knocking out an opponent in 34 seconds, opposed to the whopping 59 seconds it took Holly to knock her out, killing Ronda's 12 match winning streak. Ronda, unlike Holly, excelled at really one other sport besides MMA, which was Judo, which she was so good at, she was able to retire at the ripe age of 21.
3. Caitlyn Jenner
If this name doesn't ring a bell, then nothing probably will. All media frenzies from the last few years aside, when Caitlyn was Bruce, Bruce was one hell of a track and field star, winning gold medals and setting world records in the Olympics. But lesser known is Jenner's racing career in the '80s, netting a few 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins with Roush Racing, among other places. All of Jenner's accomplishments would be overshadowed, of course, by an automobile accident that claimed the life of the other driver, and his eventual change to Caitlyn.
2. Carl Lewis
Another huge name in the Olympics, Carl Lewis competed in four Olympic Games, winning numerous silver medals and 9 gold medals, 4 of them from the Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984. He was a track and field star early, setting a national prep record for his long jump. His record-setting continued at University of Houston, running the 100 meter and doing the long jump.
But along with his track and field stats is a very remarkable year in 1984. Lewis had never played one second of football, but that didn't matter to the Dallas Cowboys, who wanted him purely for is athleticism. They drafted him in the 12th round of the 1984 NFL draft. Usually, that would be enough to get a person going, right? Well, in the same year, just like with Tony Gwynn, the Chicago Bulls selected him in the 10th round of the NBA draft. He declined both, obviously the right decision.
1. Lance Armstrong
Despite his famous battle with testicular cancer and subsequent loss of one his boys (which can be found if you play Cards Against Humanity) what happened in 2012, when Lance was stripped of all his 7 consecutive Tour de France titles, the name Lance Armstrong will forever be recognized all over the world for not only his cycling accomplishments and his philanthropy.
He raises money for leukemia, along with other charities and causes. So who would be too surprised that he has a little Michael Phelps in him? At age 10, he began running and swimming. He took up competitive cycling and triathlons at 13, and became a triathlete champion at 16. Not long after that, he concentrated fully on cycling, and the rest is his story!