10 Pro Athletes Who Excelled in Another Sport
Sports |  Source: espn.go.com

10 Pro Athletes Who Excelled in Another Sport

They're freak athletes.

Some people are just too athletic.

They are big. They are strong. They are fast. They have all the skills necessary to thrive in any sport they want. In high school, they tend to play multiple sports but in college (and the pros), many are forced to pick their favorite. Not everyone has to choose though, and here is a look at 10 pro athletes in recent times who excelled in another sport.
Jameis Winston
Other than stealing crab legs and winning a Heisman Trophy during his tenure at Florida State, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers current starting quarterback had quite the baseball career. As a sophomore, Winston had seven saves as the Seminoles closer. And he owned a 1.08 ERA in 24 games while striking out 31 batters in 33.1 innings. There was pro baseball potential here too. But football has worked out pretty well.
Antonio Gates
Yeah, you probably know him as the San Diego Chargers All-Pro tight end. But at Kent State, he was better known for his skills on the basketball court. He averaged 20.6 points and 7.7 rebounds per game as a senior. Gates didn't even play college football. At 6-foot-4, he was a tweener in basketball, which hurt his NBA chances. And he was originally a Michigan State football recruit, but Nick Saban didn't want him to also play basketball. Nick Saban screwed up there.
Brian Jordan
The former All-Star outfielder had a 15-year big league career finished his big league career with a .282 batting average and 182 home runs. Prior to that, he was in the NFL for three seasons. He was the Atlanta Falcons starting strong safety for two years, recording six interceptions. He was even a Pro Bowl alternate in his final season.
So why did he give it up? At the same time, he was a St. Louis Cardinals prospect so when he was big league ready in 1992, they gave him a new contract -- with incentive ($1.7 million) to give up football. It worked. His big league career lasted until 2006.
Russell Wilson
Before he was the Super Bowl winner (and loser) he is today, Wilson was a second basemen in the Colorado Rockies farm system. He was selected by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft and spent two summers in their system while he was still playing college football. His .710 OPS in A Ball wasn't awful, but a huge senior year at Wisconsin (72.8 completion percentage, 33 touchdowns, four interceptions) decided his future.
Mark Hendrickson
He's 6-foot-9 and left-handed. That should give this one away. Hendrickson starred in basketball and baseball at Washington State University which led to him being selected in both the NBA draft and MLB draft. Like many NBA second rounders, Hendrickson became a journeyman. He gave up the game in 2000 after playing in 115 games in four seasons for four different teams.
With his focus on baseball, he enjoyed a 10-year big league career (2002-2011). His results weren't great, going 58-74 with a 5.03 ERA. But he is one of just 12 men ever to play in both the MLB and NBA -- and the most recent.
Brandon Weeden
Ever wonder why Weeden was so old as an NFL rookie? Because he was the New York Yankees second round pick in the 2002 MLB draft. He fizzled out in high-A at 22 and then went to Oklahoma State, had an excellent career there and became another Cleveland Browns quarterback mistake when they picked him in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft. Sure, didn't excel in either league, but he's thrown more touchdowns (31) than interceptions (30) in his five-year NFL career, so there's that.
Drew Henson
Yeah. He wasn't great at either sport professionally. But it is hard to deny his athleticism. He was the New York Yankees third round draft pick in 1998 and played baseball during the summer during his college years. As a freshman at Michigan, he competed with Tom Brady for playing time -- but eventually lost. He started as a junior (2000) and threw 16 touchdowns and four interceptions before quitting on the game to focus on baseball.
His lack of Triple-A and MLB success (.234 average and .697 OPS in three Triple-A seasons, 1-for-9 in his big league career) didn't inspire confidence, and the Yankees landed Alex Rodriguez as their third baseman prior to the 2004 MLB season, so Henson gave up on baseball and went back to football. He played in nine NFL games in five seasons. Maybe he should have focused on one and he would have excelled.
Bo Jackson
One of the greatest athletes ever, Jackson had 30-home run power and was a bruising NFL running back. The 1985 Heisman Trophy winner was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers first overall pick in the 1986 NFL draft. He believed they tried to sabotage his baseball career, so he signed with the Kansas City Royals instead, who picked him in the fourth round of that year's MLB draft.
He ended up joining the LA Raiders a year later when they picked him in the seventh round and owner Al Davis was willing to let Jackson play both sports. Both went exceptionally well until he injured his hip in a 1991 playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury forced him to give up football and he wasn't the same baseball player after.
Deion Sanders
Count track and he was actually a three-sport athlete at Florida State. Football was his major focus as he was the Atlanta Falcons fifth overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft -- and a Yankees 30th rounder the same year. The NFL Hall of Famer was an eight time Pro Bowler and two time Super Bowl Champ. He also spent nine years in the big leagues, hitting .263 and stealing 186 bases in his tenure albeit he never played in 100 MLB games in a season. Yeah. He was a pretty special athlete.
Ricky Williams
There was a time when Williams was kind of like a Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders. Picked in the eighth round of the 1995 MLB draft, he was a Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer in the springs and summers and a Texas Longhorns running back in the fall. In four pro seasons, Williams hit .211 with a .526 OPS -- not quite as good as his nearly 6,600 rushing yards and 75 rushing touchdowns in that same span. Picked fifth overall in the 1999 NFL draft, he gave up on baseball and went on to rush for over 10,000 yards in his NFL career.
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Sports |  Source: media.mlive.com

Hottest Male College Athletes: MSU's Jake Hartbarger

The kick is good (very good).

As football season comes to an end, let's continue the series of finding today's hottest college athletes, this time taking a look at the guys. Specifically, at Michigan State, redshirt sophomore punter Jake Hartbarger.

The Waterville, Ohio native spent his high school career at Anthony Wayne High School, where he was a three-time first-team all-district punter. He participated in the 2014 Under Armor All-American game, and was named among the nation's top punters by 247sports.com and Kohl's Professional Camps.

In 2014, Hartbarger redshirted his true freshman season at MSU, and took over the starting punter as a redshirt freshman in 2015. By the end of his first season on the field, he was ranked fourth in the Big Ten for punting. He was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, placing 21 of his 57 total punts inside the 20 yard line, and 10 inside the 10-yard line.

He was also named the Spartan Special Team Player of the Week a team-best five times.

Hartbarger entered this past season as the returning starting punter and was a preseason All-Big10 selection. He punted an average 40.9 yards for the 2016 season. Hartbarger attends MSU as a hospitality business major.


A photo posted by Jake Hartbarger (@jakehartbarger) on


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Excited to see what the future holds, truly blessed #SpartanDawgs

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This bird was awesome

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Grateful to have the opportunity to play for Coach Smith throughout my high school career at AW

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So blessed to be selected for the Under Armor All-American Game

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Sports |  Source: Instagram.com

Hottest College Athletes: Auburn's Breanna Barksdale

War Eagle.

In continuance with our series about some of the hottest college athletes, we now head to Alabama where senior Breanna Barksdale plays volleyball for the Auburn Tigers.

The 6-1 middle blocker started her collegiate career with Cincinnati after spending her high school career at Eastlake High School in San Diego, California. She started playing volleyball as a sophomore in high school and was a three year letterwinner, two year all-league performer, and a CIF Conference All-Star. She also helped her high school squad advance to the CIF semi-finals.

Her grandfather, Don Barksdale, won a gold medal in the 1942 Olympics with the U.S. men's basketball squad, was an All-American at UCLA, a NBA All-Star with the Boston Celtics, and is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The business major started in 27 of 29 matches and played 105 sets as a freshman with Cincinnati and finished the season as a 2013 Top 10 American Athletic Conference conference leader. She led the team in blocks/set ratio with 104 blocks and was selected for the 2014 U.S. Women's National Team Open Tryouts.

In 2014, she switched to Auburn and started all 31 matches playing in 111 sets. She concluded the season as the team's leader in blocks with 101 and blocks per set with 0.91. In 2015, she started all 30 matches and played in 116 sets and led the team in blocks with 94 and was one of the team's top attackers.

She was named to the 2014 and 2015 War Eagle Invitational All-Tournament Team and was a member of the 2015 SEC Academic Honor Roll.

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A photo posted by Breanna Barksdale (@breannabarksdale) on

Constantly wanting to go back to the island life ?

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yesterday's findings ?

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A photo posted by Breanna Barksdale (@breannabarksdale) on

Spring break can't come fast enough??

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Bahamas Round ??

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Deep down I'm crying cause it's 30 degrees??

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This would be nice right about now...

A photo posted by Breanna Barksdale (@breannabarksdale) on

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Sports |  Source: skylinesportsblog.files.wordpress.com

Pro Sports Should Legalize Steroids

They'd be so much better.

For some reason, anabolic steroids are illegal.
They are illegal in the United States (see: class C drug) and in the country's four major sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL). Why? They are dangerous, for one, but they give athletes a leg up on their opponents who aren't using them.
If steroids provide an unfair edge for athletes, it could be made fair by giving everyone the same opportunity to use them. Plus, they would raise the skill level in professional sports, which would make them more exciting.
Just use baseball as an example. Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs in 2001 and Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs in 1998.
For real. Look at the way that ball flew off his bat. That's amazing.
Find someone who could do close to that now. Doubt there is anyone. McGuire was one of the biggest steroid users.
One could argue steroids saved baseball. One has to imagine being stronger would help in any sport though. Plus, they are likely more prevalent in other sports than most people think. After all, they're probably in college football -- and you probably don't care about that.
It's not like steroids make players instantly better. They just mean there's a shorter recovery time between lifts which means guys still need to work hard. It means they're able to progress easier because they can lift more often. If they're willing to put in the work, good for them. Nothing wrong with working hard.
No matter what, guys are still going to continue to use some kind of performance enhancing drugs in every sport. Keeping them illegal just puts the guys who obey the rules at a disadvantage.
So what if a player faces a suspension for a quarter of their season? They still benefit from using the steroids in their comeback. It's not like there's a way to take the muscle off them.
Obviously, steroids are detrimental to athlete's long-term health. Ken Caminiti died in 2004 at 41 years old because of steroids.
But if guys want to die at a young age because they want to make a few more tackles or hit a few more home runs, they should go for it. It's their lives, not ours.
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Sports |  Source: awfulannouncing.com

The Pro Bowl Needs To Die

Just get rid of the Goddamn thing.

People love football. People love All-Star games. So wouldn't a football All-Star game be like the most popular event on the face of the earth?
For real, there's way more talent there than there is at the Super Bowl, even if the teams are composed of non-Super Bowl teams. Doesn't matter. It's a terrible event and it needs to go.
The premise of it makes sense: the best players in the NFL playing each other in a game. That sounds lovely. But football is a big-time injury sport. Even when guys aren't sitting out, they're always playing through pain. There's no sense in them putting their bodies in worse shape by playing in a meaningless game.
It's not worth the risk of injury -- hence why the games are so terrible. No one tries. The defenses sure as hell don't try.
The games would not be as absurdly high scoring as they are if they did try. And they wouldn't let Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater play wide receiver when he doesn't even play receiver on the Pats.
Further proof that it's stupid: Blair Walsh hit a 48-yard field goal in the 2013 game. Yes, he played in a Pro Bowl. You have to figure all the other kickers just didn't want to go or something.
Fortunately, this year the game will be strictly AFC vs. NFC. The little fantasy drafts for the Hall of Famers might have been the dumbest thing in all of pro sports. It's not pickup football. It's the NFL.
Apparently, it doesn't matter what team you're on though because in 2013, they let Jeff Saturday switch teams -- mid-game mind you -- to do one more snap to Peyton Manning. Nice gesture? Sure. Real football? No.
I'm not sure how many people saw this, but they're also adding some sort of a skills competition to it. Seriously? A skills competition? Nice try, but please don't try to copy the NBA. That's not how the world works. Oh, and one of those skills is dodgeball. This isn't friggin' gym class, this is the most popular sports league in North America. There's not even a good way to argue how stupid that sounds.
The game used to be a paid vacation for these guys to Honolulu. Now they're moving the game around it seems. Stop. Just end it.

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Sports |  Source: johnnycigarsports247.files.wordpress.com

A New Hope for Baseball

Why the "Evil Empire" has no other choice but to rebuild.

Excuse my language but... HOLY SHIT.


As a Red Sox fan, I take great pleasure in watching the Yankees struggle which, admittedly, hasn't been too often since I began seriously following baseball in the early 2000s.

Until very recently, I was pretty sure that Benjamin Franklin had it wrong. There were actually three certainties in life:

Death, taxes, and the Yankees contending for a playoff spot.

So when the Yankees shipped closer Aroldis Chapman off to Chicago in exchange for Adam Warren and three prospects, something felt off. The Yankees don't collect minor league assets. That's not their style.

When the Yankees want to get better, they compete, wait until the end of the season, and then overpay some free agent who may or may not be worth the money. But who cares! The Yankees can afford to overspend on anyone they damn well please.

They're the frickin' Yankees for christsake!

So I really thought nothing of it. With Miller and Betances, who really needs Chapman anyway? Let's be honest, it's not like the Yankees are really getting themselves into a ton of save situations this season.

But when I saw that former Cape Cod League legend (seriously, check it out) was getting sent to Cleveland in exchange for four more prospects, it hit me:

What did Miller do to get his ass sent out to a place like Cleveland? Just kidding (kind of).

This is what actually hit me (about as hard as The Decision hit a bandwagoning Cavaliers fan from a wealthy Cleveland suburb):

The Yankees are actually giving up on their season!

Now I know that if Michael Kay was reading this right now, he would stick his hands through my computer screen and strangle me, yelling about how I'm a spoiled baseball fan to have only known the dominant Yankees and not the struggling Bombers squads from the early 1990s, but.....

I doubt he's going to read this, so the Hell with him! (However, if you do somehow read this, I listen to your show everyday, and I didn't mean it when I told you to go to Hell). I never thought I'd see the day, but the Yankee way (overspending and stealing from small market teams) doesn't cut it anymore because, well, let's face it:

Every single team in the MLB has the ability to overspend now. With local TV deals and an insane surge in revenues, even a team like the Diamondbacks can afford to give a guy like Zack Greinke $31 million a year.

Just about 10 years ago, in 2007, when Alex Rodriguez signed his massive, $275 million contract with the worst team in professional sports, there were ten teams with payrolls over $100 million.

That number has nearly doubled to date, with 18 teams reaching that benchmark during the 2016 season, and two teams (the Yankees and the Dodgers) actually eclipsing the $200 million mark.

Revenues are at an astonishing $9 billion a year and rising, and the lowest payroll is the Houston Astros, who are coughing up just under $70 million to their players this year. Even though baseball may be losing some popularity, it certainly isn't losing any money, much to the Yankees chagrin.

There was a time when, if you wanted to sign for a king's ransom, you had to go to a team like the Yankees to get it, but that's no longer the case. Star players and free agents are now free to do whatever they want.

Stay. Go. Hell, they can even go to Miami if they want.

So the Yankees are stuck with a 40-year-old outfielder anchoring their offense, a 36-year-old liability lounging around at first base, and... oh would you look at that! Another 36-year-old liability in the pitching rotation, surrounded by a bunch of much younger, much more in-shape liabilities. And Masahiro Tanaka (but that's beside the point).

The truth is, the Yankees have lost their upper hand. They have no choice but to rebuild like the rest of the plebes in the MLB. So good riddance Andrew Miller! You didn't deserve to be on a team as evil as the Yankees to begin with.

And as for Yankees fans, I'm going to be honest here: Don't worry. Cashman's got this. Seriously.