Tony Romo announced his retirement from the NFL last month, as well as his transition to the CBS broadcast booth. However, it looks like he might try to balance some more time on the green with that...the green of the golf course that is.
Romo is an avid golfer, but he's going to look to show how good is golf game can be when he attempts to qualify for the U.S. Open. I can see this going several ways: Romo somehow pulls it off and qualifies for the U.S. Open...and then chokes at the actual event. Romo collapses right from the start and fails to qualify. Romo is forced to withdraw via injury.
Okay, jokes from the Giants fan in me aside, Romo is far from the first athlete to try another sport. The question is will he succeed at a professional stage? With that, here are three athletes who pulled it off, and another three who...well, didn't.
Failed: Jose Canseco (MMA)
Canseco is one of baseball's most controversial figures. While a several-time All Star and two-time World Series champion in his 20-year career, known for his power, he has admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs and pointed out others who have during their careers as well. Canseco also claims to be a black belt in karate and taekwondo, a Muay Thai practitioner and a nunchucks expert.
This did him little to nothing when he competed in his one and only pro MMA bout at Dream 9 in Japan on May 26, 2009. Canseco lost the bout via submission in just 1:17.
Succeeded: Bo Jackson (baseball and football)
This choice should come as a surprise to few, as Jackson is often cited as one of the best athletes there has ever been due to his success in both sports. While still participating in college baseball and track and field, Jackson won the 1985 Heisman Trophy and was drafted first overall in the 1986 NFL Draft.
However, he wanted to play both baseball and football -- something the Tampa Bay Bucs didn't want -- and so when the Kansas City Royals drafted him in the MLB Draft, he chose to play with them. Fortunately, Al Davis and the then-Los Angeles Raiders were willing to let him play both sports. He went on to become one of a select few to be named an All-Star in both, being a 1989 MLB All-Star and a 1990 Pro Bowl selection.
Failed: Brock Lesnar (football)
Lesnar has had quite the incredible career, starting with winning the NCAA Division I championship in heavyweight wrestling. He then moved to another kind of wrestling -- professional wrestling -- where he has since won the WWE title four times and is the promotion's current universal champion on its Raw brand. During a break from the pro wrestling biz, Lesnar competed in MMA, going on to win the UFC heavyweight championship in November 2008 -- in just his fourth pro MMA bout.
Unfortunately for him, he just couldn't cut it in football. Lesnar originally left WWE in 2004 to pursue an NFL career. Playing defensive tackle, Lesnar played a few preseason games in 2004 with the Minnesota Vikings, but the team released him right before the start of the season. He received an NFL Europa invitation, but he declined because he wanted to remain in the U.S. with his family.
Succeeded: Deion Sanders (football and baseball)
In college, Sanders, in addition to being a College Football Hall of Famer, once played game one of a baseball doubleheader, ran a leg of a 4x100 relay, and then played the other baseball game. That shows you the kind of athlete he is.
Sanders primarily focused on his NFL career, becoming an eight-time Pro Bowl and First-team All-Pro selection, as well as a two-time Super Bowl champion. However, in baseball, Sanders ended his career with a .263 batting average, as well as leading the National League in triples in 1992.
He is the only man to have hit an MLB home run and scored an NFL touchdown in the same week, to play in a Super Bowl and World Series, and to have a Super Bowl reception and interception. He is also only one of two players to score an NFL touchdown in six different ways.
Failed: Michael Jordan (baseball)
Oh, Michael. I know you wanted to move to baseball because who had tired of the basketball grind and wanted to tribute your late father. But, man, should've stuck to basketball.
After shocking the world with his first NBA retirement, Jordan pulled off another shocker when he signed with the Chicago White Sox. Participating in its AA minor league affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, in 1994, Jordan's numbers were...unimpressive. He batted just .202, with three home runs and 51 RBIs.
Fortunately for Jordan, he returned to the Chicago Bulls and helped them to another three NBA titles.
SOURCE: SPORTS MOCKERY
Succeeded: Dave Winfield (baseball and basketball [and "football"])
Winfield is known as a great baseball player. He was a 12-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner, six-time Silver Slugger, and a member of the 1992 World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
But, in college, Winfield was more than just a baseball guy. In fact, he is only one of two people in history to be drafted in four different leagues' drafts. The San Diego Padres selected him fourth overall in the 1973 MLB Draft, and the NBA's Atlanta Hawks and ABA's Utah Stars also drafted him. And despite not playing one college football game, the Minnesota Vikings also selected him in the 17th round in the 1973 Draft.
What an athlete.