It takes years and years for athletes to master their sport, but that doesn’t mean they have to be confined to being a one trick pony. Throughout the years athletes have ventured into trying other sports whether it be for charity, television, or just to switch things up. I am going to review some of the 4 most interesting sport career switches in history.
- Football players Peyton Manning and Tom Brady golf
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are known for being some of the best football players out there, but they reminded us that even they aren’t perfect. In a match up with esteemed golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to raise money for COVID-19 relief organizations, the football players tried their best but ultimately had to depend on the seasoned veterans. Manning started off the game rough but managed to shush the twitter trolls when he holed a wedge shot on the seventh hole…but then he split his pants on national TV. Similarly, Brady wasn’t swinging too hot at the start, but he too seemed to improve as the game went on. In the end the Manning-Woods team up were able to edge out Brady-Mickelson in a close game.
I rate this attempt a 8.5/10. Was it perfect? Definitely not, but that’s what made the whole thing so much fun, and suprisingly Peyton and Manning had some good moments out there. Plus, the whole game came together for a good cause, and who doesn’t love a great charity event?
2. Basketball player Shaq swimming
An oldie, but a goodie. In 2009, Shaq started his show ‘Shaq vs.’, a reality TV show where, you guessed it, Shaq pit himself against professional insert-activity-here. There are countless episodes where he goes against other Olympic and professional athletes. I chose this one because swimming is an unforgiving sport in the sense that it takes years of training to get remotely close to the level of elite caliber swimmers. Furthermore, Shaq’s basketball physique makes him great in most sports, but in swimming, he had a heck of a time getting through the water. In the most fun race of the three shown, Shaq teamed up with Olympic medalists Rebecca Soni, Ariana Kukors, and Dana Vollmer to 4v1 Michael Phelps. The trio of ladies got Shaq almost a full pool length of a lead, but Phelps still rocketed to the win in the last 15 yards of the swim.
I rate this event a 7/10. This show is super goofy and I definitely laughed out loud watching this. It’s a fun way to bring more attention to athletes who usually just get the limelight during the Olympics.
3. Figure Skater Tonya Harding boxes
I rate this sports switch a 5/10. Like the results show, it was a pretty tame career, and it only lasted about 2 years. Her boxing career also did not earn her any points with the public as she reportedly was booed by the crowd in her last fight.
4. Basketball Player Michael Jordan plays baseball
I rate Jordan’s baseball career a 7/10. At the time it was a shock, but his career didn’t bring anything new to the sport of baseball. However, the recent look back at his career shows that he certainly had talent, and in a way his baseball career has left a legacy of its own.
These athletes may not have had super successful careers in different sports but they definitely shook up the athletic community. At the very least it reminds us that at the end of the day sports are done for fun and for our enjoyment. It’s not a bad thing to try new things every once in a while, even if you are big names like the ones in this list.