Athletes, while being incredibly talented in their chosen sport, can also be characters away from the game. Some are ver the top... let's just call a spade a spade. Whether it be their LOUD fashion statements or flaunting of 'hard-earned' money, it's easy to see these guys don't care about looking rich (and perhaps not so bright). If you're Mark Sanchez, you're just a good looking dude while also being a totally incompetent quarterback. (But he looks good doing it which is half the battle, no?).
Others prefer a simple life, away from it all. Hunting, fishing, and loving every day, overalls are a preferred garment in these circles. You might say they were a touch red in the neck. These guys were raised in small towns and like drinking cold ones after doing the rounds on their John Deere tractors. They like cowboy hats and waving the American flag.
Ok, both those descriptions are widely exaggerated for the most part. However as you will see in the following list, some athletes come dangerously close to being those exact caricatures. There's nothing wrong with being either type, it is just funny that two such extremes can co-exist in the world of sport.
Here are 10 athletes who can routinely be found channeling their inner redneck, and 5 who are most of the time, divas.
15 Redneck: Madison Bumgarner
Last season, Madison Bumgarner missed a large chunk of time due to a shoulder injury he suffered while dirt biking. That's a pretty good indication of his country attitude. Bumgarner is an outdoorsman at heart, going back to his roots in Hickory, North Carolina. He's pictured above hacking down a tree at his ranch in NC.
Being an elite starter in the majors puts you in the spotlight but if Bumgarner had his choice, he'd steer clear of the lights and cameras. When he's not on the mound, he'd prefer to be invisible to all. A career ERA just over 3.00, Bumgarner is just as gnarly on the field as he is off it. Maybe lifting all those trees is what makes his pitching arm so strong.
14 Redneck: J.J. Watt
Cowboy JJ strikes a rather imposing figure. When he's not doing work on the ranch or farm, JJ Watt is terrorizing NFL offences. Or aggressively waving an American flag. A country boy at heart, Watt personifies American toughness. He iconically raised tens of millions of dollars for victims of Hurricane Harvey, after setting an initial goal of $250,000. Born in Wisconsin and adopted by Houston, Watt is a full-blown redneck. I for one hope he doesn't change a thing. His humanitarian selflessness and his incredible play (even when injured) should be the benchmark for a classy athlete. He is one tough nugget, and should be that way for a long time.
13 City Boy: Odell Beckham Jr.
Flirting with Kardashians one minute, modelling the next, and capping it off with jaw-dropping catches on Sunday, Odell Beckham Jr. does it all. The only thing holding Beckham back is his reputation as a drama queen. Whether valid or not, many believe his antics can be distracting and some go so far as to suggest he's not worth the baggage.
I would disagree with those who feel he's not worth the perceived headache. It's my belief that Beckham is super competitive and wants to win. He more than anybody, even Eli Manning, stands to be shaped by the Giants' recent hiring of Pat Shurmur. Can the former Vikings OC channel Beckham's competitive spirit and limit the ways in manifests itself in a negative light? It might be tough because Beckham, himself, has shown an inability to avoid lights of any kind.
12 Redneck: Brock Lesnar
Apart from evidently finding the meaning of life in those antlers, Brock Lesnar has also found success in both the WWE ring and UFC octagon. A multi-time champion in both promotions, he is a physical specimen capable of dominating in any forum – he even made a cameo in the NFL, playing for the Minnesota Vikings in the pre-season, back in 2004. He was cut before the start of the regular-season.
Back to being an off-and-on WWE personality, Lesnar has several times tried reviving his MMA career. However multiple failed substance tests have damaged his credibility within the UFC and although he is still a highly marketable asset, he must first show he can remain clean before future fights can be booked.
11 Redneck: Brett Favre
Does this photo really need any more of an explanation? Favre went on to have one of the greatest careers the NFL has ever seen. People admired his toughness and willingness to do whatever it took to win. Let's also give him credit for blazing the trail for sending lewd photos on your cell phone and getting away with it. With football FINALLY behind him, Favre can enjoy the simple life: on a tractor with a cold beer, in a comfy pair of Wranglers. As the face of the Jean company, Favre has become one of the most famous examples of a redneck on the planet. His popularity in the American mid-west doesn't hurt either.
10 City Boy: Mark Sanchez
Now it remains to be seen whether Mark Sanchez's head was up his own rear end or his centre's during that infamous fumble that would define his career. Regardless, it was up somebody's behind. Sanchez was a college standout who will always look better off the field than he will on it. Perhaps he's a marketing ploy to attract female fans to the stadium, though that's insulting to all the intelligent fans lacking a y chromosome.
He's so bad that barring a league-wide injury epidemic, he should never throw another pass in the NFL. Off the field, few would call him a bust. But on it, you can do far better ladies. At least he might have a career as a model ahead of him.
9 Redneck: Carey Price
Price can also often be spotted in camo pants or jeans, the universally accepted redneck uniform. He's a redneck at heart. Often described as a quiet, laid-back personality, Carey Price, when not carrying the collective hopes and dreams of the Montreal Canadiens, prefers a life of solitude.
Price is a nature lover and also enjoys hunting in the off-season. He's also admitted to enjoying a good old fashioned rodeo. A true redneck to his core. His native roots have kept him close to nature, and he loves being on the farm or in the woods. Judging by the photo above, it looks like he should be playing for the Dallas Stars and not the Montreal Canadiens.
8 Redneck: Ben Roethlisberger
Judging by his face, Roethlisberger indeed drank like a champ that evening. Looking like the life of the party at a redneck wedding, it's hard to imagine him actually being a Super Bowl-winning quarterback and future NFL Hall of Famer. Honestly, how is he even standing in this photo? Roethlisberger built quite the reputation during his younger days. He definitely wasn't the most refined player off the field. He also looks like he was a few bad games away from being cut and having to learn a trade or become a truck driver. Nothing wrong with either of those, but it is surprising that Big Ben managed to go from the photo above to one of the greatest QBs of all time.
7 City Boy: Floyd Mayweather
Anybody referring to themselves as Money has to be 80% diva. Floyd Mayweather is the self-proclaimed GOAT of boxing. Some agree, others don't. It's an endless debate not to be covered here. What's not up for debate is Mayweather's love of all things material & money. That's what he's all about, making him a diva amongst divas.
Did he not make like $999 million dollars for his last fight against Conor McGregor? While an exaggeration, you get my point. This diva is doing just fine. And while he claims he's retired, a seven-figure payday and the perfect opponent could lure Floyd back into the ring. If he does fight again, he will be sure to appear in some more ridiculous outfits.
6 Redneck: Patrick Kane
If that flow won't qualify one for a redneck status card, I don't know what will. Shall I go on, or can we all agree Patty Kane's annual mullet showcase is both gritty and glamorous all at once? For all his skill on the ice, Kane has often times struggled with his behaviour off it. He has been known to go way over the top with his partying, and this has lead to several accusations of misconduct and assault. He has assaulted everyone from old cab drivers to young women. He does seem o have smartened up a little recently, but that mullet and his old ways will always be a part of what make Kane the way we remember him.
5 Redneck: Jared Allen
Apart from celebrating each sack by lassoing the quarterback, Allen spent a lot of his career with a mullet. Whereas Patty Kane will have it make aptly timed cameos in a season, Jared Allen rolled with it for all 365. That takes some serious courage and dedication, along with some toughness to avoid being made fun of.
Off topic, but I always loved when he'd introduce himself in prime-time games as having attended The Culinary Academy. Allen played college ball at Idaho State. Finally, there's no better indicator of Allen's neck colour than his retirement video. Check it out for a good chuckle. He had a long and storied career, but we're sure he's much happier now that he has time to enjoy the country life he loves.
4 City Boy: Draymond Green
Not alone, Draymond opted for an interesting getup for the NBA's most recent edition of its annual award show. Known as somebody not afraid to express himself, Green is one of the league's most colourful personalities. He's also a heck of a ballplayer, helping the Golden State Warriors develop into the most dominant team the NBA has ever seen – look at the numbers.
But for all that dominance, most people will probably think of him as the guy with the funky outfit instead of NBA champion. I understand the need to be fashionable, but he looks like a guy whose pants shrunk in the wash. Definitely the look of a guy who likes the finer things in life, not the family farm.
3 Redneck: John Daly
Daly's redneck qualifications are many... He smokes, he drinks and takes no issue sporting a greasy mullet when the time calls for such a statement to be made. A one-of-a-kind golfer since day one, Daly later added a questionably loud attire to his on-course persona and remains one of the more colourful guys on the tour. Being able to rock the flag as pants is a redneck leap and Daly pulls it off flawlessly. It also never hurts to hack a dart when one is attempting to go Full Redneck. He not be as exaggerated as some of the characters on this list, but he definitely outclasses anyone else in the golf world. In a sport full of country club yuppies, Daly is a country boy.
2 Redneck: Tom Brady
"The GOAT" with a goat... Brady is now famously married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen and owner of five Super Bowl rings, multiple Super Bowl MVPs, league MVPs, etc. We get it, he's got the perfect life. A non-commital but widely assumed Trump supporter, Brady has a significant dose of redneck in his blood despite his many pretty boy qualities.
While he is now fantastically rich (though not as rich as his supermodel wife), he did come from humble beginnings. He carries himself with class (for the most-part) and is well on his way to being remembered as the greatest of all time. This is very sad news for fans of literally every other team in the NFL.
1 City Boy: Cam Newton
'Coachella Cam' is as diva as they come – does he look a little bit like the monopoly man or is it just me? Superman on the field, Newton transforms into a self-absorbed loud dressing diva outside the lines. He's undoubtedly talented and possesses a truly unique skill set, but his antics have had a history of rubbing teammates the wrong way.
Nobody wants drama and Newton brings a ton wherever he goes. I'm skeptical whether he'll ever be able to lead a team back to a Super Bowl. His only appearance saw him lose to a dominant Denver Broncos' defence. Oh, and an expired Peyton Manning. Almost forgot he was there too. Cam should put more effort into fixing his game than fixing his outfits.