When you step away from the game, father time catches up to you. Playing a sport and performing on such a high level, requires a ton of exercise and a disciplined diet. You don’t just wake up every day and play like a star athlete; it takes a lot of time and dedication. Athletes are some of the most fit people in society, along with fitness models and gym rats. These men and women are trained to eat properly, and constantly be on their feet working out with weights, as well as focusing on cardio. The last thing one of these teams or companies would want, is to see one of their athletes pass out on the floor because they can’t keep up with everyone else. When you take that game away from that athlete who now can do whatever they want and isn’t trained to eat and live a certain way, the weight catches up to them. Athletes start eating out and relaxing more, and they eat, eat, and eat, without doing a single day of exercise.
While some athletes put on the weight when they retire, others stay in shape, or even lose weight. Some players understand that things are different when you retire, but they don’t want to go into their after-sports life struggling to stay healthy. These players typically are the hard-working ones who, when they play sports, don’t mind working out and staying fit. Some athletes after their playing time is done actually continue working out in case a team decides to sign them. It can be difficult going into retirement for an athlete.
20 Looks Terrible: Steve Francis
Many basketball fans north of the border will certainly remember Steve Francis, as he infamously refused to play for the Vancouver Grizzlies after getting drafted by them, which led to a trade to Houston. Francis would immediately cause more pain for Grizzlies fans, as he went on to win Rookie of the Year with the Rockets and made the all-star game three times. However following a trade to Orlando, Francis's play declined badly. He was out of the NBA by 30 and continued playing in China. Unfortunately for Francis, he suffers from Meniere’s disease, which causes Vertigo spells and constant ringing in the ears. Despite being only 40, Francis looks much different than he did in his playing days.
19 Looks Great: Nate Newton
It’s really hard to look good after retirement, if you don’t look good in your playing days. But Nate Newton, former offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, has lost a few pounds. Newton used to be a big guy who really liked to eat. He used to eat at a restaurant called Coppell Deli so much, that the restaurant actually named three of their sandwiches based off of him. Before 2010, Newton weighed about 400 pounds. He had vertical gastrectomy surgery, and lost about 180 pounds after that. He now weighs about 220 pounds, a pretty incredible weight loss for someone who was once a huge offensive lineman.
Newton has been in some sorts of trouble with the law after retirement, but seems to be doing better now, following his weight loss.
18 Looks Terrible: Neil Shipperley
The game of soccer requires more exercise than most likely any sport in the world. You’re constantly on your feet running around for 90 minutes with not much of a break. During the end of his career, Shipperley weighed about 195 pounds. Now, Shipperley looks like he could be about 250 pounds. It could be now that his soccer career's his done and he’s gotten into management, all he does is sit around and tell people what to do. Seriously, in May 2009, Shipperley became the manager of Bedfont in the Combined Counties League. His career has taken a bit of a spin since he played his last minutes on the soccer field, as now he makes the executive decisions. Let's hope he's not questioning his players' cardio.
17 Looks Great: Brad Culpepper
The Brad Culpepper of Survivor fame may be more famous than the journeyman Brad Culpepper who once played pro football. He was a defensive tackle who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears. Culpepper was nowhere near fat, but definitely a bulky guy, as his position requires. He had the body built to be able to take on any offensive lineman. Based off of what he looks like now, you would never think that’s the guy in the picture.
After the NFL, he spoke out about how unsafe it is for NFL players to grow and weigh over 300 pounds, stressing that this isn’t normal. Culpepper initially weighed about 280 pounds, and then lost about 100 pounds after he retired. He eventually became a contestant on the reality TV show Survivor. Culpepper now looks like a completely different guy that he did in the NFL.
16 Looks Terrible: Daunte Culpepper
Daunte Culpepper was a beefier quarterback than you would usually see in the NFL, but he used that size to his advantage, as he enjoyed some successful NFL seasons, where he would occasionally use his legs to make plays and let's not forget his 4,000 yard season in 2004. Culpepper's play eventually declined due to recurring knee injuries and following a trade to Miami, his career quickly fizzled out. Since retiring, Culpepper has piled on some pounds and he looks a lot more like a former offensive lineman rather than a former Pro Bowl quarterback. He looks like he's tipping the scales close to 300 pounds. Let's hope he can find a way to take some of that weight off.
15 Looks Great: Chad Johnson
You never know if you’re ever going to be needed again in the league of the sport you play. Chad Johnson, also briefly known as Chad Ochocinco, is making it known to NFL teams across the league that he’s available to play if a team needs a wide receiver. The former wide receiver played for the Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, and Miami Dolphins. Johnson had six consecutive years of reaching at least 1,000 yards receiving. He actually even tweeted out to the Cleveland Browns head coach, Hue Jackson, asking him if he was able to work out with their wide receiver group.
Johnson has been out of the game for a few years now, but he’s remained in great shape since he’s been out of the NFL. He’s been forgotten about since he started playing football in other countries, in hopes to eventually give himself a chance to play another snap in the NFL.
14 Looks Terrible: Keith McCants
One of the most forgotten NFL draft busts has gained a bit too much weight after his career finished. In the 1990 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Keith McCants with the fourth-overall draft pick. The defensive end lasted seven seasons in the NFL before his career was over. He had two good seasons in 1991 and 1992, before he was cut after the 1992 campaign. McCants never liked the decision of switching to defensive end, which may have led to his failure after such a promising start.
McCants had problems with resisting drugs, as he was charged on three convictions of possession of drug paraphernalia. While all this was going on, things were going downhill for the once feared linebacker from the University of Alabama. He started to gain weight, and went broke over time.
13 Looks Great: Tom Nalen
One of the best offensive linemen to play for the Denver Broncos, Tom Nalen, became a role model for retired linemen across the nation. You can say it’s a Tom Brady story, but since he’s not a quarterback, it will never get publicized that way. Nalen was drafted in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL Draft, pick 218. The late round draft pick turned into a Broncos legend, who has since become forgotten. He started 188 games, became a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro, and a two-time Super Bowl champion.
Not only did he prove his doubters wrong that said he should have been drafted that late in the draft, but he also proved those wrong who wouldn’t think he can lose all that weight. Nalen was 290 pounds when he retired. His desire to continue to work out after his career came to an end made him look like a supermodel when he was inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame.
12 Looks Terrible: Diego Maradona
Back in the day, Diego Maradona looked like your typical, fit striker. His career lasted from 1976 to 1994, and that's a pretty long career for a soccer player. He also played for many teams, including Barcelona and Napoli. When he was playing soccer, he weighed about 150 pounds. Towards the end of his playing career, he looked like he weighs about at least 250 pounds. What’s weird is that he was gaining weight while he was playing the game. It might be the inconsistency of playing for a team every day and having those workouts, but he looks like a totally different man then he did when he was actively playing. He looks so out of shape that you would think he’s too big to even be associated with any type of sport.
11 Looks Great: Amanda Beard
Amanda Beard used to hold the record for the 200m breaststroke, which she set in her Olympics debut in the 1996 Olympics. At 14 years old, she managed to medal three times in the 96 games and returned to the games in 2000 in Sydney. She would add another medal there and added three more at the 2004 games. Capitalizing on her popularity, Beard posed for Playboy in 2007 and over 10 years later, it seems she hasn't aged a day.
Beard actually overcame some significant obstacles in her life, as she battled bulimia nervosa disorder and was very uncomfortable with being photographed in a swimsuit. Obviously she has no problem with it today.
10 Looks Terrible: Tonya Harding
Tonya Harding has kind of gained some popularity back lately after a movie came out about her fierce rivalry with Nancy Kerrigan. But she still lays in the shadows, especially considering how she looks like now. Harding was one of the beautiful figure skaters of her time, which is why it's no surprise she's played on film by the gorgeous Australian actress Margot Robbie. She was the 1991 U.S. champion and 1991 World Championship silver medalist. She’s also a two-time Olympian and a two-time Skate America Champion. But as time goes on, people forget about those championships. What they don’t forget about Tonya, is that she’s gained a nice bit of weight.
Tonya Harding is almost unrecognizable now that her career is long gone. You would think that she’s desperate for money, seeing the way she looks now. It’s actually pretty sad to see the extremes of looks someone can go through in a lifetime.
9 Looks Great: Jeff Saturday
Peyton Manning didn’t block himself, you know. Jeff Saturday was known as his center for a majority of his career. Saturday is a six-time Pro Bowler, two-time First-team All Pro, and a Super Bowl champion. In 2007, Saturday actually won the NFL Alumni Offensive Lineman of the Year Award. After his time with the Colts, he went to play for the Green Bay Packers for a year, until he was benched, and decided later that season that it was time to retire.
Saturday was a big guy, and you had no choice but to be one if you want to succeed as an offensive lineman. The transition he made after his retirement is incredible. Looking at the guy now, you would never think that he once played on an offensive line.
8 Looks Terrible: Mike Scioscia
You watch Mike Scioscia when you watch the Los Angeles Angels, but many forget that he actually played baseball at one point. He was a former catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now has been the manager of the Angels since 2000, having the longest current tenure of any a manager in the MLB. It worked out pretty nicely for Scioscia, who never had to change cities in his career when it came to baseball.
When Scioscia played for the Dodgers, he was a pretty built dude. He wasn’t a twig, but he definitely was not chubby. He had the perfect physique for a baseball player. Unfortunately, he was just never able to use that build to become a power hitter. Now as a coach, Scioscia is a pretty big guy. It’s not like he just recently gained weight either, as it seems like he's become heavier since the time he started coaching. It shows you what a few years away from the game can do to you.
7 Looks Great: Jennie Finch
Even though Jennie Finch was a star in her sport, there aren't many softball players from the past that are talked about ad nauseam today. In Jennie Finch's case, she should be, as Finch won a record 51 games as an NCAA pitcher then went on to win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. The U.S. followed that up with a silver medal in 2008, with Finch finishing her career with 0.42 ERA across 239.1 innings. Finch was once offered to pose for Playboy, but she turned it down, due to her religious beliefs. She did grant some wishes though, as she posed in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Finch has recently continued to break new ground, as she became the first woman to manage a game for Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League, and managed her way to a win.
6 Looks Terrible: Roberto Duran
Eight weeks of misery and tenderness. Constant days of doing your best to stay in shape, to knock the other opponent to the floor. It takes eight weeks, to land one single punch to win your match. The preparation for each boxing match is extreme. Boxers spend several weeks preparing for their opponent, with many hours in the ring and in the weight room. No wonder why Roberto Duran gained so much weight once his career was over.
Duran started gaining weight during one of his last matches against Sugar Ray Leonard, in their second meeting. Duran went from a small, light-middleweight boxer, to looking like he could be an offensive lineman blocking for Tom Brady. You take away all that exercise and preparation, it can get really difficult to stay at a manageable weight if you’re not in the right frame of mind. Clearly, Roberto Duran was not.
5 Looks Great: Nancy Kerrigan
We already mentioned Tonya Harding, so it's only fitting to go to her biggest rival in Nancy Kerrigan. Much like how they were polar opposites in their physical primes, they appear to be opposites today. While Harding is looking a little worse for wear these days, Kerrigan still looks great, considering it's been nearly 25 years since that ugly incident where Kerrigan was attacked. She's nearing 50 years old but Kerrigan still looks amazing and obviously stays in shape. In fact, Kerrigan competed on season 24 of Dancing With The Stars, and managed to finish seventh. That's pretty impressive for someone in their late 40s. Since retiring from skating, Kerrigan has also written a book on skating techniques and has done some broadcasting work for Olympic coverage.
4 Looks Terrible: Willie Roaf
There’s so many motivating stories about how NFL lineman finish their careers and make an attempt to lose a bunch of weight. Unfortunately for Willie Roaf, that isn’t the case. Roaf weighed about 320 pounds in his playing days, although he looks like he could be at around 400 pounds by now. What looked to be an average size lineman, now looks like he could fill the gap for two linemen. It’s sadly apart of the nature of linemen to eat a lot and become big guys, so much that sometimes these men can’t turn it around when the game is over. That is what is becoming the big difference between today’s game and yesterday’s game. Nowadays, offensive linemen are big, but fit and muscular. If you look at the Dallas Cowboys' offensive line (the best in the league), they’re all shredded with ripped bodies.
3 Looks Great: JaMarcus Russell
It’s really easy to make conclusions that JaMarcus Russell is still heavy based off of the weight that he gained after his short-lived NFL career was over. But what many don’t know, is that he actually lost all of it and then some. JaMarcus Russell was a pretty well-built guy, at least for the quarterback position. But now that he went and lost a lot of the weight he gained and more, he looks too small to even play football ever again. Which is pretty interesting, because Russell actually said that he would play for free for another chance.
It would be kind of cool to give this all-time draft bust another chance, nine years after he played his last NFL game. But also, he’s only 32-years-old. Even if he is in better shape now, his early career failures and poor attitude are just too much baggage for him to get another shot.
2 Looks Terrible: Ronaldo
Not to be confused with Cristiano Ronaldo, because he’s still very much in shape. This Ronaldo is the Brazilian soccer player, who is also pretty popular, just a little forgotten to American audiences over time. He was a striker, and is considered one of the best soccer players of all time. Many times, he’s actually referred to as the “original Ronaldo.” But this Ronaldo also gained a ton of weight after soccer was over. There’s been a few pictures of him in a soccer uniform, and it's a far cry from what we saw 15-20 years ago.
You don’t have those exhausting exercises that keep you going all the time. Instead, you’re running on your own pace, and your own schedule. Maybe Ronaldo should find a personal trainer to create his own pace for him.
1 Looks Great: Trish Stratus
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Was there any doubt in your mind that Trish Stratus would actually let herself go after she retired? Stratus was one of the best all time WWE Divas in the history of wrestling. A lot of her wrestling career had her keeping it sexy and taking part in many a sexually-charged angle, but unlike a lot of the WWE Divas, Trish Stratus knew how to fight. And quite honestly, she probably still does.
When her time with the WWE was over and it was time to move on to newer and better things, Trish Stratus got herself into fitness, opening her own yoga studio in her native Toronto. She actually now looks a lot more fit than she ever has throughout her career. It might not be as sexy, but she still looks really good. For a woman who’s 42 years old, she is definitely one of the better looking retired WWE Divas.
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