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Top 20 Craziest Athletes of All Time

It takes a unique mindset to be a professional athlete. To go through regular agony of your body, the pressures of the team, handling press, public and more. To know that folks who have never played the game are judging you as “experts” and ready to tear you apart for the smallest mistakes. To be judged for accomplishments before you even make your debut. It’s a lot to take and no surprise so many guys can crack. They can act up, go wild and more, the sports world is littered with such cases.

Now what about folks who are a little…off to begin with? If success and fame can transform rational people into wild folk, what about the type who are already nuts? In some cases, it can be truly wild behavior, mostly for fun, guys blowing off steam in unique ways. In others, it can be dangerous and show some truly troubled individuals. Plus, some guys may be okay in playing days but then lose it afterward. It’s a tricky thing balancing “eccentric” with truly nuts but some guys really do cross that line big time. Here’s a list of 20 athletes whose antics, behavior and more can earn them spots as the craziest to ever take a field.

By the way, this really goes for just pure professional athletes as if you counted pro wrestlers, you’d need to expand this list massively and there’s more than enough nuttiness in the sports world to go around. Also, while tempting to count coaches like Bobby Knight, keeping this to just on play athletes as that’s a whole other list to go with.

20 20. Joe Don Looney

via pardonpower.com

19 19. Sean Avery

via cbsnewyork.com

18 18. John Daly

via nydailynews.com

17 17. Frenchy Bordagaray

via totalprosports.com

16 16. Rob Gronkowski

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

15 15. Larry Eisenhauer

via youtube.com

14 14. Luis Suarez

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

13 13. Bill Romanowski

via nfl.com

12 12. John McEnroe

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

11 11. Mike Danton

via upi.com

10 10. Lefty Gomez

via espn.com

9 9. Diego Maradona

via soccertraininginfo.com

8 8. Gilles Gratton

via foxsports.com

7 7. Ron Artest

via whatwouldbuddo.com

6 6. Mike Tyson

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

5 5. Viacheslav Datsik

via rapsinews.com

4 4. Dennis Rodman

via youtube.com

3 3. Evel Knievel

via thenypost.com

2 2. Tim Rossovich

via nasljerseys.com

There’s some nutty behavior…and then there’s Tim Rossovich. The man’s penchant for pranks went from just wild fun to absolute insanity that would make “Animal House” look normal. During his days at USC, he would indulge in stuff from smashing bottles across the dorm hallways to filling the elevators with water so they splashed onto waiting visitors like a Three Stooges flick. Despite all that, he was a great player who helped USC to a championship and was soon picked for the NFL…where he got wilder.

1 1. John McNally aka Johnny Blood

via nfl.com

The NFL’s original swashbuckler, McNally took his nickname from a Rudolph Valentino movie and more than lived up to that spirit. He was as wild off the field as on it and would have been banned from playing if not for the fact his fantastic skill helped drive the Green Bay Packers to four NFL titles. A famous moment is when coach Curly Lambeau refused to give him an advance to go drinking so Blood did the logical thing. He climbed out of his hotel room, crossed the ledge of an eight story building (in a rainstorm no less) and hopped across a chasm to get to the hotel room of a stunned Lambeau who gladly gave up the money if Blood promised never to do such a stunt again.

That was just one of Blood’s many wild adventures. Escaping a fight by crawling onto the top of a train and riding the roof to the destination, playing an entire game with a collapsed kidney, doing chin-ups on the flagpole of an ocean liner…while it was in the middle of the ocean, missing a train due to partying so driving his car onto the tracks to block it so he could get on board…as he was the coach. After retiring, he enlisted in the Army for WWII and as a coach in various universities, set a bar for wild behavior. Just goes to show how the “golden age” was as full of nuts as today.

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Top 20 Craziest Athletes of All Time