One of the perks of being a professional athlete is having enough money to blow on unnecessary luxuries. Mansions, personal jets and cars. Especially cars. You’d be hard pressed to find a pro athlete driving around in a station wagon (though you will find a similar scenario somewhere down this list). Things like fancy and expensive cars serve as a status symbol for them. It’s not enough that they make a ton of cash, they need to make sure you know they do. Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys – among other brands – are more often than not the vehicles of choice for those top tier athletes that can afford them. If not, they can always make due with a Mercedes or Audi.
Seeing a rich athlete driving something exotic is almost commonplace. It’s somewhat predictable that they’d drive something of that stature. What’s really fun for fans to look for are those who drive absolute monstrosities. We’re talking about the ugliest, blandest thing they could find on four wheels. You’ve got to think that they’d have found themselves something a little more suitable for them, having all that money and all. But no, these guys apparently went blind when walking into the dealership.
While some of these cars might’ve been ugly from the get go, others were ruined by needless modifications. Sometimes, tricking out your ride can actually make the thing look great. But in these cases, weird paint jobs, over-sized tires and a whole lot of vinyl absolutely ruins even the nicest luxury vehicle. These people might be great players on the field, but they should seriously rethink how much they’re willing to spend on crappy cars. Maybe they could get a friend to do it for them or something.
15 Darren McFadden’s Cop Attracter 5000
When pro athletes get big contracts, the first thing they usually do is blow a portion of it on something extravagant like a car. Now with the Dallas Cowboys, Darren McFadden went the opposite route while still a member of the Oakland Raiders. Instead of going to a dealership and getting a Ferrari or Lamborghini, McFadden decided to custom build his own ride. Dubbing it the “Cop Attracter 5000”, the thing is an awful mess. The purple and green 90s tribute looks like something the Joker would’ve driven two decades ago. It’s even got some green rims to match its interior.
14 Chad Johnson’s Semi
The eccentric former NFL wide out has a number of fairly luxurious cars in his possession. A Bentley, Charger and best of all a Lamborghini to be exact. But as nice as those cars are, they don’t quite fit Johnson’s unconventional image too well. You know what does fit that image? A semi. Yup, Johnson might be the only football player out there who drives one. Well it’s not really a semi. It’s more like a truck custom made to look like a semi. That might sound cool in the back of your mind, but once you see it driving down the street, reality kicks in and you know that whoever decided to get into that thing made a really, really bad decision.
13 Alfred Morris’ 1991 Mazda 626
Despite having the means to buy a very expensive and lavish car, Redskins running back Alfred Morris still drives his old 1991 Mazda 626. Most kids coming out of college would’ve scrapped their old car and looked towards a nice step up in the automobile department, but Morris seemed content driving the two decade old car to practices as of 2012. Still, you have to imagine why a guy who’s making $2.2 million over the course of four years is driving around in something – that in perfect condition – would only nab him around $1,100. Luckily for him, Mazda got wind of his story and decided to completely restore his car for him.
12 Joe Johnson’s Ford F650
Athletes are usually pulling stunts that grab people’s attention both on and off the field, but no one got more looks than Joe Johnson did the day he was spotted riding a tricked out version of a Ford F650 in 2008. It didn’t end there though. A few years later, Johnson was spotted with a new truck. Well not entirely new, it was another F650. This one was really painful to look at. The thing looked like it was better suited for war than city streets. But as ugly as it is, the puke yellowish-gold color literally draws you in. As if you can’t look away.
11 Jermaine Pennant’s Aston Martin DBS
When you think of an Aston Martin, you picture a sleek design and numerous envious onlookers. Something in red or white, or maybe even orange. It’s a beautiful car and needs no help standing out on the road. But Jermaine Pennant felt that his ride needed to differentiate itself from the others. So what’d he do? He covered the thing in chrome vinyl wrap, making it a moving sun reflector. It pretty much looks like he put a bunch of tin foil on the thing and left it as it was. But hey, it’s his car and he can do whatever he wants. So long as he doesn’t drive it into another lamppost.
10 Chris Johnson’s Impala
This next car doesn’t belong to CJ2K, the running back, it belongs to the other Chris Johnson, the cornerback. Now a free agent, Johnson started his career off with the Green Bay Packers. He must’ve bought the monstrosity sometime around then, as it’s painted in the Packers’ colors. The thing looks like some kind of weird half-monster truck, half-cheese wagon hybrid. Since leaving Green Bay, Johnson has played for a number of NFL teams. Most notably the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. Maybe he kept painting his car over with every new team. Silver and black would be an upgrade compared to the nasty color combination it’s got going on now.
9 William Gallas’ Mercedes-Benz SLR
Much like Jermaine Pennant’s chrome colored spectacle, William Gallas’ Mercedes-Benz is a nice car that was just ruined by a bad chrome wrap job. Gallas payed close to $400,000 for the luxury sports car, only to completely ruin it. Did he do it for attention? Probably. You’d be hard pressed to find any of his teammates driving home from practice in something that shiny. At one point, this thing has to become a liability on the road. Picture driving around then being blinded by the reflection coming from its driver’s side door. That’s not fun for anyone one involved.
8 James Harrison’s Smart Car
The incredibly hilarious juxtaposition of the fearsome James Harrison compacted into such a tiny car is too great to not laugh at upon first seeing pictures of the NFL star in his snug ride. The thing looks more like a bumper car than an actual car. The usually fearsome Harrison doesn’t look any less scary driving it, but you’ve got to think he’s lost a bet or something. The car itself might be good for the environment, but is by no means easy on the eyes. It looks like your average smart car. Ridiculously small and just as equally baffling to contemplate.
7 Stephen Ireland’s Bentley GTC
What’s with athletes customizing their cars to the point that they take a perfectly nice looking luxury car and turn it into an abomination on wheels? Stephen Ireland bought the car for his girlfriend and spend a good deal of money buying unnecessary trimmings for the poor thing (the car, not his girlfriend). The car’s red and white paintjob makes it look like an inflated Nike shoe on wheels. The extra little features added in include an inscription of his girlfriend’s initials and a romantic message stitched into a heart in the car’s interior. Yuck.
6 Mario Balotelli’s Bentley Continental GT
Mario Balotelli is a pretty flamboyant guy on the field, but he’s proven to be the same way off of it. His choice in cars is no different. Balotelli rides a Bentley continental GT, a beautiful car. But it seems that that car as it was wasn’t enough for the soccer star and, sadly, modifications were made. The car is colored with army camouflage. While it does give Balotelli the option to drive through numerous grasslands undetected, it seems somewhat unpractical for city life. Who he’s hiding from is a mystery, but whoever it is, he’s not doing a bad job of staying hidden.
5 El Hadji Diouf’s Cadillac Escalade
El Hadji Diouf has a more than controversial image on the field. He’s spit on players and mocked others who lay injured, but his terrible insensitiveness runs all the way off the field onto the road. Diouf’s Cadillac Escalade is completely covered in gold plates. It looks like a cheap plastic toy, but this is actually just a really expensive cheap plastic toy. It’s worse than the cars on this list that’ve been covered in chrome. At least you can see your face in those – albeit the face of regret – what do you get when you look at this thing? A headache.
4 Devin Hester’s Chevy
Like McFadden and Johnson, NFL receiver and return specialist Devin Hester drives a donk. Similar to its fellow donks on this list, the customized Impala doesn’t look nearly as good as these athletes must’ve thought it looked the day they bought it. The body of Hester’s car has a nice 70s feel to it, but is ruined by the weird green-yellow color mixture and the outlandishly large tires. We all know that Hester can run fast, and in all honestly he can probably outrun his terrible car. But can he outrun it in his nightmares?
3 Antonio Garay’s Hello Kitty Smart Car
This is another case of a big man hilariously driving a needlessly small car. Yet, Antonio Garay’s ride has one thing that separates it from James Harrison’s despite them being similar cars. It’s the giant Hello Kitty sticker on the side of the car. It’s pretty hard to miss. It takes up about half the car's space. Maybe Garay was joking when he decided to drive around San Diego with a cartoon cat that's popular with little girls painted on the side of his car, Maybe he’s a huge fan and felt he had to let the world know in the most painfully obvious way imaginable.
2 Djibril Cisse’s Chrysler 700C
There are a couple things that stand out with Djbril Cisse’s Chrysler 700C. The car on its own is really nice. But once again, needless customization made it into the mutated wreck it is today. First off the grill. The normal grill was ripped out and replaced with some sort of bulky weird symbol that can be easily spotted a few blocks down. Next is the hood. Painted on it is a woman’s face and what can only be described as the automotive equivalent to a terrible tattoo. Take off the first 1/3 of the car and it still looks like a decent ride.
1 Stephen Ireland’s Range Rover
Another Stephen Ireland car? You bet. The soccer star has no shortage of ugly cars in his garage. While the last car of his on this list was certainly awful looking, it’s nothing compared to this wreck. Ireland’s been spotted driving a Range Rover. Now, the car itself isn’t anything to complain about. Range Rovers are nice looking cars. But Ireland – who seemingly loves to ruin all his vehicles with needless and ultimately disastrous customization – decided to add in not so subtle pink trimmings to the car. Everything from the rims, grill and seat lining are pink. That doesn’t look to good on a black SUV. It looks more like a Barbie Car than a pro athletes ride.