Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are outlawed by all major sports leagues. Organizations made those rules to protect the fairness of the game. What about performance diminishing drugs?
Substances and sports mix well together. A cold beer goes down perfect during a hot summer baseball game. All athletes add supplements to their nutrition (legal or illegal). It's even a tradition to pop champagne bottles after winning a sports' championship. People love the idea of working hard and playing harder. As the old saying goes, 'the day I can't do my job drunk, is the day I turn in my gun and badge' (calm down, it's just a joke). Inebriated performances are common place for entertainers and even some athletes. Drugs are bad, but it's impressive when people perform under pressure and under the influence. Those best performances are ranked in this top 15 list.
Baseball players dominated the top 15 list. Seven of the 15 athletes played major league baseball, including the top three athletes. Does it help to be inebriated when playing baseball? Maybe?! It can be a slow game sometimes.
Honorable mentions should be given to a couple old-school drinkers who fall just outside the top 15 list. Babe Ruth was the original poster child for decadent living. His ability to drink and hit the ball where unmatched for the time period. Mickey Mantle hit the bottle and baseball just as well. Despite not making the top 15 list, these two players, and others like them, opened the door for athletes to celebrate wildly today.
Crack open a cold beer, pour yourself a full glass, and let's take a hit into the top 15 list.
15 Andre The Giant
Andre the Giant was a larger-than-life character in the ring and on the barstool. The Eighth Wonder of the World was the highest paid professional wrestler for over two decades, and the man spent his money on booze. While filming The Princess Bride in England, Andre shelled out $40,000 to settle up the hotel month-long bar bill. It's estimated the Giant drank 7,000 calories of alcohol every day. During a wrestling tour in Japan, sponsors gave the Giant 16 bottles of plum wine as a gift. He cracked into the wine during the four-hour bus ride. The Giant finished the last bottle as the bus pulled up to the venue. Andre got out of the bus and went straight into a 20-man battle royal. He also wrestled in another two matches that day. He was a Giant drinker among mere mortal men.
14 Todd Marinovich
Todd Marinovich's story is the most cautionary tale on the top 15 list. Marinovich had all the skills to be the greatest NFL quarterback, but his career was cut very brief due to drug addictions. His addictions started off somewhat innocent and turned tragic fast. Per Raiders' tradition, the first round draft pick had to throw a party, and Marinovich threw the greatest rookie party ever. He converted a barn into stadium seating and hired a flatbed-truck barbecue company. He added some porn stars and strippers to complete the party environment. After that party, Marinovich became a very popular teammate.
His addiction turned dark later in the season. One halftime, Todd Marinovich shot up heroin with a pre-made rig. He followed with a hit of crack as the team went back to the field. That's the ugly side of addiction. Don't do heroin.
13 Tim Raines
Timothy 'Rock' Raines played for the Montreal Expos in the cocaine-ridden 1980s. Believe it or not, Raines's nickname came before his drug problems started. His habits required him to testify at the Pittsburgh drug trials in 1985. It can be boring in the outfield; therefore, Raines stashed a gram of coke in his uniform hip pocket. Tim Raines had to slide headfirst to avoid breaking it. He used cocaine before, during and after every game. Baseball has too many games to keep that pace going. Luckily, Tim Raines kicked his cocaine addiction later in life.
12 Keon Clark
Keon Clark's tale is also a sad, cautionary one. In 2013, Clark got sentenced to eight years in prison after breaking parole with a weapons and DUI charge. He admitted to a County Circuit Court that he drank up to a pint of gin every day. He apparently never played a game sober in the NBA. The former NBA lottery pick even drank during halftimes. The alcohol might have contributed to Clark's foul prone reputation. He finished ninth in fouls during the 2002 season. Keon Clark last played in the NBA in 2004.
11 Bernie Carbo
Bernie Carbo now believes he wasted his baseball career being wasted, but the outfielder still made the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. During the 6th game of the 1975 World Series, Carbo famously hit a pinch-hit, three-run homerun. His swing was what allowed Carlton Fisk to wave the ball fair and win the game in the 12th inning. Surprising, Bernie Carbo was playing high during the 1975 World Series. He later admitted to smoking joints and drinking beers before heading to the ballpark. He took amphetamines and a pain pill in the locker room before drinking coffee and having a cigarette. Carbo said he played almost every game high and sometimes so high it looked like the stars were falling from the sky. Once again, the outfield can be boring.
10 Thomas Henderson
Thomas 'Hollywood' Henderson admitted to snorting cocaine on the sideline during Super Bowl XIII. His Dallas Cowboys lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Henderson sniffed cocaine mixed with water from an inhaler on the sidelines. Henderson was still high on coke when Dallas released him in 1979. In fact, Hollywood consumed drugs while playing for four separate NFL teams. Thomas Henderson nicknamed himself 'Hollywood' because of his flashy play and lifestyle, but his ability to perform high is clearly as good as anyone in Hollywood. Anyone who's not named Charlie Sheen.
9 Keith Hernandez
Keith Hernandez played major league baseball during the glory cocaine-ridden 1980s, just like Tim 'Rock' Raines. Hernandez also testified at the Pittsburgh drug trails. Keith Hernandez admitted to playing for St. Louis high on coke and won a World Series in 1982. He would sometimes lose 10 pounds suddenly and often wake up with nose bleeds before kicking the habit. Hernandez allegedly might have helped with distributing the drug to fellow MLB players. That's never been confirmed. The two-time World Series Champion testified that about 40% of major league players used cocaine back in the 1980s. How many?!
8 Fred Thurston
Fred 'Fuzzy' Thurston was a legendary drunk during the infant years of the NFL. Thurston played offensive guard on the Vince Lombardi coached Green Bay Packers and won two Super Bowls. Fuzzy Thurston makes this list for his honest answer to a sportswriter's questions. When asked about keeping warm for the Ice Bowl game, Thurston said he drank about 10 vodkas. He was also notorious for challenging other team's players to drinking contests. Fuzzy would even warm up with a few beers and still defeat every opponent. That's an old-school drinker from the glory days of the NFL. Commissioner Goodell would ruin such fun and honesty today.
7 Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson might have been the scariest boxer in the history of the ring. His knockout power was unmatched in boxing and so was his desire for drugs and sex. The former heavyweight champion of the world admitted that he spent most of his boxing career addicted to cocaine and marijuana. He confessed to using cocaine up to his shocking lost to Danny Williams. He repeatedly used a fake penis and someone else's clean urine to pass pre-fight drug tests. Tyson also admitted to being high on cocaine during his famous press conference with Lennox Lewis. That's when Mike Tyson famously threatened to eat Lennox Lewis's children. Guess it makes sense now.
6 Dennis Boyd
Baseball pitchers have been known to smuggle pin tar, shaving cream and other pitching aids to the mound. What about crack cocaine? Red Sox pitcher Dennis Boyd smoked crack every day of the 1986 season. He pitched for 10 major league seasons while being inebriated for almost all of them. After smoking in the clubhouse bathroom, Boyd once pitched an inning with the drug hiding in his hat. That wasn't the best spot considering "Oil Can" Boyd's violent pitching delivery. His hat fell off a couple times, and he lost a little bit of his crack. Apparently teammates and coaches knew about his drug addictions. He was extremely honest when directly asked, and the Red Sox never forced Boyd to submit to a drug test. Honesty might really be the best policy.
5 John Daly
If you planned a golf trip for your buddies, then make sure to invite John Daly. The golfer played the 19th hole as well as anybody. He also was a pretty great golfer, especially while drinking. His drunken shenanigans are legendary. The bulky golfer played a shirtless round to amuse a local TV crew. He once teed up a shot using a beer can as a golf tee. Daly even got so drunk he passed out at a Hooters restaurant. Daly kicked his alcohol addiction; however, as his personal life improved, Daly's golf game declined. The man literally played better drunk, and that's why he ranked in the top five.
4 Bobby Layne
Bobby Layne might be the first drunk playboy quarterback. The NFL Hall of Famer was known for closing the after-hours bar early Sunday morning and throwing touchdowns later that afternoon. Layne won three NFL championship in Detroit, and the Texas-born quarterback became the city's greatest resident. His local support allowed him to live above the law.
Layne was arrested once for erratic driving on a Saturday night. The officer testified Layne sounded inebriated during the arrest. The quarterback's council explained he wasn't drunk; instead, Layne's southern accent must have sounded like slurred speech to the Detroit-born officer (the ole' 'I'm not drunk, I'm from Texas' defense). They should probably teach that in law schools today because it worked. Not guilty! Bobby Layne paved the way for quarterback drunken exploits, and that's why he ranked so high on the list. You're welcome 'Johnny Football'.
3 David Wells
Perfection is unattainable for most individuals, but David Wells threw a perfect game in 1998. In baseball, a perfect game is pitched when all 27 batters are retired in order. There have only been 23 perfect games ever thrown. To make this feat more impressive, Wells admitted in his autobiography that he was half-drunk from the night before when he reached perfection. During the evening prior, David Wells stayed very late at a Saturday Night Live cast party. He only got an hour of sleep before going to the stadium. After the perfect game, David Wells and his team celebrated in a fashion fit for 'The Wolf of Wall Street'. There's an obvious question from this amazing story. Could Wells have pitched better if he had been fully drunk?
2 Wade Boggs
Wade Boggs' drunken skills are so famous they became an episode of 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'. The MLB Hall Famer supposedly drank more than 50 beers during a cross-country flight. He went 3-for-5 against the Seattle Mariners after his heroic drunken flight. The actual number of beers is highly debated, but it's believed to be 64 in total. The count for the entire day might have been as many as 107 beers. Boggs claimed it took at least a case and a half of beer to get him drunk. Wade Boggs was a professional drinker -- he just played baseball very well too.
1 Dock Ellis
Dock Ellis pitched a no-hit shutout for Pittsburgh in 1970. That alone isn't good enough from this list, but Ellis took LSD and amphetamines before his great performance. The flamboyant pitcher forgot he was supposed to pitch, and having already dropped the acid, Ellis had to rush to get to the ballpark. He took his normal amount of amphetamines, which was typical for the drug-ridden MLB, and Ellis took to the mound. While he played, Ellis claimed 90% of baseball players used some form of speed pills. What did Ellis experience as he pitched the no-hitter on LSD? He claimed the ball changed from large to small and back throughout the game. Dock Ellis tried LSD for another start later that season, but he didn't perform nearly as well. That LSD luck must have only struck once.
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