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Top 15 Athletes Who Tried And Failed At Other Sports

Many of the skills required to play most sports, such as coordination and physical fitness, are transferable across a number of sports. After all, most of us probably knew one kid at school who was the best at every sport. Elite athletes are often not the most modest of characters - confidence in one's own ability is often integral to success in sport - and as such, many of them think they can turn their hand to a new sport with no trouble.

In some cases, such as Bo Jackson, this goes very well. In most cases though, the athlete finds that their peers, who have had years of training and experience in the sport, are rather more well-equipped to play the sport at the highest level. Those who make the switch to a different sport and succeed deserve a great deal of credit, because as you're about to see, it is no easy job, with some world class athletes having tried and failed.

The list is ranked mostly by the extent of the failure, but also the attention and interest which followed the athletes switch. There can be a number of reasons for a change of sport. Some athletes lose their love for their sport and move on to another, while some face bans from their current sport or feel they are too old to compete and hence try their hand at something new. Here are the top 15 athletes who tried and failed at other sports:

15 Michael Jordan

via heraldtribune.com

14 Marion Jones

via telegraph.co.uk

13 Brock Lesnar

via zenfs.com

Brock Lesnar's inclusion in this list is slightly controversial. Lesnar is best known for his work in the WWE, but he was originally hopeful of becoming an NFL star and more recently tried his hands at MMA. In both football and MMA, Lesnar's success is up for debate. His football career lasted just one pre-season, where he made a habit of getting into fights before a cut ended his football career, and thus it could be seen as a failure.

12 Jerry Rice

via eurweb.com

11 Chris Chelios

via espn.com

10 Dwain Chambers

via bbc.co.uk

9 Emmanuel Yarborough

Will Hart / waytofamous.com

8 Jimmy Bullard

via todaysgolfer.co.uk

7 Justin Gatlin

via washingtonpost.com

6 Jose Canseco

via espn.com

5 Usain Bolt

4 James Toney

via foxsports.com

3 Manute Bol

via bayareasportsguy.com

Being the joint tallest NBA player in history, who stood at 7-foot-7, it was no surprise that Manute Bol's best attribute was his blocking skills. He was regarded as one of the league's finest blockers, although his all-round game was far from excellent. He is the only player in NBA history to have blocked more shots than he scored points. Unlike most on this list, Bol was never really looking to make a serious career in another sport, but did so to raise funds for charity.

2 Kimbo Slice

via bloodyelbow.com

1 Johnnie Morton

via sikids.com

The most humiliating and damning switch from one sport to another was that of Johnnie Morton. The former NFL wide receiver who played for the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers over an 11-year career in which he played 182 NFL games was another who tried his hand at MMA. Having left the NFL in 2005, his MMA debut came in 2007. Morton fought Bernard Ackah, who had only previous fight to his name. Ackah annihilated Morton, defeating him after 38 seconds. Morton never fought a MMA bout again and even refused to take a drug test after the fight, leading many to believe he lost so spectacularly despite doping.

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Top 15 Athletes Who Tried And Failed At Other Sports