Professional sportsman...now there's the life. You wake up every day, maybe go to the gym, then head down to the training ground for a session of tackling, kicking a soccer ball, working on your slider or just trying to hit a baseball so hard it breaks through the batting cage. Then you head home and go out to dinner with your endless supply of currency. Maybe head to a club after that where you'll be looked after in the VIP room, indulging all the perks and benefits that entails. All the while you're surrounded by an entourage who are forever at your beck and call.
On the weekends you head back to the stadium and play a game in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans, all who revere you as a god simply because you're good at controlling a puck, or picking apart a secondary, or pile driving a round ball into the back of a net. Then you repeat the process... fancy restaurant, some more partying and return to your mansion. On top of your athletic career, you'll get endorsement deals and maybe even a small TV/movie career.
Certainly not the worst existence going around, but let's be honest for a moment. It's all a bit of a fantasy world really. Most of us spent our lives slogging through school, and now we're stuck in 9-to-5 office jobs staring at a computer for 40 hours a week. Some of us have manual labor, be it laying brick, wiring buildings, cleaning toilets or butchering cattle. The professional athlete doesn't tend to bother with any of this. They were paraded at school for their sporting talents, then whisked away on a scholarship so they could pursue their perfect career full time without letting a pesky little day job get in the way. Can you imagine Tom Brady delivering your mail every morning? Or Lebron James cruising around in a dump truck taking away your trash? Neither can we. While there are plenty of athletes who had tough lives before stardom and had to struggle for a long time, there are plenty who are just flat out living a fantasy life.
Here are 15 athletes that wouldn't last a day in the real world.
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15 Mike Tyson
Tyson has tried living in the real world, and it hasn't really worked out for him. The former heavyweight boxing champ has a rap sheet as long as his arm, including everything from rape (for which he served three years in prison) to drugs, drunk driving and assault. His pulling power in the ring helped supplement his expensive lifestyle and over his career he earned somewhere in the region of $300 million in prize money. Yet in 2003 he filed for bankruptcy. That was six years after he made international headlines for trying to bite off Evander Holyfield's right ear during a title fight. A real menace in and out of the ring.
14 Emmanuel Adebayor
One of the great enigmas of English soccer. The imposing striker is blessed with superb ability on the pitch, but also a lack of desire to use it. When he's playing for a new contract he'll score every other week. Then once he lands the lucrative wages he's after he'll just as easily disappear. He's certainly not someone you'd want to employ. No doubt he'd come across very well in the interview, impress the big bosses during probation and then spend his days surfing the internet once he's landed that big contract. Then he'd refused to be shipped off to another company because they don't pay as well.
13 Triple H
Triple H was never the most liked wrestler in the locker room, particularly when he started dating the boss's daughter. Many ex-superstars believe his tightness with the McMahon family, not his raw ability, explains why he was so successful for so long. He's a 13-time world champion and now has a significant stake in running the company, still with Stephanie McMahon around his arm. In fairness to Triple H, he was definitely a worthy world champion even without his royal connections. But he wouldn't have been legged so far up the company ladder if it wasn't for his wife. We can't imagine Triple H being anywhere near as successful in a real job. Unless of course he charmed the boss's daughter there too.
12 John Terry
If John Terry wasn't a central defender for Chelsea, we're tipping he probably wouldn't have a job or even too many friends. As ex-teammate Wayne Bridge would no doubt agree, given Terry had an alleged four-month affair with Bridge's wife. This incident is just one in a career littered with inappropriate behavior. Terry's been reported for on-field racism more than once. He has also fought nightclub bouncers, cheated on girlfriends in car parks and indulged in excessive gambling. As is often the case with top athletes, he's still worshiped by Chelsea and England supporters alike. Imagine how worshiped he would be if he had a real job.
11 Ugueth Urbina
On the sports field Ugueth Urbina was a talented relief pitcher who could close a game as well as anybody during the peak of his powers. He was a two-time All Star and helped the Florida Marlins win the 2003 World Series. Back in the real world, Urbina is known for an attempted murderer of five workers on his family farm. In 2007 the Venezuelan was handed a 14-year prison sentence when found guilty of attacking the five men with a machete before pouring gasoline over them. He was granted an early release barely seven years later. We can only hope he learned during that time that taking the law into your own hands isn't the way to behave.
10 Peter Crouch
Lanky Stoke City striker Peter Crouch was once asked what he'd be if not a professional footballer. The answer? "A virgin." We love a bit of self-deprecation and Crouch's answer remains one of the best ever given to that question. The 6-foot-7 giant married lingerie model Abbey Clancy in 2011 and the pair have two children together. He's one of the more lovable Premier League footballers we've seen and one of the most consistent too producing goals and assists every year. Still, it's easy enough to imagine Crouch swiping his way through Tinder every night were he, say, an accountant and not a professional soccer player.
9 Sebastian Vettel
The German Formula 1 driver is one of the best we've seen in the last quarter century, and that's saying something considering we've had Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher in recent memory. Vettel's lucky he's a talented F1 pilot, because he'd struggle to survive on his own in the real world. His behavior often resembles that of a petulant child. At the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix, Vettel defied team orders and overtook his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber after the final pit stop to win the race. Three years prior at the Turkish Grand Prix, Vettel attempted to pass Webber who was leading when the pair collided. Vettel was forced to retire from the race while Webber was relegated to third. We can only assume Vettel would take inter-office sniping to a whole new level.
8 Floyd Mayweather Jr.
As a boxer, Mayweather Jr's record was unparalleled. He was unbeaten in 49 starts and was the best pound for pound fighter of his generation. Unfortunately he doesn't always leave his gloves in the ring and seems to think it's okay to box his way right through life. He's been charged countless times for battery along the way but that's not even the worst of it. Usually it's females he beats up on, specifically ex-girlfriends and sometimes allegedly in front of their children. Turns out he's not really a hero after all, just another thug who happens to know his way around a boxing ring.
7 Oscar Pistorius
Here's what we know of Oscar Pistorius's attempt at living in the real world. The iconic 'Blade Runner' Olympian of 2012 was last year found guilty of manslaughter. He admitted to shooting his girlfriend Reva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door at their home in South Africa, claiming he thought she was an intruder in their extremely secure home in South Africa. He eventually landed himself five years in prison, of which he's recently been released to continue the rest of his term in some kind of house arrest arrangement. He escaped a murder conviction because the court couldn't prove the killing was premeditated, as the state was arguing. Long may the house arrest continue.
6 Todd Carney
Allow me to introduce Todd Carney, an Australian rugby league player with a list of felonies as long as it is creative. Here's what we know. He barks at women. He's a drunk driver who runs from police. He urinates on fellow patrons at night clubs. He damages vehicles, poses nude for photos and sets people's pants on fire while they're wearing them. He drinks copious amounts of alcohol and even urinates into his own mouth. Oh, and he was also once banished from his home town of Goulburn in a throw back to Shakespearean times. That's only the stuff the media managed to get their hands on. If he lived in the real world, I imagine he'd probably be behind bars.
5 Mario Balotelli
We're not sure what kind of warped reality Mario Balotelli believes he lives in, but it sure as hell isn't anything close to resembling the real world. After only a year living in England, he managed to have his luxury car impounded 27 times. It wasn't uncommon for Balotelli to drive out to dinner and just leave his car parked on double yellow lines. During that first year her also racked up 300,000 pounds in club imposed fines.
His rap sheet includes fighting with teammates and throwing a dart at a youth team player. He even used to kick balls away at training, and throw cheese over people according to ex-teammate Sergio Aguero. And for some strange reason four years ago he set his own house on fire by letting off fireworks in his bathroom. Luckily for Mario, he's occasionally pretty good at soccer.
4 Ray Lewis
Would Ray Lewis be in jail if he wasn't a former NFL superstar? By the year 2000 Lewis had already established himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL. Early that year after a Super Bowl party, Lewis and his friends were involved in a fight which resulted in two stabbing deaths. Lewis and two mates were eventually charged with murder, although a lack of evidence aided their defense.
The white and allegedly bloodstained suit Lewis was wearing that night has never been found, nor were there any fingerprints recovered from the knife located near the scene by investigators. Blood from one of the victim's was found in Lewis's vehicle but two weeks into the trial Lewis negotiated a plea agreement where he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of obstructing justice in exchange for testimony against his two companions.
Lewis admitted he had lied about his presence at the murder scene when he was first questioned by police. The murders remain unsolved and Lewis remains a free man in NFL retirement.
3 Lance Armstrong
Let me tell you a story about a young journalist named Lance. Lance was always talented and slowly but surely worked his way to the top of his newspaper. For seven years in a row at the peak of his powers he won international awards for excellent journalistic output. During his reign as the best in the world, Lance often faced allegations of plagiarism given the standard of his work was the best we'd ever seen. But Lance always strongly denied the allegations until one day a federal investigation proved Lance was guilty. It accused Lance of leading "The most sophisticated, professionalized and successful plagiarism" program the industry had seen.
Well none of that's actually true because Lance became a cyclist, and not a journalist so we can only speculate on how he would've done with a job in the real world.
2 Michael Vick
Michael Vick burst onto the NFL scene after Atlanta picked him up at number one in the 2001 draft. He was the fastest ever quarterback over 40 yards, and an instant hit with Madden users across the world. His left arm wasn't bad either when it came to throwing the ball.
The problem with Vick was this. When you and I finish work for the day we go home and watch TV, have a beer, maybe go for a run or read a book. Vick would unwind by heading down to his dog fighting organization. He ran the business and provided the finances so fellow patrons could gamble on pit bull fights. Any dog that wasn't up to scratch was hanged, drowned, electrocuted or destroyed by some other violent means. He's back amongst us now after serving less than two years in prison.
1 Luis Suarez
Modern society is not one of cannibalism, so you're never going to hear the following exchange between company CEO and middle management:
CEO: "How's that new financial analyst Luis going in his first week?"
Middle management: "Oh he's brilliant, the best man with numbers I've ever seen. There's just one little problem."
CEO: "Oh yeah, what's that?"
Middle management: "He keeps running around biting everyone."
In the real world, that would lead to a sacking and most likely very limited future job prospects. Possibly even some time in prison. When you're as talented a soccer player as Suarez things are different. The chomping Uruguayan bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at last year's World Cup. It was the third time he'd been caught doing just that at professional level. Not even a month later he signed with his favorite boyhood club Barcelona. That'd be like me biting my way out of Silicon Valley to a plum position at Google.
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