To be a professional athlete, you have to be incredibly talented. In some sports, you have to be talented at a lot of different things at once if you want to excel and make the big bucks. We’ve seen athletes wow us with how much they can do, but we’ve only seen most of their talents on the ice, the court or the field.
There are plenty of athletes out there that have talents that you don’t get to see, but it doesn’t really help them in their athletic aspirations. So what are these hidden talents? When we say that these athletes have ‘useless’ hidden talents, we aren’t trying to demean those that can do them well, we’re simply trying to say that they have no use when it comes to actually performing in athletic competition.
Here are 15 athletes that have some of these hidden useless talents, and there’s a wide range of artistry, fashion and even trying to predict the weather (which might actually come in handy for a game plan).
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15 Sean Avery
Sean Avery was far from being the most liked guy in the NHL when he played for Detroit, Los Angeles, Dallas and New York, but he was still able to finish 247 points and 1,533 penalty minutes in his 12 years in the league. Avery became more interested in fashion throughout his career, and even worked as an intern with Vogue magazine and did some modeling. Avery came up with a fashion label for men in 2009 despite saying “You do suits and pants and that’s about that. Women’s clothes tell a story” just the year before.
14 Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo was considered one of the best point guards in the league while with the Boston Celtics, but over the past two seasons has bounced around to the Dallas Mavericks and now Sacramento Kings. While he might not be the best point guard in the league anymore, Rondo is still the best Connect Four player in the league. Rondo often takes on two people at a time while playing the board game, and even destroyed Rick Carlisle. The only person in the league that beat him? That was Charlie Villanueva.
13 Gabby Douglas
Gabby Douglas just turned 20 years old, and she has already accomplished a lot in athletics by winning the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics for individual all-around and team gymnastics. Douglas is nearing the end of her career (since that’s how gymnastics works), so she already seems to be going into old lady mode. Douglas likes to read in her free time, and has been knitting for a few years now. After not being great at it back in 2012, she has gotten a lot better.
12 Ryan Lochte
Another Olympic athlete that was part of the 2012 games, Ryan Lochte won gold in the individual medley and freestyle relay, as well as two silver medals and a bronze to go along with it. Lochte is the ultimate bro, but he has a soft side when it comes to art. Lochte has been drawing for years, and his expertise is in the “surrealist nature art” genre. Lochte is still in competition these days, but maybe he has a future ahead of him in the art world.
11 Daniel Agger
While he’s not considered as one of the premier soccer players in the world, Danish native Daniel Agger has seen plenty of playing time as a defender for Brandby and Liverpool. Agger, as you may have noticed, is covered in tattoos. Some of them include a huge viking and various Latin mottos, but did you know that Agger can draw a mean tattoo himself? That’s right, Agger is a certified tattoo artist, so the next time you’re in Denmark looking for ink, try to give him a call.
10 Shaquille O’Neal
One of the greatest big men in the history of the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal was a dominant force for nearly two decades that pulled in more than 13,000 rebounds and scored 28,000 points. Off of the court, you might remember his short acting or singing careers, but the most random one that he had was a police officer. Shaq was a reserve officer for Los Angeles County and then Miami. Although he didn’t make any arrests, O’Neal did participate in law enforcement activities that included a home raid.
9 Justin Tucker
Even though he went undrafted in 2012, Justin Tucker has established himself as one of the better kickers in the league for the Baltimore Ravens, being named an All-Pro in 2013 and has an 87.2 career field goal percentage. Tucker is an even better singer than a kicker, if you can believe that, as he has been asked to perform with both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the New York Opera. Tucker finally showcased his singing chops to the world in late 2015 when he sang “Ave Maria” at a charity concert with the Concert Artists of Baltimore.
8 Chad Johnson
He was one of the best wide receivers during the first decade of the new millennium and went by Chad Johnson, then Chad Ochocinco, and now Chad Johnson again. Johnson stood out with the Bengals and finished his career with six Pro Bowls, 11,059 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns. Johnson was always talented with his feet, and has been able to juggle multiple objects with them. Johnson was so talented, in fact, that he tried out with Major League Soccer and Sporting Kansas City to stay in shape during the NFL Lockout, but didn’t make the final roster.
7 Jamaal Charles
A third round pick out of Texas in 2008, Jamaal Charles has (when healthy) become one of the best running backs in the league with four Pro Bowl appearances and more than 9,600 total yards and 64 touchdowns in his career. During his down time, Jamaal Charles turns into DJ Charles and plays at nightclubs and special events. Charles even played at the 2014 Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Strangely enough, he played a track named “Ocho Cinco” at the event with the players there.
6 Owen Daniels
Coming out of Wisconsin in 2006, Owen Daniels is a two-time Pro Bowler that has been in the league for 10 seasons with the Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and now the Denver Broncos. Daniels has over 5,500 yards in his career, but his post-playing career lies with the local news as a weatherman. Daniels has a background in meteorology and has even helped give reports on television. Daniels has earned the nickname “The Weatherman” by his teammates, and although they joke, that’s a pretty good career.
5 Jason Pierre-Paul
For the first few years of his career, the University of South Florida product that was drafted in 2010 by the Giants proved to be one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. That was, until, a 2015 fireworks accident caused him to lose at least one finger in the process. Before that accident, though, he was also known as one of the best backflippers in the league. JPP would get into competitions teammates at USF and in New York. We’re not sure if he’s still doing it, but it would be a shame if the accident has stopped him from being able to.
4 Evgeni Malkin
Evgeni Malkin was the second overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, and has been with the Pittsburgh Penguins ever since then. Malkin is a bona fide star that has won a Stanley Cup, two Art Ross Trophies and is a three-time First All-Star. Malkin hates to lose, but you can’t win every game on the ice, so he turns to the checkerboard. Malkin not only plays teammates (and wins most of the time), but he also hops online to play random people. Maybe you have played Malkin in online checkers at some point without knowing it.
3 Nick Markakis
Nick Markakis spent his first nine seasons in the MLB with the Baltimore Orioles before heading to the Atlanta Braves for the 2015 season. Markakis has a pair of Gold Glove Awards to his name, and has knocked out 144 home runs. Any Joe Outfielder can knock out that many home runs over the course of a decade, but how many can balance a chair on their chin? How about a vacuum cleaner? Well, Markakis can balance both of those things on his.
2 Chad Brown
A second round pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, linebacker Chad Brown spent his first 11 years in the league with the Steelers and Seahawks, reaching three Pro Bowl games. Brown finished his football career with New England in 2007, and has since begun a new career...snake breeding. Brown has been a big fan of snakes since his days at Colorado and started a business called Pro Exotics while in the league that bred and sold non-venomous snakes. Sadly, Brown lost many of his reptiles in a 2011 fire, but has rebuilt his fleet since then.
1 Conor McGregor
If Ronda Rousey is the hottest name in women’s MMA, then Conor McGregor has to be the male equivalent. McGregor’s out of the ring antics have been backed up inside of the ring, especially since he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds for the UFC Featherweight Championship. McGregor is also the best in his sport at folding paper, as his hidden talent is origami. McGregor showcased his talent in a Guinness commercial in 2014 that said “Everyone is legendary at something.” Well, now McGregor is legendary in two things.
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