There was a side to the Great Bambino that the kids from The Sandlot didn't know about. This is the legacy of Babe Ruth that does not live on the baseball field but rather lives on with the Rodman's, the Jeter's and the Gronkowski's as they drink over-priced Gran Patron Platinum in South Beach or "make it rain" hard enough to cover a "medical school" tuition payment.
Since the glory days of Ruth, professional athletes have been known as men of the bar, club, adult entertainment establishment, VIP room, champagne room, etc, etc. There reputations are rivaled only by pre-rehab Hollywood starlets and Frank Sinatra.
During his tenure with the New York Yankees, Ruth and his wife moved into the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Then, the most party-centeric residence in the city, home to Italian mob bosses and politicians alike. Here, Ruth gave prohibition the same respect as the Kennedy family.
Fast forward 90 years later and celebrity dirt rag TMZ is in the mists of launching a sports show to chronicle the partying, and the sometimes associated bad behavior, of professional athletes.
Despite having millions of dollars in endorsements on the line, some athletes party beyond what is reasonable, safe and sane. They behave in manners that keep front office executives up at night, praying that nobody hands off camera phone footage to TMZ. However, many others are just having relatively harmless fun.
Here are 20 athletes who are party animals, both reasonable and unreasonable.
20 20. Adam Jones
Drafted by the Tennessee Titans in 2005, legal problems would follow Jones for the next two years. One of Jones' alternations in a Las Vegas strip club would end in tragedy when a bouncer would was paralyzed from a fight that broke out, in which Jones was found to have some responsibility.
In 2010, Pacman Jones was in his late 20s. And, he had already told Yahoo Sports that he was "pretty much partied out now." Jones problems probably somewhat enacted his ambivalent attitude towards partying.
However, in 2012, Indianapolis Colts rookie tight end Coby Fleener reported that the Cincinnati Bengals cornerback blew $1 million dollars, about one-fifth of his three-year, $5.35 million dollar contract with the Bengals organization, in a single weekend.
19 19. J.R. Smith
Poor J.R. Smith had the unfortunate fate of Dennis Rodman naming him heir to the Dennis Rodman persona. He is a regular at clubs like Hollywood's Lure. In 2012, he admitted that his hyper-active social life was affecting his career. He told SlamOnline, "The New York City nightlife pretty much got to me. I was going out pretty much every other night and not focused on the task at hand."
J.R. Smith's antics were even criticized by Rihanna. The pop star posted on her Instagram that J.R. had been struggling during the 2013 NBA playoffs because “his a** be hungover from clubbing every night during playoffs.”
18 18. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods wasn't really known as a party guy until his wife Elin smashed his car window with a golf club and released all of his deeply and strategically hidden secrets. It was then that all the previously unspoken tales of the call girls, illegal substances, and private Las Vegas parties made there way to the front page of the New York Times' sports section.
Woods did, and probably still does, enjoy the nightlife and friends would tell ABC news that Tiger "chases tail like a frat brother -- making them cocktails, asking for their phone numbers. All of his friends help."
17 17. Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson was suspended from the PGA Tour for an illegal substance violation when he allegedly tested positive for cocaine. It was his third failed illegal substance test since 2009. Unnamed PGA sources would tell the New York Post that, “it’s one of the least-kept secrets on Tour how much Johnson likes to party.’’
16 16. John Daly
PGA golfer John Daly says he doesn’t regret gambling away close to $55 million because he “had a lot of fun doing it.” It is kind of surprising that Daly even survived the 80s. Even today, Daly says that he played his best games when he's drunk. He would party all night before tournaments and binge drink 40 beers and a fifth of whiskey a day.
15 15. Alexander Radulov & Andrei Kostitsyn
In 2012, hockey players and teammates Alex Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn violated Nashville Predators team rules and were suspended for Game 3 of the NHL playoffs. The two were outed by social media and Predators teammates when they were spotted at a Scottsdale bar at 5:00 AM the night before game two of their second round playoff series against the Phoenix Coyotes.
They were breaking not only curfew but also common sense.
One man tweeted, “Credit Scottsdale’s cougars for helping Phoenix’s Coyotes battle Nashville’s Predators."
14 14. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards
Known in the Philadelphia Flyers locker room as “Dry Island,” head coach Peter Laviolette instituted a pledge asking players to resist drinking alcohol for a month straight. Then Flyers captain Mike Richards and then center Jeff Carter kicked themselves off the island, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The two where actually ousted to the news outlet by their Flyers teammates who apparently had a little more respect for sobriety.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported: “The two unnamed players said that the Flyers front office was disappointed in Carter and Richards’ longstanding party lifestyle and that teammates were concerned about the pair’s drinking. Shortly after his arrival in December 2009, coach Peter Laviolette instituted what players came to call the ‘Dry Island.’ Laviolette asked team members to commit to not drinking for a month, and each player was asked to write his number on a locker room board as a pledge. No. 17 (Carter) and No. 18 (Richards) were absent from the board on the first Dry Island, as well as the estimated five more times the policy was instituted.”
Carter has been known to crash frat parties at local universities and allegedly had an affair with teammate Scott Hartnell’s wife. Carter and Richards were both traded the following summer.
"Please bring me your torch. The tribe has spoken, its time for you to go."
13 13. Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin is yet another hockey player to be traded because of his party lifestyle. Tyler's father told the Toronto Star that his son's party lifestyle irked the Boston Bruins. This led to him being traded to the Dallas Stars. His dad played it off like the Bruins had a zero tolerance policy towards nightlife but logically, this isn't the case, it's just that Seguin's partying was so insane that it made TMZ headlines.
After the Bruins traded him, Seguin had a run in with the Cape Cod police at a 4th of July party. After defusing the situation, he shook the officers hands. And just after cementing a truce with the police, Seguin turned to the camera and quietly said “F*** the 5-0.”
He then asked his party associates if they should start a “f*** the po-po” chant, to which his friends simply replied “no.”
Seguin also seemingly got close with Playboy’s Miss November 2011 Ciara Price once upon a time. He hung out with her after games and flirted with her on twitter. Recently, he was spotted with Rob Gronkowki, Chris Evans and others in a Boston night club.
During the NHL lockout, Swiss tabloids reported Sequin is pretty unkept slob, and that he was just generally problematic.
12 12. Brad Marchand
Brad Marchand's “Stanley Cup Champians” tattoo has been corrected but he still looks like something that came out of Snooki. After winning the Stanley Cup, Marchand and teammate Tyler Seguin threw shirts and class to the side and got fall on the ground wasted at a local bar.
At another cup celebration party in Las Vegas, the Bruins dropped $150,000 at SHRINE in the MGM Grand. Marchand provided underage teammate Seguin with drinks, going as far as climbing over the bar to get them.
Marchand even has drinking magic tricks. He can make out while holding six bottles of top shelf booze.
11 11. Derek Jeter
If nightlife was Olympus, Derek Jeter would be Zeus.
Jeter is Page 6. He parties with Jay-Z, Nelly (when Nelly was relevant), Diddy, and countless other celebrities, with his career exceeding the length and status of many of theirs. His groupie gossip is exceeded only by that of Tiger Woods. Jeter kept it up for 20 years and his game never suffered for it.
Jeter sometimes apparently even parties by himself. According to legend, a friend's cousin dated Jeter long enough to have keys to his apartment. One day, "she entered to find him butt a** naked on his couch watching highlights of himself and bumping his chest with his fist yelling YEAH JEETS, YEAH JEETS."
It seems Jeter's retirement was his retirement from baseball and "yeah Jeets" situations. He now says he wants to get married and have children.
10 10. Richie Incognito
For Richie Incognito, bad behavior and partying are synonymous. Incognito often gets into fights while on the town but sometimes, things get a little more severe, and even borderline crazy. The former Miami Dolphin, and current free agent, got shirtless and went on a drunken, racist, obscene rant during a bar outing. And, of course, someone made a video of it, which then made its way into the possession of TMZ.
Furthermore, a police report detailied how someone took to Incognito's semi-new $300,000 Ferrari with a baseball bat. Turns out, that "someone" was Incognito himself.
1,000 text messages between Richie and his friend Johnathan Martin (who he would later harass and bully) surfaced earlier this year. In them, they talk about partying, call girls, tailgates and call girls, and call girls.
9 9. Dennis Rodman
If only social media had been there to capture Dennis Rodman in his glory days. The things he and Madonna have probably done in public bathrooms... However, amazingly enough, Rodman has never even gotten a DUI.
Televised drunken CNN rants are some of Rodman's tame moments. While most athletes are known from making it rain in the strip club, Rodman makes it rain in department stores. Once he simply started throwing money around while shopping.
Another time, while at a party in the Hamptons, Rodman was using a cordless microphone to make random announcements throughout the night. When Rodman and six women headed to the bedroom, he did not turn the microphone off. The party downstairs got a full play-by-play of the party going on upstairs.
For his 50th birthday party, Rodman partied for two months straight.
Even after he checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center, Rodman insisted he did not have drinking problems. He says he doesn't actually need to drink. This is just the way he is. Sounds like an... alcoholic.
8 8. Alex Ovechkin
Alexander Ovechkin has no shame when it comes to his lifestyle. He regularly posts intoxicated photos and videos to his Instagram account.
Capitals goalie coaching staff can easily confirm that Ovechkin likes to party. He says, “For Alex, it’s a work ethic,” Kolzig said. “He just has to get back to being the way he was in his younger days and maybe not get wrapped up too much in the rock star status that comes with being Alex Ovechkin.”
After hoisting the IIHF world championship over his head, Ovechkin helped Russian president Vladamir Putin drink from the championship trophy. During the offseason, Ovechkin, sometimes along with pal and former teammate Alexander Semin, likes to take a party tour of former Soviet countries.
7 7. Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson partied away an almost impossible amount of money. In the 80s, the guy used to walk around with white powder on his face.
Tyson went so hard that passing drug tests was not really an option. In his autobiography “Undisputed Truth,” he revealed that he used a "whizzer" to pass drug tests. A "whizzer" is a fake male organ that can be loaded with urine so the user does not have to supply his own urine and is free to do all the illegal substances he pleases.
Tyson is open with the fact that he was under the influence of illegal substances and alcohol. Tyson claimed he was coked up and stoned during his fight with Lou Savarese in 2000.
Once, he offered a zoo attendant $10,000 to let him fight a gorilla. The dominant alpha male gorilla was bullying the rest of the submissive ape band, so Tyson just wanted the alpha male to lose his status, which is actually a pretty kind gesture. But in reality, the gorilla surely would have won the fight.
6 6. Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart is the total package. Not a starting NFL quarterback total package, but a party guy total package. A simple Google search provides you with a collection of sweaty, glazed over, half-conscious photos of Leinart as proof that the nights he probably will never remember, actually happened.
Leinart dated reality star Kristin Cavallari while she was still in high school and tube tops. He then went onto "allegedly" hook up with every notable party girl in Hollywood, including classy chicks like home video star/women of leisure Paris Hilton.
Early in his career, he hooked up with one of the most infamous professional baby mamas in sports while he funnelled beer in backyards and acquired an index of TMZ headlines. When Leinart's career started to go downhill, his celebrity status went with it. He was downgraded to partying with women who were reportedly under-21 in hot tubs.
5 5. Brian Wilson
Nothing really outrageous is ever said about the Los Angeles Dodgers' off field activities, except when presidential candidate John McCain called the Dodgers swimming in the pool at Chase Field a "no-class act by a bunch of overpaid, immature, arrogant, spoiled brats!"
Wilson replied by saying, "Senator McComplain knows a thing or two about coming in second and watching someone take a plunge in the pool (I mean poll) #POoLITICS."
Apparently he's not a Republican.
However, Wilson does party with Charlie Sheen, a guy who is about 90% cocaine and prescription pills. Wilson and Sheen are such close friends that Sheen would fly Wilson into Los Angeles when he was out of state.
You just know that Wilson goes hard with that thick, dyed-black beard and subversive humor.
4 4. Kyle Orton
Kyle Orton does not only get white girl wasted, he gets stole beer out of the fridge, 16-year-old white girl wasted.
After it was reported that Orton would start for the Buffalo Bills, in the wake of EJ Manuel's benching, some Hall of Fame photos surfaced and not the good kind. The sweaty, almost passed out in the back of a cab kind. Orton's drink of preference is jack, straight from the bottle, in the back of a car. It's rare and kind of refreshing to see a starting NFL quarterback frequent dive bars while sweating through a cotton, perhaps even unwashed, t-shirt.
3 3. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane has always behaved strangely while drinking and it sometimes goes way too far. The Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and his cousin were arrested in Buffalo after allegedly robbing and assaulting a cab driver over a very, very small fare dispute. Kane was arrested at about 5am after he punched the cab driver and grabbed the money they had handed him after he told them he didn't have twenty cents in coins to give them. According to the report, their fare was $13.80 and they handed the driver $15.
Kane showed the cab drivers of the world love during the Chicago Blackhawks' Stanley Cup parade speech, where he was greased to the max , so it seems he has cleared up his drunken issues with taxi drivers.
He even now endorses a car service app.
Kane's visit to a frat party at the University of Wisconsin-Madison became a Deadspin classic and would provide meme material for the next couple of months. Kaner has apologized for his hard partying past publicly, on more than one occasion.
2 2. Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel does it all. He parties with Drake, Justin Bieber and other hip-hop artists. He flies to Toronto and Las Vegas for weekends of pool parties and drinking vodka straight from the bottle, and he does what looks like some Lindsay Lohan-type activities in public restrooms.
After drafting the A&M prodigy, the Cleveland Browns were reportedly stunned by Johnny Football's non-stop partying. Which is kind of odd because it's not like he ever tired to hid it. Manziel treats a chill weekend at home with the same regard as the legal drinking age.
Currently, Johnny Manziel's reputation as Drake's wingman and Bieber's party guest far exceed his reputation as an NFL player. He's currently the backup and it has been questioned whether Manziel will be able to play in the cold weather. Some think Manziel is not big enough to play in the NFL and doesn't have the capacity to overcome that like Russell Wilson has.
1 1. Rob Gronkowski
The New England Patriots star is a known regular at Las Vegas pool parties since Deadspin chronicled the infamous "Summer of Gronk." The Summer of Gronk events included getting on stage at a nightclub and twerking, as well as drinking Kansas State out of beer.
The best thing about Gronk's partying is that nobody gets hurt. No lawsuits. No DUIs. No photos of him doing lines in bathrooms. No suspensions. No baby mamas. Tax dollars are not wasted because the neighbours are calling the police. No dragging unconscious girlfriends out of Atlantic City casino elevators. And he's still one of the NFL's top tight ends. Gronk recently even bought himself a party bus so he can shuttle his bros around Boston safely. And let's be real here, Bibi Jones is a breath mint compared to Matt Lienart's hook ups.
But in all fairness, Gronkowski's partying might actually be a little overstated. Maybe he's actually just a rich and very large twenty five-year-old. Sports Illustrated senior writer Chris Ballard spent several days with him and he did not really capture any of Gronk's crazy antics. Gronk spent his Saturday attending a paid appearance and then spent the rest of his evening alone on his couch with the intention of doing an Insanity workout video.
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