How many drunk photos are there of you floating around in the digital wild? Do you ever worry that one of them is going to surface? Even if these photos don’t show you doing anything strictly illegal, the fact remains that none of us look our best when we’re drunk. As such, you wouldn’t want someone like a prospective employer or a new girlfriend finding that picture of you passed out in the living room with bottles taped to your hands and a little vomit on your shirt. All the same, there is something that is universally funny about seeing someone absolutely drunk even if we prefer that someone isn’t us.
That’s especially true of professional athletes. Athletes are some of the finest tuned human machines in the world, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to alcohol. Quite the opposite, actually. After all, if you were the kind of person that inspired everyone at the bar to start buying you drinks just because you showed up, you might end up getting pretty drunk more often than you might like. They may be a surprisingly common sight, but these are the top 20 hilarious photos of drunk athletes.
20 Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan’s vices include dunking over large players in order to spite rival owners, gambling, punking random people for no real reason, and golf. He’s not, however, typically thought of as a drinking man. Even in his day, Jordan preferred to hit up the casino or the golf course rather than the clubs. Now, that isn’t to say that Jordan doesn’t drink - he certainly does - but rather that he’s not the athlete you think of when you think of partying athletes.
However, as we clearly see in this photo, Jordan does know how to throw down after a few. We’re not sure why this picture of Jordan in surprisingly baggy clothes dancing with two shockingly young girls while smoking a cigar isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but it should be.
19 Matt Leinart
It’s funny, but there are actually people out there who feel sorry for Matt Leinart. They say, “Poor Matt. He was a brilliant college quarterback who just never found a way to transition to the next level.” You really shouldn’t feel too sorry for Leinart, though. After several years in the league, he managed to land a job at the Pac-12 Network. Otherwise, he can usually be found chilling at one of his beautiful homes. Mostly, though, you shouldn’t feel bad for Leinart because Leinart lived the ultimate college athlete lifestyle even after college. Leinart - seen here sucking down a champagne bottle while the dudest bros on campus rejoice - loved to party and get drunk. In fact, we can’t even show you the steamiest drunk Leinart photos that exist.
18 Eli Manning
Whether or not you like Eli Manning as a player, it’s hard to deny that the man boasts some of the best sideline expressions in the game. While his brother Peyton was usually a pretty stoic guy, Eli has no problem expressing every emotion that in the playbook. However, our favorite Eli face will always be “confused Eli” also known as “dumb Eli.” It’s that slack-jawed gaze of Eli Manning that really tells you the man has no idea what’s going on right now. It’s the exact look that Eli Manning sports in the above photo. Typically, this look is reserved for Eli trying to process how anyone can drop such a perfect pass. This time, though, we’re guessing it has something to do with a few too many of those beers.
17 Johnny Manziel
Remember when Johnny Manziel was just a really good college football player? It seems like forever ago that Manziel was the man who put Texas A&M on the map and upset Alabama in one of the best college football games in recent memory. Since then, Manziel has become a parody of a professional athlete. Between his complete lack of enthusiasm for actually playing the game to his shocking decline in ability, you just get the feeling that Manziel never really wanted to be a professional football player. He did, however, apparently want to be a professional partier. There are too many drunk Johnny photos out there to count, but there’s something special about this picture of drunk Johnny on his money phone. We hope he’s calling his bank to deposit that cash. He’s going to need it.
16 Ben Roethlisberger
There are two kinds of NFL fans. Those who kind of think that Ben Roethlisberger is probably a bit of a D-bag and those that regularly root for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even if you put aside Roethlisberger’s incredibly unfortunate - and downright disturbing - alleged off-the-field issues, Roethlisberger has always come across as kind of an “uber-bro” type of guy that we all knew in college even if we wish that we didn’t. The proof of those allegations is everywhere, but really, all you need is this photo of young drunk Ben.
We don’t know what our favorite part of this picture is. The fact that Roethlisberger seems confused regarding why he can’t keep both eyes open, his “drink like a champion” shirt, or his spray-tanned companion’s obliviousness to Ben’s sheer drunkenness.
15 Kyle Orton
We could have devoted this entire list to drunk Kyle Orton photos and barely have scratched the surface. We’d say that the internet has an unhealthy obsession with collecting photos of drunk Kyle Orton, but the better bet is that the sheer number of photos on the internet are bound to include a few images of drunk Orton given that it seems to be his natural state. What’s special about drunk Orton photos is that the man never looks like an NFL player in any of them. Instead, he looks like that guy in college who you know is going to be throwing up by the end of the night. We chose this drunken Orton photo because it’s a rare image of a defeated drunk Orton submitting to slumber.
14 Wayne Gretzky
If we’re talking about dominance of their chosen sport, then Wayne Gretzky is the greatest athlete of all time. Gretzky set hockey records that will quite simply never be beaten by another human being in our lifetime. Most importantly, Wayne Gretzky is - by all accounts - a pretty nice guy. As opposed to someone like Michael Jordan, Gretzky was a humble superstar who let his play say everything. That’s what makes this picture of drunk Gretzky so enjoyable. First off, it shows that Wayne Gretzky is a human that is affected by alcohol like the rest of us. Second, it’s interesting to see Gretzky get a little wild and unleash his inner party animal. Of course, this being Gretzky, we’re guessing he got this drunk off of one beer that he tipped generously for.
13 Alex Ovechkin
Alex Ovechkin is one of the greatest hockey players of the modern era. That’s not a bold statement, but that doesn’t make it any less true. At a time when hockey needed new heroes, Ovechkin - along with Sidney Crosby - came along and raised the bar. Now, while Sidney Crosby prefers to maintain a pretty low profile, Ovechkin has no problem celebrating his considerable accomplishments whenever possible. Here, we see Ovechkin on what appears to be a boat enjoying a few - possibly a few too many - drinks alongside some bikini-clad companions. There’s something about Ovechkin’s several missing teeth that makes this photo that much better. It’s almost like Ovechkin is so drunk that we’re slowly watching him revert to childhood.
12 Andrei Kirilenko
Fun fact: Andrei Kirilenko’s wife once said that she allows her husband to cheat on her once a year. We’re not sure whether or not that’s what we’re seeing here, but we do know that this has to be one of those photos that Mr. Kirilenko just wishes would disappear. We say that knowing that Kirilenko was always kind of a...strange guy. He took his AK-47 nickname to heart - he loved to do photoshoots with the weapon - and generally gave off kind of a weird vibe. Even still, there’s no way that you could look at this photo and find anything flattering to say about Kirilenko. We’re honestly not even sure if he’s drunk in this picture. That’s just our best explanation for that creepy look on his face.
11 Rob Gronkowski
Remember earlier when we got on Ben Roethlisberger for being the ultimate bro? We’d like to alter that statement slightly. After all, being a bro doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person. Some bros are actually alright - or at least amusing - people in a way. Rob Gronkowski is such a person. At some point, the man decided that he’s just going to be a party animal and the greatest tight end on the planet. He’s made it work despite the fact that he plays for a pretty conservative franchise. While there are too many good drunk Gronk pics to share here, this really is the definitive image. Sure, Gronk may be too drunk to keep his eyes open or use his mouth properly, but that’s not going to stop him from partying.
10 Von Miller
Von Miller may not have Gronk’s party reputation, but the man has never shied away from a night at the club. We suppose the difference is that Gronk comes across as a party animal, even when he’s not actually partying, while Von Miller is mostly a professional whenever he’s not at the club. That’s a tricky balancing act made all the more impressive by the fact that Von Miller really, really likes to party. As evidence, we submit this drunk Von Miller photo that really tells you all that you need to know about one of the best defensive players in the league. You know, for a dude that is almost never beaten on the football field, it’s kind of strange to see him lose a battle to alcohol.
9 Cam Newton
Cam Newton is at a crossroads in his professional career. It wasn’t long ago that Newton looked liked the single most unstoppable force on a professional football field. He almost single-handedly carried the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance, and looked to have really turned the corner. Now, however, you’ve got people questioning whether he’s really the future of the franchise. At times like this, it’s nice to know that Newton knows how to relax. Here, we see Newton at an unnamed club spraying a comically large bottle of champagne through the air. Now, we can’t confirm that Newton is drunk at the time of this photo. What we can confirm is that his companions most certainly appear to be and that champagne spraying isn’t typically something the designated driver does.
8 Jamal Anderson
Jamal Anderson’s career was kind of a strange one. Many people outside of the Atlanta Falcon’s fan base probably don’t remember the guy all that well, but that’s not because he wasn’t a pretty good player. The man even rushed for 1,846 yards in 1998. Of course, that’s not all that Anderson was known for. Throughout his career, Anderson struggled to stay out of trouble in his personal life from DUIs to snorting cocaine off nightclub toilet seats, Anderson loved to have a good time. This photo is arguably the definitive image of Jamal Anderson, the party animal. Here we see Anderson just starting to realize how drunk he is while four white dudes - probably - excitedly talk about how drunk Anderson is.
7 Mark Hunter
Sometimes, drunken athlete photos are great because they feature some of our favorite athletes in compromising positions. Other times, they are great because the photos themselves are so very memorable. This is an example of the latter. For those who don’t know, Mark Hunter was an Olympic rower who represented Great Britain in the games. He was quite good. He won gold in 2008 and silver in 2012. To us, however, Hunter will always be the star of this photo. What’s happening in this picture is a matter of interpretation. So far as we can tell, a drunk Hunter decided to give some people he may or may not know a lap dance. The female companion seems to be the only one who realizes what a compromising position she’s in and is desperate to escape.
6 Ryan Leaf
Ryan Leaf’s life story is the kind of thing that a low-rent Hollywood screenwriter might come up with if they’re trying to pitch a film about an athlete who turns out to be a tremendous bust. Throughout high school and college, Leaf was considered to be a can’t miss professional quarterback prospect. The moment he was drafted, though, things started to go wrong. It turned out that Leaf was not only an on-the-field bust, but kind of an arrogant jerk to boot. Now, while we’d never suggest that a photo of an athlete at their drunkest should summarize their character, there is something about this photo that really does capture the essence of Leaf. It’s funny, sad, and ultimately a fleeting source of entertainment.
5 Reggie Miller
We’d never go so far as to say that Reggie Miller is a forgotten or underrated athlete, but for whatever reason, the guy never seems to get enough love. In his day, though, Miller was an ice cold superstar. If your team so happened to be playing against the guy, you just prayed that Miller was going to be denied the ball until the game was definitively over. There are conflicting reports suggesting whether or not Miller was actually a “nice guy” in real life, but the general consensus paints him as kind of a jerk who wasn’t necessarily a Jordan-level jerk. In some ways, this picture feels like Miller in his natural habitat. Sure, it’s a little pretentious, but just look at Miller take in the moment.
4 Jay Cutler and Greg Olsen
Jay Cutler...hmmm...how to put this? Jay Cutler is going to go down as one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in modern NFL history. If you look at Cutler’s career stats, you’ll probably be left with the impression that the guy has been a consistently good and occasionally great quarterback. Bears fans will tell you that Cutler’s occasional greatness didn’t justify all the times that he turned the ball over like interceptions were the key to world peace. What really puts Cutler over-the-top on the hate scale, however, is his seeming lack of interest. Cutler has always come across as a guy that just doesn’t care. In this photo, we see him and Greg Olsen enjoying not just a few too many drinks, but a quiet moment that seems to summarize exactly what most people assume Cutler thinks of the fans.
3 James Harden
It still blows our minds that the Oklahoma City Thunder once had James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook on the same squad and still never won a championship. To be fair, Harden wasn’t quite the dominant force that he is now when he was a member of the Thunder. The guy was always good, but he’s really taken his game to the next level in recent years. Well...his basketball game, anyway. The dude’s party game has always been top-tier. James Harden is one of those guys that has given up on trying to hide his party ways and has just embraced the life of a drunken partier. The man just doesn’t seem to care who puts a camera in his face when he’s at his drunkest. Still, few photos are as legendary as this one which shows Harden as the king of champagne mountain.
2 Alex Smith
Look, if we’re talking about photos that show athletes at their absolute drunkest, this probably doesn’t make the list. Yes, Alex Smith is clearly drunk in this photo, but he’s not Gronk drunk. However, this picture is burned in our minds simply because we have to know the story behind it. Who is this girl who seems to suddenly realize that professional quarterback Alex Smith may be trying to suck her soul? Why is Alex Smith sucking her soul out through her cheek? Who is this legendary man in the background wearing a sombrero that we believe reads “The Office Bambo?” Is he some kind of guiding spirit or just a waiter? If someone ever makes a film based on this picture, we will go see it.
1 Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is a basketball treasure. For almost 20 years now, the man has been the model of superstar consistency. Sure, his best years definitely came around 2004-2007, but you try playing professional basketball for a good portion of your life and not suffer through a few bad years. Given that he’s helped make the Dallas Mavericks relevant since 1998, we’d say that Nowitzki deserves the occasional night off to blow some steam. Based on the number of drunk Nowitzki photos out there, we’d say that he seems to have certainly taken advantage of those nights. However, there are few photos of drunk Dirk quite as impressive as this one. So far as we can tell, Nowitzki appears to have been trying to take a goofy photo, but the camera caught him in that perfect moment of drunken insanity that most of us are fortunate to have never seen ourselves in.