A professional athlete is almost a perfect physical specimen… almost. Their bodies are supremely gifted, and most of the athletes accentuate that god-given talent with the hard word and dedication it takes to truly be among the best in their field. Not all are this disciplined of course. There are always a few that float by on their talent, spending their high-flying life eating McDonalds and steak. While their bodies need to be in peak condition, their faces do not. Over the course of the battle that is sports, faces are often hit, damaged, disfigured, and mangled until they look less like a gladiator, and more like Frankenstein’s monster. It hardly matters though, they’re not paid to look great, just play great. But in this modern era, where any athlete’s ugly mug is just a Google search away, Frankenstein’s monster is available for all of the villagers to see, and for these lists to set fire to.
I do feel bad writing this. While its fun to make fun, I try to avoid subjects that are beyond a person’s control. I do however, console myself in their millions and the fact that if they are wasting their time googling themselves, then they’re asking for it. Others on the list just lack basic maintenance skills. Perhaps spoiled with the easy women that flock to a rich athlete gives them little reason to worry about what’s in the mirror. Some on this list are not ugly, but are more odd ducks. Their faces look like the DNA strands decided to ‘eyeball’ it when constructing their face. A few inches here and there separate the studs from the duds.
Also, hockey is a rough game, and a lot of that rough stuff occurs on the face. Mike Ricci is in the ugly NHL Hall of Fame but have you ever seen his rookie years? The guy was suave. His veteran looks are a testament to the price he paid to contribute to his team, and pay dearly he did. It’s perhaps the most rugged major sport in North America so some battle scars are expected.
Since we usually take this game way too seriously, lets have a bit of fun with the men who are paid to play. As Duffman once said, “That’s one mug you don’t wanna’ chug!”
10. Pavel Datsyuk
Here’s a feller I never would have had on the list, until the helmet comes off and the camera zooms out. Face shapes are generally round, oval, square, but Pavel got stuck with the lightbulb. A less brave men might style his hair in such a way as to distract from the distinct flying V of his face, but not Pavel. Methinks his face shape is much like a pointy stick that finds water, but in his case it guides him to the puck in a way only this Selke winner can do. He does look brainy though, as if he was supposed to be a physicist or the inventor of the eraser, but ended up with an athlete’s body and the hands of a wizard. Perhaps ironically he’s the perfect man.
9. Zack Kassian
Now I wouldn’t call Kassian ugly, but he’s on this list for looking the most like a hockey player. He also looks like he just stepped out of a time machine, either from the 1973 Flyers dressing room or the stone age cavemen times. This would match his consistently bewildered look, that he is indeed not of this time. As if all of our technology freaks him out, and all of these penalties called on him now wouldn’t happen in his day.
And the hair; Vancouver fans must be wishing Kassian played his game with as much ferocity as his hair does.
8. Brent Sopel
I know he plays in the AHL, but he’s getting called up to the show for this game! Brent Sopel’s looks match his play. He’s the gritty underdog, a dog that lives underneath a porch. Or a dog in the alley; not a dog you’re worried will attack you, but the friendly one you feel sorry for, but don’t necessarily want to take home. He has street urchin hair that looks like it sees far too many intense workouts in between showers. He looks like your slacker friend who lives on the couch and is in charge of microwaving burritos. God bless him, he needs it.
7. Olli Jokinen
Another odd duck, Jokinen is unique. He started out with the Matt Damon look in his younger days, but soon he grew out of that, into whatever it is you would call him now. He may not be fearless on the ice, but he most definitely is off the ice to walk around looking like that. Olli loves to accentuate his slightly wide deep set eyes with a Harley Davidson sized handlebar moustache. His hair varies widely from psych-ward-shave to the longest, greasiest flow this side of finding a 1990-91 O-Pee-Chee starter pack in the trash. He may be from Finland, but his style is 80’s hillbilly Prom King all the way.
6. Evgeni Malkin
Beauty is a very fine line; it’s all about symmetry. Malkin is so close to being ruggedly handsome, but his nose and chin just didn’t know when to quit. Malkin probably looks best when standing in Crosby’s shadow, although he plays his best when that mug is taking center stage. But forget about the Crosby/Malkin debates, the real showdown is between Malkin and Sly Stallone. Flyers fans must be so pissed that their city built a statue that looks exactly like Malkin.
5. Alexander Ovechkin
An interesting case. When he first broke into the league he had a much more dashing look. But perhaps the way people in long term relationships stop caring about their looks, Ovechkin said ‘screw it, I’m rich and score goals!”. He is a handsome dude underneath some poor maintenance. A little brow un-unification would go a long way. He has a very confusing look as his toothy smile has the space where the brow should have it. Oh well, why should he care, he’ll always have money, skills, and Russian girlfriends. No wonder he loves life so much.
4. Jaroslav Halak
Jaroslav Halak just can’t get enough love in the NHL. He gave Montreal a magical performance in the playoffs and was kicked out of town. He’s a useful goalie in an era where every position except goaltending is overpaid. He is also a regular contributor to these lists. Halak has some movie-star qualities though. His eyes in particular remind one of Christian Bale…in that movie where he never sleeps. He has that bad boy air, like he just did some hard time. He is an innovator however, constantly experimenting with the ratio of hair on the sides and top of his head, bringing to mind various tropical fruit. Poor Jaro, he doesn’t get paid enough for this.
3. Dion Phaneuf
Joke’s on everyone, he’s married to Elisha Cuthbert, but still, it’s Dion, he was made for these lists. Dion’s face, like his hockey game, has all of the skills to succeed, yet it’s all about how you put it together. He has the jawline of not one but two Hollywood stars at the same time. His rugged demeanour harkens back to a simpler time, like when fire was invented. But don’t feel bad for old Dion, he looks like he can take a joke, or be a joke, and God knows the Leafs must be joking for the past few years with what they’ve been doing.
2. Tyler Kennedy
If you are what you eat, perhaps Kennedy grew up on the farm eating squirrel. I’ve seen nostrils flare, but it doesn’t stop there. He looks like a 10-year-old glued his dad’s facial hair on his face, and went out for Halloween as a hockey player. The good news is that looks fade, and Stanley Cups are forever. While Tyler Kennedy fit in the dreary steel town of Pittsburgh, he’s now been transplanted to sunny San Jose. Will a California tan force Tyler off our list?
1. Phil Kessel
You have to wonder what some players would be doing if they weren’t supremely gifted athletes. Phil Kessel wouldn’t look out of place as the assistant manager of a Best Buy. Or perhaps a pizza delivery driver. Now that we mention driving, I could see him rolling around in a large van with no windows, at night. Not quite sure what his job would be at that point, but very sure I wouldn’t want to know. When they say God giveth and he taketh away, they probably meant that God gave Kessel his speed and shot, but had to even it out with the hairline and slightly disturbing chin. His eyes lag behind his chin the way his work ethic lags behind his skill. The only thing Kessel speaks fondly of is playing video games with Bozak, I have to imagine as soon as he’s retired from the annoying tedium of professional sports, he can spend more time in a dark basement.
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