As we told you about last week, ESPN the Magazine recently released a music-themed issue in which they had famous (and not-so-famous) pro athletes dress up as musicians and recreate iconic photos and album covers. It’s a pretty fun idea, and I’m sure the athletes involved had a great time pretending to be musicians. However, not every athlete has to pretend to be a musician. Some of them are musicians, whether amateur or professional. Are they all great? No. Definitely not. But because they’re already rich and famous, people take note.
Anyway, here’s rundown of notable athlete musicians who don’t have to dress up for an ESPN photoshoot to feel musical. Enjoy.
Retired soccer player Alexi Lalas was one of the most popular American internationals during his career thanks to his trademark red goatee and long locks. It's fitting, therefore, that he also like to rock the electric guitar.
Of course, these days he's clean-shaven and working behind an ESPN desk. So now he probably prefers an acoustic.
25. Alexi Lalas
Travor Pryce won back-to-back Super Bowls with the Broncos, all while teaching himself to play the bass and piano. Of course, now that the DE is retired, he's turned his attention to the movie business, having written a couple of screenplays and pitched numerous TV shows.
24. Trevor Pryce
I'm sure this outfit was totally hip in the 1960s. However, I can't help but think 2x AL Cy Young winner Denny McLain looks a little like a cult leader here. A cult leader who happens to play keyboard in a Vegas lounge.
23. Denny McLain
Apparently Carl Edwards's responsibilities to his sponsor, Aflac, goes beyond the race track. Here he is jamming on stage with the Zac Brown Band, and there on his sleeve is the company's logo.
How long do you think it is until actual professional musicians get sponsors and have to wear their gear on stage?
22. Carl Edwards
Former Red Wings tough buy Darren McCarty has his own hard rock band, for which he is the lead singer. The band's name? Yep, it's a hockey term: Grinder.
21. Darren McCarty
Jack McDowell is another former pro athlete with a rock band. The 1993 AL Cy Young winner rocks with an alternative group called Stickfigure. However, even during his career he was into music, playing with a band called V.I.E.W. that apparently toured with and opened for The Smithereens at one point.
20. Jack McDowell
You may not have heard of these guys, but twin brothers Bob and Matt Bryan are actually one of the most prolific tennis doubles teams of all time, having won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and spent over 300 weeks ranked #1 in the world. Of course, tennis isn't their only genetic gift. The two also dabble in music, as you can clearly see here.
19. Bob and Matt Bryan
Milwaukee Bucks center Drew Gooden plays an instrument. Can you guess which one?
Seriously, though, he's apparently even played in some hotel lounges here and there.
18. Drew Gooden
As you can see, 2006 NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb likes to play him some gee-tar in his spare time. Of course, after his career was ruined by shoulder injuries, he's probably gone from playing Dave Matthews to playing Elliott Smith.
17. Brandon Webb
I have no idea whether Nick Swisher actually plays guitar. To be honest, he seems like the kind of guy who would keep an acoustic guitar at his place just to impress chicks. (And I'm not knocking that—it works.) But I guess I'll give him the benefit of the doubt since he does have a 90s alt-rock goatee in this photo.
16. Nick Swisher
If your name is Wayman, the only kind of music you're going to be playing is smooth jazz. Such is the case for former NBA power forward Wayman Tisdale. After handing up his sneakers, the guy has turned into a full-on recording artist with albums titled "Power Forward," "Face to Face," and "Rebound."
15. Wayman Tisdale
I've recently become a Barry Zito fan. The guy was vilified by some after signing a crazy huge deal with the San Francisco Giants (based largely on his stellar performance with the A's) and then sucking. Then, this year, he saved the Giants' season when, San Fran trailing St. Louis 3-1 in the NLCS, he took the mound and pitched 7.2 scoreless innings.
Of course, the Giants went on to win the World Series. Talk about redemption.
Anyway, now that I find out he also plays guitar and regularly organized charity celebrity music jams? Yeah, he seems even cooler. Here's a video featuring Barry talking about his musical background:
See what I mean? Who knew the guy was this interesting?
14. Barry Zito
From a guy who seems cool as hell to a guy who seems...well, not as cool. Here we have Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo—yes, the guy who used to have the dreds while pitching for the Red Sox.
13. Bronson Arroyo
Can Doug Flutie play the drums? Man, he's wearing a badass beaded nacklace, aint he?
12. Doug Flutie
Mike Piazza: also plays the drums. I wonder if he's ever hopped up on stage with Belle and Sebastian and joined them for their song, "Piazza, New York Catcher"? I hope so, because that would be so weird.
11. Mike Piazza
The late Hector "Macho" Camacho played a litte guitar. Of course, the dude was Puerto Rican, not Mexican, so I don't know why he's here playing with a mariachi band. I guess he just liked perpetuating ethnic stereotypes.
10. Hector Camacho
No, really. Oscar released a self-titled album of Latin Pop back in 2000. It's pretty incredible, don't you think?
9. Oscar De La Hoya
For a while legendary Tennis hot-head Johnny Mac had a band called The Johnny Smyth Band that would play gigs in towns where he happened to be playing on the senior tour. Apparently they weren't so great.
8. John McEnroe
Just as with #16 Nick Swisher, I feel like Wilt just had musical instruments around the house to he could pick up chicks. After all, I've never heard of his musical abilities, but I have heard of his claims about having slept with 20,000 women. So...
7. Wilt Chamberlain
So not only is Hank Ludqvist (a) one of the world's greatest goalies, (b) one of the best-dressed athletes of all time, and (c) married to a gorgeous blonde Swede. He's also an accomplished musician.
I want to be him, and yet I also hate him.
6. Henrik Lundqvist
Wow. John Daly is surprisingly not awful the way his jacket would suggest.
5. John Daly
Bernie Williams is probably the most famous recent musician to make a legit career for himself as a musician. The former Yankee center fielder is a classically trained guitarist and released two jazz albums after retiring.
4. Bernie Williams
Is it fair to everyone else on this list to call Shaq a "musician"? Absolutely not. But the guy made 5 albums, the first of which (Shaq Diesel) was certified platinum. So you have to include him on the list, no matter how comical his abilities.
Regarded as one of if not the best soccer players of all time, Pele also has one album to his credit. In 1969, the guy recorded Tabelinha, on which he sings and plays guitar. Heck, he even wrote two of the songs.
Manny Pacquiao is a renaissance man. The guy boxes, acts, sings, and is a Member of Congress in his native Philippines.
The music? Well, in 2006 he released an album in Tagalog called Lagan Nating Nahat Ito, which I presume went quadruple platinum because every single man, woman, and child in the Philippines bought it 6 times. Then in 2007 he released a single on MCA called "Pac-Man Punch."
Want to here it? Of course you do:
Yeah, we laugh, but the guy probably made like $10 million on this.