Top 25 Nerdy Athletes

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Dorks in Sports

Source: Steve Mitchell- USA Today

First off, Lebron James is not included on the top-25 dorky athlete list. However his nerdy glasses deserved a spot somewhere in the slideshow. He is one of the least- dorky athletes out there so I’m not sure why he thinks it’s so cool to wear them but I find it highly unnecessary.

But forget about Lebron, and let’s get on to define what makes an athlete geeky.

Some of players on the list have an overall dorky appearance, while others are closet-nerds.

What exactly would define one as a closet-nerd? Most of them are professional athletes with an outstanding academic background. Many of them attended Ivy League schools and graduated with an outstanding GPA.

Some of them even put off their professional sports career a couple of years just so they could finish their college degree.

But of course, then you must include the video-game geeks. I find it quite ironic that some of the world’s best athletes are also the world’s laziest people when they go home; they just kickback and play video games for hours on-end.

Whether it’s their awkward appearance or unseen book-smarts, these athletes fit the definition of dork in some sort or form.Some of them may surprise you, and you may learn some interesting facts about well-known athletes in the media today.

Just for pure entertainment, I’ve included videos for a few of them, just to prove the fact that these athletes have a nerdy side to them.

Sit back and enjoy the 25 dorkiest athletes in sport’s history.

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25. Randy Johnson


Pitcher Randy Johnson makes this list solely due to his looks. He may have been a great pitcher but his hair just screams nerd.

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24. Craig Breslow

Source: Jake Roth- USA Today

Here's the first undercover smarty-pants. Breslow scored a 1410 on his SAT graduated from Yale University with a BA in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. Following that, he was accepted to NYU Medical School but chose to play for the Milwaukee Brewers instead because of his love for the game.

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23. George Parros

Source: Jake Roth- USA Today

He may act like a tough hockey player, but Parros was another college nerd. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Economics. His senior-year thesis was on the West Coast Longshoremen's Labor Dispute and he also speaks three languages. Needles to say, his mustache doesn't help the dorky factor at all.

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22. Vitali & Wladimir Klitschko

Source: Witters Sport- USA Today

These two boxers have quite the intelligence outside of the ring. Wladimir speaks five languages and has a PhD in Sports Science. Vitali has a doctorate in Sports Science and is a political leader in Ukraine.

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21. Tim Lincecum

Source: Darr Beiser- USA Today

Lincecum mainly makes the list for his appearance. He only spent one year at the University of Washington so he isn't an education dork. However, he is an avid Beatles fan and is called the "human jukebox" by his teammates for his ability to memorize song lyrics.

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20. Robert Swift


From skinny red-head to tatted up with a fro, Swift tried a little to hard to look like a bully in the NBA.

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19. Dwight Howard

Source: Cary Edmonson- USA Today

Okay, I know most of you probably don't agree with this but Howard is a video game nerd and we need at least one of them on the list. Howard is known for playing hours worth of video games, every night. Just ask Howard himself, he loves to play Call of Duty.

But just wait... For those of you that didn't know, he also made a cameo appearance in the trailer for Call of Duty- Modern Warfare 3. His appearance comes in the last 10 seconds of the trailer.

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18. Tim Duncan

Source: Chris Humphreys- USA Today

This one may surprise you, but Tim Duncan is a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast and also enjoys attending renaissance fair which highlight the medieval times. On top of that, he has a tattoo of Merlin the Magician on his back and skele-jester on his left pectoral muscle.

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17. Kurt Rambis


Between the glasses and the hair, Kurt Rambis presents the perfect dork.

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16. James Worthy


James Worthy is not on the list strictly due to his nerdy glasses; he also guest starred in an episode of Star Trek. Take a look at Worthy's star appearance as a "Klingon" below.

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15. Myron Rolle

Source: Sam Sharpe- USA Today

Rolle is another athlete that you would not think of being a dork at first sight. This football player graduated from Florida State University in 2.5 years with a 3.75 GPA. He was a Rhodes Scholar and postponed his NFL career in order to attend Oxford University where he earned his Master's of Science in Medical Anthropology.

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14. Bjorn Borg


Fits in perfectly due to his dorky looks; Borg was known for horrible striped tube socks and terry-cloth headband combo.

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13. Alex Smith

Source: Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

Smith didn't go to an Ivy League school like many did but he was still a story of academic success. Smith obtained his bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Utah in just two years with a GPA of 3.74. Before being picked up by the San Francisco 49'ers he also had began pursuing his master's degree in economics.

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12. Landry Fields


First off, this is a picture of Fields in a snuggie. He graduated from Stanford with a degree in communications which isn't completely nerdy. However the video of Fields trying to sell his own jersey at a sporting goods store finally pushed his dorkiness over the edge to make the list.

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11. Bryant Reeves


Back in the era of awkward white centers in the NBA, Reeves was the perfect description. He was big,tall, bulky and quite the stiff. His nickname, "Big Country" pulls it all together to make him the perfect NBA dork.

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10. Jeremy Lin

Source: Steve Mitchell- USA Today

The Asians are always getting made fun of for being nerdy. Lin went through his phase of "Linsanity" last year which just sounds dorky but there is more than that behind Lin.

He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Economics. His GPA was only a 3.1, which is actually low compared to others on this list. However, the impression that I get from the following video is that Lin knows that he is a nerd at heart.

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9. Don Mossi


Based solely off of appearance, look at the ears...

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8. Peyton Manning

Source: Kirby Lee- USA Today

He is known for studying game films more than college students study for finals and his awkward/goofy appearance on the field. He takes things just a little too seriously sometimes. On top of that, he graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Speech Communications and a Business minor; it only took him 3 years to graduate and had a 3.61 GPA.

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7. Andrew Luck

Source: Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

Again with the white NFL quarterbacks; I think the majority of them were college nerds. He graduated from Stanford University with an architectural degree. He received the 2011 Academic All-America of the Year Award and Stanford's prestigious Al Masters Award which holds the highest standards of athletic performance, leadership and academic achievement.

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6. Brian Scalabrine

Source: Jeff Hanisch- USA Today

I don't know if it's more the red hair or the tall, skinny white boy appearance but Scalabrine is one of the first people you think of when it comes to modern-day NBA dorks.

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5. Greg McElroy

Source: The Star Ledger- USA Today

Another quarterback on the list, Greg McElroy and his academic achievements in college. Attended the University of Alabama and graduated in 3 years with a degree in Marketing and a 3.86 GPA, receiving only one B during his undergrad career.

He also started a masters degree program in Sports Administratoin before he graduated and gained his degree the winter of 2011. On top of that, he was considered the smartest college athlete in 2010. And why not add a cherry on-top with the 2nd highest score in history on the NFL's Wonderlic test of 43/50.

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4. Steve Nash

Source: Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

He's a short-white point guard so he looks like a little weasel out on the court. Nash is also a video game guru after competing in the EA Sports FIFA '11 championships. However, this horrible, corny informercial for Vitamin Water placed this "Canadian Celeberity" on the dorky list.

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3. Mark Madsen


We're all familiar with the phrase: white men can't jump. However Madsen took it too a whole level to prove that white men can't dance either... Take a look at Madsen's dancing skills during the LA Lakers' Championship celebration parade in 2002.

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2. Ross Ohlendorf

Source: Charles LeClaire- USA Today

He may not look dorky at first sight but Ohlendorf is a closet-nerd. He scored an outstanding 1520 on his SATY, graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Operations Research and Financial Research with a GPA of 3.8.

Adding to his college success, he earned the George Mueller Award for high scholarly achievement in the study of engineering with quality performance in intercollegiate athletics. And to top it off, he volunteers as an intern with the US Department of Agriculture. To this day, he is considered to be the smartest player in baseball.

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1. Ryan Fitzpatrick

Source: Mark J. Rebilas- USA Today

Ryan Fitzpatrick is your typical white NFL quarterback dork. He scored a 1580 on his SAT and graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Economics.

Better yet, Fitzpatrick is well-known for holding the highest score on the Wonderlic Test at the NFL Combine. The test is scored out of 50 points and players are given 12 minutes to complete it; Fitzpatrick scored a 48/50 and completed the test in 9 minutes.

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