The 15 Most Awkward Athletes of 2013

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The 15 Most Awkward Athletes of 2013

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Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

There was definitely no shortage of awkward athletes to laugh at in 2013. Before we get into it, let me be clear about the definition of awkward that applies to this list. I’m not talking about athletes who have nerdy personalities and mannerisms, because athletes can’t be nerds. It’s incredibly annoying when someone who is not a nerd tries to claim to be one now that it’s more socially acceptable.

As crazy as it sounds, athletes are athletic. They also don’t get tortured by bullies (with the exception of Jonathan Martin) and typically have few issues with the opposite sex. I don’t care if they play Dungeons & Dragons or are obsessed with Star Wars — there’s nothing awkward about some of the fastest, strongest, most coordinated people in the world. But athletes can definitely embarrass themselves, which is the type of awkward this list focuses on.

There are several ways athletes have humiliated themselves this year. Some of them lost their filter and said something completely stupid with a microphone in their face. Others did something so dumb on or off the field, that it made you question how they’re able to function on their own.

And then there are my favorites — the guys who had a relatively decent public image shattered when they get caught acting like a total low-life. Watching them read those insincere apologies that they likely had nothing to do with preparing is so uncomfortable, yet so funny. You hate their face because you know they’re only sorry because they got caught, but it’s still kind of fun to watch them with their tail between their legs.

Some of the athletes on this list just had an isolated incident, but some have been, or will be, embarrassing themselves for years. Regardless, all of them were uncomfortable to look at for at least a brief period in 2013.

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15. Elvis Dumervil

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t entirely Dumervil’s fault, but the former Denver Bronco had to be released by the team because they waited until the last minute to get their deal finalized. To add an extra level of embarrassment for all parties involved, they tried to blame a fax machine for the mishap, instead of pointing the finger at their own procrastinating behinds.

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14. Mark Sanchez

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The Star Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Sanchez’s infamous butt fumble technically happened at the end of 2012, but the embarrassment from it definitely carried on through 2013, and will live on for several years after. On top of that, in a preseason game against the New York Giants, Sanchez was fighting for his job against rookie Geno Smith who was given the starting nod for the game. After Smith threw three interceptions to open the door, Sanchez responded by fumbling a snap and suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in limited time. Ouch.

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13. Jason Kidd

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

In his first season as a head coach, Kidd has already been suspended two games for a DUI, fined $50,000 for spilling a drink on the court as a stall tactic, and the Brooklyn Nets are playing terrible on his watch.

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12. Lamar Odom

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not sure if being married to a Kardashian is technically awkward by definition, but it feels like it should be. No worries because Odom has done plenty outside of that to embarrass himself in 2013. He got a DUI, it was rumored he's been using crack, he made a rap about cheating on his wife, and then got dumped by a Kardashian.

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11. Ryan Lochte

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Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

What could be more awkward than trying to be living joke and failing at it? Lochte’s reality show What Would Ryan Lochte Do? was intended to be another ‘laugh at them, not with them’ show like Jessica Simpson’s Newlyweds or The Jersey Shore, but it was cancelled after a short run. He also trademarked his catchphrase ‘Jeah’ in 2012, and is still trying to make that stupid thing work today.

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10. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Last season the Los Angeles Angels finished below .500 largely because of these two not living up to their enormous contracts which combined, took up over 26% of the payroll in 2013. They have both had the worst seasons of their career since joining the Angels, making it difficult to show their faces around town.

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9. Tim Tebow

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David Butler-USA TODAY Sports

Tebow’s super-positive attitude and past success make 2013 all the more awkward. Since being cut by the New England Patriots in August, Tebow has been hoping for a call from another team, but nobody’s buying. His refusal to play anything but quarterback has left him swallowing his pride all year.

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8. Von Miller

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Getting busted conspiring with a sample collector to cover up his use of banned substances was bad enough, but intentionally spilling his urine sample in another ridiculous attempt to get away with it was just hilariously stupid. If the pathetic act of desperation were caught on tape, YouTube would explode.

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7. Johnny Manziel

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

One of the last places Manziel would ever be welcome is a Texas Longhorns frat party, so naturally that is where his ego told him to go. Of course he was immediately kicked out and sent on a walk of shame. He also got benched by Kevin Sumlin for taunting against the Rice Owls and tweeted that he “couldn’t wait to leave College Station” because of a parking ticket.

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6. Sergio Garcia

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Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Garcia initially embarrassed himself in 2013 by choking on 17th and 18th holes at the Players Championship by hitting three balls into water after being tied for the lead. He and Tiger Woods had a little bickering match during the event about the timing of one of Woods' shots that led to a dumb comment by Garcia. When later asked about his relationship with Woods he stated “We’ll have him ‘round every night. We will serve fried chicken.”

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5. Alex Rodriguez

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It’s incredibly uncomfortable when someone won’t stop lying despite how obvious it is. A-Rod’s defense from the Biogenesis scandal is that he was tricked into taking the drugs and that he didn’t know they were illegal. The moron has no answer for why he thought the drugs were so expensive, or why he had to buy them in secret. He is emphatically and awkwardly denying doing something he has already admitted to doing.

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4. Ryan Braun

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Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Braun had a lot of people on his side when he was adamantly denying using steroids, making his bust all the more humiliating. The awkwardness was so strong it spread to his (likely former) friend Aaron Rodgers who tweeted that he would bet his salary on Braun’s innocence. After embarassing himself by defending and trusting his friend, Rodgers rightfully ended their business relationship.

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3. Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin

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Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

There are still some facts about the situation that remain unclear, but from what’s been reported it seems like Incognito is a racist, bullying animal and Martin could have handled the situation better. Regardless, grown men should not act like this, especially when it has put such a huge dent in the Miami Dolphins' offensive line while they're fighting for a playoff spot.

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2. Riley Cooper

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing could have been more awkward than Cooper having to show his face at practice after a viral video caught him threatening to “fight every (African American) here” at a Kenny Chesney concert. I imagine Cooper’s tail is still between his legs.

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1. The New York Yankees

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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

With a massive payroll every year, the Yankees should always be in the playoffs. When they don’t make it, they should feel very stupid. In 2013 they spent $203,445,586 and watched as the Cleveland Indians ($73,724,300), Oakland Athletics ($60,372,500), and Tampa Bay Rays ($57,505,272) all beat them out for the postseason.

Every one of those teams had just one player who made more than $8 million while the Yanks average just over that mark per person on their 25-man roster. Anytime a team spends that kind of money and doesn’t even make the playoffs, it should be considered a publicly humiliating face plant.


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