By Joe Cooper @joeRantSports on April 3, 2014
Often times, sports analysts will use clichés when referring to an athletic competition as a battle or war, calling the players “warriors.” It always rubs me the wrong way when people put athletes playing a game in the same class as those who serve their country in any branch of the U.S. military. But what if athletes were asked to serve, which players could thrive in warfare?
Even though his hair would need to be tamed, Bryce Harper is a gritty ballplayer with a hunger to be successful at anything he tries. Harper has shown he isn’t afraid to leave it all out on the field as he is routinely crashing into walls and barreling through fielders on the basepaths, all for the greater good for his team.
If he can’t find work in the NFL the U.S. armed forces are always hiring. Tim Tebow may not be good enough to play in the league, but his personality could bode well in the military. His tireless physical work ethic combined with his humble and selfless attitude would serve him better with a platoon than with him as a pocket passer.
The hero for the U.S. men’s hockey team in the 2014 Winter Olympics would encourage patriotism around the country after he enlisted alone. The 27-year-old is a humble American with a quick and deceptive playing style on the ice. Although the Washington native fits the profile of a formidable soldier, it would be tough to lure him away from his gorgeous fiancée Lauren Cosgrove back in the states.
The 6-foot-4 quarterback has a compact build weighing in at 230 pounds. The multi-talented 26-year-old has not only seen success in football, but also in baseball as he was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 43rd round of the 2009 MLB Draft. Accuracy isn’t his best quality, so I wouldn’t recommend he become a sniper after sporting a 58.4 completion percentage last season.
The Minnesota Vikings running back is a workhorse, rushing for 2097 yards in 2012 after tearing his ACL late in the previous season. Adrian Peterson personifies the term “gym rat” in getting his body to become anything he desires.
At Stanford, Owen Marecic played on both ends of the field at fullback and linebacker. Throughout his time with the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers, Marecic has never worn gloves during games. No flash, no flaunting -- he is a hard-nosed, rugged, old-school type personality that could translate in combat.
Aaron Craft knows what it takes to serve as his older brother Brandon has been deployed to Afghanistan. He maintains a GPA of 3.9 in Columbus, and is working towards going to medical school after his playing days. His strong build and intellect would be a substantial assets to any military branch.
The jack-of-all-trades for the New England Patriots is quite the grinder on special teams and when needed at safety. The rugby player-turned-Ohio State safety has an impressive highlight tape on YouTube, displaying his toughness with the egg shaped ball. His willingness to conform to anything Bill Belichick wants him to be proves his loyalty to his higher-ranking boss.
The Indiana Pacers power forward spends his summers not only on the hardwood, but in the boxing ring training for the long 82-game season. West is a man of very few words, making his presence felt with his play and intimidating demeanor.
The NFL safety-turned-professional boxer is a pound-for-pound nightmare in the ring. Training with International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Emanuel Steward, Zbikowski’s body would be more than capable of withstanding the high physical demands of the military.
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