7 Athletes Who Had A Second Career In Sports
Chad Ochocinco may play pro soccer if the 2011 NFL season is canceled. Well, he wouldn’t be the first athlete to attempt a second career in sports.
By Zack Zeigler
With a lockout threatening to cancel the 2011 NFL season, Chad Johnson Ochocinco Johnson might swap his shoulder pads for shin guards. The soft-spoken Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver is exploring a second career by trying out with MLS soccer team Sporting Kansas City.
Now, you may think that just because Chad is the type of guy who, say, celebrates TDs by passing out autographed jerseys, that this is just a publicity stunt for Chad (and for the soccer team whose name we’ve already forgotten). But considering his lackluster 2010 season that ended with 67 receptions for 831 yards and 4 touchdowns, maybe he really is considering a second career. And why not? It worked for (most) other athletes…
Herschel Walker | Football, Bob Sledding, Mixed Martial Arts
He beat people down on the football field for 12 NFL seasons before retiring in 1997, and in 2010, at age 47, he resumed beating people beat down as a pro MMA fighter. In ’92, Walker also competed in the Winter Olympics on the two-man bobsled team, placing seventh.
Bo Jackson | Baseball, Football
Jackson knew how to break ankles as an NFL running back and break bats over his knee on the baseball diamond. In fact, he was awesome at both sports — he was the first athlete ever named an All-Star in two pro sports — until a hip injury (and hip replacement) ended his career on the gridiron and hampered the remainder of his baseball career.
Michael Jordan | Basketball, Baseball
Arguably the best basketball player and dunker of all-time, Jordan got bored making lots of money and collecting NBA championships for the Bulls and headed for the minor-league Birmingham Barons in 1993. It … didn’t work out so well, and in less than two years he returned to basketball to earn more money, championship rings, and show off his superb acting skills alongside Bugs Bunny in Space Jam.
Jim Thorpe | Olympian, Football, Basketball
After easily winning gold at the 1912 Olympics in the pentathlon and decathlon, Thorpe had his medals stripped a year later when he was outed for being a semi-pro baseball player, which meant he didn’t have amateur status as an Olympian. It’s okay though, he got the medals back … 30 years after he died. He went on to play pro baseball, football, and basketball, which we’re guessing led to him getting laid a whole bunch.
Deion Sanders | Baseball, Football
The Hall-of-Fame cornerback played 14 seasons in the NFL and nine in pro baseball. Known as much for his style as his ability to deliver results, “Prime Time” is the only pro athlete to ever score a TD and hit a home run in the same week. You may have heard that Sanders played games for both sports in one day. False. In 1992 he played against the Dolphins and then suited up with the Braves — but all he did was suit up.
Babe Zaharias | Track & Field, Golf
Zaharias won two golds and one silver competing in track and field in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Then in 1935, became a pro golfer, setting numerous women’s records that stand to this day. She even became the first woman to make the PGA cut in 1945, where she took on the men decades before another woman would do it. She’s generally considered one of the best athletes of the 20th Century.