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Comic Relief: Why Do Athletes Think They Should Be Musicians?

Something light to help you smile through the trials and tribulations of mid-week: a look at some athletes turned musicians who may have been better off leaving their words unspoken.

Professional athletes are some very talented people. To make it to a level where you can actually make money playing a game, you need to have a skill set that most people couldn’t hope to possess no matter how much effort they put in.

But let’s get something straight, athletes. Just because you can run a 4.3 in the 40, do a somersault in mid-air to avoid a hit from your opponent or dunk a basketball from the foul line does not mean you are the next singing sensation or hip-hop mogul.

In fact, if history has taught us anything then it’s almost certain you are not.

For whatever reason though, athletes continue to try and step from the field, court or other competitive arena into roles as musicians. So with that in mind, we take a moment today to begin creating a musical graveyard with the hopes that we can bury the anti-hits from these “musicians” as quickly as possible.

Now before I get into the list, I have to warn you: I had an awful lot of “bad artists” to work with on this one and had no choice but to narrow it down. You could really argue that any of these could be considered “the worst ever” based on you own grading system, so the numbers are just to keep things straight. 

That said, here are eight to start with and we hope you will tell us you favorite “what was the athlete thinking” moment in our comments section.

8. Shaquille O’Neal: The man from the bayou shows off his rap skills – err…well, rather lack thereof...by producing his own rap album, “Shaq Fu: Da Return.” Now if the name sounds familiar, that’s because last week we named “Shaq Fu” as of all time. I stand by that – and now I stand by adding this album that spawned the game to our list as well.

The most recognized song on the album was likely “(I know I Got) Skillz,” but they were all bad. In fact the lyrics that made me laugh most were in the song “What’s Up Doc? (Can We Rock?)”:

“Forget Tony Danza, I'm the boss/When it comes to money, I'm like Dick Butkus/Now who's the first pick? Me, word is born and/Not a Christian Laettner, not Alonzo Mourning/That's OK, not being bragadocious/Supercalifragelistic, Shaq is alidocious.”

I heard he had Bruce Springsteen in the initial line, but the producer made him change it because he wanted the album to be taken seriously. I wonder where the producer was for the rest of the tracks they laid out?

7. Ron Artest: Let’s stay with basketball for a moment, and in staying with basketball what better selection is there than the NBA’s own bad boy, Ron Artest? Given Artest’s background and bad boy image, it’s not surprising to see that he tried to make a jump into gangster rap. What is surprising, however, is that someone within the music industry put a mic in his hand and pressed record for this.

His big “hit” was supposed to be a tribute to music legend Michael Jackson, but rather than praise Jordan he gets into a long-winded dissection of the way he parties and being “strapped” at the club. You really want to pay tribute to MJ, Ron? Then put down the mic and step away from the recording studio!

6. Carl Lewis: The speedy track legend did a lot of things right, but producing music videos was not one of them. The lyrics, by themself, are not actually all that bad. That is, until you get distracted by the design of the video and the, umm, playful background music.

I mean, dude, really? Blowing bubbles and bouncing around on an exercise machine? It didn't work.

5. John Daly: Into the golf world we go. John Daly did a lot of things well, but maintaining relationships was not one of his talents as he would show the world when he decided to produce the song “All My Exes (Wear Rolexes).”

To a certain extent, I give the guy some credit. He was an entrepreneur when it came to finding ways to make money off his golf talent. He has a website, “Grip It and Rip It,” has made more advertising dollars than anyone else in golf history save Tiger Woods and turned his celebrity into true stardom. To note, his gambling problem also gave much of the earnings from these ventures away.

Listen up though, just because you can make a buck off of something doesn’t mean you should. Especially when that something announces to the world that you cannot maintain a relationship.

4. Jack McDowell: On to baseball we go to find our next “NOT a musician.”

McDowell should be praised for a number of things. He was a man willing to do what it took to make his dreams come true and he was a heck of a pitcher. He could get a late game double play as well as possibly any other starting pitcher in history and was known to be fearless when he toed the rubber.

Then McDowell decided to try being an urban planner. That didn’t work out, so he rhymed about city planning and putting fear in people. That was even worse.

A word of advise, Jack? Stick to throwing curveballs on the mound and avoid throwing them to us through music.

3. Allen Iverson: We head back to the basketball court to find our next so-called artist and I have to say, “The Answer” left an awful lot of people asking questions with his venture into the rap game.

At one point in his career, Iverson was one of the top players in the NBA. He could truly school you with a drive to the basket, twist seven times and make an incredible catch or even throw down a dunk against the game’s best big men. The success gave him a big head, however, and his ego produced music that no one could have turned into a check.

By the way, does anyone know what an “entrepre***** bounce” is? If you do, please email me at Jason.Vallee@patch.com because I don’t get it.

2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (featuring Wyclef Jean): Perhaps the most popular WWE superstar in history, “The Rock” would often capture the attention of his fans with athletic prowess and an unprecedented charisma. The success translated to later popularity when he made the move from the squared-circle to the silver screen.

One thing that “Rocky Maivia” failed at, however, was the attempted move to musician. In 2000, he made a music video with Wyclef Jean titled “It Doesn’t Matter.” Dwayne, it does matter. Stick to what you are good at and leave the music up to, well, real musicians.

1. The 1985-86 Chicago Bears/Steve Fuller: There are very few people who would argue that this Super Bowl champion team wasn’t badass, but the music video they produced, despite its popularity was just bad. It was REALLY bad actually.

“We’re not here to start no trouble/we’re just here to do the Super Bowl shuffle.”

Steve, you tried. You guys clearly had fun and it caused this music video to go “viral” before the Internet ever existed. But you did cause trouble – a lot of it actually.

The popular response to this very poorly written rap song designed by the back-up quarterback from Oklahoma spawned two generations of athletes that felt they had an opportunity to become the next singing or rapping sensation.

And now I’m stuck writing this.

It's only Wednesday, but it feels like the weekend should have been here two days ago. You have a full plate ahead, lots of work left to do, classes at or college to sit through or are just plain in need of a break. We have you covered.

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