Top 10 most flamboyant athletes | Sports | CBC Sports

Top 10 most flamboyant athletes

Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | 01:02 PM

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Dennis Rodman may be a Hall of Fame basketball player, but he was equally known for his extravagant personality. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Dennis Rodman may be a Hall of Fame basketball player, but he was equally known for his extravagant personality. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Over the years the sporting world has seen its fair share of flamboyant personalities. It's hard to say what makes them tick, but in all cases these guys are the types that search out the spotlight and crave attention. Here is a list of the top 10 most flamboyant athletes.
Over the years the sporting world has seen its fair share of flamboyant personalities.

It's hard to say what makes them tick, but in all cases these guys are the types that search out the spotlight and crave attention.

A worm who wears wedding dresses.

World Peace dishing out violent elbows. A guy who can't make up his mind about what to call himself and a guy who's... just being himself.

Dennis 'The Worm' Rodman, Metta World Peace, Chad Johnson and Manny Ramirez are just four of the top 10 most flamboyant athletes to have graced the realm of sport with their exuberant personas.

10. Manny Ramirez

"[Insert your name here] being [insert your name here]." Read it over a few times -- sounds kind of strange doesn't it? Not if you're Manny Ramirez. The enigmatic former major league outfielder could never be accused of being grounded. One of the slugger's more infamous moments came in 2008 after an altercation with former teammate Kevin Youkilis. Manny was caught by cameras taking a swing at Youkilis  and was subsequently escorted out of the dugout. In the same year during a pitching change in the middle of a game, Ramirez (the left-fielder) ducked inside the Green Monster at Fenway Park and was seen talking on his cell phone. But hey, it's just Manny being Manny.

9. Dave 'Tiger' Williams

The aptly-nicknamed former NHL tough guy never shied away from the spotlight during his playing career. A fan favourite with sharp wit and a gritty personality, he was well-known for his exuberant goal celebrations (even though he made a career for himself taking trips to the penalty box). But that's not all. In 1987, he co-wrote a cookbook called "Done Like Dinner: Tiger in the Kitchen."

8. John Daly

John Daly could arguably be seen as the antithesis to the idea of golf as a gentleman's game. He's never been afraid to transgress boundaries on the links, walking away in the middle of tournaments, wearing colourful clothing and openly enjoying tobacco on the course. With a booming drive and non-country club persona, he'd make Happy Gilmore jealous.

7. Brian Wilson

His beard could probably cushion the blow of a samurai warrior...Well probably not, but it's a good thing he claimed he was a 'certified ninja' during a 2010 interview with Jim Rome. His orange cleats drew the ire of Major League Baseball, but that didn't sway him from wearing them. The colourful character also showed up to the 2011 ESPY Awards wearing a spandex tuxedo.

6. Mark Fidrych

Off-the-wall is one way to describe the late Mark Fidrych. Nicknamed 'The Bird', the former Detroit Tigers pitcher would draw legions of fans to come see him play. Talking to the baseball, having conversations with himself and strutting around the mound after an out was made are a few of his trademark quirks.

5. Chad Johnson/Chad Ochocinco

When he started out in the NFL he was Chad Johnson.


Then he wanted a change so he went to Chad Ochocinco. Now he's gone back again to Chad Johnson. Please make up your mind! Bold and brazen, he's one of the main reasons the NFL has cracked down on touchdown celebrations. His antics have included anything from wearing a jacket asking what year he'd be inducted into the football Hall of Fame to creating a list of opposing defensive backs that he thought had successfully managed to shut him down.

4. Metta World Peace

After a legal name change, the athlete formerly known as Ron Artest merits inclusion in this list based on that alone. Always outspoken and never silent, World Peace has earned a reputation as one of the toughest -- and eccentric -- defenders in basketball. He was most famously involved in the 2004 theatrics of the 'Malice at the Palace' (During a game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan). World Peace fouled Pistons centre Ben Wallace and a melee ensued involving both fans and players. A fan threw a cup filled with liquid in the direction of World Peace, who then left the court to charge at the patron. He was suspended 86 games for his role. His name seems kind of ironic.

3. Bill 'Spaceman' Lee

Known for his flaky personality and outspoken demeanour, this former major league pitcher was the definition of eccentric. His nickname speaks volumes. He's reportedly threatened to bite off the ear of an umpire (Hey, maybe that's where Mike Tyson got the idea) and once pitched in his famous astronaut suit. He's even the subject of a documentary film and will be remembered for his odd-ball quotes and quirky character.

2. Mike Tyson

Legal troubles aside, the name Mike Tyson has become synonymous with transgressions. During a bout with Evander Holyfield in 1997, Tyson's teeth created some controversy when at the end of the third round, the former undisputed heavyweight champion targeted Holyfield's ears...with his chompers. Tyson did his best impression of Pac-Man and took a bite out of both ears - one with such ferocity that a chunk of Holyfield's flesh was ripped out. Never afraid to speak his mind during interviews or on camera, he also filed for bankruptcy in part due to lavish spending, despite accumulating over $300 million US in career winnings. He has since turned his attention to Hollywood, but how's that for a hangover?

1. Dennis Rodman

With a nickname like 'The Worm', Dennis Rodman has wiggled his way around social norms for the majority of his basketball career. A fierce rebounder and defensive expert, Rodman was equally known for the assortment of hair colours he has donned over the years, but his most infamous stunt involved him wearing a wedding dress to promote his autobiography. The two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award winner also had his own TV show ("The Rodman World Tour"). 

Do you agree or disagree? Who was missed? Who did you think is the best choice for No. 1? Share your thoughts below!

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