Some people change for the worse while others change for the better and some change just for the sake of changing. Regardless of what people change for, in almost every scenario of a transformation, there is a cosmetic overhaul. This applies to athletes as well. Though their physical changes may be something as small as a haircut, or as big as a torso-covering tattoo, the athletic change is not always fashionable. Here is a list of five athletes that have transformed themselves over the years and whether this these changes were good, bad, or just downright strange.
1. Tom Brady. Brady is an athlete that has changed the way he looks so much he may be starting to believe he is Brad Pitt. And I specifically say Brad Pitt because the cosmetic change that Brady mostly alters is his hair. It has been long, it has been short, it has been blonde, it has been brunette, curled, waved, and I think you’re getting the picture now. Make no mistake; I am not making fun of Mr. Brady at all. Quite frankly, I respect a man that can confidently and willingly change their flowing locks to a tight crew cut at a moments notice. This kind of confidence deserves praise, so for his confidence (and aesthetically pleasing reasons) Brady’s athletic transformation is categorized as good.
Verdict: The Good
2. Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Birdman has probably gone though the most dramatic athletic transformation of anyone on this list. In 2006 Birdman received a two-year suspension from the NBA for violating their drug abuse policy. Among the plethora of drugs found in his drug test were cocaine, LSD, codeine, morphine, and heroin. He was practically a walking version of the late Hunter S. Thompson’s brief case. Aside from the drug use, Birdman is also known for the colorful tattoos on his body and his erratic hairstyle that ranges from Sugar Ray spikes to a punk rock mohawk. Nowadays, Birdman has cleaned up his act and even started his own charity for unprivileged children known as the Freebird Foundation. But he’s still covered from head to toe in tattoos and hasn’t had a good haircut since the 90s.
Verdict: The Bad (for fashion) and The Good (for transforming his lifestyle)
3. Sammy Sosa. The one time savior of the “loveable losers” known as the Chicago Cubs, this Dominican born slugger has met his fair share of controversy for the changes he has made to his appearance. This is a fairly tricky and rather sensitive subject because the physical attribute that Sosa has been transforming over the years is his skin color. Sosa has been bleaching his skin to give a lighter appearance than he had in his youth. He attributes this change to the use of a skin cream and not because he is suffering from a skin ailment like the late Michael Jackson. Regardless of what he is doing it for, this change is unlike anything else on the list.
Verdict: The Strange
4. Paul Levesque (better known as Triple H). This may come as surprise to a few because many do not view professional wrestlers as professional athletes; rather they see them as stuntmen posing as actors. I could go on a wonderfully long rant about how professional wrestling is an age-old sport that is as deeply rooted in American Sports tradition as baseball, but I wont. Simply realize that they do things, athletically, that no one else in the world can do. Now that I’ve addressed the elephant in the article, we can get back to the athletic transformation of Triple H. “The Game” chopped off his iconic flow of golden locks just a few short years ago. Unofficially retired as an in-ring performer, Levesque traded in his tights for Armani suits and Rolex watches. He is now taking a more hands-on approach to running the WWE from a professional business point of view along side his wife Stephanie McMahon-Levesque and father-in-law (and father of modern wrestling) Vince McMahon. Though he will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, the transformation from jock to suit will aid him in infiltrating the business side of wrestling and be able to leave a lasting legacy beyond what he’s accomplished in the ring.
Verdict: The Good
5. Dennis Rodman. One cannot simply make a list about athletic transformation and not mention Dennis Rodman. That’s like compiling a list of the world’s greatest actors and leaving out Leonardo DiCaprio (get this guy an Oscar already!). Rodman is one of the few human beings on earth that is pretty much able to wear whatever he wants and somehow is able to pull it off or, at the very least, get away with it. From his constantly changing hair colors of bright green and leopard print, to rocking nose rings and wedding dresses Rodman has proved that he is the king of athletic transformation. Whether Rodman’s transformations can be considered fashionable or symptoms of schizophrenic behavior is another story that belongs on a different website.
Verdict: The Bad (for fashion) The Strange (because its Dennis Rodman)
If there’s one thing that is certain in this world, it is that change is constant. Having said that, you can bet these and many future athletes to come will either shock the world with how they reinvent themselves or raise the bar in terms of fashion. Let’s just hope no one puts on wedding dress again.
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