The most bad ass athletes

The most bad ass athletes

CultureNovember 29, 2012

These athletes extinguish any excuse you have for not doing anything with you life. 

Ben Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger wins Rooster's Lifetime Playing-With-Pain Achievement Award, because basically he's always hurt. He has been listed as injured on at least 43 separate occasions and yet he’s missed just six starts due to injury since his NFL debut in 2004. Though he’s only played one full 16-game season in his career, we predict Roethlisberger will continue to roll with the punches until one day he just breaks down and dies on the field—for which we will give him some other kind of award.  

Michael Jordan
Coming into the 1997 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan had little to prove: he’d already won eight scoring titles; had earned the MVP triple crown the previous year; and been named to the league’s 50 Greatest Players of All-Time. But why not show the world you can do it sick as a dog, too? When Jordan came down with a severe stomach bug after Game 4 against the Utah Jazz, he stunned teammates by showing up to the Delta Center just hours before Game 5—and looking like shit. And then, despite the fact that he could barely sit up on the bench during timeouts, he played. He played 44 of the game’s 48 minutes, scored 38 points, drained a decisive three-point shot with 26 seconds left in the game and then collapsed on the floor after the final buzzer, taking his status from great to legendary.       

Hermann Maier
During the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Austrian Olympic skier Hermann Maier crashed through two safety nets and over a small cliff, then won two gold medals the following week.

Ronnie Lot
San Francisco 49er defensive back Ronnie Lot had his fingertip crushed, got it taped up and returned to the game, then finished out the 1985 season; it wasn’t until the off-season that he elected to have his fingertip amputated rather than get surgery and miss playing time. Years later he told Sports Illustrated, “I wanted to sacrifice to succeed.” Apparently Lott employs a different conception of sacrifice than the rest of us, which is probably why the NFL named his feat No. 3 on its Top 10 Gutsiest Performances of All-Time.

Byron Leftwich
Then-Marshall quarterback Byron Leftwich, in a 2002 game against Akron, broke his left tibia in the first quarter and returned to finish the game—his teammates carrying him down field in between plays. Though Leftwich lost that game, he returned to the field a month later and proceeded to beat Toledo in the Mid-American Conference championship, despite taking a third-quarter hit to his still-injured leg.

Greg Louganis
U.S. Olympic diver Greg Louganis hit his head on the springboard during a dive in the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. But everything was cool because he just got some temporary stitches and then won the gold the next day. 

Curt Shilling
Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling won Game 6 of the 2004 American League Championship Series despite an ongoing ankle injury that culminated in what became known as “the bloody sock.” Schilling’s win and subsequent performances lead the Red Sox to a World Series win that year against the St. Louis Cardinals, erasing a winless-in-the-World-Series curse that had plagued Boston since 1918.

Donovan McNabb
In a 2002 game against the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb played and won on a broken ankle. After suffering the injury on a sack in the middle of the game, he refused an x-ray and opted to hobble his way to the decisive win. It was only after the game was over that he found out his ankle was broken.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open with a torn ACL and two leg fractures, which made every golfer who ever complained about arthritis look like a fucking pussy.