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One Of Us: Athletic Eggheads

Auto Racers
  • A number of professional race drivers play racing video games, either for training and/or for fun. Most commonly mentioned is Gran Turismo. Players include Tanner Foust (Formula Drift), Sebastian Loeb (WRC and Lemans), and Sebastian Vettel (Formula One).

Baseball players
  • New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia is a serious video game enthusiast and his own custom PS3 system with a hardwood finish and emblazoned with his signature and number. Recently, he warned against the dangers of haphazardly chucking small explosives in a PSA for one of his favorites.
  • Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling plays war games and MMORPGs. Originally, Schilling planned to start an MMORPG company after his retirement from baseball; he wound up starting Green Monster Games (now 38 Studios) before he retired. Once, when Schilling used to pitch for Arizona, he was rocked for two homers in the same game by former teammate Doug Glanville. After the game Doug dedicated that beating to the memory of Bing-bong, his Everquest character that Schilling had left to die. Schilling has such a good relationship with Sony Online Entertainment that he asked them to add his likeness into EverQuest II for a charity event. The developers agreed, and put his voice, face, and likeness into the game, complete with his jersey's number painted on his red armor. This very character would later become a permanent part of the game under the name of "Clint Gilcrush". He also founded the company Multi-Man Publishing specifically to keep his wargame of choice, Advanced Squad Leader, in print following Hasbro's purchase of Avalon Hill. The man is dedicated.
  • San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is a pretty hardcore gamer who prefers RPGs like Torchlight, the 'Diablo series, and World of Warcraft.
  • Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, oh so much. He named his bats "Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver", "Herugrim" and "Hrunting", after swords in The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and Beowulf, respectively. His Twitter page says he is a Star Wars nerd and a Ninja in Training, among other things.
    • He's a voracious reader in general having graduated from college with a degree in English literature and saying that if he hadn't become an athlete he'd have been an English professor.
    • He also has the Imperial March played when taking the mound to warm up, and on the occasions when he bats, is announced by the Game of Thrones theme.

Basketball players
  • Tim Duncan: de facto leader of the San Antonio Spurs, widely acknowledged as the best power forward of all time, one of the 50 greatest basketball players of all time, two-time MVP, five championship rings... Oh, and he has a degree in Psychology, loves Renaissance fairs, he's into Video Games, and he plays Dungeons & Dragons (and even has large tattoos of a dragon and a wizard on his back and chest).
    • His calming down and giving Blake Griffin a "my bad" rub on the head after an accidental shoulder collision? Proof he's a Nice Guy.
  • NBA Centers and twin brothers Brook and Robin Lopez are both huge fans of Comics, Disneyland, and Michael Jackson. They can even be found at Comic Con.
  • Shaquille O'Neal is a big Superman fan and has a tattoo of Superman's symbol. Presumably, this influenced his decision to do the Steel movie.

  • Former Australian cricket captain and now commentator Bill Lawry got the nickname "The Phantom" because he was a huge fan of the character, and kept a stash of Phantom comics in the team locker room.

  • At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Mexican gymnast Elsa Garcia Rodriguez Blancas performed her floor routine to The Legend of Zelda medley.
    • Her sister wrote an article on Kotaku not long after explaining her sister's love of Zelda and video games.

Hockey players
  • Anaheim Ducks enforcer George Parros played college hockey at Princeton where he majored in economics and wrote his senior thesis on, get this, the West Coast longshoremen's labor dispute. He also played fantasy hockey and was really into video games (especially Final Fantasy and Street Fighter) while in college, really likes 80's hair metal, and watches a lot of Family Guy. Basically, he's the opposite of what one would think an enforcer would be.

Poker Players
  • Many, many current high-stakes poker players got their start in Magic: The Gathering; David Williams is the most famous of those. Justified in that many of the skills used in Magic translate very well to poker.

Soccer Players
  • Argentinian football player (soccer) Sergio "Kun" Agüero of Manchester City. The "kun" isn't an actual part of his name but a nickname he got from his grandparents. This was due to his resemblance to the character "Kum Kum" from his favourite childhood anime "Wanpaku Oomukashi Kum Kum" made in 1975. He has worn this nickname on his jersey throughout his entire career.
  • A growing number of the Arsenal squad, most notably Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri and Jack Wilshere, are very keen gamers, especially of the FIFA series. Walcott even joked about what button Fabregas had pressed to pass to him to set him up to score against Chelsea during a live interview on Sky Sports.
    • Wojciech Szczesny, the starting Goalkeeper for Arsenal and the Polish National Team, could be compared to Wil Wheaton inhis nerdiness, except he plays professional football instead of being an actor. He really likes to be silly with his Facebook and Twitter (and now instagram), and he is a very big fan of the Harry Potter series. There are also unconfirmed rumors of whether or not he's also a Star Wars fan.
  • Jay Demerit, a professional soccer player for Vancouver Whitecaps and an infrequent call-up to the US Men's National Team, is a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

  • Matt Grevers, six time Olympic medallist in swimming, also happens to be a committed gamer, and has played titles like The Legend of Zelda, Diablo, and World of Warcraft, to name a few. His roommate for the London 2012 Olympics, Nathan Adrian, also a swimming medalist, doesn't slack either, collecting knick knacks like remote control helicopters and night vision goggles.
  • Japanese swimmer Satomi Suzuki (winner of a silver medal for the 200m breaststroke and bronze for the 100m breaststroke at the London 2012 Olympics) wants to become a voice actress.

Tennis players
  • Tennis star Rafael Nadal used to run home after tennis practice to watch new episodes of Dragon Ball. His love for the franchise and his unorthodox play has earned him the nickname of being "the Dragon Ball of tennis."

Other (people that need to be sort out and put in the appropriate category
  • 1996 #1 NFL draft pick and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Marcus Jones, currently a mixed martial artist on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter, is by his own admission "passionate" about Dungeons & Dragons and comic books. He also likes to garden, but that doesn't count.
  • Josh Barnett, heavyweight MMA fighter, had Ai wo Torimodose as his entrance theme while he was working in PRIDE. He also made a statement after the match more along the lines of "My Hokuto Shinken will never be as good as Kenshiro's so I have to keep working on my Nanto Seiken." He's also a fan of Magic: The Gathering
  • Lightweight Mixed Martial Artist Joe Lauzon has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science and used to be a Network Administrator. Also a fanatical Call of Duty player.
  • Chicago Bears Linebaker Lance Briggs is a huge fan of comic books, especially of The Darkness, X-Men, Pitt, and Silver Surfer. A big enough fan that comic books are more or less all he talks about, though he tries to be discreet about his hobby. When asked which super hero he would be he just sighed, rolled his eyes and said: "Well, I wouldn't wear tights. I would have leadership qualities. I would love to be a mind reader. That would be my power. But no tights. A snug fit, but no tights. What color costume? You want to hear me say orange and blue. No, something dark. I would be strong, dark, macho. A medium build. I would wear a loose jacket, a contemporary costume. I am not a tights guy, man. You get caught in tights, and you cannot get out." The sign of a true comic book geek.
  • Myron Rolle, American Football athlete and Rhodes Scholar.
  • MMA fighter Shane Carwin has an engineering degree and continues to work in that field despite being a top ranked heavyweight.
  • During the time when he was known as Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson was so eager to get his hands on an early copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops that he offered Bengals season tickets to anyone who could get it for him.
  • Arizona Cardinals/Kansas City Cheifs Wide Receiver Steve Breaston is a huge fan of comic books, he was even able to have a meeting with Todd McFarlane who lives in Arizona. He also writes poetry.
  • Brek Shea of FC Dallas created an MLS Expansion team out of Pokémon
  • Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe is really into video games, most notably World of Warcraft. He is also the bassist in a Minnesota rock band called Tripping Icarus, and he posted a Hitler Rant video he made on YouTube relating to the NFL Lockout.
    • He has even posted on Game FAQS: (Link:
    • As of January 2013, Kluwe has a Hero Unit in Xcom Enemy Unknown named after him as a reward for beating one of the game's developers in an online match.
    • He also has an NPC in Shadowrun Returns based on himself, having donated to the game's kickstarter.
    • Kluwe wrote an "anonymous" Tales from The Trenches in January 2013 as well. Guess the offseason is giving him time to kill.
    • It gets better. He's also a Redditor, had a GPA of 3.87 in university and graduated in three years with a double major in history and political science, both of which are decidedly nerdy topics. He is also a Deadpan Snarker with Keetish tendencies to boot. And the name of his upcoming book is, wait for it, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies. Chris is basically almost every troper ever, in the form of a single NFL punter.
  • Heisman winner and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III loves Mass Effect and has an impressive sock collection, including Barney socks, Sesame Street socks, and Superman socks (the ones with the capes).
  • Kickboxer Yuichiro "Jienotsu" Nagashima is a dangerous opponent to face in a ring. In 2010, he won the "K-1 World MAX 2010 -70kg" tournament with three consecutive knockouts. He is also an extreme cosplay otaku who loves dressing up as female characters from various manga/anime/video games. Oh, and he does this while entering the ring, complete with soundtrack and backup dancers and everything. He has cosplayed characters such as Haruhi, Rena, Saber, Marisa, and many more. Of course, this has to be seen to be believed [1]
  • Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger is working on a real-life version of the Batcave, not to mention graduating with a degree in civil engineering.
  • San Jose Sharks winger/defenseman Brent Burns, as noted in this blog entry on Battle of California. He's read through Harry Potter (and has a Potter-inspired tattoo on his arm), The Hunger Games and the Inheritance Cycle; owns Elmo pajamas and is obsessed with the Skylanders series. He's even brought his Skylanders figures with him on road trips and tormented his teammates with them.
  • London 2012 judo gold medalist Kaori Matsumoto will be voicing a character in the upcoming Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods movie, and commented that she has been a DBZ fan since she was a little girl.
  • Houston Texans player Brennan Williams is basically what happens if you made a 4chan user into a large NFL offensive lineman. He's into wrestling, anime (especially Kill la Kill), Pokemon and other things. His twitter handle is even GREATBLACKOTAKU.
    • It's not nicknamed Medieval Poker in Spain for nothing.
  • Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat is a huge fan of the X-Men and got to voice Heimdall on an episode of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

    One of UsFilm Nerds

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