Special shoutout to the entirety of the 2013-2015 Seattle Seahawks defenses, who took up the moniker "The Legion of Boom," after the name of Gorilla Grodd's Legion of Doom from Super Friends.
Recent articles as of January 2015 have listed that Aaron Rodgers is known to reference The Princess Bride and the Green Bay Packers offensive linemen are known to have regular Settlers of Catan games in their downtime.
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.
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.
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 Chiefs 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.
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).
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 nicknamedMedieval Poker in Spain for nothing.
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), Sébastien Loeb (WRC and Lemans), and Sebastian Vettel (Formula One).
NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin has an interesting example. Before racing at Pocono Raceway for the first time, a track at the time known for being tough for rookies, he raced on the online racing simulator NASCAR Thunder 2003 before the race, and won his first two races at the track as well as two more later on in his career.
Other NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney has stated on his twitter that he is an aspiringJedi
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is a serious video game enthusiast and has 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, who developed Kingdoms of Amalur) 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. He even does gaming livestreams on Twitch.
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.
Tim Duncan: now-retired 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.
Chris Bosh, most recently 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.. Bosh is also an advocate of teaching programming and was by many accounts an excellent high school student.
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is an avid Angry Birds player.
Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward - notably handsome and good at basketball - plays Leagueof Legends and blogs about it.
Jeremy Lin went from a competitive Palo-Alto-area high school to Harvard University and plays Dota 2 in his free time.
My god, the legendary 1969-1973 Knicks squad was made up of a bunch of nerds. To reiterate:
Bill Bradley, Rhodes Scholar who went to Princeton and eventually a U.S. senator who ran for President.
Dick Barnett, who now has a Ph.D. from Fordham University.
Phil Jackson, future Greatest Coach of All Time, who was a peace activist, would-be philosopher, and an avid reader.
And probably the nerdiest of the bunch, Jerry Lucas, an eccentric who had a photographic memory, was well-known for his love of magic tricks, and even created his own language, which he shared with Bill Bradley (the pair used it to fluster and frustrate defenders on the court, and by all accounts it did its job well).
Golden State Warriors center Festus Ezeli is a self-proclaimed weeaboo. Among his favorite anime are One Piece and Naruto.
Pau Gasol started medical studies in his hometown of Barcelona before basketball got in the way.note At the time, he was with the basketball section of FC Barcelona. By that time, he was already fluent in Catalan, Spanish, and English (a not uncommon combination for Barcelona natives of the modern generation), and later taught himself French and Italian.
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.
Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva is a huge anime fan and especially loves Sailor Moon (even creating an entire exhibition program based on the titular show and character and wearing the Sailor outfit for the World Team competition in Japan). She's also very public about being a fan of Yuri!!! on Ice, which isn't surprising since it's an anime about figure skating.
Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu is a fan of Tokyo Ghoul. After winning his second consecutive gold medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, he had a radio interview with Natsuki Hanae (who voices Tokyo Ghoul's main character Ken Kaneki) which Hanyu was very excited and admittedly nervous about. He's also a huge fan of Digimon, especially Digimon Tamers. He's stated that "Kaze" is his #1 song for moral support before a competition. Digimon card designer Kenji Watanabe even drew an image of him with Guilmon, Renamon, and Terriermon.
Her sister wrote an article on Kotaku not long after explaining her sister's love of Zelda and video games.
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.
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.
MMA fighter Shane Carwin has an engineering degree and continues to work in that field despite being a top ranked heavyweight.
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
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.
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.
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, winner of five World Series of Poker bracelets (including the Main Event in 2000), has a Ph.D. in computer science from UCLA.
Before rugby union went professional in 1995, degreed professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants, and the like) were disproportionately represented in the international game. Even in the modern era, there are a decent number of top-notch players who have high-end professional qualifications:
Conrad Smith (New Zealand) is a lawyer.
Diego Ormaechea (Uruguay), whose career spanned the transition to professionalism and is also the oldest player to appear in the Rugby World Cup, is a veterinarian.
Felipe Contepomi (Argentina), Jannie du Plessis (South Africa), and Jamie Roberts (Wales) are all doctors.
Prop Omar Hasan was a pillar* The French word for "prop" is "pilier", which translates in English as "pillar" of the Argentinian selection from 1995 and 2007. When he retired in 2008 after a successful career, he became an opera singer.
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 Fàbregas, Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri and Jack Wilshere, are very keen gamers, especially of the FIFA series. Walcott even joked about what button Fàbregas 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 in his 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.
Brek Shea of FC Dallas created an MLS Expansion team out of Pokémon.
Many soccer players have said that they decided to take up the sport thanks to the anime series Captain Tsubasa. The list includes Fernando Torres, Hidetoshi Nakata, Alexis Sánchez (who named one of his Golden Retriever dogs "Atom" after Tsubasa's Dub Name Change), Lionel Messi, Andrés Iniesta and Alessandro Del Piero.
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 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."