We all had fears when we were kids - I know I did. When I was younger I was afraid of the big three: werewolves, tornadoes and clowns.
Now that I’m older I have come to the realization that the only werewolf I will have to deal with walks around shirtless a majority of the time. I no longer cower in the basement when there is a harsh wind blowing. As long as I stay away from trailer parks odds are I’ll avoid tornadoes. Clowns are a different story. They could all get hit by a bus and I would not shed one tear.
No matter where you look there are scary things to be found, and sports are no exception. As admirable as athletes can be there are some who have as domineering and intimidating a presence as the greatest movie monsters. So in honor of the Halloween season I have compiled a list of some of the scariest athletes ever.The Predator: Dennis Rodman:
This is a fitting label for Rodman because when I was younger and watched him in his prime he always seemed as though he was from a different planet. Between his piercings, hairstyles, tattoos, wedding dress and his badass attitude on and off the court, Rodman is the quintessential Predator. Even though this summer many of us saw a softer side to Dennis the Menace when he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, don’t let that fool you. Rodzilla will always and forever be remembered as one bad man.
Freddy Krueger - Elizabeth Lambert:
Now I know some of you are thinking, "Who is Elizabeth Lambert?" Well I would be happy to enlighten you. Maybe some of you saw highlights a couple years ago on ESPN from a women’s college soccer match between BYU and New Mexico. Sound familiar?
For those of you who did not see it, the highlights show several instances of blatant dirty play by Lambert including: punching, kicking the ball into a downed opponents face and most notably, hair pulling. Like Krueger, Lambert would not go in for the kill shot right away. That would be too easy. Lambert tormented her targets endlessly until the referees finally penalized her for her vicious play. Check the video out on YouTube and see what I mean.
Michael Myers - The Undertaker:
Maybe the most frightening athlete of all time, The Undertaker has been haunting men, women and children of all ages for over twenty years. His stoic, cold-blooded demeanor in the ring is reminiscent of the "Halloween" killer. He is powerful, relentless and unstoppable. Fueled by pure evil, The Undertaker has no regard for life as he frequently dismantles his opponents with ease. At the end of the Halloween movies, Michael "dies," but obviously he’s not dead. Like Myers, The Undertaker can’t die. He has been killed before during matches but he continues to show up. He also apparently can’t lose at WrestleMania, as he boasts a perfect 19-0 record. Undying and undefeated, The Undertaker and Michael Myers are one in the same.
The Wolfman - Clay Matthews:
Off the field, Matthews is funny, personable and straightforward. He even pulls his hair back. On the field the man turns into a monster with a flowing mane and snarling facial features. He factors into virtually every decision that an opposing offense makes, and his mere presence on the field can make them change their game plan completely.
The only thing worse than his bark is his bite. He could be shouting at you from across the line of scrimmage, then seconds later be laying on top of you shouting all over again. He can’t be killed with conventional weapons and teams are still trying to find that silver bullet. Once he makes a play and flexes the guns, that’s when you know the full moon is out.
Jack Torrence - Bill Romanowski:
Jack Torrance was the caretaker of the Overlook Hotel in the classic horror novel and movie, The Shining. Driven insane by the ghosts inhabiting the hotel, Torrance attempts to kill his wife and young son. Romanowski has never killed anyone, but he was crazy. Regarded as one of the dirtiest players to ever step on an N.F.L. field, Romanowski was a ticking time bomb throughout his 16-year career.
His rap sheet includes fines for kicking, a helmet-to-helmet hit that broke Kerry Collins’ jaw, attempting to punch tight end Tony Gonzalez and hitting another player in the "southern hemisphere" with a football. Romanowski even ended a teammate’s career after he ripped off his helmet and punched him, crushing his eye socket. In 2005 Romanowski admitted to using steroids and HGH. Who would have thought?
Nowadays Romanowski has softened his image by appearing in various movies including "The Longest Yard" and "The Benchwarmers." Don’t let that fool you though. All work and no play makes Bill a dull boy
Whether you believe in them or not, they’re out there in every walk of life. Some monsters, like Mike Tyson, are just hulking Frankenstein figures. Scary on the outside, scary on the inside, but mostly they are just terribly misunderstood. Other monsters are like King Kong; they’re big, beastly and they take all the women: Wilt Chamberlain. Not all of them are bad, but not all of them are cute and cuddly either. So be safe this Halloween and run the other way when you see OJ buying a hockey mask.