Alternative Careers for Sports' Biggest Stars

Giancarlo Ferrari-KingFeatured ColumnistJune 6, 2014

Alternative Careers for Sports' Biggest Stars

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    The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

    Have you ever wondered what some of your favorite athletes would do for a living if they weren't playing professional sports?

    It may be difficult to picture some of sports biggest stars embarking on alternative career paths, but in the end, one decision could have changed their whole lives.

    From suave international lawyers to game-changing police officers and casino moguls, let's dive in and re-imagine some of the most popular athletes on the planet doing something else, aside from playing sports. 

LeBron James: Founder of Rogaine

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    AJ MAST/Associated Press

    Had LeBron James chosen to leave basketball behind after high school, he could have shifted his attention to solving a major crisis this nation cannot get a handle on: going bald.

    If you haven't noticed by now, James' hairline has actually figured out a way to emulate beach erosion.You could project a drive-in movie on his forehead if you had the right equipment.

    Understanding that he has to find a way to fix this, James would have been forced to create Rogaine—the hair regenerating cream that can save your scalp.

    King James is a savvy, talented guy. He would definitely find a way to team up with two of the world's best inventors and come up with a solution for receding hairlines.

Derek Jeter: Date Doctor

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Like Will Smith in Hitch, legendary New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter would have a fantastic alternative career as a "Date Doctor."

    Jeter's history with women almost outweighs his Hall of Fame career. Super models, movie stars, pop singers—the 39-year-old is basically the closest thing you'll find to a "woman whisperer" north of the Mississippi.

    (NBC New York took a look at some of his former flings.)

    Who wouldn't pay for advice from a guy with that kind of track record?

    As his baseball career finishes up at the end of this season, there is always a chance Jeter could set up shop in New York City and lend a helping hand to all of the Big Apple's struggling bachelors.

Tony Romo: Local Golf Instructor

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo isn't just good at hurling the pigskin. Turns out, Romo is also one heck of a golfer.

    Back in 2010, Romo went out and attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open. Though he struggled, it doesn't take away from the fact that he can swing a club.

    Not qualifying for the U.S. Open means that while he probably clobbers his teammates and friends on the links, like Ivan Drago did to Apollo Creed, he probably could never make it as a full-time pro.

    If you can't cut it as a pro, why not become the next best thing? A local golf instructor.

    Those guys live the dream. Teaching lessons, driving around recklessly in the cart and telling war stories about how they almost beat any professional golfer before they "hurt" themselves.

    Romo could kick back, relax and enjoy the outdoors without any pressure.

    Wake up, hit a bucket of balls, polish off a couple of Arnold Palmers and bam: you have created a dream job for the veteran Cowboys signal-caller.

Floyd Mayweather: Casino Mogul

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Boxing's pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather, makes a living dominating inside of the ring.

    Outside of that he is one of sport's most galvanizing trash talkers and avid gamblers.

    Mayweather loves his Las Vegas lifestyle. It was Nicholas Schwartz of BuzzFeed.com who detailed some of the boxer's biggest victories betting on sports.

    Because of his infatuation with gambling, Mayweather's alternate career would have to be running a casino.

    It is almost too natural of a fit. When you picture Mayweather running a casino, you think about him rocking suits like Ted DiBiase, strolling around with the swagger of a young Jeff Jarrett.

    In his own way, Mayweather is as Las Vegas as Wayne Newton or David Copperfield.

Peyton Manning: Comedian

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    If there is one thing we've come to know about Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, it is that he is quietly one of the funniest athletes around.

    From his gig hosting Saturday Night Live to his promotional work with Papa John's and DirecTV, Manning's reserved personality translates beautifully to the world of comedy.

    He may not have the wit of Louis C.K. or the stage presence of Kevin Hart, but Manning's charm and humble personality makes him easy to relate to.

    The mere fact that Bill Engvall and Jim Belushi had successful careers in comedy makes Manning's odds of succeeding astronomical.

    Manning's comedic chops were built for the world of sitcoms. He has that whole ex-athlete, goofy dad thing going for him.

    You could easily scribe a hit series revolving around Manning and his family and let it run for five or six seasons.

    Again, if The Bill Engvall Show was able to last for more than one episode, there is no doubt that Manning could pull it off.

Tiger Woods: High School Sports Coach

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Tiger Woods is one of the most competitive athletes on Earth.

    On the golf course and off of it, he is always looking to challenge himself.

    At one point, Hank Haney wrote in his book The Big Miss, that Woods almost left golf to become a Navy SEAL (h/t Golf Digest).

    He seems like he is the type of dude who would blow a gasket playing Xbox if you put the screws to him. Competition just flows through his blood.

    If not for golf, how could Tiger take that competitive spirit to the next level? By coaching high school sports.

    Those guys have made a living berating teenagers while walking around their respective schools wearing nylon track jackets and gym shorts, sipping on deli coffee.

    The pay may not be a high as Woods' current pay from his golf career, but every year he would get a chance to turn a group of pimply kids into a perennial powerhouse.

    Taking in pep rallies with Coach Tiger and watching him celebrate feverishly on the sidelines would be a slice of perfection.

Usain Bolt: Police Officer

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Usain Bolt is fast.

    The guy hits the track and moves like a finely tuned Italian sports car unleashed on the Autobahn. But what would have been a great career for Bolt had he not decided to take his talents to world of track and field?

    The answer: a police officer.

    Bolt would be like a real life version of Robocop. Can you imagine narrowly escaping a house party only to turn back and see Bolt running down the street after you?

    It would be like running away from a cheetah. He would easily run you down, slap on the cuffs and just for good measure, ruin the rest of your weekend.

    The best part is, you wouldn't even have to pay for him to have a police car. He could just run everywhere and save the department a boatload of money.

    Had he not decided to lace his mantle with six Olympic gold medals, there is no question that Officer Bolt would have been a legendary cop.

Roger Federer: International Lawyer

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    Joern Pollex/Getty Images

    It is doubtful that Roger Federer would ever want to give up the sport he dominates.

    Outside of the accolades and support, tennis has paved the way for Federer to rake in some serious cash—I'm talking Richie Rich, McDonald's in your house cash.

    Picturing him doing something else for a living is difficult. But if you had to envision another career, it would be utilizing his ability to speak a multitude of languages.

    (Greg Bishop of The New York Times wrote about Federer talking to reporters in three different languages.)

    Federer is smooth as ice. The guy oozes European swagger. Combined with his multilingual skills, he would be quite the international attorney.

    It is also a bonus that he already looks like a sophisticated lawyer.

    Think Harvey Specter from Suits who can explain the intricacies of mergers and acquisitions in a bevy of different languages. That, my friends, would be how Federer operates in the world of international law.

Tom Brady: Reality TV Star

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    This one really is a no-brainer. Say Tom Brady wasn't one of the best quarterbacks to ever throw on a pair of shoulder pads. What would he do then? He would be a reality television sensation.

    Brady has the good looks and charisma that would fit right into to the whole Bravo mold. If you've watched that channel at any point in your life, you would easily replace 86 percent of the men in any show with Brady.

    If Jesse Palmer was able to make a little cheddar being on ABC's The Bachelor, you can wager your first-born child that Brady could take it to the next level.

    He already has proven that he can carry a brand on his back. Brady has been an avid ambassador for UGG. 

    When you add it all up, all of the ingredients are there for Brady to make a killing in reality TV.

Tim Duncan: Designer for Southpole Clothing

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    Issac Baldizon/Getty Images

    The iconic Tim Duncan has led the San Antonio Spurs to four NBA titles since joining the team in 1998.

    At 38 years young, Duncan is once again proving that age is nothing but a number. If Duncan had the choice to do something else with his life, the world of fashion would be his true calling.

    Duncan is not the sharpest dresser. His style kind of reminds you at times of Eddie Winslow from Family Matters.

    Still, in case you missed the news, vintage is in. That is why Duncan's best alternative career would be as a designer for the clothing brand Southpole.

    If you aren't familiar with Southpole's work, they basically have constructed the entire Tim Duncan collection.

    They may not be up with the current trends, but that is all right. Duncan would thrive in that atmosphere.

    It is a natural fit for the NBA star. Being surrounded by cargo pants, plaid shirts that your dad would wear and oversized t-shirts would get Duncan's creative juices flowing like box wine on ladies book club night.

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