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Celebrities Who Suck at Sports

Matt HaupertFeatured ColumnistJune 7, 2014

Celebrities Who Suck at Sports

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Sometimes it seems like celebrities just have it all.

    The money.

    The fame.

    The looks.

    The talent—well, sometimes the talent.

    Because of this, it's always extremely fun for the rest of us regular folk to watch them fail. Sports, of course, offer the perfect platform.

    There are few things more simultaneously amusing and disturbing than watching Kevin James try his hand at a trick shot in tennis, 50 Cent attempt to throw a baseball within a mile of home plate or Will Smith whiff on a penalty kick.

    Here for your viewing pleasure: 10 lovable celebrities at their least glamorous.

Will Smith: Soccer

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    Gross motor skills typically begin to develop in a child during his or her first two years of life. By age three, the child is not only able to run, walk and jump, but also kick.

    Oscar-nominated actor Will Smith is apparently a few years behind.

    On a promotional tour for his then-upcoming film After Earth, Smith was set to get the crowd riled up by taking a few penalty kicks against Manchester United goalie Edwin van der Sar before a game at Wembley Park.

    He didn't score.

    Not only that, but Smith was barely even able to get the ball to make forward progress, which is nearly possible when you consider the physics of a grown man kicking a soccer ball.

    Maybe the whole thing was a bad omen—After Earth didn't end up being much more successful than the penalty kick.

Kevin James: Tennis

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    Looking at Kevin James on a movie screen, it's hard to picture the man having a whole lot of agility on a tennis court.

    Once he actually changes his shoes and picks up a racket, it's completely impossible.

    In a U.S. Open celebrity match, James did his very, very best to prove doubters wrong and show his worth as a tennis player, but not so surprisingly, he didn't have a lot of success. At one point, as beautifully illustrated in the video above, James went for a tricky between-the-legs shot.

    While James' racket completely missed the ball, his head didn't. The ball bounced off his forehead, and he crashed into the wall.

    We'll call it 15-all for the effort.

50 Cent: Baseball

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    Curtis Jackson is going to need a bit of coaching before he cracks a Major League pitching staff.

    The rapper more commonly known as 50 Cent made a valiant effort at throwing out the first pitch at a Mets game earlier this season, but the result wasn't quite as positive as he probably expected.

    In fact, Mr. Cent's pitch was barely able to stay within the view of camera lens that was capturing the historic moment, placing him among the ranks of Carly Rae Jepsen, Baba Booey and some of the other worst ceremonial first pitchers of all time.

    Following the game, it didn't take long for him to react to his experience via Twitter:

    I'm a hustler not a Damn ball player. LMAO #smsaudio #animalambition http://t.co/0DmMatbYOe

    — 50cent (@50cent) May 28, 2014

     It's a wonder that hustling skills don't transfer over more smoothly into baseball.

Kevin Connolly: Football

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    Kevin Connolly is good enough at football to catch a tough pass from Russell Wilson.

    He's just not quite good enough to do it while keeping all of his bones in one piece.

    Wilson co-stars in the upcoming Entourage movie, in which Connolly is reprising his popular role as E. The two were actually on set filming a scene when Connolly came down with the ball on a pass from Wilson, held on to make the catch and broke his leg in the process.

    Getting hurt in football is common. You're being routinely beaten to the ground by helmeted giants, and every time you touch the ball, the lives of 11 men suddenly revolve around catching you and crushing you.

    A friendly game of catch, however, doesn't exactly provide the same level of risk.

    Let's just say Connolly is lucky that acting isn't a contact sport.

Garth Brooks: Baseball

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Acclaimed country music star Garth Brooks loves baseball.

    Doesn't mean he's particularly good at it.

    Between 1999 and 2004, Brooks was signed to Minor League contracts and invited to spring training by three different teams—the Padres (1999), Mets (2000) and Royals (2004)—as a publicity stunt meant to sell a few tickets while also raising awareness for Brooks' charity, the Touch 'Em All Foundation.

    In his three spring training stints, Brooks managed a grand total of two hits.

    Granted, Brooks was up against professional pitchers, so this doesn't quite put him on the same level as Will Smith or Kevin James, but still—scraping together only two hits between the years 1999 and 2004?

    Brooks had three less hits than the Chicago Cubs had playoff wins in that same time span. Yikes.

Tim Robbins: Baseball

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    Acting is hard. For Tim Robbins, pitching is even harder.

    Robbins was critically acclaimed for his turn alongside Kevin Costner as pitcher "Nuke" LaLoosh in the 1988 sports flick Bull Durham.

    His pitching mechanics, however, were not as well received.

    Robbins' awkward delivery makes him look very little like a prodigy headed for the Major Leagues and a lot more like a 12-year-old who just joined the local Little League team and only gets to pitch because his dad is the coach.

    (Note: I definitely did not come up with this example because I was once a 12-year-old who only got to pitch because my dad was the coach.)

    Fortunately for Robbins, some carefully selected camera shots and the very presence of Costner—the god of sports films—were enough to cover up his deficiencies and salvage the movie.

Tony Danza: Auto Racing

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    Tony Danza may very well be an accomplished go-kart racer amongst friends and family at the local amusement park.

    Up against the fastest and most fearless in the land, however—namely NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace—Danza was no match.

    Danza and Wallace raced as part of a segment on The Tony Danza Show in 2005. After getting bumped by Wallace while clinging to a small lead and with an upset victory in sight, Danza was unable to control his car and flipped over in what initially looked like it might be a rare fatal go-kart accident.

    Though Danza was OK and the episode continued, the race was over, and his pride did not make it through unscathed.

    Alas, the promising racing career of Tony Danza had come to an end before the first commercial break.

P. Diddy: Football

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    Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

    While Tim Robbins wasn't quite convincing in his turn as a pitcher in Bull Durham, rapper P. Diddy—then known as Puff Daddy, and actually named Sean Combs—couldn't throw a football well enough to even make it to the first day of shooting for Any Given Sunday.

    That's right—the role of quarterback Willie Beamen, immortalized by acting legend Jamie Foxx, was originally slated to be played by Combs, who dropped out at the last second.

    Though Combs claimed he made the decision based on scheduling conflicts, rumors quickly began to circulate that the decision was made due to his uncoachably horrendous throwing mechanics that even a little movie magic couldn't fix.

    Foxx became Beamen, and the rest is history.

Wale: Basketball

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    Every year, the annual celebrity basketball game reveals some musician or movie star as a secretly really awesome basketball player.

    And every year, there's also someone like Wale.

    The Grammy-nominated rapper got extended playing time in the game and certainly turned some heads—if all for the wrong reasons.

    Wale's play was reminiscent of a scene from Angels in the Outfield or Flubber, in which strange supernatural forces interfere with the game and make players look utterly ridiculous.

    Unfortunately for Wale, however, no supernatural forces were at play here, even as the ball slipped out of his hands and flew through the air at will throughout the contest.

Charles Barkley: Golf

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    Clearly, Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley doesn't suck at all sports.

    His golf swing, however, is nearly awful enough to trump every accomplishment he ever made in the NBA.

    Watching Barkley golf is less like watching an ordinary human being swing a club and more akin to watching a friend play a video game that won't stop glitching.

    Barkley inexplicably pauses midway through his swing before following through and making contact with the ball.

    Is he going into slow motion for dramatic effect?

    Does he have an uncontrollable nervous disorder that kicks in every time he swings?

    Is he actually just that bad at golf?

    Whatever the reason, his reaction at 0:29 says it all.


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