By Jason Iannone
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Whenever an athlete wins a game for our favorite team, we feel happy. When they win a championship for our team, we feel ecstatic. When they decide they’re going to celebrate by warbling their favorite tunes with all the grace of a drunken elephant, we feel depressed and want only to run far, far away so the mean ol’ sound can’t get to us.
And yet they keep trying. For whatever reason, people known mainly for sports keep insisting they know how to sing as well. Very rarely does this work out. For every Bernie Williams, who understands and respects traditional jazz and plays it exceptionally well, there are 10 Shaquille O’Neal’s worse at hip-hop than a legless Easter Bunny.
Here are five of the lamest attempts at musicianship ever perpetrated by jocks, spread across many musical genres. That way everyone can be offended.
5. Bronson Arroyo
In addition to sharing his name with perhaps the worst fantasy baseball team in existence, Bronson Arroyo also lays claim to one of the most pointless albums in music history. “Covering The Bases” is an all-covers album, which is fine if you actually do something with the covers. Arroyo does not, simply parroting the original versions — only in a far inferior manner.
Oh, and with the exception of “Dirty Water” (because Red Sox), every single song on here is mid-tempo ’90s alt-rock madness. So if you’re not into that stuff, stay away. If you ARE into it, however, stay away. Just stick with the originals.
As a guitarist and singer, Arroyo’s not ear-bleeding atrocious, and could probably keep a party of slightly tipsy soccer moms highly entertained. He’s just kind of boring, and last we checked, being a true musician is about being as far away from boring as possible. Unless you can list a World Series ring on your resume, apparently.
4. Deion Sanders
Deion Sanders was an amazing player, so much so that he had to play two sports just to satisfy every bit of his uber-jock soul. But two Super Bowl championships and a trip to the World Series still wasn’t enough, because he also felt the need to rap. Yes, in 1994, Neon Deion took full advantage of his clever rhyming nickname and somehow turned it into a full-blown hip-hop album.
Well, kind of hip-hop, anyway. “Prime Time” charted on pure curiosity, but quickly collapsed due to every bar, hook, riff and rhyme being pure garbage. For 14 tracks, Sanders does nothing but yak about how awesome he is, but unless you’re watching his athletic highlights on YouTube at the same time, it’s impossible to believe him. He even tried to sing at times, but since his version of singing amounted to “mumble and slur like he just got shot full of Quaaludes,” we’re all justified in hoping he never, ever, tries again — ever.
Honestly, even Bud Bundy was a better rapper than Sanders. Even the most hardcore “Married … with Children” fans have to admit that’s pretty damn sad.
3. Oscar De La Hoya
For whatever reason, being a 10-time World Champion wasn’t enough for boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya. In 2000, he released the creatively titled “Oscar De La Hoya,” his attempt at being Enrique Iglesias. Seriously, it’s all bouncy Latin pop, unless it’s a slow Latin ballad. Gotta have variety in your life, right?
Here’s the problem: De La Hoya is NOT Enrique Iglesias. He’s not even Gabriel Iglesias. His sub-karaoke pseudo-crooning is edited with so much auto-tuning and echo that he might as well have released this album under the name “Rosie The Robot.” And yet it still got nominated for a Grammy, because declaring Jethro Tull to be more metal than Metallica and AC/DC just wasn’t damaging enough for that award’s reputation. If you truly wish to suffer, Amazon has several dozen copies of this turd available for a penny.
2. Tony Parker
The San Antonio Spurs are the last team you’d expect to produce a musical side project, since you typically need personality and a pulse to create music. Amazingly, though, one of its core members, Tony Parker, has done just that. Perhaps even more amazingly, especially given the Spurs’s mission statement to keep things as dry and businesslike as humanly possible, Parker actually released a crunk-hop album. Yes, crunk — that crazy party rap that made Lil’ Jon famous for about 12 seconds before Dave Chappelle’s impression of him got hopelessly old.
Even more bizarre was how the album, titled “TP“ because Parker enjoys softballing easy jokes to us cynical people on the web, is almost entirely in French. Of course, crunk in English is barely English, so it’s not like his language of choice matters much. What does matter, though, is how lethargic he sounds. He’s delving into the loudest, wildest, wackiest form of rap around, and he barely sounds awake half the time. Damn, he really IS a Spur.
From what we’ve heard, Gregg Popovich was such a fan of this record that he almost didn’t scowl for a whole minute.
1. Terry Bradshaw
Terry Bradshaw’s never been afraid to open his mouth. Then open it again, and again, and again. Point being, the man likes to talk. Well, it turns out he also likes to sing. Back in the ’70s, when he wasn’t busy winning championships with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bradshaw was busy winning the hearts of … well, nobody in particular with his budding country-music career.
He was certainly prolific enough, releasing three albums in five years — including two in 1981 alone. He then released two more in 1996: a Christmas album and a gospel duets album. But good luck finding any of them. And if you want to know why, just listen for yourself and be prepared to call your shrink immediately after.
That was Bradshaw warbling “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and it was so terrible we could cry. If Hank Williams were still alive in 1976, when Bradshaw’s version made the rounds, he probably would’ve drank himself to death by 1977. Imagine five albums of that, and now you know why you can’t find these stupid things anywhere.
Jason Iannone is a Cracked Columnist, who probably couldn’t do much better than anyone he just mocked. Luckily, that isn’t stopping him from continuing the mockery. Call him out on his hypocrisy via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and his website.