They say that when some people get older, they age like fine wine. For others, they age more like cheese that’s been left in the fridge for far too long to the point where it’s gotten mouldy. The latter category applies to these 10 former athletes, who have not aged well whether it was as a result of plastic surgery or simply their genes not being very kind to their bodies. Therefore, today we’ll be counting down 10 major professional athletes whose physical appearances have seen better days.
Perhaps not without coincidence, several of the athletes on this list are ones whose careers were arguably overshadowed by incidents of controversy, whether through steroid use, hiring a hitman to club their opponent in the kneecap (we’re looking at you, Tonya Harding), or being charged with murder (*cough* O.J. Simpson *cough*). Others such as Brett Favre have seen age catch up to them in such a big way that they look more like a greyer-haired version of The Dude from The Big Lebowski than anything else. No matter the reason, these athletes are not exactly the walking, talking version of fine wine, and you only need to take a look at one picture of theirs from the present day to see that.
Whether they’re football players, baseball stars, figure skaters or former basketball players from legendary championship-winning teams who are known more for their eccentricities off the court than for their accomplishments on it, age has been rather unkind to them as time has passed. And that's not to mention the damaged reputations owned by many of the athletes on this list – for whatever headline-stealing reason might be at fault there. Here are 10 of the most poorly-aged athletes of all time.
10 Brett Favre
Despite looking pretty jacked even at the age of 45, Brett Favre is definitely looking a little bit haggard otherwise. His hair has greyed significantly over the last year or so at least, and he looks more like a greyer-haired Jeff Bridges than the stubbled version of Favre that he was known for being during his playing days. The former Green Bay Packers legend does look to be in pretty good shape, but it’s still surprising to see how much it looks like he’s aged otherwise, given the fact that he’s not that far removed from still playing in the NFL.
9 Bartolo Colon
In his prime as an MLB pitcher, Bartolo Colon was a Cy Young Award winner and three-time MLB All-Star, seeing his best days come as a member of the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Nowadays, it seems as if Colon has been out eating more fast food and consuming more testosterone – which he was found guilty of using as a player, landing him a 50-game suspension – than anything. The past several years in Colon’s ongoing career – currently with the New York Mets – have shown him appear to gain quite a lot of weight since his much thinner days in Cleveland.
8 Lenny Dykstra
He looked kind of scrawny even during his playing days, but in the 18 years following Lenny Dykstra’s retirement from baseball, he’s looked even worse than some might have anticipated. After having been released from a six-and-a-half month long prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud in 2013, Dykstra has been looking pretty overweight, grey-haired and without great-looking teeth either, all of which might just generally be a result of the prison sentence itself. Regardless of what it is, Dykstra’s looking pretty worse for wear even at only 51 years of age, but hopefully time away from the big house will turn things around.
7 Tonya Harding
Forever known for her hiring of a hitman to club her U.S. Olympic team opponent Nancy Kerrigan in the kneecap rather than for her exploits as a figure skater, Tonya Harding has looked in pretty horrible shape ever since. Not only did she not get the last laugh after the clubbing incident – Kerrigan won a silver medal in Lillehammer while Harding finished off the podium – but Harding has been known for her attempt at a boxing career, as well as appearing to have gained quite a bit of weight over the years despite looking quite fit at the ’94 Winter Olympics.
6 John Kruk
Aging well didn’t look too promising for John Kruk as a player, and especially not now at the age of 53. Known for his commentary on Baseball Tonight on ESPN, Kruk has been looking rather portly since his days as a baseball player, mostly for the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies. Nowadays, it seems as if he cares more about eating Taco Bell and Denny’s whenever he wants than keeping a healthy weight post-retirement. His voracious appetite is something Kruk has been known for as an ESPN analyst, with fellow analyst Buck Showalter saying it’s “not good” to be around Kruk when he’s hungry at 2 a.m.
5 Ryan Leaf
Compared to some other athletes on this list, Ryan Leaf’s physical appearance nowadays is something that makes you feel kinda sorry for him more than anything. Leaf has had a number of brushes with the law following the end of his football career, largely related to burglary and drug charges that he’s been charged with several times over the last few years, and he’s currently serving a five-year prison sentence for violating his probation. Keeping in mind his reputation as a major NFL draft bust, we can only hope that Leaf can rebuild his life once he’s finally released.
4 O.J. Simpson
His reputation already being permanently damaged following his being charged with a double murder, former six-time Pro Bowler and Pro Football Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson has kept his bad behaviour consistently abominable since being acquitted in 1995. These days, O.J. looks pretty worse for wear – as you might expect him to be – thanks perhaps in part to his apparent cocaine addiction as well as having spent time in jail for armed robbery and kidnapping that he was found guilty of. Not to mention the fact that he appears bloated and rather overweight following the start of his prison sentence.
3 Dennis Rodman
Between dressing wildly on a regular basis – in this case, “wildly” is just another way of saying “just plain weird” – to going on several trips to North Korea, Dennis Rodman has taken the off-court antics of his playing days and brought them to a completely different level in his retirement. Clearly, his years of fast living have taken an effect on his physical appearance, too: the heavily pierced former Chicago Bull has been seen in public and in charity games wearing flamboyant face paint as well as a bleached blonde mohawk hairstyle and makeup, because he clearly didn’t think his behaviour wasn’t unique enough already.
2 Sammy Sosa
Whatever Sammy Sosa’s been doing to his face lately, it’s not very attractive looking. At all. In fact, it’s actually kinda creepy. Once known for his elite skills as a baseball player before the revelations came out about his use of steroids – despite his denial that he took no such drugs – Sosa has seen his physical appearance become considerably different as his skin has gotten much lighter, causing some to wonder if he’s suffered from vitiligo (the same skin condition Michael Jackson had). Sosa has publicly denied such rumours, saying that his skin lightening is a result of a skin cream he puts on routinely, as well as early afternoon baseball games and photoshoots… right.
1 Bruce Jenner
Oh boy, where to start with this one. It maybe wouldn’t be as bad if Bruce Jenner hadn’t taken such advantage of plastic surgery treatments to his face, but since he did, he looks so scary that it’s a wonder some people who watch reality TV shows haven’t been freaked out by looking at him. The former Olympic runner who won a gold medal in decathlon at the Summer Olympics in Montreal in 1976 has had more of a reputation for being the stepfather of the Kardashians thanks to his now-ended marriage to their mother, and time will tell if his recent split leads to more bad aging on Bruce’s part.