In order to excel at their sport, athletes need to keep themselves in peak physical condition. They train for hours on end, keep up grueling workout routines in the off season, and push their bodies to the absolute limit. While their caloric intake often seems staggering (though necessary to offset the calories they burn in all their training), they generally eat clean and live fairly healthy lifestyles. They fuel their bodies so that they perform at the optimal level. Some athletes, however, like to fuel their bodies with something a little stronger than filtered water. And no, I don’t mean adding a little lemon juice to their water bottle for zest.
Athletes come in many shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. When the game is over, some athletes will return home to their families to spend time with their wife and kids. There are others, whoever, who quickly transform into the life of the party. What do you get when you mix sports fans, sky high salaries, and a fair amount of vacation time? Potentially, a party that just never stops. A coast to coast party machine. A professional athlete’s salary can definitely buy a lot of shots and debauchery. Anywhere from a bar to a club, drinking anything from beer to the most expensive top shelf liquors, these guys know a thing or two about being the life of the party. I guess that competitive spirit extends to beer chugging contests and party games. You know what they say – work hard, play hard. All of these gentlemen definitely do.
10. Rory McIlroy
National stereotypes are often just used for jokes, but Rory McIlroy’s appreciation for a good party and a good pint show that the Irishman definitely knows how to handle his liquor. Golf, in general, is not really a sport known for raging frat boys and keg stands. However, McIlroy proves that just because they keep it to a low murmur on the holes, doesn’t mean the same happens at night. He’s engaged to his tennis superstar girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki. That bachelor party will be insane.
9. Marshall Henderson
Henderson, a basketball player at Ole Miss, hasn’t even started earning the NBA pay checks yet and he’s already partying like there’s no tomorrow. It may not seem that remarkable, given that he is still a college student, and going to school at an institution where the unofficial ‘slogan’ is “we may not win every game, but we never lose a party.” He’s known to be found outside the library on campus taking pictures with fellow students (generally of the attractive female persuasion) and a mere 30 minutes after an NCAA tournament wrapped up was found partying with fans. In a press conference after an Ole Miss game, according to Hugh Kellenberger, instead of participating in the conference, Henderson just stuck his head in the door and shouted “if it’s all the same, it’s Saturday night. I’m out.”
The public opinion is fairly split on him – while some disagree with his antics, many are entertained. However, getting a drug-related suspension while still only playing college ball suggests he might be partying too hard.
8. Bryant McKinnie
McKinnie has explained his personality as a form of Jekyll and Hyde – Bryant McKinnie during the season when he needs to be professional and bring his game, and “Big Mac” in the off season. This isn’t strictly true – some of his notorious partying has occurring during the season – but it’s an interesting way to think of it. He was part of the Minnesota Vikings’ sex boat scandal, was involved in club brawls and got mixed up in a stripper brawl on a birthday bus after “Sweet Pea” apparently swung a bottle at one of McKinnie’s team mates (not making it up, I swear). He’s a frequent patron of clubs, has a particular affinity for strip clubs, and likes to hang with celebrities (his production company threw a birthday party for Lil Kim, to name just one example).
7. Brian Wilson
With that insane beard, you just know Brian Wilson is one of the biggest partiers in MLB. The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher (though he’s probably best known for his years with the San Francisco Giants) has a notoriously over the top personality. He’s marginally obsessed with a character called ‘The Machine’ from the movie 8mm and said he was punished for having “too much awesome on [his] feet” (it was because his cleats were neon orange, but his explanation is a lot more fun).
6. Paul Bissonnette
Paul Bissonnette is a left wing for the Phoenix Coyotes. Most important to his position on this list, perhaps, is his twitter handle. While the majority of athletes use social media in some combination of their first name, last name or jersey number, Bissonnette goes by BizNasty. If that doesn’t indicate someone who prefers the bar over the boardroom, I don’t know what does.
His life, according to the pictures he posts on social media, is a hot mess of parties and bikini clad women. His Twitter feed is incredibly popular, not necessarily because of his prowess on the ice, but rather because of his blunt, frat boy tweets. He references “giving his liver a pep talk” before heading out in Vegas and seems to view women as poolside accessories. BizNasty isn’t exactly going to make it into the Hall of Fame for his hockey skills, so perhaps he’s angling for an MVP award for his partying.
5. Ryan Lochte
American swimmer Ryan Lochte may have been neck and neck with his team mate Michael Phelps at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but Phelps’ one little indiscretion has nothing on Lochte’s partying. Lochte has an attitude of train hard, play hard and during his time in London, seemed to take every opportunity to let loose and party hard that was offered. He’s been a frequent guest at lavish Las Vegas pool parties, including one where he ran into royal party boy Prince Harry.
His amusing frat boy antics got him a reality show on the E! network, although it only lasted for a few episodes before being cancelled. Something tells me that the party doesn’t stop for the insanely decorated Olympic athlete, regardless of whether he’s on TV or not. The lovable party animal will likely be found in a pool near you, drinking, showing off his swimming skills, and overusing his catchphrase – Jeah!
4. Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli is one of the biggest names in professional soccer right now and has been nicknamed “Super Mario.” His incredible skill on the field, however, has been consistently matched by his debaucherous and often just plain strange antics off the field. Back in 2012 he partied in Ibiza, one of the world’s most notorious party capitals. He wasn’t content for an average club experience, however, and managed to rack up the biggest bar bill this Ibiza party-venue of choice had ever seen. He’s partied everywhere from London to Ibiza to St. Tropez, and always with a gorgeous woman (or five) on his arm.
3. Alex Ovechkin
The Washington Capitals hockey player hails from the land of vodka, and his party habits demonstrate that he certainly doesn’t shy away from any libation. He’s been hammered everywhere from actual parties to an autograph party at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant, and like most of the athletes on this list, regularly posts photos of truly insane parties he’s attending. Tennis star Maria Kirilenko is now Ovechkin‘s fiancée, so while the bikini clad girls may be curtailed, something tells me his drinking habits will stay the same. Everyone knows there ain’t no party like an Ovechkin party – an Ovechkin party doesn’t stop. Every Russian vodka company – hell, every vodka company in general – is doing themselves a disservice by not having him as the face of their product.
2. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane is beloved in Chicago as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, but this party animal is also equally notorious for tearing up the city at night. He’s been smashed at Cinco de Mayo with college students in Wisconsin, obliterated at the Chicago Blackhawks’ Cup parade, and shirtless in limos. He’s been drunk with fans in countless cities across North America – any time Kane enters a bar, patrons take to Twitter to express their joy at being witness to the wrecking ball that is Patrick Kane. Recently, he’s made a bit of an effort to reform his partying ways, particularly after the backlash from his wasted weekend in Wisconsin. However, he was once one of the ultimate athlete bar stars, so his legend lives on.
1. Rob Gronkowski
Oh, Gronk. New England Patriots player Rob Gronkowski took the position of tight end to a whole new level, and is incredibly skilled at what he does. He also loves to party – a lot. He perfected his frat bro personality at the University of Arizona, could likely dominate anyone at beer pong, and has a hilarious celebratory touchdown spike that works out about half the time. He also once made his own strictly 21 and over all-female football camp (I mean… you have to give the man props, that idea is so insane). He’s partied and beer-ponged from coast to coast, from bars to colleges, and has done it all with that unapologetic grin and unabashed sense of fun. He’s basically the grown up version of a kid in a candy store and lives a life that could be an adult oriented Dr. Seuss book.
Would he party in a bar? Would he party in a car?
Would he party with many blondes? Would he party with frat boys? Moms?
Would he drink, and buy a round?
Would he rage until he hit the ground?
Yes, yes to all.
You go, Gronk.
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