In most families there are only so many talent genes to go around. Look at the Brady Bunch. Poor Bobby had no chance of being cool with a groovy older brother like Greg in the house. And middle sister Jan will never be as hot as older sister Marcia. Musician Chris Jagger will never rock like brother Mick. Nor will Lola and Concepción Picasso ever paint like brother Pablo. There is only so much talent to go around.
Sports genes are no different. For every Eli and Peyton Manning and Yadier and Jose Molina – brothers with championships - there are countless sets of brothers with one sibling athletically superior to the other. One family member gets the high quality athletic DNA while the siblings settle for genetic scraps. And not only do the undiluted athletic genes go to one sibling, the nuisance genetic markers tend to pool in another. When your DNA is made up of TMZ rather than ESPN, your athletic career could be in trouble. When your highlight stats include more 911 calls than Top 10 plays, your athletic career could be in trouble.
To be fair, not all underperforming brothers are juiced up on HGH and TMZ. Some simply are not as good as their brother. Wayne Gretzky’s brother Keith had a respectable career in the NHL and Canadian professional leagues. Hall of Fame member Tony Gwynn’s brother Chris played ten years in the majors. Not too shabby.
The following list celebrates the less fortunate brothers. Some of have been raked across the Internet coals and deservedly so. Others did not live up to the hype, possibly set up by their better performing athletic brothers. The goal of the list is not to pile on these less gifted athletes but to relive their modest accomplishments and discover what they are up to today. Some are still in sports while others have joined the rest of us in the real world. Read on to discover what happened to ten brothers of gifted athletes.
10 Ralf Schumacher
Ralf Schumacher is a Formula One driver and younger brother of uber-successful Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher. Not nearly as successful on the track as brother Michael, Ralf won only six races in a ten-year career – as apposed to brother Michael’s 91 race victories and seven World Championships. The Schumachers are the only brothers in Formula 1 history to finish a race 1st and 2nd, which they did five times. Ralf currently races part-time in Europe for a Formula 1 senior series.
9 Jamie Murray
While an accomplished double player, older brother Jamie has never been able to match the ability of younger brother Andy. Both have won major championship on their home soil, but Andy's victory was just a little bit larger. Jamie took home the mixed doubles championship in 2007 with partner Jelena Janković, while Andy was the first Englishman to win the Wimbledon singles title since 1936. The two have played double tennis together, winning two doubles titles together.
8 Jared Staal
The Staal family throws a bit of a monkey wrench in my premise that one family member tends to get the superior athletic genes while siblings fight for genetic scraps. All three of Jared’s older brothers play in the NHL: Eric and Jordan play for the Carolina Hurricanes and Marc with the New York Rangers. However, Jared has not had the same success as his older brothers who have earned All-Star recognition and large contracts. Jared was drafted in the second round (48th overall) in 2008 by the Phoenix Coyotes, becoming the first brother not to be drafted in the first round; such a disappointment to mom and dad Staal. At the end of the 2013 season, the Carolina Hurricanes brought Jared up to the NHL to play the final two games of the season. Jared skated on a line with brothers Eric and Jordan recording zero points. Today he continues to play in the minors for the Hurricane affiliated Charlotte Checkers.
7 Michael Waltrip
Michael Waltrip is the enigmatic brother of 3-time NASCAR champ Darrell Waltrip. Michael has had some success behind the wheel, winning the Daytona 500 in 2001 and 2003. His Daytona win in 2001 broke a winless streak of 462 Cup races. The 2001 win was overshadowed by the death of Dale Earnhardt on the final lap of the race.
Michael Waltrip has gotten himself into his fair share of controversy. In 2005, he and driver Robby Gordon got into a televised spat in New Hampshire after Gordon got out of his wrecked car – wrecked by Waltrip – and threw his helmet in anger at the hood of Waltrip’s car in pit road. In 2007, at Daytona NASCAR inspectors discovered a substance in the engine of Waltrip’s number 55 Toyota that resulted in the car being confiscated, massive point deductions and suspensions of team personnel. In 2013, Michael Waltrip Racing was involved in the recorded communication of instructions to driver Clint Boyer to spin out and Brian Vickers to pit in effort to manipulate points for The Chase. NASCAR eventually handed out a $300,000 fine and more point deductions. Waltrip currently races part-time and is an announcer for Fox Sports NASACR telecasts.
6 Ramon Martinez
Ramon Martinez had a good 14-year, journeyman type, major league career notching 135 wins and a career 3.67 ERA. A good career until it is compared to baby brother Pedro, who won three Cy Young awards and a World Series title with the Boston Red Sox. The highlight of Ramon’s career came on July 14th, 1995 when he threw a no-hitter against the Florida Marlins. He missed a perfect game by walking a batter with two out in the 8th inning. Ramon attempted to tell the Los Angeles Dodgers little brother Pedro was a better pitcher, but according to sources, the Dodgers felt he was too small a prospect and traded him away to the Montreal Expos. Oops.
5 Darren Flutie
Darren Flutie, brother of Doug Flutie, had a good professional football career. He played the majority of his career in Canada, catching enough passes to put him 4th all-time in receptions for the CFL. Darren played one season in the NFL in 1988 for the San Diego Chargers where he had 18 receptions for 208 yards and 2 TDs. He currently is an assistant football coach at Natick High School, where he and brother Doug starred in the 1980’s. In addition to coaching, Darren operates an orthopedic equipment distributor business. His son, Troy Flutie, the star quarterback for Natick High School is headed to Boston College to carry on the family tradition.
4 Dan McGwire
At 6 feet 8 inches tall, Dan McGwire is still the tallest quarterback to ever start an NFL game. Coming out of San Diego State in 1991, McGwire was the first quarterback taken with the 16th overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks. Oops. Brett Favre was available and ended up going to the Atlanta Falcons with the 6th pick in the 2nd round (33rd overall pick). Surprisingly, Favre was the third quarterback picked in that draft. Any guesses who the second quarterback taken in the 1991 draft was? Todd Marinovich picked by Al Davis and the Raiders with the 24th pick.
Though McGwire hung around for 5 years, he largely rode the bench ending his career with 2 TD passes and 6 interceptions. Of course Dan’s older brother is baseball bash brother and steroid and HGH consumer Mark McGwire. Today, Dan works in Reno, NV where he is VP of Vita H2O, Inc. a sports drink company.
3 Jeremy Giambi
Jeremy Giambi was a journeyman player drafted in 1996 in the 6th round by the Kansas City Royals. Perhaps best known for his part in the famous “flip play” in the 2001 ALDS, Giambi was attempting to score from first base on a ball smoked down the right field line by Terrence Long. As Giambi rounded third base, it appeared the throw from Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer was offline. Way offline. As we know, Derek Jeter came from seemingly nowhere to retrieve the errant throw and make an impossible flip to Jorge Posada who tagged Giambi on the foot as he was about to cross home plate. One could argue the play is more about Derek Jeter’s athletic brilliance than Giambi’s lack of base running skill, but if Giambi heeded A’s player Ramon Hernandez advice to slide, he probably would have been safe.
Jeremy’s best season was in 2002 when he hit 20 HRs split between Oakland and the Phillies. Like his brother Jason, Jeremy Giambi had an appetite for steroids. He too was listed in the 2007 Mitchell Report along with 88 other players, including Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. On top of that, in 2001, he was busted at a Las Vegas airport for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Today Jeremy Giambi is on the corporate speaking tour. According to the website athletespromotions.com, “A Jeremy Giambi appearance will add energy to your upcoming event and reward employees, customers and clients.” Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall while Jeremy Giambi is firing up the sales staff to go sell one more copier or knock on one more door? My advice… Slide into home!
2 Marcus Vick
Maybe the most athletically talented of the athletes profiled in this piece, Marcus Vick may have been the biggest bust. After a rocky career at Virginia Tech in the mid-2000s, Vick entered the NFL in 2006 as an undrafted free agent. He officially appeared in one NFL game on December 25th, 2006, lining up as a receiver for the Miami Dolphins against the NY Jets. He had zero receptions and the Dolphins subsequently released him in 2007.
Marcus is active on Twitter. In 2013, he famously tweeted during a game that the Eagles were making the wrong choice starting QB Nick Foles over brother Michael. Of course Marcus - @MVFive - used some inappropriate words during that Twitter rant that can’t be used here. Perhaps this and other Twitter rants were alcohol and or drug fueled. Marcus has been in trouble with the law for multiple DUIs and spent a total of 40 days in prison on three different occasions.
Today Marcus lives in Lithonia, GA and works for V7, LLC, a company that markets brother Michael’s brand.
1 Ozzie Canseco
Ozzie Canseco is Jose Canseco, until he steps on the baseball field. Then the resemblance disappears. The NY Yankees drafted Ozzie in the second round in 1983 as a pitcher. He appeared as a fielder in 24 games with the A’s and Cardinals in the early 1990s. While he never hit a big league homerun, he did go yard 48 times in one season in the minors.
Jose and Ozzie still look remarkably alike. In 2005, Ozzie appeared on VH1’s The Surreal Life acting as a Jose Canseco imposter. Posing as Jose got Ozzie and Jose into legal trouble in 2011, when Jose was booked to fight in a celebrity-boxing match in Hollywood, FL. Jose sent brother Ozzie to fill in for him. It almost worked until savvy spectators noticed tattoos were missing on the Canseco torso. Jose is inked, Ozzie is not. Busted.
Today is Ozzie is attempting to return to baseball as a manager of the Edinburg Roadrunners of the United League in Texas.