5 worst athlete reality-show appearances
March, 6, 2013
By D'Arcy Maine | ESPN.com
Valerie Macon/Getty ImagesT.O. and his show: Where does it rank on our list?
You can’t put a price tag on dignity. Unless, that is, you’re a former athlete desperately clinging to your last moment in the spotlight.
Reality shows have become a graveyard for D-list actors, musicians and athletes. Once vibrant and talented sportsmen and women have joined the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian to star on their very own cable shows, broadcasting every moment of their daily lives -- failures and flaws included.
By definition, every reality-show appearance is bad (or an indication of very poor life choices), but the following make our list of the absolute worst of the worst.
5. Jose Canseco
"The Surreal Life"
Never one to shy away from controversy, baseball’s public enemy No. 1 Jose Canseco took his antics to the only remaining logical place that would have him: Season 5 of "The Surreal Life" on VH1.
Canseco lived with fellow stars (we’re using that term loosely here) such as P!nk’s husband, Jean-Luc from "Step by Step" and one-half of Salt-n-Pepa as the series followed the gang just living their daily lives. You know, eating, drinking, sleeping, cross-dressing, participating in burlesque shows, fighting about who’s the most famous. The norm.
On the plus side, Canseco didn’t write a tell-all book on any of his co-stars, nor did he have his brother pretend to be him to get out of responsibilities. In retrospect, this show might be a bright spot on Canseco’s résumé.
4. Kordell Stewart
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"
Sure, the current season of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" is probably most notable for the Donkey Booty-versus-Stallion Booty video war, but it’s the appearance of Kordell Stewart that has gotten sports fans' attention. Or at least our attention anyway.
The former NFL quarterback recently married Atlanta socialite Porsha Williams, and like every newlywed couple in 2013 aspires to do, they promptly signed up for a reality show. It worked so well for Jessica Simpson, after all. Stewart has made gossip headlines by accusations from the other housewives that he is too controlling of his wife and for getting involved in her drama (like calling the former Miss USA "Miss America!" OMG!).
Stewart has quickly adapted to the role of a Real Househusband (not to be confused with Kevin Hart’s BET show) by nodding a lot, drinking with the other husbands and being a background extra for most scenes. Still significantly more impressive than his final seasons in the NFL.
3. Dennis Rodman
Making headlines this week for being totes-BFF with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, "The Worm" has been doing crazy things since, gasp, before the Internet was even around to document it all. Which is really unfortunate for all of us.
But all you need to know about Rodman’s appearance on "Celebrity Rehab," where he was treated by Dr. Drew for alcoholism, can be summed up in one line: On the night of the show’s premiere, Dennis was thrown out of a bar for belligerency and disruptive behavior.
2. Deion Sanders
"Deion & Pilar: Prime Time Love"
NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and his wife, Pilar, decided to showcase their family life in an oh-so-cleverly titled show. Get it? "Prime Time Love"? Because his nickname is "Prime Time" and the show is on primetime (by Oxygen standards anyway) and they’re in love! Ehh, see below on that last point.
Following in the grand reality-show tradition of marriages followed around by camera crews, the two filed for divorce in 2011.
But we’ll always have this show as evidence of their onetime love. And proof that Deion’s first two children are named Deion Jr. and Deiondra.
1. Terrell Owens
"The T.O. Show"
Sometime in between crying for Tony Romo ("That’s my quarterback!") and crying to Dr. Phil, Owens consistently found time to take his shirt off and not do much else on his very own VH1 series.
The show was meant to repair the troubled star’s public image as he candidly battled with his professional, personal and financial demons. However, despite inexplicably lasting for three seasons, the show only furthered Owens' status as a punch line. In the final season, he underwent surgery and failed to land a roster spot with any team. The ratings and his football career subsequently floundered. It’s hard to continue a reality show about a football player’s life when he’s, you know, no longer a football player.
Highlights -- er, memorable moments -- of the show included a rejected marriage proposal, rejected pleas to NFL teams and tears over bad credit. The show was ultimately video documentation of the depressing demise of one of football’s once most celebrated receivers. We honestly have no idea who could have enjoyed this program. Other than Donovan McNabb, of course.