Biggest wastes of talent in sports

Sep 2, 2010 |
Stephen Strasburg was supposed to keep Washington from being this decade's version of the Pirates. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Strasburg will be sidelined at least a year, and maybe longer.

It's a damn shame baseball fans only got to see 12 starts from Strasburg during his rookie campaign. And there's a high possibility that when he comes back, he won't be the same dominating pitcher we witnessed flashes of in 2010. What a waste of talent that would be.

That scenario got us thinking here in the Covers newsroom about athletes that ended up wasting most of their God-given talent. Below are 10 players sure to make any list.

John Daly - Pro golfer

John Daly.
Alcohol, Marlboro Lights and gambling hindered this golfing phenom from reaching his maximum potential.

Daly turned pro at 21 years of age and won his first professional tournament three years later. He made headlines in 1991 when he captured the PGA Championship as the ninth and final alternate. Daly didn’t even get a practice round in before the tournament started; further solidifying the notion Long John had talent oozing out of his ears.

Three wives and almost 20 years later, Daly has a grand total of five PGA Tour victories. Heralded swing coach Butch Harmon quit on Daly in 2008 saying, “the most important thing in his life is getting drunk.”

These days a much slimmer Daly dabbles around in reality TV shows and country music. He still plays golf, but continues to underachieve.

Mike Tyson - Heavyweight boxer

Mike Tyson.

The best thing to ever come out of Michael Gerard Tyson’s birth was an 8-bit Nintendo game called Punch-Out!!

Kid Dynamite burst onto the boxing scene as an 18-year old in 1986. Only two of his first 28 professional fights ended with a decision and he knocked out his opponent in the first round of 16 of those bouts. A year later, Tyson became the first heavyweight boxer to hold all three major belts at the same time.

Tyson’s rapid fall from grace began in 1991 when he was accused of raping Miss Black Rhode Island. He spent three years in prison before making a return to the ring. Another sexual assault charge, drugs and alcohol eventually led Iron Mike to admit that his, “whole life has been a waste.”

Last we heard; Tyson was recovering from bankruptcy while attempting to start a reality TV series about homing pigeons.

Ricky Williams - NFL running back

Ricky Williams.
Ricky never wanted to be in the limelight. Ricky liked football, but didn’t love it. Ricky thought his talents would best be utilized trying to mimic his heroes—Cheech and Chong.

After a decorated senior season at Texas, Williams won the Heisman Trophy and was subsequently selected as the No. 5 overall pick by New Orleans in the 1999 NFL Draft. A long and prosperous football career looked to be in the cards for Williams.

But a natural beauty named Mary Jane prevented Williams from maximizing his talent. Multiple failed drug tests in 2004 led “Sticky Icky Ricky” to retirement. From there, he went on to study ancient Indian holistic medicine at some hippie college in Northern California.

Williams still earns an NFL paycheck with the Miami D

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