That Terrell Owens, he sure does get around.
The former NFL great, shameless self-promoter and end zone TD celebration wiz will be treading the boards with Cheryl Burke on the upcoming season 25 of the hit TV show, “Dancing With The Stars.”
He joins the ranks of current and former NFL stars who have appeared on DWTS, including: Antonio Brown, Von Miller, Calvin Johnson, Jerry Rice, Rashad Jennings, Chad Johnson, Emmitt Smith, Kurt Warner, Hines Ward, Warren Sapp, Lawrence Taylor, Donald Driver, Jason Taylor, and Michael Irvin.
Owens has attempted myriad NFL comebacks and is even captain of his own eponymous squad “Team Owens” in the newly formed American Flag Football League.” We can say with certainty he’s at least stayed busy and out of jail.
Owens is hardly alone when it comes to the diversity of career tracks that former professional athletes have taken.
We scoured the internet for 15 other “Big 4” athletes who are into new pursuits in retirement, some of them even a little surprising.
15. Detlef Schrempf – NBA
At the core of one of the best Seattle/Oklahoma City teams in the NBA was German national Detlef Schrempf. He played for the Sonics from 1993-94 to 1998-99 during his 16-year career, and helped take them to the franchise’s second last NBA final in 1996. He retired after playing with Portland in 2000-01 and has since gotten into high finance. As of 2010, he has been the Business Development Officer at Coldstream Capital, a wealth management firm in Seattle. In addition to that, Schrempf founded the Detlef Schrempf Foundation to benefit Seattle charities, the chief event being his celebrity golf tournament that has raised over $10 million for children’s charities in the Pacific Northwest. On the television side, he also made several appearances as himself on the cult hit, “Parks And Recreation.”
14. Tomas Sandstrom – NHL
Esa Tikkanen was the first Finn to combine hockey excellence and the ability to make other players’ skin crawl with his on-ice antics and indecipherable banter. Then along came countryman Tomas Sandstrom. The Jakobstad native was nearly a point-per-game man who was also a noted agitator and dirty player. The lanky right winger played for five different teams after being drafted in the second round of the 1982 draft by the New York Rangers, twice scoring over 40 goals. Sandstrom was also a great post-season warrior, recording 81 points in 139 playoff games. He was pivotal to the Los Angeles Kings ill-fated Stanley Cup drive in 1993, registering 25 points in 24 games and won a Cup with Detroit in 1997. After playing out the string in Sweden for three seasons early in the last decade, Sandstrom settled in Skanor, where he actually became a firefighter.
13. David Wells – MLB
There have only been 23 official perfect games thrown in major league baseball history. Lefty David Wells tossed the 15th, for the New York Yankees in May of 1998. The fun-loving and at times mercurial Wells pitched for nine different teams between 1987 and 2007, his best years spent with the Bronx Bombers and Toronto Blue Jays. He went to the playoffs with six different teams, one two World Series championships (with Toronto and New York) and was ALCS MVP in 1998. He pitched his last game at the age of 44 for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007 and since then has dabbled in a couple of ventures. Wells was an assistant baseball coach at his alma mater Point Loma High School for a few years, eventually becoming head coach in 2014. The baseball field there carries his name, too. Lately, Wells is a color commentator for MLB on TBS and host of “The Cheap Seats” on Fox Sports.com.
12. Chris Doleman – NFL
Hall of Fame defensive end Chris Doleman was one of the best edge rushers in the NFL in the 1980s, leading the NFL in sacks with an amazing 21 while playing for the Minnesota Vikings in 1989. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro who played in 232 career games and registered 150.5 sacks, which is fourth best all-time. A teammate of fellow Hall of Famer at the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1980s, Doleman was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012. In retirement, Doleman started a tech marketing company called Gateway Fusion and in 2012 he was one of a number of players who launched a class action lawsuit against the NFL centered around concussions and their effect on former players.
11. Rick Fox – NBA
Rick Fox is regarded in most circles as one of the best Canadians to have ever suited up in the NBA. The Toronto born small forward was selected 24th overall by the Boston Celtics out of the University of North Carolina in 1991 and went on to play in 930 games in 13 seasons. He made the 1991-92 all-Rookie team with the Celtics and was part of the dynastic Los Angeles Lakers team that won three straight championships from 2000 to 2002. He finished his career with an average of 9.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Post-NBA career, the man with the model good looks has forged a pretty good career as an actor and reality TV star. His IMDb list of credits is very lengthy, starting with a role in a small Nick Nolte basketball film called “Blue Chips” in 1994 and lately he just wrapped a film called “Krystal.” Some of his more noteworthy roles were in hit TV shows like “Oz”, “One Tree Hill” and even “The Big Bang Theory.”
10. Tony Amonte – NHL
Before he was one of the lone bright spots on some pretty bad Chicago Blackhawks teams in the 1990s — yes, there was a time they were bad — Tony Amonte was a superstar at hockey mad Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts. Things have come full circle, then, for the former five-time NHL All-Star Game participant, as he is now head coach of the renowned Thayer program, which has also graduated the likes of NHLers Charlie Coyle, Brooks Orpik, former teammate Jeremy Roenick, Dave Silk and Ryan Whitney. After his playing days at Thayer, Amonte went to Boston University and was drafted 68th overall by the New York Rangers in 1988. He would play in 1,174 NHL regular season games, scoring 416 goals and 484 assists. He also competed in 52 international contests as a member of Team USA, including world juniors, Olympics and the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, where the Americans won.
9. Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez – MLB
Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez nearly didn’t make it to the big leagues. A star in his native Cuba in the early 1990s, Hernandez got into hot water with the notorious Cuban state security for his ties to an American sports agent. In late 1996, he was actually banned from Cuban baseball and then defected a year later, sailing on a boat, which was interdicted near the Bahamas, where he would spend time in detention. It took some extensive lobbying and an act by then Attorney General Janet Reno that would have got him into the U.S. on a special “humanitarian parole.” He declined that and went to Costa Rica, which freed him from the regular MLB draft and allowed him to negotiate with the team(s) of his choice. He settled on the New York Yankees, who arranged his Visa and signed him to a four-year deal. Already 32 in 1998, Hernandez would finish fourth in Rookie of the Year voting in 1998 and would go on to win 90 games total in nine years. More noteworthy, El Duque would win three World championships with New York and one with the Chicago White Sox, including a 1999 ALCS MVP award. Today, Hernandez is, naturally, a minor league pitching instructor for the Bronx Bombers.
8. Ken Norton Jr. – NFL
It couldn’t have been that easy, growing up in the shadow of former heavyweight boxing champion and father Ken Norton, much less pursuing a completely different sport. However, Ken Jr. excelled at football and went on to star at UCLA in the mid-1980s. The all-American linebacker was drafted in the second round (41st overall) by the Dallas Cowboys in 1988, a team he would win two Super Bowls with in 1992 and 1993, followed by another championship with San Francisco in 1994. Those consecutive championships give him the distinction of being the only player ever to have won three in a row. Post NFL career, Norton got into coaching, starting as a linebackers coach at USC, eventually becoming assistant head coach. He was later hired by the Seattle Seahawks as a linebackers coach in 2010, garnering another Super Bowl ring in February 2014 at Super Bowl XLVIII. In early 2015 he was named defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders, a position he holds today.
7. James Worthy – NBA
Like his former teammate at North Carolina, Michael Jordan, seemingly everything Hall of Famer James Worthy touched turned to gold. In the 1982 NCAA championship game against Georgetown and Patrick Ewing, he famously made a key interception of an inadvertent pass to seal the Tar Heels victory, as well as dunking in the face of Ewing. He was the first overall pick of the Lakers in 1982 and would be instrumental to three championships with those great Lakers teams in 1985, 1987 and 1988. Worthy was finals MVP in 1988, a seven time (consecutive) All-Star and two-time All-NBA nominee. “Big Game James” retired after the 1993-94 season and was elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2003. After his illustrious career, Worthy became a studio analyst and co-host of Time Warner’s Access SportsNet, as well as being a some-time actor, including a bit as a Klingon in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” In September 2015, Worthy came full circle, being hired on as an assistant coach for the Lakers in the player development section.
6. Alexei Zhamnov – NHL
A great player in his own right, Moscow native Alexei Zhamnov played second banana to some greater players in his 807 game career. He was third leading scorer as a rookie with the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93, scoring 72 points, but being eclipsed by fellow rookie Teemu Selanne, who fired 76 goals that season. Later, with Chicago, Zhamnov was runner-up to list-mate Tony Amonte in scoring for a couple of seasons in the late 1990s. Zhamnov, who won Olympic gold, silver and bronze with Team Russia, retired after the 2005-06 season and returned to Russia, serving as general manager of KHL teams Vityaz Chekhov and Atlant Moscow Oblast. He moved on to be the GM of hometown HC Spartak Moscow, where he has been GM for a few years and was also part of the team that put together the Russian entry at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
5. Manny Ramirez – MLB
The phrase “Manny being Manny” was uttered often during Ramirez’ lengthy 2,302-game career. A great hitter who would finish with a .312 career batting average, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI, Manny was often an atrocious and sometimes disinterested outfielder who made a circus of some fly balls. Ramirez was also a great playoff competitor, getting into 111 career post-season games and winning two World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. He was the 2004 World Series MVP and logged a .285 overall average, with 29 homers and 78 RBI. A failed drug test in 2009 doomed his career and after a reduced suspension (from 100 to 50 games) and failed comeback in 2011, he retired. These days, one of the greatest clown princes of baseball was recently a hitting consultant for the champion Chicago Cubs and earlier this year he signed to crush homers with the Kochi Island Fighting Dogs in Japan.
4. Michael Strahan – NFL
Kelly Ripa must have been plain old frightened out of her mind the first time giant former NFL player Michael Strahan appeared with her on the set of her syndicated talk show, then called “Live! with Kelly and Michael.” The 6’5″, 255 lb. Hall of Famer absolutely dwarfed the tiny Ripa, who looks like she is all of 5’0″ and 90 lbs. Before he became a celebrated talking head — he is now football analyst on Fox and a regular on Good Morning America — Strahan was a Hall of Fame defensive end who played in 216 NFL games, all with the New York Giants. He twice led the NFL in sacks, including 22.5 in 2001, and finished his career sixth on the career list with 141.5. Strahan won a Super Bowl with the Giants (XLII against New England in 2008) and was a six-time All-Pro and two-time NFC Defensive Player of the Year.
3. Brian Bellows – NHL
Talk about early career pressure. When Sports Illustrated profiled junior hockey star Brian Bellows of the Kitchener Rangers in the early 1980s, the sports mag called him the “greatest prospect since Wayne Gretzky.” Drafted second overall in 1982 by the Minnesota North Stars, who traded up to get him, the pressure to perform was immense. He started his rookie season (1982-83) slowly, but recovered to score 35 goals and 30 assists in 78 games. Bellows would be one of the North Stars’ best players for 10 seasons, hitting personal highs of 55 goals and 99 points during the 1989-90 season. After missing out on a Stanley Cup with the 1990-91 North Stars (he had 29 points in 23 playoff games), Bellows was traded to the Montreal Canadiens, where he would win his one and only Cup in 1993. He played his last game with the Washington Capitals in 1999 and then retired. He lives in Edina, Minnesota and is now a successful investment banker with Piper Jaffray. His son, Kieffer, also a first round draft pick (19th overall to the New York Islanders in 2016), plays at Boston University.
2. Randall Cunningham – NFL
When looking at former NFL QB Randall Cunningham’s career, it’s hard not to stare in disbelief that the number of times the mobile pivot was sacked. In five of his 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was the most sacked quarterback in the NFL, including an alarming 72 during his second season. In 161 career games he was put on the turf an astounding 484 times, which is fourth worst all-time and topped by Brett Favre at 525. Otherwise, Cunningham was a decent QB who once led the NFL in TD % (8.0) with Minnesota in 1998 (his best year). He tossed 34 TD passes that year on just 425 total pass attempts and was instrumental in getting the Vikings to the NFC championship game. Cunningham played his last game with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001 and in retirement he wnt back to alma mater UNLV to finish a degree, followed by becoming an ordained Protestant minister and sometime high school football coach.
1. Mike Piazza – MLB
So, how exactly did Mike Piazza celebrate finally getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016? By becoming part owner of a third tier Italian soccer team, of course. While this may seem a little incongruous for a guy who became famous for swatting baseballs, consider that Piazza is also a heavy metal music fan and devout Roman Catholic. The Pennsylvania native is part owner, then, of A.C. Reggiana 1919, an Italian ‘Serie C’ team, which he hopes to help transform to former glory days when the club was top tier. Much like its famous owner, the Reggiana team could be considered an underdog. Piazza, who was drafted by Tommy Lasorda as a favor to Piazza’s father, didn’t go until the 62nd round of the 1998 draft, 1,390th overall. Not given a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding, Piazza would nonetheless become NL Rookie of the Year in 1993 and go on to be a 12-time all-star. He finished his Hall of Fame career with a .308 batting average, 427 home runs and 1,335 RBI in 1,912 games.