Chad Ochocinco took to the pitch on Monday as a reserve for Sporting Kansas City of the MLS. Is the football star's flirtation with professional soccer enough to get him into ThePostGame's top 10 list of greatest multi-sport athletes?
No. 10 Michael Jordan
MJ's brief dalliance in the Chicago White Sox farm system is generally regarded as a failure. Compared to his stellar basketball career, it was. But how many 31-year-olds do you know that could drop into Double-A baseball after not having swung a bat since high school and still hold their own in the professional ranks? Jordan's failing wasn't that he was bad at baseball; it's that he didn't give himself enough time to find out how good he could be.
No. 9 Bob Hayes
Rarely has a nickname been so fitting as "Bullet Bob." Hayes earned the title of world's fastest man during the 1960s by virtue of his Olympic sprint medals and world record times in the 60-yard, 100-yard and 100-meter races. One year after his triumphs in Tokyo, Hayes was wearing a star on his helmet, lining up as wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. He would posthumously be named to the Hall of Fame in 2009.
No. 8 Tim Duncan
The two-time NBA MVP started his athletic career as a swimmer, setting Virgin Islands records in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle races. As a boy, Duncan hoped to follow in his older sister's footsteps and represent the commonwealth in the Olympics. When Hurricane Hugo destroyed the pool he trained at, Duncan took to basketball. A recruiting trip from Wake Forest's Dave Odom put the lanky teenager on the map. By the time he retires, he'll go down as one of the greatest power forwards in the history of the league.
No. 7 Marion Jones
Before the steroid talk tarnished her legacy, Jones was a multi-sport star at North Carolina. She started on the Tar Heels' 1994 national championship basketball team before quitting to focus on track. The five Olympic medals she won in Sydney were eventually stripped, though she did return to basketball in 2010, playing 33 games with the WNBA's Tulsa Shock.
No. 6 Allen Iverson
As a high school junior, Iverson was named the top basketball and football player in Virginia. He lead Bethel High to state titles in both sports, accounting for 34 touchdowns on the field and 31.6 points per game on the court. You get the feeling that Iverson could have excelled in any sport he tried.
No. 5 Jackie Robinson
Before he became more famous for baseball (and even more famous for his role in the civil rights movement), Jackie Robinson was a multi-talented athlete at UCLA. He was the first athlete in school history to win letters in four sports: Baseball, basketball, football and track. Ironically, baseball was probably his worst at the time. He batted .097 in his one year with the Bruins.
No. 4 Deion Sanders
Neon Deion is still the only man to ever play in both the World Series and Super Bowl. With his characteristic panache, he once played in an NLCS game on Saturday night, an Atlanta Falcons game on Sunday afternoon and then jetted back to Pittsburgh for another NLCS game on the same day. (He didn't see any action in the last game.)
No. 3 Jim Brown
His exploits on the football field are well-known, as Brown is widely considered one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL. But he was equally as dominant in another sport: At Syracuse, Brown was regarded as the top lacrosse player in the NCAA. He's in each game's Hall of Fame.
No. 2 Bo Jackson
Bo knew sports. He was the first two-way star to be named an All-Star in two major sports, making the MLB All-Star team in 1989 and the NFL's Pro Bowl in 1990. Jackson was the No. 1 pick out of Auburn after winning the 1985 Heisman Trophy but famously spurned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in favor of a baseball career with the Kansas City Royals. He later signed with the NFL's Oakland Raiders. A 1990 hip injury derailed both careers, but those who saw him in his prime say he was one of the most explosive talents in generations.
No. 1 Jim Thorpe
"Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world," King Gustav V of Sweden said to Jim Thorpe at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. Thorpe had just dazzled the crowd with golds in both the pentathlon and decathlon, setting a world record in the latter that would stand for another two decades. Thorpe also excelled in baseball and basketball, but stood out on the football field, where he was named a two-time All-American at Carlisle and made a lasting impression on future president Dwight Eisenhower, who faced Thorpe while captaining Army's team. "He never practiced in his life, and he could do anything better than any other football player I ever saw," Eisenhower would recount years later.
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