The 5 Booziest Athletes in History

These heavy-hitters like to hit the ball, then hit the bottle.

When Harry Caray’s diary was recently made public, it was revealed to the world that the legendary Chicago broadcaster was a big fan of knocking a few back. So much so that at one point, he spent 288 consecutive days going to the bar. But at least he had great company—the time was spent with names like Wilt Chamberlain and Jack Benny. The glitz and gluggery of professional sports is not restricted to those off the field though; there is an impressive list of athletes who are known to let loose with a drink now and again (mostly now).

John Daly

This hard-driving golfer hasn’t just made hard-partying a habit, he’s also made it his brand. In the Big Show, the nickname “Wild Thing” must be earned, and Daly has certainly put in the work. He dabbled briefly in the wine business, but his booziest hour came when he spent the night in the drunk tank after cops encountered him taking a snooze outside of a Winston-Salem Hooters. Daly reportedly hung up his drinking pants after the incident, but refused to hang up the attitude (and also these insane pants).

Joe Namath

Broadway Joe lived the party life as much as any other athlete in history. Rarely was he seen without a drink in one hand (and a woman in the other, sometimes two). He even opened up a bar and somehow refrained from drinking them out of business. And if you’re wondering whether spending time out of the spotlight curbed Namath’s hard partying ways, well, you probably know better.

Alex Ovechkin

There are certainly more shocking things in the world than a Russian who likes to drink, but Ovechkin is a one-man vodka fountain. There were reports early in his career that the hockey player may have been drunk during an autograph signing at Wayne Gretzky’s restaurant, but the “may have” part was scraped away as Ovechkin’s offseason activities became a matter of public record. Though it’s not like the Great One is any stranger to the sauce himself

Wade Boggs

The first-ballot hall-of-famer third baseman was no stranger to success, making the All-Star game for 12 straight years. He was apparently quite accomplished at downing cold ones, as well. According to baseball lore, Boggs could down anywhere from 50-64 Miller Lites on a single cross-country road trip. And it didn’t seem to affect his performance at all, although to be fair, baseball is the laziest of all the sports. Well, at least it helps to explain this situation a little bit.

Johnny Manziel

Whether he’s trolling people on Twitter, or trolling people across town at a frat party at rival school UT, Manziel has made it clear that he has little to no regard for what the public thinks. After drawing criticism for partying before the Browns camp, he went out and performed well enough to earn himself a drunken ride on an inflatable swan. It’s clear that Johnny Football is going to do him for as long as he pleases – and frankly, we’re OK with that.

Photos by AP