Sports season is well underway and as the athletes keep themselves warm by running the gambit we thought we’d warm your tender little hearts with these awesomely awkward high school photos of some of our favorite competitive warriors.
Before becoming a household name, and expert product endorser, Blake Griffin was your slightly-above-average awkward teenager.
Griffin was selected first overall by the Las Angeles Clippers in the 2009 NBA draft, and has since been a five-time NBA All-Star and a four-time All-NBA selection. In 2011, Sports Illustrated called him one of the NBA’s 15 Greatest Rookies of all time and he has been an All-Star every season he has played, helping make the Clippers perennial playoff contenders.
Besides, who doesn’t love those freckles?
Before deflate-gate there were championship rings. Before the rings was a hopeful, budding young poet.
Nicknamed Tom Terrific, Brady is considered among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times. Brady is also the only quarterback to lead his team to six Super Bowls, and holds the record for the most total Super Bowl touchdown passes.
He also has something against firm balls (sorry, I had to).
Gronk. Gronk! Grooooooooonk. It’s just fun to say.
Tight end for the New England Patriots, “Gronk” was drafted with the 42nd pick in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft and in 2011 he set the single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end with 17 receiving touchdowns, as well as the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end, with 1,327 yards.
Has there ever been a more perfect marriage of face and nickname?
An image of that time Favre had to mull-it over. Sure his NFL career would be short in the front, but it would also be long in the back.
I will admit that I’m not much of a sports fan, but Brett Favre is a living legend. A 20-year veteran of the NFL, having played quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), Green Bay Packers (1992–2007), New York Jets (2008), and Minnesota Vikings (2009–2010), Favre was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, over 6,000 completions, and over 10,000 pass attempts.
He holds many NFL records, including most career pass completions, most career pass attempts, most career interceptions thrown, most consecutive starts by a player, most career victories as a starting quarterback, most sacked and most fumbles.
Who wouldn’t be considered a badass with a nickname like “The Gunslinger.”
You don’t become a national icon and take part in one of the sports most controversial scandals without roughing a few eggs… and being featured on our list twice.
On May 6, 2015, the NFL published a 243-page report regarding the deflation of footballs used in the AFC Championship game. Tom Brady was considered to have at least some substantial knowledge of the deflating practices with the red flag being when he purportedly destroyed his personal cell phone in the supposed attempt to destroy evidence. Is he a cheater? Probably. Is that the cause for his success? No one except Tom Brady himself can answer that, although the theories are abundant.
The photo is a little blurry, but the revelry is clear for miles.
The current quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Sanchez’s career has been a roller coaster ride of intense highs and lows. He led the New York Jets to the playoffs and the team’s second consecutive AFC Championship Game where they narrowly lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 24–19, as well as tying four other quarterbacks for the second most post-season road victories by a quarterback in NFL history.
In leading the Jets to two consecutive conference championships, Sanchez joined quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the only two quarterbacks in NFL history to reach the conference championship in their first two seasons in the league
The moral of the story: high school was rough on even some of the most beautiful and respected people we now collectively admire, or in some cases despise (you know who you are), but even the adversity experienced during those dark days (damn you Jessie Bouche!) does not necessarily prevent one from growing into something amazing. Just remember to save your own awkward scholastic photos for when you become famous.