13 Athletes who Scare Other Athletes
Even the top players fear some of the competition in their game.
By: Patrick Snow | 10/31/12, 6:30 AM EDT
We love to watch the fearless nature that many of our favorite sports stars exude in their respective games. But even professional stars have to feel a little scared of their competition from time to time, right? To celebrate Halloween, Athlon Sports asked hundreds of pro athletes, "Which athlete scares you the most?" Here are our favorite responses.
“I would say probably Jon Runyan (the former Eagles tackle) because I was a rookie and he was a big guy. He had these bear claws and he would grab the s—t out of you. I remember one play he literally just reached out and grabbed me and held me for the entire play. I struggled and I looked over at the ref and he said ‘You’re not going to get that call rookie.’ I said ‘Oh, so I’m playing against both of you?’ So it was Runyan.”
—Mathias Kiwanuka, New York Giants
“I think my first at-bat against Brian Wilson, it kind of took me a minute to stare back at him with the beard and everything. He looked intimidating, but I think after facing him a couple times, I was like, 'Alright, it ain't anything. Another pitcher.’”
—Eric Young, Rockies
“Dale Earnhardt. It was scary the first time I met him — he really was intimidating on and off the track.”
—Matt Kenseth, NASCAR
“Aroldis Chapman as far as pitching goes. When I first faced him I didn’t know if he knew exactly where it was going. Now, he’s got pretty damn good control. But anytime you’re facing lefty on lefty who throws 100-plus miles per hour, it’s not a comfortable at-bat. That would be mine. And the other one would be … Scott Rolen. Scott Rolen would fit that category of guys barreling in on me (at second base on the double play). I never like to see Rolen at first and a chopper to shortstop. That doesn’t sit with me very well.”
—Skip Schumaker, St. Louis Cardinals
I would say DeMarcus Ware, coming off the edge and I’m having to block him. He’s just such a strong presence it’s hard to sit there and take a bull (rush) from him, but at the same time I don’t want to get juked out by him… He totally ran me over. Bad. Embarrassed me. When I was with the Eagles. It was embarrassing. He got me good.”
—Owen Schmitt, Oakland Raiders
“LSU had this guy named Herman Johnson. He was 6-9 or 6-10 [6-7, 360 actually]. He was huge. My coach harped all week on how big he was. It was like the second or third play and they ran an iso to me, and he came up and I wanted to hit him in the mouth, but it went the other way. He hit me in the mouth. That's probably the scariest guy I've ever played against.”
—Craig Robertson, Cleveland Browns
“Mario Lemieux was the scariest in terms of what he could do on the ice. I remember playing against Brian McGrattan when he had a three-foot Mohawk dyed red and his eyes were bulging out of his head and scratching himself at the blue line. What a freak. It’s two different types of scary.”
—Hal Gill, Nashville Predators
“I’m not scared of anybody.”
—Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
“Randy Johnson. I guess you got to overcome that fear to hit against him. I loved the challenge; I really did. I got some hits off him. At that time, he was the best pitcher in the game and arguably with what he was doing at that period of time one of the best of all-time. But it was fun. If you wanted to really challenge yourself, step in there being left-on-left was what you wanted to do. Him being 6-10, it looked like the ball was being released right in front of you. And he kind of sidearmed a little bit. He was just wild enough, too, to make you nervous. And he threw hard, that was the thing that made him tough.”
—Jason Giambi, Colorado Rockies
“Dwight Freeney, back when I was in Jacksonville, like if it was a third-down and long situation. He’ll get you on your toes…. He had every move you could do. He had just everything. A lot of guys have two or three moves. He pretty much has seven or eight. So that’s what makes him so good…. He’s strong, too.”
—Khalif Barnes, Oakland Raiders
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