Dancing with the stars is rolling into its twelfth season and is still rolling strong. This season will feature three big names in sports entertainment: Sugar Ray Leonard, Hines Ward, and Chris Jericho. In the past, Dancing with the Stars have featured numerous sports stars and gave audiences a chance to look at these athletes from a perspective outside of their zone. In these rare glimpses, we got to understand that athletes are people too.
Former multi-time boxing champion and boxing hall of famer, Sugar Ray Leonard, will be hanging up the gloves and putting on a shirt as he heads onto the national ballroom stage. In this competition, the former Olympic gold medalist will not be trying to knock someone around, but he be knocked around with them.
Sugar Ray will be joined by the longest tenured wide receiver on the current Pittsburg Steelers roster, Hines Ward. Ward was drafted to the Steelers in 1998 and helped the team screw over Seattle in the Superbowl seven years later. Although still an active member of the team, Hines will be skipping out his daily training regimen of hitting sacks and running laps to practice his foxtrot, salsa, waltz, and swing to prepare for the competition.
The very first undisputed WWF champion, Chris Jericho, will join them. Who is also known as the man of 1004 holds. Chris Jericho has experience in the show business and music business; being the lead of a rock band, Fozzy, and appearing on numerous shows such as Celebrity Deuts and Downfall. The Canadian native will “break down the walls” and show us why dance entertainment will “never be the same, again!”
Dancing with the stars is a great place to large egos to amass. Throughout the show’s tenure, there have been very little Simon moments or Tyra moments. Viewers have complained that Simon Cowell made a couple seasons of American Idol “all about him.” And of course, Tyra Banks has definitely made America’s Next Top Model all about Tyra. But with characters who have equal amounts of push and pull, there will be little time for an alpha male or female personality to develop among the competitors.
Past athlete competitors include Maurice Greene, Misty May-Treanor, Warren Sapp, Monica Seles, Jason Taylor, Kristi Yamaguchi, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Helio Castroneves, Clyde Drexler, Laila Ali, Apolo Anton Ohno, Emmitt Smith, Kenny Mayne, Master P, Stacey Keibler, Jerry Rice, Evander Holyfield, Shawn Johnson, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, Louie Vito, Natalie Coughlin, Evan Lysacek, and Chad Ochocinco.
Jericho, Ward, and Leonard are not the first wrestler, football player, or boxer to be dancing with the stars. Athletes have done very well on the show, bringing both charisma and innovation the dance stage.
The question remains as to who will be joining the leagues of athletes who will be dancing in the future. So far, Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady are just a few names that have initially rejected being on the show due to scheduling conflicts. Then again, in the world of sports entertainment, you can never say never. Perhaps one day we will even see a dancing Dwayne Johnson.