Hip to be square: The nerdiest athletes in sports

4:07 | Extra Mustard
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Friday October 10th, 2014

Do the terms "jock" and "nerd" have to be mutually exclusive? While the two powerful identifications lie on complete opposite ends of the spectrum of social stereotypes, there are plenty of athletes who are as good at LARPing as they are at offensive tackles. Here are 9 athletes who might have to shove themselves in their own lockers. 

  • 1-2
    1-2Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell
    The electric Nebraska football duo of Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell are always prepared for gamedays, but they’re also prepared for a much bigger phenomenon: zombie apocalypse. Abdullah, a Heisman contender told Sports Illustrated earlier this month that the two routinely discuss specific battle plans in the event that zombies invade Lincoln, even claiming that they stock supplies such as Gatorade and water in order to be fully prepared.

  • 3
    3Jimmy Walker
    Professional golfer Jimmy Walker was practically unknown until three early 2014 PGA Tour wins thrust him into the national conversation. The former Baylor golfer has been a professional player since 2001, but he’s been enamored with astrophotography his entire life. That fascination with astronomy and photography was given a steroid-like jolt when his wife, Erin, bought him a fancy new telescope a few years ago.

  • 4
    4Ross Ohlendorf
    Ross Ohlendorf is not a household name, but he might be a farmstead name. The now-minor league journeyman pitcher has appeared in 124 ballgames, with 80 starts, over seven big league seasons with four clubs and is better known for being a huge off-the-field overachiever. The agriculture-obsessed Princeton grad has spent off-seasons as a volunteer intern in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and completing various individual research projects.

  • 5
    5Wayne Bridge
    Recently-retired soccer player Wayne Bridge is infatuated with Star Wars. The Southampton, England native who spent most of his career with Southampton, Chelsea and Manchester City, has his very own legit stormtrooper costume that he routinely dons around the house. Bridge, who is pictured here at a Call of Duty launch party, makes it very clear that he is not a stormtrooper, but instead Luke Skywalker temporarily wearing a stormtrooper suit.

  • 6
    6Tim Duncan
    Everyone knows Tim Duncan is a nerd and the future Hall of Famer loves it. From his passion for Dungeons & Dragons, Renaissance fairs and video games to nerdy tattoos and a resume that includes co-authoring a psychology textbook chapter, the Spurs big man is the definition of successful athletic nerd.

  • 7-8
    7-8Brook & Robin Lopez
    Like Duncan, these two NBA big men are well-documented dorks. Robin was an active member of the theatre program at Stanford and thinks wizards are the coolest thing since the beginning of time. The Lopez brothers’ comic book-loving geek brains almost exploded earlier this year when Portland ComicCon contacted them to participate in the 2014 festival.

  • 9
    9Georges st pierre
    One of the burliest MMA fighters in the world rounds out our list, proving that sometimes nerds are the ones beating people up. You know how most of us outgrew dinosaurs around the age of 12? Georges St Pierre never did. In an interview with ESPN, he said, "I watch the Canadian version of the Discovery Channel. Ask me a question about the Jurassic period or the Cretaceous period and I probably could answer it... Seriously, I'm into paleontology... That's why I have a hard time finding a girlfriend. I need someone to talk science with."
    Georges, if you're serious, I can put you in touch with our Extra Mustard editor:

Andrew Doughty is a writer for Next Impulse Sports

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