Entertainment, MLB

Madison Bumgarner and other athlete alter egos to look out for

Madison Bumgarner’s secret identity as a competitive cattle roper was revealed earlier this week, which begs the question: Are there other athletes living secret lives that we don’t know about?

Madison Bumgarner’s secret was spilled to the wider world on Sunday, when The Athletic published a somewhat surprising story about the recently signed Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher being a champion cattle roper. Bumgarner used an alias to compete in the events, professionally competing as “Mason Saunders.”

With the ink still drying on his new $85 million contract, it’s evident MadBum is a competition cattle roper for fun, not for the money. To most of us, tens of thousands of dollars for a few minutes of competition would be a dream, but for Bumgarner, it’s about the love of the sport. It is, at best, a fun, modest side hustle (relatable).

Diamondbacks fans need not worry. General Manager Mike Hazen claimed to local media that he was unaware of Bumgarner’s secret life, but that the information wouldn’t have played a role in their decision to sign him. Hazen added he expects they’ll “have conversations with him at various points in time… but the majority of our conversations have been centered around being ready to pitch this week.”

What a fun story! In 2020, it’s nearly impossible to get away with a secret identity, let alone as a professional athlete. If a high-profile athlete like Bumgarner has been doing this his entire career, who else might be living another life as an alias?

None of these are confirmed, but here are our best guesses…

Robin Lopez as Birdman, the WWE superstar

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 24: Robin Lopez #42 of the Milwaukee Bucks celebrates a three-pointer against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on February 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

This one is too obvious to leave off the list. Milwaukee Bucks center Robin Lopez has been perfecting his wrestling moves on teammates and mascots alike for as long as we can remember. Honestly, he’s actually pretty good.

It helps that Lopez looks like an over-sized human Muppet. His tall lanky figure, Sideshow Bob hair and vendetta against opposing mascots make him a lovable villain to basketball fans everywhere. If you told me he was already dominating the backyard wrestling scene, I would believe you.

Lopez has a legitimate shot to make this into a fun post-NBA career if he keeps building his brand this way. It would be even better if there were some sort of mascot royal rumble that Lopez could dominate.

His in-the-ring alias could be Birdman because he looks like a bird and his name is Robin. Get it?

Myles Garrett as Sir Milos the Skull Crusher

CLEVELAND, OHIO – NOVEMBER 14: Quarterback Mason Rudolph #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers fights with defensive end Myles Garrett #95 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 14, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Steelers 21-7. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

We can’t say for sure that Myles Garrett isn’t a world-class LARPer. That’s Live Action Role Playing for all of you nerds out there who haven’t risked your lives in a medieval battle for the ages. Replace Mason Rudolph’s helmet with a sword and this guy is a natural Ser Gregor Clegane.

Myles Garrett actually made a cameo on the 2008 hit movie Role Models, which featured Paul Rudd and Stifler Seann William Scott getting into a bit of LARPing. No. I’m kidding. He absolutely did not cameo in this movie. He was only 13 years old when the movie came out. That would have been wild though, right?

Steven Adams as Aquaman

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – SEPTEMBER 24: Steven Adams #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder poses for a photo during media day at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on September 24, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Okay, yeah. The Adams/Jason Momoa comparisons are played out. Long-haired jacked guys with cool tattoos always look awesome though, even playing a role as lame as Aquaman.

Kevin Love as “Dave… or maybe Dale?” from your men’s league

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – DECEMBER 28: Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrates after John Beilein (not pictured) called for a challenge against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter of the game at Target Center on December 28, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Cavaliers defeated the Timberwolves 94-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

We all know this guy, right? The six-foot-something white guy who had a decent basketball career. More recently, he’s been holding on to his dream while playing for a trash team in a less-than-desirable place. He isn’t in the best shape but definitely isn’t in the worst shape either. He’s tall, but looooves to jack threes. You constantly have to remind him that he’d score 30 a game if he played down low again. “Just get in the post, man! You have at least six inches on everyone here!”

As it turns out, you’ve been playing ball with Kevin Love! He hates the Cleveland Cavaliers and is trying his best to get as many runs in as possible away from the wasteland that is the post-LeBron Cavs. Say hi to Kevin next Monday night. Maybe take him out for a beer after. Work has been frustrating lately.

Mathew Barzal and Sean Monahan as movie stars

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 25: Gritty of the Philadelphia Flyers and Matthew Barzal of the New York Islanders walk the Red Carpet at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game on January 25, 2019 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JUNE 19: Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames arrives at the 2019 NHL Awards at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sure, these two have absolutely no acting chops whatsoever, but NHL stars Mat Barzal and Sean Monahan are too damn good looking to be hidden under a hockey bucket their whole lives. This is why if they want to, they could be taking on numerous important roles such as “unnamed handsome guy” and “good looking man” in movies as a side gig.

Look at this guy! You don’t need to know how to act when you look this good, just ask Mark Wahlberg, early 2000’s Tara Reid or literally anyone from the Twilight series.

Come get your mans, New York! With hair and a smile like that, he’s definitely already been penciled into a few movie roles. Don’t be surprised when Barzal has his Madison Bumgarner moment in an upcoming Athletic column about how he loves moonlighting as a Hollywood extra in 1970’s gangster films.

Speaking of hockey players, Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon actually have a few off-season alter egos working as Tim Horton’s drive through employees.

Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal as “Pitch Perfect”

SURPRISE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 20: Trevor Rosenthal #40 of the Kansas City Royals poses during Kansas City Royals Photo Day on February 20, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

JUPITER, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 19: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a photo on Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Or “Song of a Pitch” if we can’t get the rights to Pitch Perfect because of the movie series. Either way, these two pitchers can belt out songs for your wedding, local event or perhaps more suitable to their skill set, children’s parties.

Yikes. Okay, so it might take a little time warming up in the bullpen before these two find their range. It’s okay, though. Not everyone can be as talented at their side hustle as Bumgarner is.

Zion Williamson as a Monday Night Football broadcaster

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 24: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up prior to the start of a NBA game against the Denver Nuggets at Smoothie King Center on January 24, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Nah, we aren’t going to go there. That’s mean! There’s no way Booger is pushing 300 lbs

There are probably hundreds of athletes with legitimate hidden talents. What if Michael Jordan was an expert gambler, or if Trevor Bauer was a talented drone pilot? Maybe Greg Norman owns a landscaping business. You never know what these guys are up to in their spare time.

We should celebrate Bumgarner’s story. Here’s a very talented athlete who, like many of us, has a hobby. If nothing else, D-backs fans should be happy that he’s riding a horse instead of a dirt bike.

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