The All-Athlete (minus football players) Gridiron Team, LeBron James football, Allen Iverson football

The All-Athlete (minus football players) Gridiron Team

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Am I the only one who’ll watch an NBA or MLB game and wonder if those athletes could play another sport? What would Shaq look like in helmet and pads? Would Joel Zumaya be the perfect quarterback since he throws 103 MPH?

I’ve decided to put together a football team constructed purely of athletes in sports other than the NFL or college football. (How much fun would it be to construct a football team made of all football players? Not much fun, that’s how much fun.)

Players from the NBA and MLB make up most of the squad, although there is a surprise or two at some positions. After contacting several sponsors, the only business that showed its support was Crystal Light, so the team name is Raspberry Ice. It obviously wasn’t my first choice, but Under Armor, Nike and Reebok never returned my calls. Shamefully, T-Mobile didn’t either. The team salary is estimated to be around $270 million, which is roughly $150 million over the NFL’s cap, but cuts are sure to take place before training camp opens.

Please allow me to introduce the first-ever All-Athlete (minus football players) Gridiron Team, better known as team Crystal Light Raspberry Ice.


Derek JeterQB: Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees
This was by far the toughest position to fill, because the quarterback is often the face of the franchise. Who better to represent team Raspberry Ice than the Yankee captain? He’s personable, camera-friendly and someone you want in your locker room. Arm strength, pocket awareness and learning to read defenses can all be learned on the fly – being a superstar cannot be taught.

RB: LeBron James, F, Cleveland Cavaliers
Tony Parker got some consideration for running back based on how swift and agile he is, but LeBron is built like a Mack truck and he’s fast enough to carry the rock. Durability might be a concern since he’s not used to taking a consistent beating, but you have to love his age and potential. Maybe Parker will be the change of pace back, but for now, James should get the ball at least 20 to 25 times a game.

FB: Kevin Youkilis, 1B, Boston Red Sox
Youkilis looks like he would stab somebody at any time and quite frankly, that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a fullback.

WR1: Kobe Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
Tell me Kobe wouldn’t be the perfect wide receiver. He’s a fantastic athlete, has great size and he has a little prima donna in him. We’ll just have to keep an eye on him when the team travels to Denver to take on the Broncos. (Oh whatever – you know that’s funny.)

WR2: Kevin Garnett, F, Boston Celtics
Raspberry Ice is going to have a serious size advantage on the outside. KG is the perfect complement to Bryant, plus comes with less baggage and attitude so, hey, good news.

Yao MingTE: Yao Ming, C, Houston Rockets
Who the hell is going to defend a 7-foot-6 tight end? He’s the perfect red zone target.

OT: Robert “Tractor” Traylor, Former NBA Player
He was a bust on the hardwood, but Tractor’s career will be reborn on the gridiron. Defensive ends will have a tough time getting past this 6-foot-8, 284-pound behemoth. He’ll have to put more weight on before the start of the regular season, but I’ve got a feeling he’s going to protect Jeter’s blindside for years to come.

OG: Prince Fielder, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
Fielder is short but stout and would be great at the point of attack. He could get under defensive linemen’s pads and has enough power to get them on their heels. He’s still young too, so he’s got plenty of time to develop.

C: Roy Jones Jr. Professional Boxer
Jones might not have the smarts to play center, but throw him a couple mil and he’s liable to do anything. At least he’ll get good leverage and his punching ability will allow him to quickly get his hands on defensive tackles.

OG: David Ortiz, DH, Boston Red Sox
He’s a little tall for the guard position, but he could always swing to tackle if O’Neal falls victim to injuries (which you know he will). Age is a concern, but having a player nicknamed “Big Papi” on the offensive line just makes you feel good about life.

OT: Shaquille O’Neal, C, Phoenix Suns
Age and injuries are definitely a concern, but how could you not love running behind a 7-foot-1, 325-pound giant? Defenders won’t even be able to see LeBron when we run behind Shaq’s backside.


Ben WallaceDE: Ben Wallace, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Big Ben would engulf quarterbacks once he got past the offensive tackle. His long arms are perfect for using the swim technique and there’s no halfback that’s going to man up if Wallace gets loose in the backfield.

DT: George Forman, Former Professional Boxer
He can take on multiple defenders, plug up running lanes and offer a healthy grilling experience for pre- and post-game meals.

DT: Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago Cubs
There’s no doubt Zambrano would love to mix it up with some offensive guards. He’ll need to put on some weight (he’s only 255 pounds), but at 6’5” he’ll scare the bejesus out of any opponent.

DE: Albert Pujols, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals
There’s nothing Pujols can’t do on a baseball diamond, so why not challenge him to become a great pass-rusher? He’s got good size at 6-3, although he’s liable to get pushed around a little at only 230 pounds. He’ll also have to prove his shoulder can withstand the physical pounding. Rasheed Wallace would get a long look at this position, too.

OLB: Unknown Cincinnati Bengals’ security usher
Let’s just call this guy “Stone Wall” because obviously nothing is getting past him. Stone Wall will play the strong-side linebacker position, because clearly he has a knack for stopping the run. Just based on the video, it’s too early to tell if SW can play in coverage, but he could come off the field in obvious passing situations if need be. Look at that form.

MLB: Kyle Farnsworth, RP, New York Yankees
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Farnsworth is perfect in the middle of the defense. He’s got the size, attitude and has demonstrated perfect technique when taking down opponents in the past.

OLB: Michael Barrett, C, San Diego Padres
Any player that punches A.J. Pierzynski in the face will always have a spot on Raspberry Ice.

CB: Allen Iverson, G, Denver Nuggets
A.I. is quick, tough as nails and has the attitude to bounce back if he gets beat. We’ll just have to build a clause into his contract that says the media can’t question him if he misses practice. I mean we’re talking about practice, man…practice.

CB: Bruce Bowen, F, San Antonio Spurs
I don’t even know if Bowen is fast, but the guy always figures out ways to stick to opponents like crazy glue. And here’s the thing: if he gets beat one time, I have complete confidence that he’ll trip, kick or bite the receiver so that it never happens again. (He has a knack for not getting caught too, so no need to worry about penalty flags.)

FS: Chris Paul, G, New Orleans Hornets
Works well in space, is young and has good wheels. But does he have the toughness? He’ll face stiff competition in camp from veterans like Steve Nash, Jason Kidd and Chauncey Billups.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.SS: Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR Driver
He races 3,400-pound cars 200 miles per hour around racetracks – I’m sure he could play in the box and cover backs in the flat. It’s like basically the same thing.


K/P: David Beckham, Soccer Player
Even if he sucks, at least High Maintenance Spice will probably wear something short and black to all the games.


Head Coach: Bobby Knight, Former college basketball coach
With all the various egos on this squad, Raspberry Ice needs a coach to keep everyone in line. Who better than the fiery Knight? If he doesn’t wrap his hands around either Kobe Bryant or Allen Iverson by October, I’ll be shocked.

Strength and conditioning coaches: Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens
Physically, these two will make sure this team is ready to take the field in August…and at any cost.

As of right now, I truly believe this team could beat the Miami Dolphins.

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