Print Edition: January 25, 2012
Welcome to the first installment of a series we are calling What ever happened to…? We will take you back to the glory days of years gone by, highlighting the (some times humourous) decline of famous athletes.
1. Mike Danton
Who is Mike Danton, you ask. Danton was a rising star in the NHL until his brilliant career was cut short. Okay, well he wasn’t exactly a rising star, nor were his numbers brilliant. Danton played 87 games in the league with the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues, recording nine goals and five assists between 2000-2004. His career was infamously cut short when he was arrested for hiring a hit-man to take out his agent, David Frost. Apparently he felt he was not being represented well, or it could have been a case of a broken heart. Rumours abounded that the two were romantically involved after Danton telephoned Frost a week after his arrest, and Frost insisted that Danton end the conversation by saying “I love you” – the case thickens! Either way, Danton spent the next seven and a half years in jail. Alas, all’s well that ends well; following his release from the slammer, Danton went on to play hockey at the college level and now plays in Sweden. Just this past October, Danton was able to come to the aid of a teammate who was suffering convulsions following a hit. Writing about it on his blog, Danton stated that “One of the luxuries of my prison experience afforded me to take a first aid course and become certified in first aid response…As his eyes continued to roll into the back of his head, his mouth finally opened a bit. It was at that time that I jammed my fingers into his mouth and clawed his tongue.”
At seven-foot-one and 325-pounds, Shaquille O’Neal is a giant on and off the basketball court. In his heyday, Shaq was the face of the NBA. Those days are gone, as O’Neal retired after an unfortunate 2010-2011 season with the Boston Celtics, which saw him sidelined by numerous injuries. Age simply caught up with Shaq. Looking back on his career, it is hard to be really all that impressed. For him to dunk, it was about the equivalent of me dunking a tennis ball on a seven foot net. The man is just huge. He pretty much had to hop a couple inches to hit the rim. Anyways, Shaq has been keeping busy since his retirement and it looks though he has a number of career opportunities open to him. He could release a sophomore rap album—following his 1993 debut album Shaq Diesel. Or he could continue on with his acting career (my personal opinion is that this is his best option). I’m sure that many would be receptive to Kazaam II—a sequel to the 1996 film staring O’Neal as a wish-granting genie who resides in a magic boombox. That said, Shaq has plenty of experience working in music videos—guest staring in P. Diddy’s “Bad Boys 4 Life” and Aaron Carters “That’s How I Beat Shaq.” The possibilities are really endless for Shaq, unfortunately for us, however, it appears that he will be going into the real estate business and continuing on with his work as a reserve law enforcement officer.