1. "It was all politics"
You think our country is a political nightmare? You should have seen this guy's high school. The athletic department was rife with "politics." And because of these vague "politics," this guy didn't get the playing time he deserved. Why would any coach keep a superstar athlete who could make his team win off the field? "Politics, man. Politics." Oh.
Where he is now: Getting passed over for promotions at work because of "office politics, man. Office politics."
2. "My coach was an idiot"
How incompetent was this head coach? He made the second-coming of Michael Jordan into a career backup who averaged 3.4 points a game as a senior. That is truly some poor coaching.
Where he is now: Working for an idiot boss.
3. "If it wasn't for my injury, things would have been different"
Bo Jackson, Sandy Koufax, this guy: amazing athletes who had their careers cut short due to injury. If it wasn't for the sprained ankle he suffered in 7th grade football, pretty much every sports record in history would be owned by this tragic figure.
Where he is now: Riding around in a Jazzy Power Chair because he weighs 500 pounds/his back went out.
4. "I didn't play in the right system"
It's not that this guy's coach was necessarily an idiot, it's just that the system the coach ran didn't allow this guy's talents to shine through to catch the attention of college and pro scouts. But if he had played somewhere else that didn't put so much emphasis on blocking, tackling, catching, running, throwing the ball accurately and play execution and instead focused more on his unique skill set, he would be in the pros right now.
Where he is now: Living with his parents until the perfect job comes along.
5. "I was a late bloomer"
Life is all about timing, right? And this guy just missed out on a body that would have allowed him to dominate high school sports. While he was a weak, gangly high school senior at age 17, by age 28 he completely filled out and put some muscle on. Give him his 28 year-old body at age 17? Whoooo boy. The sky was the limit.
Where he is now: Beating the hell out of his 5 year-old son in Nerf basketball.
6. "I never got any breaks"
This guy never once scored a goal. But if that one shot he took twists that way a bit or knuckles or bounces? It totally would have gotten past the goalie. After that anything could have happened. The first one is the hardest. And remember that time he scored a goal in a scrimmage? Why were there no college scouts at that scrimmage? Bad luck. Bad luck is why.
Where he is now: Standing in line to buy Powerball tickets with a sad look on his face.
7. "I wasn't selfish enough to stand out"
He could have stood out as an athletic superstar … if he wanted to. But he's not the kind of guy to hog the ball. No, he just wanted to win. So while he could have averaged a triple double, he instead put up 5, 3 and 2 because that is what his team needed.
Where he is now: Who knows. No one has heard anything about him since high school.
8. "I played the wrong sport"
This guy tried to play a lot of different sports and was mediocre at all of them. But years after high school he had an epiphany! "If only I had played _________, I would have gone pro!" Hockey, lacrosse, curling. Something. He just knows there is some sport out there that he would have dominated if only he had played it as a kid. A life wasted.
Where he is now: Cheating on his wife.
9. "I had other interests"
He could have been a star athlete, he just had more on his plate than your average jock. He also cared about getting decent grades and didn't see sports as life and death. He was a Renaissance Man, you see. But if he wasn't so enlightened? Sports would have been a breeze.
Where he is now: Pursuing such diverse interests as fantasy football, fantasy baseball, rec league basketball and sports video games.
10. "Bad genes"
If only this guy was born with a body that was different in every possible way — from size and strength to speed and durability — he would have been a really good athlete.
Where he is now: Probably reading this article.