No one's saying that drinking, smoking or drugs does an athlete any good, but it sure makes explaining their antics a whole lot easier...
Bill "Spaceman" Lee
Pitcher Bill Lee earned his nickname the Spaceman not because of his lefty environmental politics, or his endorsement of yoga, but for his rampant drug use. Apparently, he regularly sprinkled pot on his pre-game organic pancakes for good luck. Of course, the drugs made him do some strange things. Supposedly during one game, Lee was so out of it that he called the ump to the mound, and asked him, "Can you do anything about those trees over in center field?"
Among the many things Lee's done since retiring, one of them was running for president in 1988. He campaigned with the slogan "No guns. No butter. Both can kill," but failed to appear on the ballot in any state.
Supposedly, pitcher Dock Ellis never played a major league game sober. On May 1, 1974, for instance, Ellis attempted to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds' lineup. In the first inning alone, he pelted Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Dreisen. Tony Perez dodged four pitches and walked, but after Johnny Bench was nearly beaned twice, Ellis was removed from the game. By far, Ellis' oddest accomplishment though was on June 12, 1970, when (per his autobiography) he became the only major league player ever to pitch a complete game no-hitter while tripping on acid.
The man with the funniest name in racing was infamous for drilling holes into his safety helmet so he didn't have to stop for cigarette breaks while racing. Instead he simply smoked through his altered headgear. Dick's also famous for having cigarette lighters installed into all of his cars, so he never had to ask his pit crew for a light.
Barret Robbins and his less than Super Bowl
In one of the most infamous pre-game blunders of all time, the former All-Pro center stunned his team (and thrilled bookies) when he went AWOL two days before Super Bowl XXXVII. Apparently, the quest for cheaper alcohol led the depressed Raider all the way to Tijuana, where a sloppy night landed him in a Mexican hospital.
According to Taylor, the football All-Star was turned onto cocaine as a NFL rookie, and within three years he was nose deep in crack. "I'd go through an ounce a day. And at times I'd be standing in the huddle. And instead of thinking what defense we were playing I'd be thinking about smoking crack after the game." Of course, LT countered the effect of drugs with a special tactic: sending hookers with special instructions to wear out his opponents the night before a game. Said Taylor, "Every time they [opposing players] sit there and tell you, "˜Oh, we gotta get some sleep,' that's when the party really starts."