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Original Issue

The 8 Debate

Mr. T's Greatest Athletic Feats

"Sports give you the chance to be the best, the chance to win and be somebody," Mr. T wrote in his 1984 autobiography, The Man with the Gold. In that spirit we present the greatest athletic achievements of the man who popped back into the national sporting consciousness last week by making a shot from center ice during a second-intermission promotion at a Blackhawks game.

8 Pummeling Super Dave Osborne1980s

The comic-stuntman tried to prove his courage by taunting T after he finished hitting the heavy bag—"Where do you get your hair cut, in a pet shop?"—which led to a savage beatdown. What it lacked in verisimilitude, it more than made up for in hilarity.

7 First pitch at Cubs game2009

Who would have thought Mr. T was a soft-throwing lefty, more Tommy John than Tommy Hearns? Luckily, his Zubaz pants distracted onlookers from his somewhat shaky form.

6 Blackhawks center-ice goal2013

Bonus points for his preshot prediction: "Pain. I pity that puck."

5 WrestleMania I1985

Mr. T—who according to the ringside announcer had been "living on tuna fish and water for ... three or four weeks"—joined with Hulk Hogan to defeat Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul (Mr. Wonderful) Orndorff. Guest referee Muhammad Ali and bell ringer Liberace seemed impressed.

4 High school wrestling1967--69

He wasn't bad at the real thing, either. Back when he was known as Lawrence Tero, Mr. T dropped 35 pounds to grapple at 165 pounds for Chicago's Dunbar High. He won two city championships and once pinned a guy in seven seconds.

3 Prairie View A&M football player1970

After a successful high school career as a halfback ("I would make those picture-book touchdowns ... the crowd would go wild," he wrote), Tero played a season at Prairie View A&M, where he was president of his class. Alas, his career ended when he was thrown out of school for allegedly taking part in a demonstration.

2 America's Toughest Bouncer1980

After serving as a bodyguard for, among others, heavyweight champ Leon Spinks, Mr. T won the televised competition—despite having to put up with NBC commentator Dick Butkus "asking me some dumb questions."

1 Winning world heavyweight title from Rocky Balboa1982

Some might say this shouldn't rank so high because T basically killed Balboa's trainer, Mickey, and then took advantage of the champ's grief. Or because he got pummeled in the rematch. Or because it was a movie. Those people are to be pitied, for they are fools.

On this week's Inside SI Podcast, Mr. T talks about his high school wrestling:

"I'd put on a sweat suit and bounce around in front of the radiator. My mom would wake up and say, 'Son, what are you doing?' 'I'm training, cutting weight!'" Check out the podcast at, or on the SI digital edition, free to subscribers at

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