Season 14 of Dancing With The Stars is set to get underway on Monday, March 19th. Think of it as a kind of Monday Night Football for the dancing crowd as they get to see an entertaining showdown each week – minus the color commentary from Ron Jaworski.
Football fans will get a treat this year as Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver is set to join the cast. Actually, football fans probably care more about the skills of Maria Menounas and Karina Smirnoff, who is partnered with Gavin DeGraw, but that’s another story.
NFL players have actually fared respectably in Dancing With The Stars. It seems like each season, there is a representative from the sports community as we’ve seen the likes of fighters like Chuck Liddell and Floyd Mayweather Jr., figure skaters like Evan Lysacek and basketball stars like Metta World Peace (also known as Ron Artest).
The NFL contingent runs quite deep as DWTS has had plenty of pigskinners. And to be quite fair, most of them have performed very well.
Hines Ward, who was recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers, won the competition in Season 12 while former Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith took the crown in Season 3.
Also, Chad Ochocinco had a fourth-place finish in Season 10, Warren Sapp earned a second-place result in Season 7, Jason Taylor was the runner-up in Season 6 while Jerry Rice placed second is Season 2.
Telenovela actor William Levy leads the list of favorites to be this season's big winner, while the Green Bay Packers' Donald Driver comes in at third place with 5/1 odds to take home the trophy.
William Levy 4-1
Jaleel White 9-2
Donald Driver 5-1
Maria Menounos 5-1
Roshon Fegan 9-1
Gladys Knight 10-1
Katherine Jenkins 10-1
Melissa Gilbert 12-1
Sherri Shepherd 12-1
Jack Wagner 15-1
Gavin DeGraw 20-1
Martina Navratilova 20-1
Driver is actually among the favorites to win along with television host Menounos. The only two people with shorter odds are Jaleel White, better known as the actor who played the role Steve Urkel on Family Matters, and of course Levy.
While it may seem challenging to come up with odds on a bunch of celebrities in a dancing competition, the truth is that most of them are based on who each person is partnered with.
Driver will be paired with Peta Murgatroyd, who doesn’t have a great track record, but White and Levy have two superior partners. White is paired with Kym Johnson, who won with Hines Ward and Donny Osmond, and was runner-up with Warren Sapp. Meanwhile, Levy is paired with Cheryl Burke, and she’s like the Bill Belichick of Dancing With The Stars: if she’s in your arms, you’re in good hands.
Burke has won it twice (with Drew Lachey and Emmitt Smith) and also finished second a couple of times (Gilles Marini and Rob Kardashian). She was the first woman to win the show and the first person to win it twice. Suffice to say, the judges love her.
All of the action gets underway this Monday, March 19th, so get your popcorn ready.
Photo via Flickr/elviskennedy