Julio Cortez/Associated Press
Johnny Weir set the pace for the three former athletes in the cast for the newest season of Dancing with the Stars.
Weir and dance partner Britt Stewart earned an 18 out of 30, narrowly edging out the team of one-time NFL tight end Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd, who scored 17. Former New York Knicks forward Charles Oakley struggled despite the best efforts of Emma Slater as they received a 12.
For Weir, Dancing with the Stars doesn’t represent a significant departure from his professional career, though he noted he often skated by himself on the ice and didn’t need to work collaboratively.
The NBC analyst looked like a natural nonetheless during the cha-cha-cha.
Bob Ryan @GlobeBobRyan
Had no choice but to break away to see Johnny Weir on “Dancing With The Stars.” He was good, not great. Now back to football.
Davis has big shoes to fill considering Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward, Donald Driver and Rashad Jennings have all claimed a Dancing with the Stars title.
The two-time Pro Bowler performed the foxtrot with Murgatroyd and made a solid impression on the judges.
Maryland Football @TerpsFootball
A football Foxtrot 🕺
Our guy @VernonDavis85 debuts on @DancingABC! https://t.co/MCLZbSp2an
Oakley, on the other hand, has a lot of work to do ahead of the first elimination. The 56-year-old was known as more of an enforcer, so he would’ve fared much better if the salsa involved banging under the basket to collect a rebound.
The 1993-94 All-Star is likely to be one of the sentimental favorites.
Emily Caron @_emcaron
this is only tangentially sports-related but everyone needs to go watch charles oakley ballroom dance
Chris Walder @WalderSports
Charles Oakley is on “Dancing With The Stars,” so don’t tell me the Raptors can’t win a title this year.
Oakley will need that support to carry him through the competition. He and Slater sit 14th out of the 15 teams taking part.