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Who’s Now? America Doesn’t Know

ESPN’s new SportsCenter segment “Who’s Now” is trying to determine the current biggest sports athlete. This sounds like a good and interesting iwhosnow_203.jpgdea, but ESPN has done a terrible job creating the bracket and America voting. The way the voting works is three sports analysts each give their selection for the individual match up and that represents 30% of the vote. The other 70% is left up to the fans. In the bracket, there are four regions with each one named for one of the best individual sports athletes ever (Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, and Babe Ruth). The rankings in each division go as follows:

Jordan:
1. Tiger Woods
2. LaDainian Tomlinson
3. Steve Nash
4. Dwayne Wade
5. Shaun White
6. Serena Williams
7. David Beckham
8. Matt Leinart

Ali:
1. Peyton Manning
2. Alex Rodriguez
3. Kobe Bryant
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Chuck Liddell
6. Ronaldinho
7. Terrell Owens
8. Amanda Beard

King:
1. Lebron James
2. Derek Jeter
3. Reggie Bush
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Barry Bonds
6. Danica Patrick
7. Sidney Crosby
8. Kelly Slater

Ruth:
1. Tom Brady
2. Roger Federer
3. Shaquille O’Neal
4. Maria Sharapova
5. Vince Young
6. Michael Phelps
7. Tony Parker
8. David Ortiz

There was only one upset in the first round, and that was when seven seed Tony Parker took out two seed Roger Federer. Besides the fact that that was one of the most ridiculous upsets possible, there are many other problems with this bracket. Three of the number one seeds are legitimate, but Brady needs to be replaced by Barry Bonds. Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but this competition is sports skill + off field stardom. Brady does not have the off field fame to deserve a number one seed. Bonds has as much off field fame (or problems, whichever you want) to make him not a number one. A number five seed for Bonds is absurd and expect him to reach farther than his seed says.

There are also seems to be many athletes in less recognized sports on the list (see Chuck Liddell, Amanda Beard, Kelly Slater, and Michael Phelps). Do they really deserve to be in this competition? No. None of those people have the publicity or fame that is necessary to be in the bracket. Would you notice Michael Phelps in a park? Probably not. Where is Michael Vick? Greg Oden? Joe Thornton? Tim Duncan? Rafael Nadal?

How many hockey players are on there? How many MLB pitchers? There are three racecar drivers to only one hockey player. Has the NHL dropped that much or is Nascar up that much? There are two swimmers on the list! Since when does anyone care about swimming? Maybe during the Olympics, but those are still over a year away. With some sports on the list so ESPN can be politically correct (swimming, skateboarding, wrestling), soccer is disrespected. Has anyone seen the new David Beckham commercial for his first MLS game (for those of you who have not, it is below)? The anticipation of his first MLS game is gigantic, and for Beckham to get a seven seed is terrible.

Jeff Gordon is a four seed, yet David Ortiz is an eight! Ortiz is one of the most recognizable guys in all of sports. Jeff Gordon is big in Nascar, but anyone who doesn’t fall races would barely notice him on the street. Same with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Maria Sharapova is good looking, but does that give her a number four seed or is it just ESPN making sure they have a woman high up? I know women’s sports are supposed to be equal to men, but c’mon, it isn’t even close.

America did mostly vote right based on the seeds, but the one upset they chose is absolutely ridiculous. Roger Federer, the best tennis player in the world, one of the best of all time, being knocked out by Tony Parker. Now Parker is good, but he is not the best player on his team, barely an All Star, and needs some work to be in the Hall of Fame. How can America possibly be that stupid. I can go on and on, but ESPN did a terrible job with this entire thing and America didn’t help. Plus those sports analysts from the first round, turn into movie stars in the second round.

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Categories: MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, Tennis
  1. Tom Siegel
    July 19, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Hey! this is terrific. what a great blog and the opinions are not only well thought out but articulated with poise, insight and logic. I will review it in more detail at a later date

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