Wild Pitch: The Top Five People

For this week’s article I will focus on all of the major sports and their top figures.  It’s very similar to one of the Sportscenter summer “filler” features when there is nothing to talk about but baseball and Brett Favre.  And now the top five most important people in their respective sports………

NFL:

#1- Rodger Goodell:  National football’s commissioner is getting down and dirty when it comes to player-league relations.  Never have I seen a sports league try so hard to keep the ship sailing smoothly.  Roger Goodell is the league’s ambassador and disciplinarian.

#2- Peyton Manning:  No one in sports has the same kind of charisma that Peyton Manning does.  He is not only the best player on the field day in and day out but he seems to be a stand-up guy as well as a really good guy to go get a beer with.

#3- Brett Favre:  Brett Favre is a walking news story and between retirements is a really good quarterback.

#4- Bill Belichick:  The Patriots’ head coach is a man that football fans love to hate.  Belichick has neither the swagger nor charisma of an angry hyena but he is one of the top five most important men in football.

#5- Jerry Jones:  Jerry Jones has a more recognizable face than most owners (or Chicago quarterbacks for that matter.)  Jones is a rich showoff who is not afraid to be a snob with class.  The Steinbrenner of the sport holds a heavy hand when it comes to anything having to do with the Cowboys or the league in general.

MLB:

#1- Derrick Jeter:  Jeter is the best baseball player of his era and holds a reputation that is nearly spotless.  The guy is classy and a winner.

#2- Alex Rodriguez:  A-Rod is the most hated player in the game.  He has 600 home runs and is looking to break the HR record (how many of those are tainted, I don’t know.)  Whether or not he’s a cheater does not erase the fact that Alex Rodriguez is a tabloid phenom and a very important figure for baseball.

#3- Albert Pujols:  Albert Pujols is the best player in the game right now and seems to be the only guy in baseball who’s not juicing (let’s hope.)  The guy is a class act and an incredible talent.

#4- Stephen Strasburg:  The guy is hyped to be the next Cy Young.

#5- Kenny Powers:  He is the incarnate of all that baseball has been since the early nineties.

NBA:

#1- LeBron James:  Any guy who can schedule an hour block on ESPN all to himself is a pretty important guy (for better or worse.)

#2- Dwayne Wade:  D-Wade is a great basketball player and a great ambassador for the game.  He is also very good at persuading others to play on a team with him.  There is nothing this guy can’t do.

#3- Kobe Bryant:  Kobe is another guy who is fun to watch and will draw people to the arena.

#4- Phil Jackson:  Any man with 11 championship rings knows what he’s doing.  The man can run any team in any sport and be successful.  I’m sure of that.

#5- Dwight Howard:  Everyone can get on bored with a charismatic big-man.

NHL:

#1-Alexander Ovechkin:  The Russian machine is like nothing hockey has ever seen before.  Aside from the 50 plus goals he scores each year (in electrifying fashion might I add) he is a dominant athlete and a physical freak.  Ovechkin is the NHL’s top star.

#2-Sidney Crosby:  Sid “the kid” is the NHL’s golden boy.  He is one of the two faces of the NHL (along with Ovechkin) and a god in Canada.  Crosby is a phenom for his dazzling moves and ability to score at the right times.  The Ovechkin-Crosby rivalry is very reminiscent of the Magic-Bird rivalry, two amazing players at the top of their games dukeing it out every time they play.

#3-Patrick Kane:  Kane is a great young star and more importantly he’s American.  Hockey is not huge in America but it’s a sport on the rise.  Having a talented young American in a big-market city (Chicago) helps the sport to grow.  Plus, the kid’s fun to watch.

#4-Barry Melrose:  The only time we get to see hockey on ESPN is from this guy.  The man has style and class and advertises very well for the sport.

#5- Whoever’s idea it was to put a game outside:  The Winter Classic is one of the most entertaining and fulfilling sports events of the year.  It has been very successful during its tenure and I know it will be a very popular event this year when the Penguins and Capitals face off in Pittsburgh.

-AJ (One of the Top 5 in Sports Journalism……maybe)

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