published Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

5-at-10: Who are the Top 5 best athletes of our generation?

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Morning gang. Nice job playing nice on Monday.

We were late to the comment portion of the program, but we must note that Jomo made a well-reasoned point, 9er asked about a $3 or $32 beer ( they are $6 per, and depending on your mental state and sensory overload, they are worth every penny) and Orange brought up 16 in our number debate (16 was the last one eliminated, and we also included the modern personification of wasted pitching talent -- one Dwight Gooden).

Also, OG mentioned some specific ESPN programming. In case you have been at Disney or your EPB has been busted, you are well aware that today's Michael Jordan's 50th birthday.

In honor of that, here are the best five athletes of our generation (professional sports edition, there are a bunch of track guys with varying merits):

5) LeBron James -- only one-sport star on the list, but James is the youngest and came up in the age of specialization.

4) MJ -- people who think he is the best athlete ever are sorely mistaken. He may rank among the best competitors ever sure, and he deserves major credit for re-inventing his game as he aged.

3) Herschel Walker -- it is a testament to the high-quality of athletes in this generation that Walker only places third on this list.

2) Deion Sanders -- dude had so much speed it dominated everything else.

1) Bo Jackson -- you know this and Bo knows this.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

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Todd962 said...

ESPN apparently needs to up their coverage of MJ's 50th because I dont think I have come across one person in their complaints about it that has gotten the actual birth date correct thus far. His birthday is February 17th, 1963. He has helped me in remembering the padre's date of birth for many years now, which is the 18th. For that reason alone he should be bumped to number three. Oh wait, the baseball thing actually happened? Yeah we will leave him at four then.

However, today is RGIII, Bill Russell, and Arsenio Hall's birthday. Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! And Lincoln as well, he was pretty noteworthy in his day I hear.

February 12, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.
jgreeson said...

Who did Lincoln play for?

February 12, 2013 at 11:19 a.m.
chas9 said...

Multi-sport athlete Honest Abe had some serious rail-splitting chops, and if Mr. Naismith had nailed up a basket back then, #16 Prez coulda dunked without getting off the ground. Kids were constantly asking him how long his legs were. (Long enough to reach the ground.) And a great first baseman. Better than Honest Bob Horner, even, back in the day.

If "athletes of our generation" includes Spy and me, Tony Gonzalez, Willie Gault, John Smoltz, Bob Hayes and Cotton Nash are interesting honorable mentions. And Wilt the Stilt.

How can they drop wrasslin' from the Olympics?

February 12, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.
orangeguy said...

How about Iron Mike Tyson and Ken Griffey Jr.? Mike Vick pre-conviction was the most electrifying athlete in the NFL. Barry Sanders was amazing to watch as well. Nothing wrong with your list at all though.

February 12, 2013 at 11:30 a.m.
BIspy4 said...

Lincoln wrestled for the Illinois Railsplitters. That was even before Ward Gossett's time.

And with all the "why is this a sport" sports in the Olympic Games, they decide to kick wrestling to the curb. That means no more Rulon Gardners to celebrate. No more Kurt Angles (OK, maybe I can give them that one).

No honorable mention for Brian Jordan. Or Danny Ainge. Probably just as well.

It's too bad no NBA team gave Julius Peppers a look. Played hoops at UNC too and was probably the best player on a team that had no business going to the 2000 Final Four.

February 12, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
fechancellor said...

Lance Armstrong might have garnered some votes a year ago. If Walker had not lost those three years in the USFL, the outcome in this case would be differ, yet Bo is "The All Time Techmo Bowl MVP," thus can't be denied the top spot.

Deon was big and fast, but he only tip-toed through the quicksands of the middle.

What about Peyton Manning? Passed over again! Was Ray Lewis even considered?

February 12, 2013 at 11:40 a.m.
BIspy4 said...


Michael Carter of the 49ers was another Tecmo Bowl superstar. Unblockable.

February 12, 2013 at 12:10 p.m.
fechancellor said...

Spy, well noted. San Fran had too many strong players at every position for my Raiders. I coaxed my brother away from SF by threating to hold my breath until I turned blue. The upshot was my brother's taking Miami. I thought this would be a breeze, until he found an inside slant for John Offerdahl that blew up all my plays.

February 12, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.
TennFlyer said...

You love the draft, we love the draft, the drafts loved Dave Winfield. Winfield was drafted by four teams in three different sports. The San Diego Padres selected him as a pitcher with the fourth overall pick in the MLB draft and both the Atlanta Hawks (NBA) and the Utah Stars (ABA) drafted him. Even though he never played college football, the Minnesota Vikings selected Winfield in the 17th round of the NFL draft.

February 12, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

17 rounds of NFL draft ... wow, would Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair have exploded back in the day.

February 12, 2013 at 2:36 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Great lists aal around, and TennFlyer, Dave Winfield was the first guy off.

More hall of famers drafted in multiple sports-- Glavine, Gwynn. Chipper and Griffey Jr were big-time prep football recruits.

Spy, nothing bothers Kiper's hair.

And the Tecmo draft board of unstoppability is Bo, LT, Mark Bravaro, Jerry Rice and everyone else.

Mickey says what's up.

February 12, 2013 at 4:22 p.m.
jomo11 said...

i cant beleive you left Vonn Bell off the list ?

February 13, 2013 at 10:19 a.m.
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