This week, Willie lets you know who his ten favorite current athletes are and, as a special treat, has a message for dog owners!
Top 10 favorite athletes right now
Jeremy Shockey-How can you not love Shock-dog? This guy is everything a professional football player should be. Many people think that this guy is an idiot and any opinion he has on anything should be ignored. Those people obviously have no respect for an athlete who leaves it all on the field. I love Shockey because he keeps us entertained and he always lets you know how he is feeling. Shockey is the perfect combination of old school and new school, and you will not find a tougher player. He may get hurt a lot, but that does not stop him from delivering (that is, when Eli decides to throw him the ball). Last year when the Giants were tanking away their season Shockey broke his finger catching a ball in warm-ups. It was bleeding because the bone was poking through the skin. When asked if he wanted the trainers to tape it up, Shockey stated, “I don’t care if you have to cut it off, I’m playing.” How can you not love that?
Michael Vick-This should come as no surprise to those who read my last column. However, I hope it does not raise questions about the credibility of my opinion regarding the dog fighting case, because my opinion of him has little if anything to do with my feelings regarding that matter. I have absolutely loved Vick since the first time I saw him play for Virginia Tech. I have always loved running quarterbacks. I grew up watching Randall Cunningham and was a huge Tommie Frazier fan when he played for Nebraska. I said from the beginning that Vick has what it takes to revolutionize the game of football and redefine the quarterback position. That opinion has not wavered. Unfortunately, he keeps having coaches that try to make him into something that he is not and put him in offenses where he is uncomfortable. I think he is the best quarterback in the league right now. It is not his fault that his receivers drop all those passes. If the Falcons would just let him do his thing, he could be the champion of the world, but unfortunately the NFL hopes to bring him down before that can happen.
Rafael Nadal-I have really cottoned to this guy over the past few years, although I was not sure the first time I saw him in the clam diggers. He is the closest thing tennis has to a great personality right now. I also think he is amazingly humble all things considered, but most people seem to think he is cocky. I also feel that it is amazing that he is not a bigger mainstream celebrity, but it is for all the right reasons. Rafa does not appear to be a sell out like many of the other stars. He is just a ball player, which I love but most people seem to be bothered by. I would rather be a legend than a global icon any day, but that is why he does not get the love from the media that is given to Maria Sharapova, LeBron James, and Duane Wade. Vamos Rafa!
Dale Earnhardt Jr-Lil E is the greatest thing NASCAR has. He has a very entertaining personality and he really is one of the best drivers, he is just on a really bad team right now. He keeps you laughing in the interviews. I hate beer, but he really does Budweiser proud. He is like the real life version of Bo Duke from those Dukes of Hazzard episodes where Bo and Luke did some racing. Sadly, many fans find that they can identify more with the likes of Jeff Gordon.
Stephen Jackson-“Action” Jackson is perhaps the most out of control player in all of sports, and I love him for it. From the Malice at the Palace to firing six shots outside a nightclub, Jackson is all about keeping it real. When this guy gets mad, anything is possible, so sit back, enjoy, and stay out of his way. I love the whole Warriors team for that matter. Jackson is always getting a raw deal by the refs, and that is where keeping it real goes wrong for him. Few people realize it, but Stephen Jackson tried to pull down his pants after he was thrown out of Game 5 (the final game) of this year’s series against Utah. I mean, if Jason Richardson had not been there to hold him back, we would have seen something unprecedented. He is also one of the best big game players I have ever seen although he gets little credit for that.
Terrell Owens-this guy brings excitement to our otherwise dull lives, and for that we should all be thankful. Who has brought us more entertainment and the media more stories than TO?
Allen Iverson-I have always liked Iverson. I never thought he was as bad as people made him out to be. He is nothing but a good guy now, but is still hated by many. He has always been a victim of society, and people have always been overly critical of him.
Carmelo Anthony-Although Johnny will not agree with me on this one at all, I think Melo really is a good guy. He does a pretty good job of keeping it real. He has got some thug in him, but that is just a result of his upbringing. He never intentionally endorsed gangs by being in that “Stop Snitchin’” video. I agree with the message. I own a “Stop Snitchin’” shirt myself. I also appreciate the fact that he refused to be in a video called “Keep Talking.”
Barry Bonds-I am a fan of Barry Bonds because he stands up to the media and does not let them push him around. People act like they care about the performance enhancers, but their real problem with him is the fact that he will not sell out. No one had a problem with Sammy “Don’t speak English” Sosa hitting his 600th the other night, but everyone is up in arms about Barry passing Hank Aaron. The bottom line is that Bonds was a great player with or without performance enhancers, which is more than you can say for many of these steroid era sluggers. It is not fair to compare statistics from different eras anyway. Even if Aaron was a better slugger than Bonds, Ruth was a better slugger than Aaron but anyone who was upset about Ruth’s record being broken was called a racist.
Marcus Vick-This guy is the most overlooked talent that I have ever seen. Did he make a few mistakes? Sure, but they were not serious enough to prevent him from getting a real opportunity to play in the NFL. Vick was a very accurate passer in college, perhaps more ready coming into the league than his brother. Is he really less of an NFL prospect than Tavarious Jackson, Cleo Lemon, or Andrew Walter?
In response to the fallout from the Vick article, I figured out why people like dogs so much as pets as opposed to cats. Dogs are more popular than cats because they are easier to control. See, people like to control their pets just as they like to control their athletes. Most people who waste tons of time walking a dog every day instead of having a cat which requires less maintenance do not want to root for an athlete who refuses to be confined by the chains of society. These dog lovers are willing to make sacrifices to be in complete control. These people are drawn to sell outs. Thus, dogs are sell outs and cats keep it real. That’s my word.