The top 40 sports figures of 2007

The top 40 sports figures of 2007
By Jamie Mottram, Yahoo! Sports
December 26, 2007

I was shocked – shocked – to find that Brett Favre is SI's Sportsman of the Year!

Not to diminish No. 4's impressive 2007, but that's boring. It's boring like Tiger Woods or Roger Federer or Tim Duncan. Boring like breaking records, winning championships and going home to your lovely wife. We'd all like to lead that kind of life and admire those that do, but it's not always interesting.

When we think of the year that was, it's not Favre we're thinking about. And, in line with that train of thought, he's No. 24 on this list.

The top 40 isn't about power or wealth, and it certainly isn't about sportsmanship. It's about the most interesting and intriguing sports figures of 2007, as decided by top sports bloggers such as Will Leitch (Deadspin), Michael David Smith (FanHouse), Matt Ufford (With Leather), Dan Steinberg (D.C. Sports Bog), Big Daddy Drew (Kissing Suzy Kolber) … basically a bunch of big city white guys in their 20s and 30s.

The methodology consists of bloggers from across the American sporting spectrum submitting their list of the 10 sports figures they covered the most this year. The 47 participating blogs voted for 203 different athletic figures, and the top 40 vote getters – including nine NBA ballers, eight quarterbacks, seven coaches, four media members and one plucky horse – are listed below along with a dash of snark. Note that the votes were tabulated pre-Mitchell Report, so Roger Clemens is spared inclusion.

Please enjoy it with the irreverence with which it was created, and, by all means, let us know where we missed.

1. Michael Vick Getty Images

1. Michael Vick (No. 21 on last year's top 40)

"A comedy of errors with his precious marijuana, followed by the dog fighting trial of the century." – With Leather

2. Alex Rodriguez (4)

"When the best player in the game gets busted with a mystery blonde, his wife shows up to Yankee Stadium with a shirt that says "(Screw) You" and then lands a $275 million deal after opting out DURING THE WORLD SERIES, he has to make this list." – Extra Mustard

3. Barry Bonds (10)

"Not because he broke the all-time record or because he got indicted for perjury, but because he has succeeded in becoming mainstream sports' version of a wrestling heel." – Joe Sports Fan

4. Tom Brady

"Touchdowns! Actresses! Supermodels! Andrea Kremer! Isn't he dreamy?" – Dave's Football Blog

5. Gilbert Arenas (7)

"The most interesting basketball player of the '00s; we love him because he's a dork like us." – Deuce of Davenport

6. Kobe Bryant (8)

"I'm pretty sure I could write a post about Kobe with no content other than the word 'Kobe' over and over and over, and it would draw triple-digit comments." – Slam Online

7. Pacman Jones

"Made it rain in 2007 more than any other athlete." – The Big Lead

8. Kevin Garnett

"The NBA's most intense superstar is already the most adored Celtic since Larry Legend. (Yup, Chris Herren included.) That's what you call winning them over fast." – Touching All the Bases

9. David Beckham

"Beckham and his wife's racket-ball rack arrived in L.A. and we haven't been able to stop documenting it, particularly Becks, who has now flashed the 'Blue Steel' an eye-popping 679 times, leading to 1,118 deaths." – The Sports Hernia

10. Isiah Thomas Getty Images

10. Isiah Thomas (12)

"Instructed us on which race has the authority to call women hos." – 100% Injury Rate

11. Kevin Durant

"As a college freshman, he seemed more relevant to the pros than most All-Stars." – Free Darko

12. Bill Belichick

"Turning 'cheaters never prosper' on its head one classless victory at a time." – Chris' Sports Blog

13. Sean Taylor

"Tragic and needless death of a father, son, brother and player in his prime." – Deuce of Davenport

14. Charlie Weis

"He lost the Sugar Bowl, he lost the trial, he lost to Navy, then he lost his team. The only thing he didn't lose was weight." – The Wizard of Odds

15. Brady Quinn

"The Man Casserole (aka Joey Harrington II) reigned supreme as his hairstyles, bizarre ball (handling) and S&M costumes were too powerful to ignore." – Ghost of Wayne Fontes

16. Greg Oden

"From Gossip's interview to his Yardbarker blog, this dude brings the fire." – We Are the Postmen

17. Tony Romo

"Rumored to be dating pretty much anyone attractive and famous." – With Leather

18. Peyton Manning

"He won the Super Bowl and we were sad we couldn't make jokes about him choking anymore." – Kissing Suzy Kolber

19. Daisuke Matsuzaka

"Still waiting on the the gyroball." – Defensive Indifference

20. Tim Tebow Getty Images

20. Tim Tebow

"God amongst mere mortals. Brotimus Maximus. Oh, and he's in that picture with that chick." – We Are the Postmen

21. Nick Saban

" 'Changes in history usually occur after some kind of catastrophic event.' Like a loss to Louisiana Monroe?" – The Wizard of Odds

22. Adrian Peterson

"Purple Jesus." – Randball

23. Stephon Marbury

"Crazy = never-ending awesome blog posts." – The Hype Guy

24. Brett Favre (36)

"So often in this cynical world, we find reasons to think that true love and passion don't exist anymore. Then you turn on the TV and watch the media talk about Brett Favre and all those doubts melt away." – Joe Sports Fan

25. Norv Turner

"The arrogance of the Chargers organization to ignore a decade's worth of head coaching futility." – The Hater Nation

26. Barbaro (16)

"Some say he was a 'warrior' or a 'hero' and had a strong desire to win races. But above all, he was featured in our pages because people seemed to forget he was a FREAKIN' HORSE. He was bred unnaturally, had small ankles that snapped in half and is now glue. We'll miss you, buddy." – The Sports Hernia

27. Derek Jeter (23)

"Actually dating pretty much anyone attractive and famous (including a Puerto Rican vacation with Jessica Biel)." – With Leather

28. Joe Gibbs

"It was an extremely hard-fought 2007, and I'm really proud of the way he sort of kept fighting." – D.C. Sports Bog

29. Erin Andrews Getty Images

29. Erin Andrews

"She caused a stir by eating a sandwich on the air. Oh, and she said she loves Extra Mustard." – Extra Mustard

30. O.J. Simpson

"If he goes to jail now, he'll never find the real killers." – Deuce of Davenport

31. Les Miles

"Whether it was demonstrating his enormous cojones against Florida and Auburn or his inability to grasp simple clock management against Arkansas, Miles was always a topic of conversation." – M Go Blog

32. LeBron James (3)

"It's hard to go over-the-top without encountering King James." – Free Darko

33. Donovan McNabb

"Donovan's play coming off knee surgery struggled, the media dug him into a race corner once again and the Eagles decided to hurry him out the door by drafting his replacement." – The 700 Level

34. Ron Artest (18)

"His announcement he would be retiring to go play in Europe because it's awesome all the countries are connected and you can drive across them was liberating, frankly." – FanHouse

35. Dmitri Young

"Delightfully chubby and be-afroed, Da Meat Hook helped make the Nationals relevant." – The Extrapolator

36. Clinton Portis (22)

"Would be much, much higher if the costumes ever came back, but he's still the most compelling personality in burgundy and gold, and Choo-Choo yielded my third-highest traffic day of 2007." – D.C. Sports Bog

37. Rick Reilly

"(His) move from SI to ESPN … redonkulous." – The Big Lead

38. Terrell Owens (1)

"He's not dropping balls, he's having an MVP-type season and he's shutting the hell up. Isn't that what everyone wanted?" – Sportz Assassin

39. Dan Patrick

"An iconic sportscaster in the country, he caused quite a stir when he decided to leave ESPN." – Larry Brown Sports

40. Colin Cowherd

"Schrutebag." – Sports by Brooks

Hope Solo Getty Images

Others receiving votes (in order):

Eli Manning (15), Mark Mangino, Mike Gundy, Tim Donaghy, Joe Paterno, Roger Goodell, Kige Ramsey, Ben Roethlisberger (6), C.C. Sabathia, Dale Earnhardt Jr., David Stern, Fausto Carmona, Gil Meche, Jake Peavy, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Randy Moss, Rex Grossman (39), Tony Dungy, Kevin McHale, Allison Stokke, Houston Nutt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Rollins, Roy Williams (UNC), Skip Prosser, Dennis Franchione, Alexander Ovechkin (19), Baron Davis, Brian Billick, Caron Butler, Chase Utley, Hope Solo, Mark Cuban (38), Sam Mitchell, Darren McFadden, Alyssa Milano, Andy Reid, Ben Cousins, Chris Cooley, DeShawn Stevenson, Jimmie Johnson, Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Ramirez, Natalie Gulbis, Soulja Boy, Tyler Hansbrough, Brad Childress, Mike Hart, Clay Bennett, Cole Hamels, Drew Neitzel, Dustin Pedroia, Erik Bedard, Fred Smoot, Jason Campbell, Jerry Dolan, Joakim Noah, Lloyd Carr, Matt Leinart (5), Ray Lewis, Rick Ankiel, Barry Zito, Bear Grylls, Billy Donovan, Brian Dawkins, Carlos Pena, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Benoit, Curt Schilling, David Ortiz, Devin Hester, Drew Gooden, Dwight Howard, Elijah Dukes, Emmitt Smith, Felix Hernandez, Floyd Mayweather, George Mitchell, Jerry Jones, Jessie Palmer, Joba Chamberlain, John Mellencamp, Jose Mourinho, Kevin Hunt, Larry Johnson, Lou Holtz, Miguel Cabrera, Coach K, Mike Leach, Prince Fielder, Randy Couture, Randy Shannon, Rob Stone, Ryan Braun, Scott Kazmir, Sean Salisbury, Stephen Jackson, Terry Francona, Tim Brewster, Todd Reesing, Tony Stewart, Yi Jianlian, Karl Dorrell, the Williams sisters, Bill Callahan, Brett Myers, Bud Selig, Calvin Johnson, Jason Kidd, Jason Whitlock, Joe Buck (32), Johan Santana, John Daly, J.R. Smith, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kelvin Sampson, Nicklas Backstrom, Pete Carroll, Sarah Spain, Carlos Zambrano, Chase Daniels, Chris Bosh, Colt Brennan, Don Orsillo, Jerry Remy, John Kruk, Lane Kiffen, Mike Wise, Olaf Kolzig, Pedro Gomez, Ric Bucher, Ryan Howard, Scoop Jackson, Thierry Henry, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut, Brandon Lloyd, Brian Westbrook, Dirk Nowitzki (17), Gary Sheffield, Jim Tressel, Lee Corso, Ted Leonsis, Tiger Woods, Jim Harbaugh, Alex Gordon, Bob Sanders, Brian Engblom, David Carr, ESPN's ombudsman, Jenn Sterger (25), Michael Wilbon, Patrick Swayze, Peter King, Reggie Bush (14), Roger Clemens, Stu Jackson, Tracy McGrady, Torii Hunter and Kirk Herbstreit

Others in last year's top 40 not receiving votes this year:

Dwyane Wade (2), Zinedine Zidane (9), Vince Young (11), Harold Reynolds (13), Albert Pujols (20), J.J. Redick (24), Troy Smith (26), Jim Larranaga (27), Chris Berman (28), Art Shell (29), Chad Johnson (30), Bill Simmons (31), LaDainian Tomlinson (33), Jay Mariotti (34), Alfonso Soriano (35), Dennis Green (37) and Shawn Merriman (40)

Participating blogs:

BallHype, Baseball Musings, The Big Lead, The Big Picture, Chris' Sports Blog, Dan Shanoff, Dave's Football Blog, D.C. Sports Bog, Deadspin, Defensive Indifference, Deuce of Davenport, Extra Mustard, The Extrapolator, FanHouse, Free Darko, Ghosts of Wayne Fontes, The Hater Nation, Hoops Addict, 100% Injury Rate, The Hype Guy, Joe Sports Fan, Kissing Suzy Kolber, Knuckle Curve, Larry Brown Sports, Lion in Oil, LOL Jocks, M Go Blog, Miss Gossip, Mr. Irrelevant, Nation of Islam Sportsblog, On Frozen Blog, Randball, Restrictor Plate This, Rumors and Rants, Sactown Royalty, Scott Van Pelt Style, The 700 Level, Slam Online, Sports by Brooks, The Sports Hernia, Sportz Assassin, Storming the Floor, Sunday Morning Quarterback, Touching All the Bases, We Are the Postmen, With Leather, The Wizard of Odds

Updated on Wednesday, Dec 26, 2007 12:57 pm, EST

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