Cam Newton is an up-and-coming star football player and the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. Best known for his illustrious college football career at the University of Auburn, Newton won the NCAA Heisman Trophy after leading the Tigers to a BCS Championship. After producing one of the greatest career’s in NCAA history, Cam Newton was the first overall pick in of the 2011 NFL Draft and was selected by the Panthers. With his selection, Newton became just the third player in NFL history to accomplish winning the Heisman and a national championship before being selected as the number one pick in the draft.
Peyton Manning is the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. Even though he is still an active player, Manning is already considered to be one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. After a successful college football career at the University of Tennessee, Manning was selected with the top overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He had an instant impact on the team as a rookie and gradually developed into one of the best passers in the league. Manning was the cornerstone of the Colts’ franchise from 1998 to 2011, but a neck injury put his career at stake and he was forced to miss the entire 2011 due to the injury. With Manning out due to injury, the Colts drafted Andrew Luck and decided to let Manning find another team. Upon returning from his injury, Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012 and went on to lead them to an AFC Championship for an appearance in the Super Bowl.
Known as a scoring machine with a list of records and accolades that continue to grow every single year, LeBron James is already regarded as one of the best basketball players of all time. As a player that can operate at a premier level as either a small forward or power forward and constantly post remarkable statistics, the two-time NBA Champion is truly worthy of his nickname, King James.
After playing his entire nine seasons of professional football with the Chicago Bears, Dick Butkus earned the reputation as one of the best linebackers in the history of the NFL. The most dominant player of his generation, Butkus is viewed as one of the most intimidating linebackers to ever play the game and was voted as the most feared tackler by the NFL in 2009. Known for his durability and the intense effort he brought to every single game, Dick Butkus is honored among the best to play the game as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brett Favre was a rare breed of quarterback, and is among the exclusive class of quarterback’s that are considered to be the greatest of all time. Favre gained notoriety while excelling for the Green Bay Packers throughout his storied 20 years in the NFL. He played for the Packers from 1992-2007 after being traded to the team by the Atlanta Falcons following the 1991 season. The Falcons drafted Brett Favre out of the University of Southern Mississippi in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft, but the Atlanta head coach at the time wasn’t fond of Favre and vowed to not play him. The Packers traded a first-round pick to the Falcons for Favre, and the transaction certainly paid off as he became one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the National Football League.
Widely regarded as one of the best small and power forwards in the NBA, Kevin Durant stands at 6ft 9 inches tall and dominates the court as the face of the OKC Thunder franchise. As the major driving force behind the Oklahoma Thunder, Durant turned the franchise into a perennial postseason contender courtesy of his scoring ability and amazing game-changing statistics. Not only is Durant an absolute star on the court, he’s also a class act off the court and one of the most well-liked players in the league.
Tom Brady is the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, and has enjoyed a successful career with the team since being drafted in the 2000. The Patriots made one of the best draft selections in history when they used the 199th pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft to take Tom Brady out of the University of Michigan. Now 14 years after being a late draft selection, Brady has made a name for himself as one of the most successful quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL, and quite possibly the greatest of all time.
Kobe Bryant has been a member of the Los Angeles Lakers for his entire career since being traded to the team via the Charlotte Hornets, who selected him with the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft. From his rookie season onward, Bryant created a legacy as one of the league’s most premier players. As a player that holds of numerous records and is one of the top scorers of all time, Kobe Bryant has been the face of the NBA for almost 20 years. With a lengthy list of awards on his resume, Bryant’s offensive and defensive play is exceptional and puts him among one of the greatest players to ever to grace the game.
As one of the most decorated players in football, Drew Brees has had a stellar career as a star quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. Despite his former critics that believed he was too short and had a weak arm, Brees produced a career that will later go down in NFL history. From an unforgettable college football career to the Saints to win a coveted Super Bowl title, Drew Brees is one of the most premier players of his generation that will likely join the great quarterbacks of NFL history in the Hall of Fame after he hangs up his cleats for the last time.
There is no more influential or iconic athlete to exist in the sports world than the legendary Michael Jordan. Regarded by many as the greatest basketball player of all time, it’s hard to argue with his claim to fame as the best to grace the game when you look at his achievements and statistics from throughout his unforgettable NBA career. Credited with popularizing the NBA, Michael Jordan not only changed basketball forever, he also proved that athletes are some of the most influential people in the world.
Ray Lewis is a retired NFL linebacker who played his entire illustrious professional football career for the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis is regarded by both coaches and the media as one of the best linebackers to ever play the game, which is a title that is easily supported by his many incredible accolades from throughout his 17-year NFL career. Although he works as an ESPN commentator for the NFL, Ray Lewis will always be remembered by football fans for his glory days at the Ravens’ middle linebacker.
Eli Manning is the starting quarterback for the New York Giants. Manning comes from a long line of football megastars, as the son of former NFL quarterback, Archie Manning, and brother of Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning. Just like his brother Peyton in 1998, Eli Manning was taken with the top overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The San Diego Chargers drafted Manning with the No.1 pick, but traded him to the New York Giants. Since joining the Giants, Manning has enjoyed a huge amount of success with the team and has become one of the premier quarterbacks in the league today.
Pete Rose is the best hitter in baseball history and the numbers prove it. Rose is the all-time MLB leader in hits with 4,256, games played with 3,562 and at-bats with 14,053. Rose played 23 seasons in Major League Baseball, the majority for the Cincinnati Reds but also had short stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos.
Chris Bosh is a nine-time NBA All-Star that dominates the league for the Miami Heat and is widely known for his contributing role as a member of the Heat’s Big Three. As part of a golden generation of NBA players that were all drafted in the same year and includes the likes of James and Carmelo Anthony, which makes it even more impressive that Bosh was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors.
Ben Roethlisberger is widely regarded as one of the most efficient quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. The 6’ 5” athlete has one powerful arm and is known for playing exceptionally well out of the pocket. As a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Roethlisberger has been a huge success, breaking multiple franchise records while leading his team to two Super Bowl championships. Then again, it’s no surprise Roethlisberger took the NFL by a storm, considering he is a quarterback who dominated the game even during his college football days.
Jim Brown is widely regarded as one of the best sporting athletes of all-time and was even named the best football player ever by the Sporting News. Throughout his storied career, Brown spent nine season playing for the Cleveland Browns between 1957 and 1965. During his tenure as a member of the Browns, Jim Brown set a number of records as the Browns running back and earned a place among the league legends in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Derek Jeter is an iconic shortstop for the storied New York Yankees, and is currently playing in the 20th and final season of his professional baseball career. Derek Jeter is synonymous with Yankees success and he has been a significant member of five World Series championship teams. The always reliable Jeter is known and respected for his hitting ability, his excellent fielding, ability to run the bases, and his unquestionable leadership. Jeter joined the Yankees for during the 1996 season, and instantly impacted the team for the better. He became the first Yankees rookie to start at the shortstop position since 1962, but being such a young player didn’t stop Jeter from excelling on the field as he hit .314 with 10 home runs, 78 RBIs, and 104 runs scored. Jeter went on to win the AL Rookie of the Year award and became just the fifth player ever to win the title unanimously.
Dustin Pedroia is a professional baseball player and a Boston sports hero. As one of the most dominant second baseman in the MLB, Pedroia led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series titles throughout his time in professional baseball. From being named the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year during his first season in the MLB and the American League MVP title the following season to consistent All-Star selections and Gold Glove Awards, Dustin Pedroia is one of the most powerful players in the game and quickly writing his name in MLB lore as an all-time great.
Joakim Noah is a center that plays for the Chicago Bulls and is among the top players in the NBA. Well- known for playing with a lot of energy and is widely regarded as being one of the best rebounders in the game, Noah is a serious threat for any opponent. Seen as a good ball handler and constant improvement in his shooting percentage, Joakim Noah is expected to record a legacy as one of the best players of his generation.
Dwyane Wade was first drafted into the NBA in 2003, where he was taken fifth overall by the Miami Heat. A star from his incredible rookie year, Wade’s determination and dedication to the game made him one of the biggest NBA stars of the 2000’s era. He also has three hard fought NBA championships under his belt, and averaged just under 25 points a game for his entire career, making him one of the best scorers and offensive players of his time.
Babe Ruth was a Hall of Famer who etched his name in MLB history by becoming baseball’s first dominant home run hitter. Ruth was a transcendent player, and is still to this day regarded by many as one of the greatest sports figures in the history of American sports. Ruth played 22 years in the majors and basically dominated two aspects of the game; he established himself as a solid left-handed pitcher but later gained national fame by developing into the most feared slugger the game had ever seen.
San Antonio Spurs legend, Tim Duncan is regarded as one of the greatest centers in NBA history. Duncan has played for the Spurs throughout his entire NBA career and is among the most decorated players to grace the league with five NBA Championships to his name. During his remarkable 18 seasons in San Antonio, Tim Duncan was named NBA Finals MVP three times, league MVP twice, and earned 15 All-Star selections.
Larry Bird is a Boston sports icon that led the Celtics to three NBA Finals championships during his Hall of Fame basketball career. While playing his entire career for the Boston Celtics, Bird reached an insurmountable number of feats and earned designations as a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a three-time NBA League MVP, and 12-time NBA All-Star selection. Following his retirement from the game, Bird became the head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997-2000 and is currently the Pacers’ President of Basketball Operations with an award for Executive of the Year for 2012 to his name.
As one of the greatest relievers and closers of all-time, Mariano Rivera rightfully deserves his place in the pantheon of Major League Baseball greats. Famed for his coolness on the pitching mound and ability to close out a game, Rivera produced 19 unforgettable seasons of baseball as the closer for the elite New York Yankees. Finishing his career with 652 saves for an MLB record with an ERA of 2.21, Rivera also recorded 1,173 strikeouts during 952 games finished. The legendary “Sandman” will undoubtedly go down among the greatest ever to grace the game and upon eligible, Mariano Rivera is expected to be forever enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Wes Welker is a return specialist and wide receiver who currently plays for the Denver Broncos in the NFL. Despite going undrafted out of Texas Tech University, Welker made a name for himself in the NFL and went on to become one of the top players in the league. Among the most dominant receivers in the league and a favorite target for quarterbacks, Wes Welker has since gone on to win a number of awards while setting various NFL franchise and league records.
Record-setting quarterback and football icon, Aaron Rodgers is the current franchise gunslinger for the Green Bay Packers. Tasked with unenviable job of taking over the role from Brett Favre, Rodgers stepped into the starting quarterback role in 2008 and went on to make his mark on NFL history. Rodgers’ career so far has been filled with awards and winning the most coveted title in the league at Super Bowl XLV with the Packers in 2010. However, his professional football career almost never got the chance to take off due to his critics believing that Rodgers wasn’t big enough or strong enough.
Colin Kaepernick is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who exploded onto the football scene during the 2012 NFL season when he was thrown into the game upon injury to their previous starting quarterback. Since his breakout as the next premier quarterback in the league, Kaepernick has made a real name for himself in the NFL and regarded as one of the best scrambling quarterbacks ever to play the game. From backup quarterback to record-breaking NFL superstar, Colin Kaepernick is already included among football’s top players of his generation.
Joe Montana made a name for himself by outplaying his opponents in clutch moments and that’s why the Hall of Fame quarterback is widely considered to be one of the greatest NFL players ever to play the game. Better known as “Joe Cool,” Montana led 31 fourth quarter comeback wins during his storied football career with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs. Montana etched his name in NFL lore with his four Super Bowl titles and three Super Bowl MVP awards as a Niner.
Tony Parker is a legendary NBA point guard who currently stars the San Antonio Spurs. Parker is widely regarded as one of the best basketball players to ever play the game and recorded an incredibly impressive career as a mainstay member of the Spurs dynasty. Known as a fantastic scorer and one of the fastest players in the entire NBA, Tony Parker has held a reputation for being one of the best scorers from in the paint for the majority of his illustrious career.
Nolan Ryan was one of the greatest pitchers in MLB history and was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 on his first time eligible for election. Better known as “The Ryan Express,” Nolan Ryan dominated Major League Baseball for a record 27 years while pitching for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.
Troy Aikman is a Hall of Fame quarterback who played his entire 12-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys. Aikman was drafted with the top overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft by Dallas after a successful college career that started at the University of Oklahoma and ended at UCLA. As a rookie with the Cowboys, Aikman won the starting quarterback job, but struggled heavily and through 11 starts his team was 0-11. Aikman improved entering his second season in Dallas, and led that team to a 7-9 record which fell just one game shy of a playoff berth. The 1992 season was one of the many high points of Aikman’s career, in which he set career highs in passing yards, completions and touchdown passes while leading the Cowboys to the second best record in the NFC. Once in the playoffs, Aikman led the Cowboys to Super Bowl XXVII against the Buffalo Bills. Aikman completed 22-of-30 passes in the game for 273 yards and four touchdowns, earning him Super Bowl MVP honors. The following season, Aikman and the Cowboys repeated as Super Bowl champions when they again defeated the Buffalo Bills. Aikman led the Cowboys to their third Super Bowl in a four-year span in 1995 when Dallas beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX by a score of 27-17.
Marshawn Lynch is a running back who currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks and is widely known for his nickname “Best Mode”. Recognized for his speed and agility, Lynch is considered to be one of the most dominant athletes in professional football. Since joining the NFL, Marshawn Lunch has recorded an impressive pro career that is highlighted by a Super Bowl XLVIII victory that brought Seattle its first ever Lombardi Trophy.
Former Denver Broncos icon, John Elway is regarded as one of the NFL’s all-time greatest quarterbacks and is statistically the second best passer in league history. Throughout his impressive 16-year NFL career, Elway won brought the Broncos two Super Bowl championships and was named Super Bowl XXXIII MVP. Earning Denver to six trips to the AFC Championship and five Super Bowl appearances, the nine-time Pro Bowl selection and 1987 AP NFL MVP was also the winningest starting quarterback ever at the time of his retirement.
Prince Fielder is a fantastic first baseman and a real powerhouse hitter that can hit a home run in any field, who continues to dominate the MLB as a member of the Texas Rangers. Since the start of his professional career, Fielder has taken the sport to new heights while setting a number of MLB records and individual records for his clubs. Rightfully regarded as one of the most dangerous batters in the MLB, Prince Fielder is reaching the peak of his game and looks to solidify his place in baseball history in coming seasons.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is a legendary NASCAR driver and team owner. The son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr. comes from a long line of racing icons and his career falls nothing short of extraordinary. The two-time winner of the Daytona 500 is regarded as the most recognizable stock car racer in the world and took home the Most Popular Driver Award for 12 consecutive years, from 2003-2013.