Front Cover Athletes

Steve O Speak

By Tyler Fenwick:

I most always stick with my bread and butter in the Big Ten. But this time, I’ve decided to go out on a limb and look at the top icons for each of the big sports here in America. I will be looking at the top three CURRENT, POSITIVE icons of the following sports:

1. College Football
2. NFL
3. MLB
4. Golf

College Football

Right now, college football is in a world of confusion and controversy. But there are still some student athletes out there who put the good into the game.

1. Denard Robinson Denard “Shoelace” Robinson (as he has become knows as) is a star quarterback for the University of Michigan our of Ann Arbor, Michigan. And the quality that earns him the #1 spot for College Football is not him play, but the humility and honor he makes part of his life as a student athlete. You can listen to interview with Denard Robinson, and I garuantee that he will somehow talk about the honor he plays with and the passion he puts towards him teammates. He is always quick to give thanks to anyone who and everyone. And he has had the recent fortune of being honored for his play in college football, giving his personality a chance to shine throughout the sports nation, and many are embracing it.

2. Andrew Luck Andrew Luck is another great quarterback who plays for the Stanford Cardinal. After a tremendous Junior season, many thought the star would turn pro and run with the money. But he made it very clear that he was dedicated to the Cardinal nation and eventually made the decision to stay and chase greatness in his senior season, just like many wanted him to. Not only is Luck one of the early front-runners for next year’s Heisman Trophy, he also has that great, winning attitude that makes him hard not to love. Much like Denard Robinson, his great play on the field has let that attitude leak out.

3. LaMichael James- LaMichael James is a stand-out runningback for the University of Oregon (national runner-up last season) who put up some staggering numbers in his Sophomore season. But helping James win the #3 spot is his will to succeed. Standing at only 5-foot-9, not a lot of people had hope in the young back as a Freshman. And if they were still doubting him last season, he shut the majority of them up. I’m sure that if you asked him how he has been so successful, one of the reasons would be the fuel that came from doubt. That’s why so many love to see him play.


It’s always hard to look at the bright side when your sport is in a lock-out, but don’t worry; I’m here to help.

1. Peyton Manning For me, it was a dead tie between Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. But I feel that Manning has more a push from general fans to succeed. So here he is at #1. It’s hard not to at least give Peyton Manning the respect he deserves. All of his years in the NFL have been with the Colts, and he has been the nucleus of that team for some time now. Some people may have thought Manning had a shot at being this good in the NFL, but nobody could have really guessed at the career he would be set for.

2. Tom Brady Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is almost a carbon copy of Peyton Manning in the fact that all they do is lead their team victory season after season. It’s one of the reasons the Colts/Pats rivalry has been so good as of late. So I could sit here and write another paragraph on Brady, or I could just tell you to refer to Manning’s collumn because they have the same traits that make them icons for the NFL.

3. Michael Vick What do you think of when here “Michael Vick”? Most probably think of the natorious dog-fighting. Others may think of his road to recovery and his impact on the game. And still others may think of the Atlanta Falcons… maybe. But in my opinion, what Michael Vick has given back to the game is greater that what he took away from it at this point. Vick has developed his game into a true art, and his devotion towards the education of young people has made many people fall back in love with the all-famous Michael Vick.


1. Derek Jeter- When it is all said and done, Derek Jeter may be one of the most iconic players to ever play the game of baseball. In his long, Yankee career, Jeter has put up very impressive numbers to say the least. Of course, he is just a couple hits shy of the famous 3,000 mark. And he is the only player ever to win the Silver Slugger, World Series MVP, and All-Star Game MVP. The pin-striped captain has been part of baseball for a long time. The only reason you can’t like Jeter is if your team is also in the AL East.

2. Albert Pujols- “The Machine” is one of the best sluggers to ever play the game, and he is standing out like that at first base, a position full of sluggers. Pujols leads the Cardinals in the NL West as contenders year after year. Take away the free-agency talks, and I believe you have the perfect player, honostly.

3. Alex Rodriguez- Yes, another Yankee. But the deserve it. A-Rod is one of the more versitile players in the Majors, being able to play just about anywhere. But even more important than that is the fact that he is a solid, all-around player, which is why people love him. Sure, he may or may not have a problem with Derek Jeter, but that is only a foot-note the tremendous career A-Rod is putting together.


1. Tiger Woods- At #1, Tiger Woods used to be a “duh” answer. But after so much of his personal life was exposed, which lead the deterioration of his game, most people probably think that part of his career is playing out to be bigger than the first part. But I disagree. There will never be another player as good as Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson won’t do it; Rory McIlroy won’t do it; Nobody will do it. So when you have a player this special, give him the credit he deserves. Golf would not be where it is today without Tiger Woods.

2. Rory McIlroy- Rory McIlroy has just recently jumped on the grand scheme of golf with his dissipointing finish at Augusta and then, of course, his anticipated win at the U.S. Open, which is being considered by most to be the most dominating, single performance on that course. This is a name that every general sports fan now knows, and he is helping put golf back on track after the spill of Tiger Woods.

3. Phil Mickelson- As soon as Tiger Woods started declining, everyone automatically turned to Phil Mickelson to fill that hole created. And while you can’t say he didn’t do that, you also can’t say he lived up to expectations. Still, Mickelson is one of the finest players right now in the world, and a bold personality makes him hard not to love.

So there you have it: my top three CURRENT, POSITIVE icons in College Football, the NFL, MLB, and Golf. Sorry I couldn’t do anything with the NHL or MLS because I don’t really know anything about them.

Let me know what you think!


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