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on picking a favorite player April 7, 2006

Posted by d.w. in sports.
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when trying to decide who should be your favorite player the first thing you need to do is identify what aspects make a player great. this is an individualized process. for some people home runs are important while for others on-base percentage is key. some people like defense, blocks, and steals, but other people prefer shooting, scoring, and assists. some people only like basketball players who take charges. other people call them names when they take the charge. in football, you might like touchdowns, quarterback ratings, yards per _____, endzone celebrations, interceptions, or playmaking. in ice skating maybe it’s the costumes, the music, or the degree of difficulty.

without restricting myself to a specific sport i’d like to say what kinds of things affect my choosing a favorite athlete.
(1) hair: great haircut/hair-do = great player.

stevie nashhaircut11.jpgrafael nadal

sweetformer nba superstarbrent barry


(especially mohawks)

haircut21.jpgshawne merrimanhaircut30.jpg

(2) facial hair: i can’t love a player with only a mustache (except adam morrison, as long as he’s joking). but a good beard can go a long ways.

morrison.JPGjake.JPGricky davisrag-tag: vladamir radmanovic
(ricky williams’ beard is 80,000,000 times cooler than anybody else’s.)

ricky williams

(3) accessories: headbands, visors, taped ankles, etc. also, off-the-court/field attire can be very influential in my decision to like or dislike them.
iverson looks totally sweet all the timericky williams’ visor looks great

(4) shoelaces as headbands:
ramos.JPGdidier drogba with shoelace

(5) interviews: what players say when interviewed is a major deciding factor. for instance:

  • i. for like a month straight rasheed wallace said the exact same thing to the media after every game. he also always says nice things about the other team.
  • ii. shaq always says the weirdest stuff in interviews.
  • iii. steve nash talks about his anti-war views.
  • iv. (this could make you love or hate him) karl malone talked about protecting his family from badgers during his retirement speech.
  • v. terrell owens held a news conference in his driveway while he did sit-ups shirtless.

(6) controversy: when players are unjustly hated, it makes me start to like them more.

  • (4) espn hates ricky williams (former marijuana use, quitting the nfl, travelling the world, going to a holistic medicine school, moving in with a guy he met at radio shack, coming back, having the best beard ever, etc).
  • the nba hates rasheed wallace (talks about the racism of the nba, criticizes officials and hints that the officiating is sort of fixed)
  • everyone in the world hates ron artest (got in that one fight, punched that camera man, tried to take time off to promote his hip hop cd)
  • and everyone loves lance armstrong (i hate him).

(7) finger-waiving: only applies to dikembe mutombo.

finger wag

(8) hustle: not like that lazy-ass whiner, clint mathis (even if he did used to have a mohawk).

so my favorite player is ricky williams and i drafted him last year in our fantasy football league, even though he was going to be serving a four-game suspension and sharing carries with ronnie brown. he fits all of my criteria, except the finger-waiving stuff.

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