Tuesday, June 23, 2009
It seemed like the day would never come, but finally I have reached that magic number of 100 posts. The century mark is certainly a grand milestone for TPLIYP. But as I lay in my bed last night thinking about how to celebrate such a momentous occasion, my mind wandered. I have done a recap of previous posts before, and with 49 more to recap, it could get ugly. Then I thought, what is 100? It's just a number. A number. Then it hit me. What does every athlete have? A number. Its perfect, for my 100th post I will go through numbers 1-100 and list my favorite athletes at each number. I know it has been done before on SI and ESPN the Mag, but it seems like the only good way to celebrate my blog hitting the triple digits. So here we go, my favorite players by number. This post is going to be very biased, but it should stir up some good chatter at the least.
00: Robert Parish. The Chief was pretty much the most awkward looking basketball player of all time.
1: Ozzie Smith. The Wizard will always be associated with the number 1. He was a pretty cool dude. His middle name is Earl.
2: Charles Woodson. I was a huge Chucky Woodson fan back when he was at Michigan. Put a ball anywhere near him and he would catch it. He could play offense and defense and was a Heisman winner.
3: Allen Iverson. As if the picture wasn't self explanatory. Iverson was my favorite player in ANY sport for a good 5 year period. His mug shot is also a thing of legend.
4: Lenny Dykstra. The Dude was every kid's hero growing up in Philadelphia. Hard nosed and balls to the wall. Nowadays he provides for entertaining articles about "Getting that cheddar bro".
5: Pat the Bat. Burrell marked the Phillies' turn from being a squad of goons to actually caring about winning. To this day we are still unsure as to whether he is a man or a machine. McNabb is a runner up here because Burrell has a championship.
6: The Doctor. Best dunker of all time. This is one of the sickest plays of all time still. Ryan Howard is a close second.
7: John Elway. The old orange uniforms, and the vortex make Elway the choice here. J.D. Drew is a distant last for this number.
8: Shane Victorino. The Flyin' Hawaiian is the modern day equivalent to Dykstra. Let's hope his post baseball life goes a bit smoother.
9: Von Hayes. Had to go with the namesake on this one. Gordie Howe was a runner up just for inventing the "Gordie Howe Hat Trick".
10: Dutch Daulton. The unquestioned leader of the Phils in 1993. Its too bad he went crazy and thinks the world is going to end in 2012. I remember as a lad crossing my fingers and hoping Daulton would hit a home run. He did. It was awesome.
11: J Roll. Rollins can be annoying sometimes, but his leadership in the past two years has been unquestioned.
12: Matt Stairs. I don't need to explain this one. Tom Brady is an honorable mention here too. He is very fun to watch and has done more with less than anybody in the NFL. He needs to cure himself of Rick Vaughn syndrome though.
13: Dan Marino. That stupid facemask, his great work in Ace Ventura Pet Detective, and gaffes like this make Marino the choice here.
14: Pete Rose. Nobody played harder than Rose. You gotta admire that. He also helped the Phils to their first World Series Championship.
15: Dave Hollins. Manned the hot corner for the Phils in '93. Wouldn't even flinch if a pitch was about to hit him. This is probably why he broke his hand like 5 times. Fun facts: at one point was traded from the Twins to the Mariners for David Ortiz. Retired due to a spider bite. Runner up here is Wesley Mateo, promising 2B for St. Sebastian's until his career was derailed by "the yips".
16: Joe Montana. Great fan of Joe Cool. One of the most prominent athletes with a butt chin.
17: Mark Grace. Gracey was a throwback. He was still drinking beers and smoking cigs at a time when players were all on the health tip. Also, the first time I heard the phrase "slumpbuster" was from Mark Grace. Scott Rolen is in dead last here.
18: Mike Richards. First hockey player to make the list. Mike Richards scores goals and also buries people.
19: Tony Gwynn. An inspiration to fat athletes everywhere.
20: Mike Schmidt. Probably the most beloved athlete in all of Philadelphia. Michael Jack is the best 3rd baseman of all time.
21: Deion Sanders. Neon Deion was pretty sick. Usually burned the Eagles whenever he played them, but had to admire his skills.
22: Emmitt Smith. See #21. Pete Incaviglia is an honorable mention here.
23: Michael Jordan. Sometimes I dream that he is me. The shots I make nobody else can take.
24: Ken Griffey Jr. He will always be #24 in my mind. I don't remember what happened to him between 2000 and 2009.
25: Keith Primeau. Favorite hockey player ever. His 5 OT game winning goal against the Penguins in the playoffs was a thing of legend.
26: Chase Utley. If you boo this selection, Chase might get upset.
27: Carlton Fisk. Great player, great guy, second most famous home run ever to Matt Stairs' legendary jack. True story: Robin Williams had tickets to Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, but instead went to go see about a girl.
28: Marshall Faulk. Loved Faulk when he was on the Colts with Jimmy Harbaugh. Admired him grudgingly when he was on the Rams and pulverized the Eagles.
29: John Kruk. Another beloved character in Philadelphia. Played in the World Series with ripped pants and his boxers hanging out, put his helmet on backwards when facing Randy Johnson in the All Star Game. Now a great commentator. Not as disgusting to his wife as he used to be.
30. Nolan Ryan. I know he is #34 in this picture, but at one point he was #30. Plus I couldn't pass up posting this picture. Noley is the best pitcher of all time and I'm glad I got to see him play. His Advil commercials were also very good.
31: Jon Lester. Big fan of Jon Lester since he is on my fantasy team and I've gotten to see him twice this year.
32: Steve Carlton. Two lefties in a row!! Never got to see him play obviously, but Carlton is one of the best lefties of all time. His 4 Cy Youngs rank second to only Randy Johnson (see how I didn't count Clemens). Fun fact: In 1972 Lefty won 27 games for the Phillies. The team won a total of 59 that year.
33: Larry Bird. Best basketball player of all time.
34: Charles Barkley. Chuck Rock was not only a favorite of mine when he was on the Sixers, but now he provides great commentary on TNT and high comedy on the Haney Project.
35: Cole Hamels. Man crush in full effect. Hole Camels was crucial in leading the Phils to the World Series last year.
36: Robin Roberts. Was lucky enough to get his autograph 10 years ago. Terribly nice guy. One of the greats also.
37: Chad Durbin. As you can tell, #37 is a tough one. Durbin was crucial to the Phils World Series run last year though. Also when he and J.D. Durbin were both on the team, the Phillies had cornered the Durbin market. Similar to when the Saints cornered the Billy Joe market in the 1990s with both Billy Joe Hobert and Billy Joe Tolliver.
38: Curt Schilling. Hate him as a person, but loved him as a player. One of the best big game pitchers of all time.
39: Brett Myers: He beats 2 things: his wife, the Mets.
40: Bill Laimbeer. A tall awkward white guy, does it get any better? Laimbeer was physical, and did some funny commercials.
41: Glen Rice. There was a point where he was the third best player in the NBA behind Dan Majerle and Michael Jordan in the 90s. One of the greatest 3 point shooters of all time. Almost got traded to the Sixers once but it got nixed at the last minute. So sad.
42: Ronnie Lott. Nobody really wears this number anymore because of Jackie Robinson. Lott was pretty badass though. First New Mexico resident to crack the list as well.
43: Dennis Eckersley. A one of a kind pitcher, and now making waves as an announcer. I also met him at Eastern Mountain Sports in Natick once. Nice dude and supposed Wellesley resident.
44: Derrick Coleman. Don't ask me why, but I loved this guy. A fat power forward that could shoot 3's. He also had a huge reverse layup putback for a win against the Celtics that I have been immitating ever since. And he had fat rolls in his neck. Close second, Danny Ainge - Wellesley resident.
45: Tug McGraw. Got the final out in 1980 to clinch the title for the Phils. Has been an icon ever since. Wanted nothing to do with that son of his.
46: Mad Dog Madson. Madson switched to #46 this year, but was amazing as the setup man last year for the Phils. This year he has proven that he is no closer though.
47: Tommy Glavine. Another great lefty pitcher (I'm sensing a theme here). The kid from Billerica, MA (aka Bricka) was nasty on the Braves, but brought me the most joy when he got lit up by the Marlins on the last game of the year in 2007, clinching the NL East title for the Phils.
48: Danny Briere. This little guy sure can run the center position. Is he worth the $10 million that he's being paid? We'll find out.
49: Shaky Wake. Tim Wakefield has always been one of my favorite Red Sox. The knuckleballer can throw forever. Watching him pitch live is not the exciting though.
50: Jamie Moyer. The ageless one. Led the Phils in wins last year.
51: Ichiro. One of the most fun players to watch. Great speed, great bat, great glove, great arm.
52: Ray Lewis. He killed a man
53: Darryl Dawkins. Chocolate Thunder could break backboards with the best of em.
54: Brad Lidge. Lights Out Lidge's perfect season in 2008 culminated with the Phils winning the World Series in 5 games.
55: Dikembe Mutombo. This dude keyed the Sixers NBA Finals run in 2000, and his voice is hillarious.
56: Joe Blanton. Fat Joe's home run in the World Series last year was awesome. Lawrence Taylor gets an honorable mention here for snapping Joe Theisman's leg like a tostito in thick salsa (thanks to Koey for the simile).
57: Johan Santana. Much bigger fan of him when he was on the Twins, but Santana is probably the most dominant pitcher in the game today.
58: Jonathan Bapbullbon. Papelbon is a pretty big racist and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2007.
59: Seth Joyner. Member of the Gang Green defense in the 80s and 90s, and one of the most exciting linebackers to watch of all time.
60: Chuck Bednarik. The last two way player and author of one of the greatest hits of all time.
61: Nate Newton. An entertaining man to say the least. A great lineman for the Cowboys in the glory days, but he will always be remembered for getting caught with 213 pounds of pot and saying that it was not for distribution purposes. I guess that's what all of those bags of chips are for.
62: Ian Beckles. I vaguely remember this guy playing on the Eagles. Congratulations, that is good enough to take #62
63: Dermontti Dawson. Kind of screwed myself by using Madson at 46. I always used to pick Dawson in Madden 97 for my center.
64: Randall McDaniel. Playing in the same era as Randall Cunningham, I think Eagles fans always liked Randall McDaniel.
65: Jamaal Green. Played backup D End for the Eagles in their Super Bowl year. Now I think he is in the Army.
66: Bill Bergey. Bergey!!!! Don't know much about him, but he was a fan favorite back in the day. Also a great golfer.
67: Jamaal Jackson. Could be the starting center for the Eagles next year, but only the second Jamaal on this list. We're really in the dregs here.
68: Jaromir Jagr. Jagr wins here strictly for the mullet.
69: John Runyan. One of my favorite lineman ever. Played until 5 seconds after the whistle, often cheap shotting someone. Also rumored to have finished 2 racks of ribs and 12 Coronas in an hour at Starter's.
70: Art Donovan. Such a funny looking man.
71: Evgeni Malkin. Led my fantasy hockey team to the title in 08-09.
72: Ron Hextall. Kind of a reach as he was #27 during his heyday with the Flyers, but wore #72 briefly with the Islanders. Scored a goal in the playoffs, also gave up many.
73: Shawn Andrews. Gained my respect after I saw him singing and dancing to "Hollaback Girl" in Sayre Park in the summer of 2005.
74: Merlin Olsen. He knows Ron Burgundy. Paul Coffey on the Bruins gets honorable mention here.
75: Howie Long. Vilanova grad, did a great job in Broken Arrow.
76: Shawn Bradley. Probably the greatest NBA player of all time.
77: Gheorghe Muresan. His performances in ESPN commercials and the movie My Giant push him over Red Grange and Ray Bourque.
78: Bruce Smith. Great defensive end that taught me the meaning of intimidation.
79: Andrei Markov. Stalwart defenseman on my fantasy hockey team.
80: Kevin Curtis. Defying stereotypes one day at a time.
81: Tim Brown. Looked so good in the silver and black.
82: Dante Hall. The Human Joystick, a great thrill to watch return kicks.
83: Wes Welker. Defying stereotypes one day at a time.
84: Randy Moss. When you go to Rand University and you are rich, you don't write checks. Straight cash homie.
85: Mark Duper. Great name
86: Fred Barnett. Pretty good Eagle. He and Randall Cunningham combined for a 95 yard td pass once.
87: Donald Brashear. One of my favorite tough guys of all time.
88: Dale Jarrett. Living Legend. I used to have a Dale Jarrett hat until it accidentally (on purpose) caught on fire during greek week while I was wearing it.
89: Calvin Williams. Barnett's partner in crime.
90: Jevon Kearse. Kearse was a freak on the Titans, then he came to the Eagles and things didn't go so well.
91: Dennis Rodman. Could have gone with him at 10 or 73 but waited until now.
92: Rick Tocchet. One of the Flyers all time greats, he will be most fondly remember for beating the shit out of Lindros in practice one day. Reggie White would have taken this spot had he not betrayed the Eagles.
93: John Randle. Nightmare to guard in the 90s, originator of the scary eye black.
94: Brendan Shanahan. The Whale.
95: Richard Dent. Long time Bear had a brief tenure on the Eagles. The sack man's comin', I'm your man Dent, if a quarterbacks slow, he's gonna get bent.
96: Clyde Simmons. Another Gang Green member. I had his starting lineup, I think I ate the helmet though.
97: Jeremy Roenick. Another great Flyer, loses a few points for going to Thayer Academy though.
98: Tony Siragusa. The self proclaimed "best looking guy in football".
99: Mitch Williams. Screw Gretzky, the Wild Thing is the true #99. Jerome Brown gets honorable mention here.
100: This blog. Thanks to all the fans for keeping me going through 100 posts. Enjoy the list and let's hear your thoughts.