Star Status: Athletes are public figures. They're celebrities. Who are the most popular sports figures? And, which sports has the most in the limelight?
The scope has changed with each generation. For instance, baseball isn't as popular as it used to be.
The household names in "America's Favorite Pastime," aren't household names anymore.
Most sports fans remember Ruth, Aaron, Gehrig, Williams and Cobb. They know the players of today like, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. But, how many more current players can you name?
How many Braves can you name? I used to know them all. Of course, I don't watch the Braves like I used to.
Last year, ESPN listed the most famous players in the world. Four of the top ten were soccer players. This was a world poll; however, the NBA's LeBron James and Kevin Durant were in the Top 10.
Tennis stars; Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and golf's Tiger Woods complete the top ten.
The highest ranking baseball player came in at No. 78, recently retired David Ortiz. The NFL's highest ranker was Cam Newton at No. 32.
In all, basketball had 20 players on the list. American football had 16. Baseball had 8.
Bleacher Report listed its most recognizable athletes in sports history. Babe Ruth was No. 1.
The List ranked the most iconic athletes in the history of sports. Michael Jordan was atop the list.
It's interesting to see how the lists have changed by decade. 247 Sports ranked the top five athletes from the 1990s:
5. Deion Sanders
4. Ken Griffey Jr.
3. Cal Ripken Jr.
2. Jerry Rice
1. Michael Jordan
Who were the top sports figures in the 80s? Wayne Gretzky, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Mike Tyson and Joe Montana.
How about the 70s? OJ Simpson (yes, that guy), Pete Rose, Reggie Jackson, Terry Bradshaw, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, Muhammad Ali and Jack Nicklaus.
Look Out Verne!: While keeping up with your NCAA brackets you might have recognized a familiar voice. Verne Lundquist is still calling games. I know he retired, but that was from college football.
Verne may have wished he had retired completely. A ball smacked the 76-year-old square in the face during the West Virginia/Notre Dame game. Here's the video link.
He took it like a champ though. With his trademark chortle, Lundquist laughed it off and finished the game, seam marks and all.