QuarterBacks and CrossChecks Column:Last week ESPN The Magazine released their list of the top 20 most dominant athletes of the last 20 years, and to be completely honest, it was pretty flawed. Sure some of it made sense, but having Peyton Manning 3rd and Tom Brady 20th is crazy, not to mention the fact that neither Serena Williams or Lionel Messi made the top ten. And how Michael Phelps didn't make the list at all is laughable. So here we go, re-writing the dominant 20 for 20 list.
20.Sidney Crosby, NHL: Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL, and has been for a while. He’s won three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals and countless NHL awards, he deserves to be on this list.
19. Mike Trout, MLB: In Mike Trout's seven MLB seasons, he is a 6x all-star, 2x AL MVP, 5x silver slugger award winner, led the league in RBIs in 2014 and led the league in stolen bases in 2012. Oh, almost forgot that he is still just 26 years old.
18. Novak Djokovic, ATP: Djokovic has won 12 grand slam titles, and from 2011-2016 he appeared in 18 grand slam finals, totaled 140 wins against top 10 competition and he has a winning record against his two biggest rivals, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
17. Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson rattled off 20 top-10 finishes in 14 consecutive seasons and won five straight NASCAR championships from 2006-2010. He's also qualified for every chase in his career, something no driver has ever done.
16. Allyson Felix, Track & Field: Felix won two golds and a silver at the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio and left as the most decorated woman track and field star in U.S Olympic History. She did so by not even qualifying in her best event due to injury, and is tied for the most medals of any woman track and field star.
15. Peyton Manning, NFL: In his career Manning threw for 539 touchdowns, 71,940 passing yards, both league records. He also is a 5x time league MVP, 14x pro bowler and 2x Super Bowl champion.
14.Michael Schumacher, Formula one: All this guy has done is led for over 15,000 miles over the course of his career. That's an astonishing 4,000 miles more than the next closest competitor. He also currently holds his sports most wins (91), wins in a season(13) and championships with 7.
13. Manny Pacquiao, Mens Boxing: From 2000-2009 Pacquiao knocked out 20 of 26 opponents and according to CompuBox, he threw more punches in his prime than the welterweight average. Pacquiao also has won world titles in eight different weight classes and has three BWAA Fighter of the Year awards to his name.
12: Rafael Nadal, ATP: If you are going to put Djokovic on this list, then you have to put Nadal on this list. Nadal has won 16 Grand Slams, has appeared in 23 Grand Slam finals and has appeared in at least four finals at each major. Nadal is the youngest to ever to complete the career Grand Slam, he won all four majors by 24 years old, and has won multiple majors on hard, grass and clay courts.
11. Cristiano Ronaldo, Men's Soccer: For what seems like forever, it has been Ronaldo and Messi for who is the best soccer player in the world. Ronaldo is going to go down as perhaps the greatest soccer player to ever grace the pitch, and his 647 goals between club and country prove that. Ronaldo has won five Ballon d’Or awards, the award given to the best soccer player in the world for that year, and needed only 286 games to score 300 La Liga goals, 48 eight games faster than his rival Lionel Messi. As dominant as Ronaldo has been, he just misses the top 10.
10. Barry Bonds, MLB: Okay here we go the top 10. You are probably outraged right now and saying Barry Bonds shouldn't be this high or even on this list at all because Bonds cheated by using steroids. Well sure you can make that argument, but we don’t really know when or for how long he had the stuff in his system. So why you are sitting there and thinking putting him here is trash, let me remind you he was intentionally walked 688 times, once while the bases were loaded. Bonds also has seven MVP awards, that's four more than anybody else and to put icing on the cake his 762 home runs are the most in MLB history. So you can complain all you want, but Bonds deserves a spot in the top 10.
9. Lebron James, NBA: I, like most of you probably are, am not a fan of Lebron James. But there's no doubt at all that he deserves not to be here. All Lebron James has done in his 15, and counting, seasons in the NBA is rival Michael Jordan as the greatest basketball player ever. Lebron just recently became the only member of the 30,000 points, 8,000 rebounds and 8,000 assists club. While he was doing that, James was going to a ridiculous seven straight finals, and it might even be eight straight, as well as being the only player in NBA history to average at least 25 points in 14 seasons. To top that off he is currently 33, averaging 27/9/9 and has no signs of slowing down.
8. Lionel Messi, Mens Soccer: Messi like Ronaldo is arguably the greatest soccer player ever, and has done nothing but proven that year after year. Messi not only transformed La Liga into the best soccer league in the world, but has also dominated for his country as well. He has won five Ballon d’Or awards has scored 603 combined goals for club and country and is gearing up to make perhaps his final run at a world cup for Argentina.
7. Tom Brady, NFL: Tom Brady does one thing really, really well, and that’s win. Brady has been in eight super bowls, and won five of them. He is a 13x pro bowler, 3x time league MVP and has the most wins by any player in NFL history with 223. Brady has led the league in passing touchdowns four times and also has the same number of Super Bowl MVPs.
6. Tiger Woods, PGA: Tiger Woods hasn’t been good for a long time, and in terms of impact on sports has probably the biggest out of everyone on this list. But those 11 years he was dominate, oh boy. From late 1999 to mid 2008, Tiger won13 of 35 majors, no other golfer in that span won more than three. He won five or more consecutive tournaments three times and won player of the year nine times. Woods has won the Masters four times, once he did it in back to back years, and according to ESPN.com, out of the 45 times he went into the final round with the lead, he held on to it 43 times. In his stretch of dominance, no other golfer came even close to being as good as Tiger Woods, and even though it has been about a decade since his stretch of dominance, Woods is favored to win the 2018 Masters(these odds may have changed). Tiger doesn’t deserve to be number one because of the ten years he has fallen off, but boy his stretch of dominance was insanity.
5. Roger Federer, ATP: This guy is just a monster, I mean it's just insane. He has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, and for 305 weeks(and counting) he has sat atop of the ATP standings. That includes 237 weeks in a row, which is a record. Federer from 2005-2008 won 10 Grand Slam finals, which is another record, and overall for his career has won and absurd 82% of all his matches including a stretch where he won 93% of all his matches from 2004-2007. Roger Federer is so good that he was ranked number one in 2004, it’s now 2018 and hey you guessed it he is still number one.
4. Usain Bolt, Track and Field: It’s crazy to me that he has been the fastest man alive for the past 8 years or so, which is a crazy amount of time to be that fast, and is probably the fastest human to ever live. In an eight year stretch, he has entered 21 races, and he has won all but one of them, and the one he didn't win he was disqualified for. He has 11 world championships and holds records in all the three main categories of sprinting. To sum it up once more, he is the fastest human in the history of the world.
3. Michael Phelps, Men's Swimming: So Michael Phelps is a human fish and the fact that he was not on the list the first time is simply one of the most ridiculous things in the history of ever. He has won a gold medal in six different swimming categories, and he has done that over five Olympics. He is the most decorated Olympian of all time, he has 28 medals with 23 of those being gold. He is easily the greatest swimmer in the history of all time, and is also the greatest Olympian ever.
2. Floyd Mayweather, Men's Boxing: Okay, I don't like Floyd, never have and probably never will, but the dude never lost as a professional. He is 50-0, that's insane and he was only really ever knocked down hard one time in his professional career. He is the best defensive and elusive boxer ever, and has five world titles in different weight classes. Once again you might not like him, but the dude has never lost as a professional and could easily be number one.
1.Serena Williams, WTA: Here we go, the number one spot. This was not easy, there were a lot of deserving candidates, Floyd Mayweather being a close second, but ultimately it goes to miss Serena Williams. I mean my gosh she just destroys anything in her path. She has 23 Grand Slam titles, that is most in the open era and she has won 15 of them sense Tiger Woods has won a major. Williams doesn’t just wins, she dominates the best as she has won 19 out of 22 matches against top-10 opponents. Williams also has four gold medals to her name and is 14-0 in doubles matches. If you still don’t believe she should be number one, she won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant. Let me repeat that again, she won a tennis major while pregnant, no man could ever do that.