Top 25 Oklahoma Sports Figures Since 2000 (6-10))
1:00 AM EST on March 3, 2011
Recapping last week's brilliance:
15 Matt Kemp
14 Jonathan Horton
13 Clay Bennett
12 Mat Hoffman, BMX racer extraordinaire
11 Jason White
On to this week's attempt at not mailing it it ...
10 Mike Gundy
We are going to find out a lot about this guy next year. There is no argument he did a marvelous job coachinghiring coordinators the past few years. Now he has brought in a relative unknown to lead the vaunted Cowboy offense. Will the Pokes continue to build on their recent success? Or will Gundy's desire to call plays get the best of him?
Les Miles made OSU relevant regionally. Gundy has made the Cowboys relevant nationally, and not just because he's a 40 year old man who asked Jenni Carlson about mothers of children. The Cowboys won 9 games in 2008 and 2009, then finished with it's first ever 11 win season in 2010, an unprecedented run in OSU football history. The only black mark, excluding Chris Collins' time on the field, is Gundy's inability to beat Texas and Oklahoma. He has managed one win between the two premier programs in the Big XII, with that one win coming against a 5-7 Texas squad. At some point he will have to get the best of Texas and Oklahoma for Boone to get that elusive conference championship.
9 Kevin Williams
He might honestly be the most underrated defensive player in the NFL. The former Cowboy and first round draft pick had an immediate impact on the Vikings front line, leading the team with 10.5 sacks and a consensus All-Rookie team honoree in 2003. He had a better season in 2004 with 11.5 sacks. From the interior defensive line. How hard is that? Ndamukong Suh was fellatied for his 10 sack rookie performance this past fall.
Williams has remained a rock on the Vikings' line, one that during his career is considered one of if not the best defensive line in the NFL. Which begs the question - how does OSU never have a good defense?
8 Wes Welker
I fancy myself a poor man's Wes Welker. Short. White. Underrated athletic ability. Consistently overachieving. Sounds like a certain young man from Tulsa who's athletic achievements are well-known on the east side of the state. Minus, of course, the ability to catch the football. And run with the football. And kick the football. And pretty much anything to do with football or any other athletic endeavor.
Wes has gone from high school superstar to unrecruited college All-American to undrafted Pro Bowler. Though many came before him, Wes made the slot receiver position a necessity in today's "throw the ball 50 times a game" NFL.
Famously not recruited by either OU or OSU, Wes became just the 4th receiver in NFL history to record 3 consecutive 100 catch seasons. Wes has an outside chance of making the Pro Football Hall of Fame, while Rashaun Woods and Malcolm Kelly continue to pursue their respective bass fishing and rap careers. Not bad for a boy who wasn't even invited to the combine.
7 Chris Paul
Kevin Durant 1.0. Or is KD CP3 2.0?
OMG. STFU. STSRNBIKAMF.
Chris Paul brought the NBA into the conscious of Oklahoma City. The Hornets were a struggling franchise when they left New Orleans following Hurricane George W. Bush. Chris Paul was a rookie, having been picked 4th overall by the Hornets and their idiot ownership. He was the near unanimous Rookie of the Year winner, having led all rookies in points, assists, steals, and minutes. An unexpected star was born in central Oklahoma.
And in a flash, he was gone. I, like many fans, dreaded the arrival of the Sonics, holding out hope that the Hornets, a team seemingly destined for the top of the NBA Western Conference, would remain in Oklahoma City despite a promise to return to Louisiana. Alas, Paul and the Hornets have not enjoyed the recent success expected of them when they signed Peja Stoy ... Stoy ... Stoysomethingcroatian. Perhaps it's the mongrel idiots running that franchise. Or the injuries to Peja. Or the terrible draft picks after Paul. I think it's because New Orleans is a cesspool of sin and God hates sin.
6 Matt Holliday
He has had one down year in his career. Really, it was half a year. Yet for some reason, because he has played most of his career either in Colorado or with Albert Pujols, Holliday does not get the recognition he deserves as being one of the top hitters in the game today. A graduate of Stillwater High School and son of Jim Traber's other other other best friend Tom Holliday, Matt has hit under .300 once in his seven years in the bigs. Since 2006, he has averaged 107 runs, 28 homeruns, 110 RBIs, and 14 steals. He has an average OPS of .952. Which is really good for all you non-dork fantasy baseball folk out there.
Yet, do you hear him mentioned with the likes of Josh Hamilton, his teammate, Ryan Howard, et al as one of the premier hitters in the game today? Not unless you are a dooshbag Cardinal fan. And odds are you are too busy enjoying the smell of your own shit to tell anyone about Holliday.