ESPN is currently running a showdown to determine who the hottest athlete, or the "now" athlete, is. While it's basically a huge joke designed to further kiss the behind and get ESPN on the good side of one of the "usual suspects" (i.e. Shaq, Peyton, Tiger), I thought I'd post the brackets here and see who real people think the winner(s) should be, not people paid to pick the person who'll like your network for it. The brackets are (in bold):
The Complete Bracket
MICHAEL JORDAN BRACKET
July 1: (1) Tiger Woods def. (8) Matt Leinart
July 2: (4) Dwyane Wade def. (5) Shaun White
July 3: (2) LaDainian Tomlinson def. (7) David Beckham
July 4: (3) Steve Nash def. (6) Serena Williams
The voting for this bracket is done, and with the exception of LT beating Becks, I agree with it. I see Tiger winning this bracket.
MUHAMMAD ALI BRACKET
July 5: (1) Peyton Manning vs (8) Amanda Beard
July 6: (4) Dale Earnhardt Jr vs (5) Chuck Liddell
July 7: (2) Alex Rodriguez vs (7) Terrell Owens
July 8: (3) Kobe Bryant vs (6) Ronaldinho
This is the current bracket, with voting on the Manning/Beard match-up taking place today. My picks are:
*Manning: Beard's proved she's got a nice rack, but that doesn't make you the "now" athlete.
*Jr.: He's got a huge following and made a bold move and left his father's company. Also, I think a lot of people aren't familiar enough with UFC to even recognize Liddell.
*A-Rod: I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong, but I think most people are kinda over of TO and his schtick.
*Kobe: I hate the guy and he's not very "now" to me, but, like Liddell, the average non-sports fan has probably never heard of Ronaldinho.
*WINNER: A-Rod. He's "now" right now. Manning is huge, but I think that with it being baseball season Alex's "nowness" will prevail.
BILLIE JEAN KING BRACKET
July 9: (1) LeBron James vs (8) Kelly Slater
July 10: (4) Jeff Gordon vs (5) Barry Bonds
July 11: (2) Derek Jeter vs (7) Sidney Crosby
July 12: (3) Reggie Bush vs (6) Danica Patrick
*LeBron: Again, the average person has no clue who Kelly Slater is.
*Bonds: Why he's not a top 4 seed is beyond me. I'm not sure there is an athlete at the moment who's looked at as much as him.
*Sid the Kid: My personal pick. While my love of hockey makes this a biased pick, I think Sid should get it for basically rebounding a failing franchise and putting a face on a very anonymous NHL.
*Danica: She's more recognizable as a figure than Bush is.
*WINNER: Sidney Crosby. No single athlete has done more for their sport in the recent past than he has.
BABE RUTH BRACKET
July 13: (1) Tom Brady vs (8) David Ortiz
July 14: (4) Maria Sharapova vs (5) Vince Young
July 15: (2) Roger Federer vs (7) Tony Parker
July 16: (3) Shaquille O'Neal vs (6) Michael Phelps
*Brady: RedSox Nation is gonna make this the closest battle, IMO, but Brady is a huge athlete and he's in the news for spreading his Dreamboat seed.
*Sharapova: See Danica Patrick vs. Reggie Bush
*Tony Parker: He just won a title and is nailing that chick from that show.
*Shaq: This is a real throwaway for me. Shaq is past his prime, IMO, and Phelps isn't that recognizable of a person.
*WINNER: Tom Brady. He's sexy.
OVERALL WINNER: Tiger Woods. I would love to see Crosby win, but there's not a more recognized athlete in the world than Tiger Woods (except for David Beckham, but he's been done away with already).