The Countdown Continues……..
39. Dr Dunkenstein: As a young hoop junkie growing up on the left Coast, Louisville always seemed like some faraway mythical basketball paradise. And with names like Dr Dunkenstein, Lancaster Gordon, Rodney and Scooter McCray, Herbert Crook, Milt Wagner and Never Nervous Pervis Ellison leading the Cardinals to 4 Final Fours and 2 titles in a 7 year span, they were the top of the heap.
38. Mike Tyson: Who is this 19 year old kid with the gold tooth? Great call by SI, but did anybody foresee the completely brilliant yet painfully dysfunctional dramedy that Mr Tyson was about to unveil to the world? Give a 20 year old fighter from the rough streets the keys to the kingdom and sit back and enjoy the ride. Never has there been a major sporting star with more ups and downs than Tyson.
37. Ricky Henderson: The Oakland base thief is the most unique ball player who I’ve ever witnessed. Every time he had an open base, it became a must see game of dare between Ricky and the opposing team. His leads were downright greedy, almost taunting the opposing pitcher, as he would dig in with the nervous fingers and lowest center of gravity imaginable. His record of 1406 pilfered bags will never be touched.
36. World B. Free: Before the Splash Brothers, World B Free and Purvis Short were making it rain in the Oakland coliseum arena. At the time my cousin was working in a sporting goods store that sold Warriors jerseys and when he called me asking who I wanted to go with for my birthday, World B was my immediate selection. WBF had such a unique, free flowing game that brings to mind some of Curry’s creativity. And one could easily write 1000 words on the shorts, socks, shoe combo.
35. Kareem: I almost feel like with all the love for MJ, Bird, Magic, Kobe etc, The Captain has almost been lost in the shuffle. Lets not forget, Kareem retired with 6 rings, 6 MVP’s, and the most points ever (38,387). Only a healthy LeBron playing another 6 years may have a go at that tally. Kareem could do it all, Sky hook from 20 feet, pass like a guard out of the post, run the floor, board, block shots, and do bizarre things like fight Bruce Lee in the movie, “Game of Death”.
34. Dan Marino: Was there ever a better Sunday afternoon gunslinger than a young Dan Marino? I know he only went to one Bowl, but for just pure pocket passing pleasure, he was the best. He was about a mobile as a 40 year old coder in the midst of a 18 hour hack-a-thon, but the anticipation and quick release made him an all time great.
33. Hulk-a-Mania: While the WWF may not be considered “real sports”, there is no denying that for a few days in late March, 1985, Hulkmania ran wild and captivated the country. I’ll never forget the excitement of going to a sold out San Francisco Civic Center to watch WrestleMania I on closed circuit TV. The atmosphere was electric and the excitement rivaled that of a Niner Super Bowl win. To get us all revved up, the night before the event, Hulk and Mr T hosted SNL and in the main card, the dynamic duo defeated Rowdy Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff. Brilliant!
32. Georgia and Bert; Where do you go with this cover? My mind keeps going straight to the gutter. I just have a strong suspicion that while this shoot was taking place, Georgia was whispering in graphic detail through those closed pearly whites of hers all of the dirty things she had planned for Bert that evening at her Bel Air mansion. Can you imagine what social media would have done with this cover?
31. Bill Johnson: The Bill Johnson story is one of my all time favorites. Young down and out juvenile delinquent gets sent to a ski academy in lieu of jail after stealing a car and ends up winning Olympic Gold in the downhill! Along the way, Bill completely riled up the European skiing establishment with his brashness, including a war of words with the legendary Franz Klammer, and then guaranteed his victory in the Sarajevo games. Sadly his life took many ugly turns later on, but Bill made me proud to be an American for a few months in ’84.
30. Boz/McMahon: The Boz hoisting McMahon on his shoulders is about as wacky as it gets. As an impressionable young high school athlete, the Boz was somebody who we really looked up to and one of our gang actually went to the barber and got himself a Boz cut. I was shocked when he walked into class with the shaved sides, spiked top and mullet (or Works as we called them back in the day).