Wednesday Jun 28

Sports

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 February 2017 20:34 Written by Ben Pogany
1) Packers- Founded in 1919.
9 league championships, 4 Super Bowls and 9 conference titles.
There is perhaps no city as intimately intertwined with its sports team as Green Bay is with the Packers. The Packers in large part built professional football to what it is today, and the ultimate hardware still bears their patron saint's name.
Wins: 698 (2nd)
All-time Win %: .565 (4th)
Playoff Appearances: 30 (3rd)
Last Championship: 2010
Hall of Famers:
26
Defining Coach:
Vince Lombardi
The Immortals: Bart Starr, Don Hutson, Reggie White, Brett Favre, Ray Nitschke, Paul Hornung, Forrest Gregg, Tony Canadeo, Henry Jordan, Aaron Rodgers.
2) Steelers- Founded in 1933 as the Pittsburgh Pirates before switching to the Steelers in 1940.
6 Super Bowls and 8 conference titles.
The Steelers were relative late bloomers compared to their contemporaries, but once the Super Bowl era kicked off, the Steel Curtain soon descended upon the NFL.  Owned by the Rooney family since their inception, they ruled the seventies and are now sneaking up on the Patriots for the team of the 21st Century.
Wins: 569 (4th)
All-time Win %: .523 (14th)
Playoff Appearances: 28 (tied for 5th)
Last Championship: 2008
Hall of Famers:
23
Defining Coach: Chuck Noll
The Immortals: Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, Rod Woodson, Lynn Swann, Jack Ham.
3) Patriots-Founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots before expanding their base to all of New England in 1971.  
5 Super Bowls and 9 conference titles.
A relative newcomer to the football landscape, the Brady/Belichick era has catapulted a once floundering franchise into perennial Super Bowl contenders and good for the third greatest pro football franchise of all time.
Wins: 438 (14th)
All-time Win %: .540 (9th)
Playoff appearances: 21 (16th)
Last Championship: 2017
Hall of Famers:
4
Defining Coach:
Bill Belichick
The immortals: Tom Brady, John Hannah, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Haynes, Andre Tippet, Adam Vinatieri.
4) Cowboys- Founded in 1960.
5 Super Bowls and 8 conference titles.
Few outside of Dallas would agree that the Cowboys still deserve to be called "America's team." But in truth, what could be more American than amassing wealth, and on that front, no one holds a candle to the Boys.  Jim Jones has built the Cowboys into the most valuable franchise in America, and are second only to Manchester United worldwide. Though playoff wins are few and far between nowadays (and that's an understatement), their ownership of the nineties alone puts them at a solid third place.  
Wins: 464 (13th)
All-time Win %: .571 (2nd)
Playoff appearances: 31 (2nd)
Last Championship: 1995
Hall of Famers:
17
Defining Coach:
Tom Landry
The Immortals: Bob Lilly, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Randy White, Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Tony Dorsett, Deion Sanders
5) Bears- Founded in 1919 as the Decatur Staleys.
8 league championships, 1 Super Bowl, and 4 conference titles.
Wins: 730 (1st)
All-time Win %: .577 (1st)
Playoff Appearances: 25 (10th)
Last Championship: 1985
Hall of Famers: 31
Defining Coach:
George Halas
The Immortals: Walter Payton, Dick Butkus, Mike Ditka, Bronko Nagurski, Gale Sayers, Sid Luckman, Red Grange, Mike Singletary, Bill George.
6) 49ers- Founded in 1946.
5 Super Bowls and 6 conference titles.
Wins: 545 (6th)
All-time Win %: .558 (5th)
Playoff appearances: 26 (8th)
Last Championship: 1994
Hall of Famers:
16
Defining Coach:
Bill Walsh
The Immortals: Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Steve Young, Jimmy Johnson, Leo Nemellini, Roger Craig, Dave Wilcox, John Brodie, Patrick Willis.
7) Giants- Founded in 1925.
4 league championships, 4 Super Bowls and 11 conference titles.
Wins: 661 (3rd)
All-time Win %: .547 (7th)
Playoff appearances: 31 (1st)
Last Championship: 2011
Hall of Famers:
27
Defining Coach:
Bill Parcells
The Immortals: Lawrence Taylor, Michael Strahan, Emlen Tunnell, Phil Simms, Sam Huff.
8) Browns- Founded in 1946.
8 league championships and 11 conference titles.
Though today's Browns are more synonymous with torture and misery, it might be hard to imagine that at one time the North Coast ruled the football universe. Unfortunately, the Super Bowl era has not been kind to Cleveland.
Wins: 498 (11th)
All-time Win %: .535 (11th)
Playoff Appearances: 28 (4th)
Last Championship: 1964
Hall of Famers: 21
Defining Coach:
Paul Brown
The Immortals: Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Paul Warfield, Lou Groza, Ozzie Newsome.
9) Redskins- Founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves. However, because some perhaps saw the name Braves as being a bit disrespectful towards Native Americans, they changed their moniker to the Redskins a year later. They moved to Washington in 1937, where they've won 2 league championships, 3 Super Bowls and 5 conference titles.
Wins: 565 (5th)
All-time Win %: .509 (16th)
Playoff Appearances: 23 (11th)
Last Championship: 1991
Hall of Famers: 23
Defining Coach:
Joe Gibbs
The Immortals: Sammy Baugh, Joe Theismann, Darrell Green, Sonny Jurgensen.
10) Raiders- Founded in 1960 as the Oakland Senores.
1 league championship, 3 Super Bowls and 4 conference titles.
Wins: 434 (15th)
All-time Win %: .536 (10th)
Playoff appearances: 21 (tied for 14th)
Last Championship: 1983
Hall of Famers: 19
Defining Coach:
Al Davis, John Madden
The immortals: Gene Upshaw, Jim Otto, Art Shell, Marcus Allen, Willie Brown, Ted Hendricks.

Also in the conversation: Broncos, Dolphins, Colts, Rams, Ravens.

Some less-than-flattering distinctions:
--The Cardinals currently possess the longest championship drought in pro football, dating back to 1947. They also have an appalling 716 losses to their credit, almost 100 more than the next most losing team: the Detroit Lions.
--The Vikings, Bengals, and Falcons are the only teams that have existed 40+ years and are still without a championship. In addition, the Eagles, Lions, Titans/Oilers, Chargers, Browns, Bills, Jets, and Chiefs have waited over 40 years since their last championship.
--The Buccaneers are the only team with sub-.400 all time win percentage (.392).
 
Written by Ben Pogany

They say that those who can't do, teach.  When it comes to coaching football, however, a little on-field experience never hurt anyone.  Though the sidelines will never boast the skills of say the pregame roundtables, every once in awhile an athlete comes along who finds a way to transmit his own talents to the next generation.  Here are the former playing careers of today's NFL coaches.   

Mike Singletary (Vikings assistant)- Samurai Mike was a two-time All-American at Baylor University before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1981. He went on to start 172 games for the Bears during his 12-year career (second most in club history), amassing an impressive 1,488 career tackles.  One of the most frightening "Monsters of the Midway," Singletary was a seven time first team All-Pro and two time Defensive Player of the Year.  Elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998, Singletary fared considerably less well on the sidelines, lasting a rough three years at the helm for the Niners from 2008-10.  He is currently an assistant for the Minnesota Vikings.
Jack Del Rio (former Jaguars coach)- The longtime Jags coach began his career as an All-American linebacker at USC, during which he would take MVP honors in the 1985 Rose Bowl. Del Rio concurrently excelled on the diamond, batting .340 and catching for a USC squad that included both a young Mark McGwire and Randy Johnson. Del Rio would be selected by the Saints in the 1985 NFL Draft, going on to play 11 years for four teams and earning All-Pro distinction in 1994. 
Mike Munchak (Titans)- Munchak was a nine time Pro-Bowl offensive guard for the Oilers, later elected to the 1980's All-Decade team.  He entered the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Ken Whisenhunt (Cardinals)- Whiz played for Georgia Tech in the early eighties, where he achieved first team All-ACC honors during his junior and senior seasons.  Drafted in the 12th round by the Atlanta Falcons, he would last four years as their tight end before stints with the Redskins and Jets.  In all, he spent 9 years playing in the NFL and almost a decade more coaching before taking the head reigns for the Cards in 2007.
Gary Kubiak (Texans)- A member of the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, Kubiak started behind center for Texas A&M before going on to have the unfortunate position of playing behind John Elway in his nine seasons with the Broncos. 
Ron Rivera (Panthers)- The Panthers head man compiled the then record for sacks and career tackles at UCLA before submitting nine years at linebacker for the one of the all time defenses in the Chicago Bears of the mid-eighties..
Jim Zorn (Chiefs Assistant)- After going undrafted from Cal Poly Pomona, Zorn became the starting QB for the Seahawks from '76-'83, becoming the second player ever inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor.  He spent the next three years serving as backup for the Packers, Buccaneers, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Lovie Smith (Bears)- A three-time high school state champion, Smith played college football at Tulsa, where he would garner two All-American nods at linebacker and safety.
Tom Coughlin (Giants)- Coughlin attended Syracuse University where he played running back.  In 1967, he set the school's single-season receiving record.
Sean Payton (Saints)- A journeyman in the truest sense, Payton holds the distinction of being the only athlete to ever start in five different football leagues over the course of just two years. A successful quarterback out of Eastern Illinois, Payton would go on to play in the inaugural season of the Arena Football League in 1987.  He was subsequently sold for $1,000 to the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders before landing in the NFL as a Chicago "Spare Bear" scab during the '87 player's strike.  Once normal play resumed, Payton fell to the UK Budweiser National League, where he led the Leicester Panthers to the quarterfinals in his first and only year.  However, his journey had just begun.  Payton would ultimately coach at four different colleges and three different NFL teams before finally finding a home with the New Orleans Saints in 2006.
John Fox (Broncos)- Fox was a defensive back at San Diego State under future NFL head coach Herman Edwards.
Norv Turner (Chargers)- Backed up future Hall-of-Famer Dan Fouts for the Oregon Ducks of the early seventies.
Jim Harbaugh (49ers)- An all time Michigan great, Harbaugh excelled under center for the Bears and Colts, the latter electing him to their Ring of Honor for his winning leadership of their mid-nineties clubs.  Despite his success, he is perhaps best remembered around Indianapolis as the guy Peyton Manning replaced.
John Harbaugh (Ravens)- Older brother John was a defensive back at Miami.
Chan Gailey (Bills)- Quarterback at Florida.
Pat Shurmur (Browns)- Co-captained the Rose Bowl Champion 1988 Michigan St. Spartans.
Jason Garrett (Cowboys)- Long time backup to Troy Aikmen during the mid-nineties.
Jim Caldwell (Colts)- Defensive back at Iowa.
Leslie Frazier (Vikings)- Member of the "G Crew" who spent the early '80s as a defensive back with the Bears.  Coaches Frazier, Mike Singletary, Jeff Fisher, and Ron Rivera all received rings as players from the 1985 Super Bowl Champion Bears.
Jim Schwartz (Lions)- Schwartz played four years of linebacker for the Hoyas.
Andy Reid (Eagles)- Offensive guard for BYU.
Mike Shanahan (Redskins)- Quarterbacked at Eastern Illinois until a crushing hit on the practice field ruptured one of his kidney's, causing his heart to stop for over 30 seconds.  Shanahan was so close to death that a Catholic priest was actually summoned to read him his last rites.  Needless to say, that would mark the end of his playing days.
Mike Smith (Falcons)- An All-State linebacker in high school, Smith went on to grab defensive MVP honors twice for East Tennessee State before landing in the CFL for a short stint in 1982.
Rex Ryan (Jets)- Sexy Rexy served as a loyal foot soldier for Southwestern Oklahoma St Bulldogs, playing defensive end opposite his twin brother Rob in 1986.

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Written by Ben Pogany

Baseball is a game of legends, larger-than-life stars ever ingrained in our public psyche. However, all too often, the off-the-field personalities get lost in the shuffle, dwarfed in the eyes of history by the Babe Ruths and Jackie Robinsons of the world.  Here then is the Mount Rushmore of those other legends, the pioneers and innovators that built baseball into the game it is today.  

1)  Alexander Cartwright, Jr.--
In truth, there is no big bang of baseball, no moment when the inspiration for what would become the American Pastime was beamed down from the heavens. For centuries, men had played cricket, rounders, and other various contests featuring bat and ball. However, if you're going to point to one man who truly set the wheels of baseball in motion, that man is Alexander Cartwright. Cartwright was a bank teller and volunteer firefighter who for many years had played various ball games around the parks of New York City. Though many of these games roughly resembled what we now know as modern baseball, Cartwright showed up one day with some new found inspiration. As his friend Duncan Curry recalls of that Spring afternoon in 1845, "Cartwright came to the field...with his plans drawn up on a paper.... He had laid out a diamond shaped field with canvas bags filled with sand or sawdust for bases at three of the points and an iron plate for home base. He had arranged for a catcher, a pitcher, three basemen, a short fielder and three outfielders. His plan met with much good-natured derision, but he was so persistent in having us try his new game that we finally consented more to humor him than with any thought of it becoming a reality." Cartwright would proceed to codify a set of accepted rules and engineer what is widely accepted today as the first organized baseball game between his Knickerbockers and the New York Club at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, June 19th, 1846. Three years later, lured by the California gold craze, Cartwright began trekking westward, along which he would spread the gospel of baseball. Barely twenty years following that day in Hoboken, there were thought to be over a thousand organized baseball clubs scattered across the country.

Note: Though many think of Abner Doubleday as the creator of baseball, history has all but proven this to be myth. In 1907, The Mills Commission, appointed to determine the origin of baseball, concluded that "the first scheme for playing baseball, according to the best evidence obtainable to date, was devised by Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown, New York, in 1839." However, Doubleday never claimed this distinction in any of his writings, and it was even determined that at the date of the alleged invention, Doubleday was a cadet at West Point, his family having moved away from Cooperstown a year prior. Adding further doubt is the fact that the primary testimony on behalf of Doubleday lay with a man named Abner Graves, who after shooting his wife two years later wound up spending the rest of his life in an insane asylum. So yea, not the most credible of witnesses.  On June 3, 1953, Alexander Cartwright was officially declared by Congress to be the inventor of modern baseball.

2)  Henry Chadwick--
Often the best way of conferring legitimacy upon something is simply by committing it to paper. A British-born journalist in the mid-nineteenth century, Chadwick was one of the first to cover the infant game in print, writing up game summaries for the New York Clipper.  In it, Chadwick originated the box score, giving birth to a national obsession with baseball statistics and records that persists to this day. He also penned the "Base Ball Manual" and "Beadle's Dime Base Ball Player," guide books in which he described rules, techniques, and star players of the game.  The American Pastime was on its way.

3)  Harry Frazee-- History has not been kind to Mr. Frazee. The infamous former owner of the fledgling Boston Red Sox will forever be linked to the disastrous transaction that sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees, damning the Sox to nearly a century of futility.  However, that may not be the only raw deal Frazee got. In truth, and this is coming from a die-hard Red Sox fan, Frazee had his hands tied, making a move that almost any other owner in his position would have made. For starters, Ruth was the ultimate diva of his day, a drunk, a womanizer, a hothead (at one point throwing a punch at an umpire), an egomaniac, and the farthest thing from a team player. During the 1919 season, Ruth refused to continue pitching, continually undermined his manager, and even went 'Manny being Manny' on his teammates by pulling himself out of the last few games of the season. That year, the Sox would finish sixth (in the two years following his departure, they would actually climb a spot to fifth). After that season, Ruth demanded that his salary be doubled, an unheard-of figure that Frazee simply could not pay. Ruth then proclaimed that he wouldn't play until his demands were met, all but forcing Frazee to negotiate a trade. Due to an ongoing dispute with American League president Ban Johnson, Frazee was effectively banned from dealing with any team but the White Sox and Yankees, two teams that also defied Johnson's corrupt reign. (Johnson's hatred of Frazee in part stemmed from his belief that Frazee was Jewish, violating an unwritten rule within the game to keep Jews out of the ranks of ownership. Frazee was in fact Presbyterian.)  It's hard to fathom that the only other offer on the table would actually have been more catastrophic than the one that ultimately transpired, but that's exactly the case. The White Sox offered up superstar "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and cash, an intriguing offer were it not for the fact that just months later, Jackson would be suspended for life for his role in the Black Sox scandal. At the time, the Ruth transaction was actually seen by many as being favorable for the Red Sox. In subsequent years, numerous inaccuracies were perpetuated about the Sox owner, many of which were motivated by the ongoing belief in his Jewishness and the notion that a cash-strapped Frazee selfishly sold Ruth to finance his landmark play No, No, Nanette. (which actually didn't come out until six years later) As we all know, Ruth would go on to transform the Yankees into a dynasty while the Red Sox would go titleless for 86 years. Whatever blame Frazee deserves, the impact of his decision upon the future course of the game is impossible to deny. For more on Frazee's misplaced maligning, check out the illuminating Glenn Stout piece 'A Curse Born of Hate.'

4)  Kennesaw Mountain Landis-- When in 1921, baseball decided that it was finally necessary to bring in a commissioner, the game was reeling from the revelations of a fixed World Series.  That commissioner was Kennesaw Mountain Landis.  Upon the appointment, The Sporting News summarized Kennesaw's stated mission: "to clean out the crookedness and the gambling responsible for it and keep the sport above reproach...he would have no mercy on any man in baseball, be he magnate or player, whose conduct was not strictly honest...The Judge will be the absolute ruler of the game."  During his time in office, Landis did indeed rule with an iron fist, at once banishing the eight guilty players who had conspired to throw the World Series in the infamous Black Sox scandal. The ruling that was ultimately established-- 'Any player, umpire, club or league official or employee who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor had a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible'-- would go on to be the damning assertion used against Pete Rose several decades later.
Under his reign, Landis also helped usher in the live ball era.  From 1903-1921, small ball had been the order of the day, as a series of factors contributed to an unprecedented decline in offense.  Among them was the common practice of leaving baseballs in play for much of the game until they were brown with dirt, making it harder for batters to pick up while in flight.  Balls also became softer with repeated usage, resulting in a greater difficulty to drive with power over the course of the game.  Upon assuming power, Landis immediately legislated that balls be removed from play at the first sign of wear, causing an immediate uptick in offense as batters could not only see pitches better, but when they did, it would travel further on contact.   Landis also outlawed the spitball, further shifting advantage away from the pitcher.  From 1903-1919, the league-wide ERA had been 2.80.  In the decade that followed, it had jumped to 4.00.   Upon his death in 1944, Landis had transformed the game, restoring both its excitement and integrity.

5)
Mel Allen and Red Barber- Baseball on the radio would make its debut in the summer of 1921, as a man named Harold Arlin called the Pirates-Phillies match to an almost non-existent audience. However, it would be over a decade more before baseball received its true airwave ambassadors in Allen and Barber.  Known and beloved primarily as the voices of the Yankees and Dodgers respectively, Melvin Israel and William Barber were the first truly iconic broadcasters in American sports history. Initially concerned that radio would discourage people from actually showing up to the park, owners soon found the medium to be an unparalleled promotional tool for their sport (not to mention a great way to generate additional income).  By the 1940's, Barber's presence was so ubiquitous in Brooklyn, The Daily News mused "A person could cover the length of the beach of Coney Island and never lose his voice."  Perfectly suited to the pace and nature of the game, radio was instrumental in broadening the game's reach and appeal, expanding fan bases and turning local stars into national heroes.

6)  Branch Rickey-- There is perhaps no man more responsible for changing the complexion, both literally and figuratively, of the modern game more than that of Branch Rickey.  When Rickey was named the general manager of the St Louis Cardinals in 1925, minor league teams operated independently of big league clubs, auctioning off their top prospects to the highest bidder.  Rickey decided to buck the system, buying his own minor league clubs through which he could develop talent and directly funnel players to his major league franchise.   It took only a single year as GM before the Cards captured their first World Series, and in time the homegrown talent of Pepper Martin, Stan Musial, and Dizzy Dean would take three more pennants for the Gashouse Gang between 1928-1932. By 1940, Rickey's farm had steadily expanded into an empire, claiming ownership of an astounding 32 teams while maintaining working agreements with 8 others.  Rickey moved on to the Dodgers in 1942, where he would continue his prowess in developing young talent, producing such stars as Duke Snider and Gil Hodges from within the organization.  However, his most important achievement was the signing of Jackie Robinson from the Negro League's Kansas City Monarchs in 1945.  Upon his major league debut two years later, Robinson would bring a pennant to Brooklyn, opening up the doors to full-fledged racial integration in the years to come.  Dickey soon left for Pittsburgh, where he would once again shake the baseball establishment with the drafting and promotion of baseball's first Hispanic player in Roberto Clemente.  When he ultimately retired in 1955, Rickey had introduced the modern farm system, racially integrated the game, popularized the use of the batting helmet and batting cage, and created the first spring training facility.  Moreover, he was perhaps the earliest proponent of what we now call sabermetrics, valuing such indicators as on-base percentage over average to further his advantage over the competition.  A maverick in the truest sense, Branch Rickey remains the most influential figure in the history of baseball, if not the entire sports world.

7) Walter O'Malley--You're in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Walter O'Malley and have a gun with only two bullets.  What do you do?  Shoot O'Malley twice.  To many 1950's Booklynites, the Dodgers were everything.  In one fell swoop, O'Malley ripped it all away, unapologetically moving the team to Los Angeles following the 1957 season.  The vitriol knew no bounds as the Dodgers' owner become public enemy #1 to a city reeling in grief.  Harsh as it was, O'Malley's infamous decision would mark a pivotal moment in the course of baseball history, as professional baseball was finally introduced to the West Coast.  America's pastime had for half a century been concentrated predominantly in the Northeast, with the westernmost team being St. Louis at the time of O'Malley's ascendancy.  The first domino to fall had been the Boston Braves, who in 1953 relocated to Milwaukee.  However, it was not until the Dodgers split town that the game truly underwent a tidal shift.  O'Malley knew that to make baseball a reality in the West he would have to recruit a partner, and so inserted himself as key player in facilitating the Giants move to San Francisco as well.  The entire complexion of American baseball had changed, as O'Malley's Dodgers helped make baseball a truly national game.

8)  Marvin Miller--Today, the Major League Baseball Players Association is the most powerful union in all of sports, and no man deserves more thanks for that fact than Marvin Miller. Elected head of the MLBPA in 1966, Miller soon made his impact felt, negotiating the first collective bargaining agreement with owners, increasing minimum salaries, introducing the all-important independent arbitration practice, and eventually ushering in the age of free agency with the invalidation of the reserve clause.  Under the reserve clause, players had been effectively married to their initial club, with that club retaining their rights from year to year not so unlike a piece of property. To make matters worse, those players unhappy with their compensation were forced to settle their disputes with the commissioner, who, as having been hired by the owners, was naturally biased in his rulings.  In 1974, after Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood brought the issue of the reserve clause's inherent unfairness to the forefront, Miller encouraged pitchers Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally to refrain from signing a contract for the following year and instead enter arbitration.  Peter Seitz, the arbiter, ruled that the players had no legal ties to remain with their clubs and were free to pursue other offers.  The reserve clause had effectively been abolished and the era of free agency had begun. During Marvin's tenure, which stretched from 1966-1982, the average player's salary rose from $19,000 to $241,000.  His work signified a colossal shift in the balance of power between athlete and owner, an impact enjoyed every time a player signs on the dotted line to this day.

9)  George Steinbrenner-- Before there was Jerry Jones, before there was Mark Cuban, there was George Steinbrenner. Loud, irreverent, controversial, and hyper-controlling (changing managers 20 times in his first 23 years as Yankees owner), George Steinbrenner was the archetype for the larger-than-life sports owner. Buying the Yankees for a measly $8.7 million in 1973, he turned them into a $1.6 billion franchise, the gold standard for sporting excellence the world over. Today, ballplayers earn more than the GDP of small countries, and perhaps no man is more responsible than the Boss. With it came unprecedented market inequality, as the Yankees payroll grew to such exorbitant levels that it literally sextupled that of the smallest market teams. Contracts are now bloated to the point of absurdity (see: Werth, Jason and Rodriguez, Alex) as owners from around the league struggle to keep up with the Evil Empire. 

10)  Bud Selig-- Sadly, when all is said and done, Bud Selig will go down first and foremost as the man that presided over the Steroid Era, baseball's black eye.  However, to pin him solely as "The Steroid Commissioner" is to overlook the vast amount of good Selig was actually able to accomplish for the sport.  Assuming the role of acting commissioner in 1992, the former Milwaukee Brewers owner's first act was to realign the divisions and institute a wild card, expanding the postseason roster to eight teams.  Achieving permanent status in 1998, Selig would go on to make a series of other important changes, including the introduction of revenue sharing and interleague play, the expansion of instant replay, and the creation of the World Baseball Classic.  He also presided over a 400% explosion in league revenue and brought baseball to both Arizona and Tampa Bay.  Time will tell just how favorably future generations look upon his legacy, but one thing is for certain: Uncle Bud left baseball in a vastly different place from how he found it.

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1)  Alabama Crimson Tide- 15 claimed national championships (10 national polls) and 35 bowl victories.
First season: 1892
Last championship: 2012
All-Time Win %: .733
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Bear Bryant
Top 15 NFL Alumni:
Bart Starr, Joe Namath, John Hannah, Don Hutson, Ozzie Newsome, Derrick Thomas, Dwight Stevenson, Ken Stabler, Chris Samuels, Bob Baumhower, Cornelius Bennett, Lee Roy Jordan, Shaun Alexander, E.J. Junior, Julio Jones.
2)  Notre Dame Fighting Irish- 11 claimed national championships (8 national polls) and 15 bowl victories.
First season: 1887
Last championship: 1988
All-Time Win %: .726
Current conference: Independent
Defining Coaches: Knute Rockne, Frank Leahy, Lou Holtz
Top 20 NFL Alumni:
Joe Montana, Alan Page, Tim Brown, Paul Hornung, Curly Lambeau, Nick Buoniconti, Dave Casper, Joe Theismann, George Trafton, Wayne Millner, George Conner, Jerome Bettis, George Kunz, Ricky Watters, Bryant Young, Bob Kuechenberg, Daryle Lamonica, Justin Tuck, Mark Bavaro, Bob Toneff.
3)  USC Trojans- 11 claimed national championships (7 national polls including vacated 2004 season) and 32 bowl victories.
First season: 1888
Last championship: 2004 (vacated)
All-Time Win %: .708
Current conference: Pac-12
Defining Coaches: Howard Jones, John McKay, Pete Carroll
Top 30 NFL Alumni:
Ronnie Lott, O.J. Simpson, Bruce Matthews, Junior Seau, Troy Polamalu, Marcus Allen, Anthony Muñoz, Ron Yary, Lynn Swann, Clay Matthews, Red Badgro, Frank Gifford, Ron Mix, Keyshawn Johnson, Marvin Powell, Willie Wood, Willie McGinest, Joey Browner, Tony Boselli, Dennis Smith, Tim McDonald, Jon Arnett, Rod Martin, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, Chip Banks, Sam Cunningham, Mosi Tatupu, Lofa Tatupu, Matt Cassel.
4)  Oklahoma Sooners- 7 national championships (7 national polls) and 27 bowl victories.
First season: 1895
Last championship: 2000
All-Time Win %: .720
Current conference: Big 12
Defining Coaches: Bennie Owen, Barry Switzer
Top 10 NFL Alumni:
Lee Roy Selmon, Adrian Peterson, Ralph Neely, Bobby Boyd, Tommy McDonald, Greg Pruit, Billy Simms, Roy Williams, Keith Jackson, Tommie Harris.
5)  Michigan Wolverines- 11 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 20 bowl victories.
First season: 1879
Last championship: 1997 (shared with Nebraska)
All-Time Win %: .732
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coaches: H. Fielding Yost, Bo Schembechler
Top 25 NFL Alumni:
Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Len Ford, Dan Dierdorff, Tom Mack, Bill Hewitt, Mike Ken, Elroy Hirsch, Steve Hutchinson, Al Wistert, Ty Law, Anthony Carter, Trevor Price, Rick Volk, Joe Runyan, Randy Logan, Reggie McKenzie, Amani Toomer, Jake Long, Desmond Howard, Dave Brown, Jim Harbaugh, Ron Kramer, Jumbo Eliot, John Morrow.
6)  Ohio St Buckeyes- 8 national championships (6 national polls) and 21 bowl victories.
First season: 1890
Last championship: 2014
All-Time Win %: .738
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Woody Hayes
Top 25 NFL Alumni:
Lou Groza, Orlando Pace, Jim Parker, Chris Carter, Paul Warfield, Bill Willis, Dante Lavelli, Jim Tyrer, Dick Schafrath, Eddie George, Jim Lachey, Jim Marshall, Mike Vrabel, Santonio Holmes, Nick Mangold, Randy Gradishar, Bob Vogel, Chris Spielman, Jack Tatum, Joey Gallaway, Terry Glenn, Dick LeBeau, A.J. Hawk, Pepper Johnson, Jim Houston.
7)  Nebraska Cornhuskers- 5 national championships (5 national polls) and 24 bowl victories.
First season: 1890
Last championship: 1997 (shared with Michigan)
All-Time Win %: .708
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Tom Osbourne
Top 10 NFL Alumni:
Bob Brown, Will Shields Mike Tingelhoff, Irving Fryar, Ron McDole, Ndamukong Suh, Neil Smith, Ahman Green, Roger Craig, Pat Fischer.
8)  Miami Hurricanes- 5 national championships (5 national polls) and 18 bowl victories.
First season: 1926
Last championship: 2001
All-Time Win %: .641
Current conference: ACC
Defining Coaches: Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson
Top 30 NFL Alumni:
Ray Lewis, Jim Otto, Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Jim Kelly, Ted Hendricks, Ed Reed, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, Andre Johnson, Devin Hester, Clinton Portis, Cortez Kennedy, Frank Gore, Jeremy Shockey, Vince Wilfork, Vinny Testaverde, Santana Moss, Chuck Foreman, Ottis Anderson, Jon Beason, Willis McGahee, Dennis Harrah, Jessie Armstead, Jonathan Vilma, Jimmy Graham, Antrel Rolle, Bryant McKinnie, Jerome Brown, Kellen Winslow II.
9)  Texas Longhorns- 4 claimed national championships (4 national polls) and 27 bowl victories.
First season: 1893
Last championship: 2005
All-Time Win %: .709
Current conference: Big 12
Defining Coach: Darrell Royal
Top 15 NFL Alumni:
Earl Campbell, Bobby Layne, Steve McMichael, Bobby Dillon,Tommy Nobis, Priest Holmes, Ox Emerson, Bud McFadin, Ricky Williams, Raymond Clayborn, Diron Talbert, Eric Metcalf, Doug English, Vince Young, Jamaal Charles.
10)  Penn St Nittany Lions- 7 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 27 bowl victories.
First season: 1887
Last championship: 1986
All-Time Win %: .688
Current Conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Joe Paterno
Top 15 NFL Alumni:
Jack Hamm, Franco Harris, Mike Muncheck, Lenny Moore, Mike Michalske, Steve Wisniewski, Kerry Collins, Lydell Mitchell, Rosey Grier, LaVar Arington, Stew Barber, Dave Robinson, Ted Kwalick, John Capiletti, NaVorro Bowman.
11)  Tennessee Volunteers- 6 claimed national championships (2 national polls) and 25 bowl victories.
First season: 1891
Last championship: 1998
All-Time Win %: .686
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Robert Neyland
Top 25 NFL Alumni:
Peyton Manning, Reggie White, Doug Atkins, Al Wilson, Jamal Lewis, Jason Witten, Arian Foster, Stanley Morgan, Mike Stratton, Anthony Miller, Jack Reynolds, Dick Huffman, Terry McDaniel, Leonard Little, Carl Pickens, Dale Carter, Bill Bates, John Henderson, Travis Henry, Jerod Mayo, Chad Clifton, Shaun Ellis, Albert Haynesworth, Charlie Garner, Donte Stallworth.
12)  LSU Tigers- 4 claimed national championships (3 national polls) and 23 bowl victories.
First season: 1893
Last championship: 2007
All-Time Win %: .647
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Charles McClendon
Top 15 NFL Alumni:
Y.A. Tittle, Jim Taylor, Alan Faneca, Johnny Robinson, Kevin Mawae, Bert Jones, Charley Hennigan, Billy Cannon, Patrick Peterson, Dwayne Bowe, Henry Thomas, Roy Winston, Tommy Casanova, Fred Miller, Kevin Faulk.
13)  Pittsburgh Panthers- 9 claimed national championships  (2 national polls) and 12 bowl victories.
First season: 1890
Last championship: 1976
All-Time Win %: .584
Current conference: Big East
Defining Coach: Glen "Pop" Warner, John "Jock" Sutherland
Top 20 NFL Alumni:
Dan Marino, Mike Ditka, Russ Grimm, Joe Schmidt, Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Larry Fitzgerald, Darrell Revis, Ricky Jackson, Chris Doleman, Joe Stydahar, Ruben Brown, Mark Stepnoski, Bill Fralic, John Reger, Joe Flacco, Keith Hamilton, Andy Lee, Craig Heyward, LeSean McCoy.
14)  Florida Gators- 3 claimed national championships (3 national polls) and 20 bowl victories.
First season: 1906
Last championship: 2008
All-Time Win %: .623
Current conference: SEC
Defining Coach: Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer
Top 15 NFL Alumni:
Emmitt Smith, Jack Youngblood, Lomas Brown, Wilbur Marshall, Wes Chandler, Fred Taylor, Kevin Carter, Jevon Kearse, Lito Sheppard, Chris Collinsworth, Rick Casares, John L. Williams, Nat Moore, Percy Harvin, Neal Anderson.
15)  Minnesota Golden Gophers- 6 claimed national championships (4 national polls) and 5 bowl victories.
First season: 1882
Last championship: 1960 (shared with Ole Miss)
All-Time Win %: .568
Current conference: Big Ten
Defining Coach: Bernie Bierman
Top 10 NFL Alumni:
Carl Eller, Bobby Bell, Bronko Nagurski, Leo Nomellini, Karl Mecklenburg, Charlie Sanders, Gino Cappelletti, Keith Fahnhorst, Marion Barber III, Rick Upchurch.


_Note: Princeton and Yale actually lead all schools in national championships with 26 and 18 respectively.  However, given the state of their current programs and the fact that most of these wins occurred at the turn of the century when far less teams were participating, they are not up for top 15 consideration.  The same applies to Harvard (10 championships) and Penn (4 championships).

Other elite NFL talent producers:
---Syracuse:
Jim Brown, Art Monk, Jim Ringo, Larry Csonka, John Mackey, Marvin Harrison, Walt Sweeney, Donavan McNabb, Dwight Freeney, Floyd Little, Jim Nance, Gary Anderson, Rob Burnett, Keith Bullock, Mike Williams.
---Florida St: Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Fred Biletnikoff, Warrick Dunn, Leroy Butler, Antonio Cromartie, Anquan Boldin, Brad Johnson, Samari Rolle, Darnell Dockett, Sebastian Janikowski, Javon Walker, Chris Hope, Laveranues Coles, Leon Washington, Peter Boulware, Rohn Stark, Tra Thomas.
---Purdue: Ron Woodson, Drew Brees, Bob Griese, Len Dawson, Erich Barnes, Jim Everett, Mike Alstott, Matt Light, Kyle Orton, Dick Barwegan, Erich Barnes, Dave Butz, Cris Dishman, Ed Flanagan, Abe Gibron.
---Georgia: Fran Tarkenton, Champ Bailey, Herschel Walker, Richard Seymour, Hines Ward, Terrell Davis, Jake Scott, Ray Donaldson, Bill Sanfill, Len Hauss, Mo Lewis, Guy McIntyre, Marcus Stroud, Matthew Stafford, A.J. Green, Geno Atkins.
---UCLA: Troy Aikman, Jonathan Ogden, Jimmy Johnson, Carnell Lake, Bob Waterfield, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ken Norton, Freeman McNeil, Kenny Easley, Randy Cross, Max Montoya, Donnie Edwards, Luis Sharpe, Jerry Robinson, Mercedes Lewis.
---Cal: Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Rodgers, Hardy Nickerson, Les Richter, Marshawn Lynch, Ed White, Perry Schwartz, Tarik Glenn, DeSean Jackson, Nnamdi Asomugha.
---NC State: Phillip Rivers, Torry Holt, Mario Williams, Roman Gabriel, Adrian Wilson, Mike Quick, Jerricho Cotchery, Vaughan Johnson, Dewayne Washington, Jim Ritcher.
---UNC: Lawrence Taylor, Julius Peppers, Chris Hanburger, Jeff Saturday, Harris Barton, William Fuller, Alge Crumpler, Ken Willard, Dre Bly, Greg Ellis, Hakeem Nicks, Vonnie Holliday, Jeff Reed, Sam Aiken, Willie Parker.

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Written by Ben Pogany
Shaq Diesel has finally run out of gas. Luckily, short of pulling an Antoine Walker, the newly deemed Big 401k is set for several lives to come.  In a now classic bit, Chris Rock quipped “Shaq is rich.  The white man who signs his checks…is wealthy.” Maybe its just me, but I gotta think that distinction dissolves somewhere around the quarter-billion mark.  This is a guy who made more in his NBA career than Jordan, Bird, Kareem, Wilt and Russell combined.  And that’s not even counting all that Shaq Fu paper. 

Other than teammate Kevin Garnett, Shaq is in another stratosphere when it comes to career NBA earnings.  Kobe might have an extra ring, but the Shaqtus has an extra $70 million.  Seriously.  Shaquille O'Neal has made 70 million dollars more than the third highest paid athlete in the history of the NBA.  Anyway, with all this talk of money, it seemed like a pretty good excuse to put together a list of the highest career earners in NBA history.

------------The $100 Million Club (Updated through 2013-2014 season) 
  1. Kevin Garnett — $315,372,398
  2. Shaquille O’Neal — $292,198,327
  3. Kobe Bryant — $279,738,062
  4. Tim Duncan — $224,709,155
  5. Dirk Nowitzki — $204,063,985
  6. Jason Kidd — $187,675,468
  7. Paul Pierce -- $184,819,552
  8. Ray Allen -- $184,356,410
  9. Chris Webber — $178,230,697
  10. Jermaine O’Neal — $168,794,021
  11. Elton Brand — $165,338,631
  12. Tracy McGrady — $162,978,278
  13. Vince Carter — $161,663,315
  14. Rasheed Wallace — $158,110,581
  15. Pau Gasol -- $156,574,396
  16. Rashard Lewis - $155,332,815
  17. Allen Iverson — $154,494,445
  18. Juwan Howard — $151,465,633
  19. Stephon Marbury — $151,115,945
  20. Joe Johnson -- $150,571,837
  21. Baron Davis - $147,692,983
  22. Alonzo Mourning — $143,906,333
  23. Dikembe Mutombo — $143,666,581
  24. Antawn Jamison — $142,545,596
  25. Amar'e Stoudemire -- $142,287,721
  26. Grant Hill — $140,879,650
  27. Gilbert Arenas -- $140,714,721
  28. Michael Finley — $138,576,839
  29. Carmelo Anthony -- $135,865,275
  30. Shawn Marion -- $133,488,272
  31. Marcus Camby --  $129,397,940
  32. LeBron James -- $129,155,913
  33. Zach Randolph -- $138,624,765
  34. Steve Nash -- $137,235,620
  35. Carlos Boozer -- $129,309,736
  36. Zydrunas Ilgauskas — $124,487,723
  37. Chris Bosh -- $123,404,753
  38. Dwight Howard -- $123,289,952
  39. Dwyane Wade -- $121,321,666
  40. Tyson Chandler -- $120,482,385
  41. Anfernee Hardaway — $120,469,142
  42. Patrick Ewing — $119,943,120*
  43. Allan Houston — $117,556,500
  44. Antonio McDyess -- $116,638,859
  45. David Robinson — $116,500,123*
  46. Lamar Odom -- $115,967,658
  47. Scottie Pippen -- $109,192,430
  48. Richard Hamilton --$109,166,043
  49. Antoine Walker -- $108,142,015
  50. Tony Parker -- $107,446,521
  51. Chauncey Billups -- $107,227,720
  52. Hakeem Olajuwon -- $107,011,426*
  53. Mike Bibby -- $107,093,621
  54. Richard Jefferson -- $106,607,314
  55. Gary Payton -- $104,367,619
  56. Karl Malone -- $104,133,378*
  57. Steve Francis -- $103,501,131
  58. Jalen Rose -- $102,438,250
  59. Michael Redd -- $101,991,325
  60. Reggie Miller -- $101,311,748
  61. Eddie Jones -- $101,254,222
  62. Manu Ginobili -- $101,225,615


All earnings are according to BasketballReference.com and do not include endorsements or outside endeavors.  In addition, all figures are to date and do not consider future earnings, even if contractually guaranteed. 

*Due to incomplete data from the late 1980's, figures marked with an asterisk may be slightly off.

Written by Ben Pogany
A look at baseball's twenty greatest voices and the iconic calls that made them legendary.

1)  Vin Skully- Dodgers
--"It is 9:46 PM, 2 and 2 to Harvey Kuenn, one strike away, Sandy into his wind up, here's the pitch..swung on and missed, a perfect game!"
--"So the winning run is at second base, with two out, 3 and 2 to Mookie Wilson...little roller up along first..behind the bag! It gets through Buckner! Here comes Knight and the Mets win it!"
--"In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!"

2)  Mel Allen- Yankees
--"Sudden death now, last of the ninth. 9 to 9. There's a drive into deep left field, look out now… that ball is goooing, going gone! And the World Series is over! Mazeroski… hits it over the left field fence for a home run, and the Pirates win it 10-9 and win the World Series!"

3)  Jack Buck- Cardinals
--"Go crazy folks, go crazy!",
--"I don't believe what I just saw!"
--"And we'll see ya tomorrow night!"

4)  Red Barber- Dodgers
--"This is Red Barber speaking. Let me say hello to you all."
--"Here's a pitch...swung on, belted..its a long one..deep to the left center..back goes Giofreedo, back back back back back back..heee makes a one-handed catch against the bullpen!! Oh doctor!"

5)
Ernie Harwell-Tigers
--"Long gone!"
6) Bob Prince- Pirates
--"A bloop and a blast" "Kiss it goodbye!"
7) Harry Caray- Cubs/Cardinals
--"Take me out to the baaallgaaame, take me out with the croooowd.."

8)  Russ Hodges- Giants
--"THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!! THE GIANTS WON THE PENNANT!!"

9)  Curt Gowdy- Red Sox and NBC national
--"It could be...it could be...it is!" (Williams homers in his final at bat)

10) Harry Kalas- Phillies
--"Heres the stretch by Robinson.. the 3-0 pitch...swing and a long drive...there it is...number 500...a career 500th home run for Michael Jack Schmidt!"
11)  Bob Elson-White Sox
12) Phil Rizzuto-Yankees
--"Holy cow!"
13)
Bob Uecker- Brewers, national
"-Get up, get outa here"
14)  Milo Hamilton- Cubs/Braves/Pirates and four other clubs
--"He's sittin' on 714... Here's the pitch by Downing... swinging... there's a drive into left-center field... that ball is gonna beee... OUTTA HERE! IT'S GONE! IT'S 715! There's a new home run champion of all time... and it's HENRY AARON!"

15)
Chuck Thompson- Orioles
--"Here's a swing and a high fly ball going deep to left, this may do it!…Back to the wall goes Berra, it is…over the fence, home run, the Pirates win!…Ladies and gentlemen, Mazeroski has hit a one-nothing pitch over the left field fence at Forbes Field to win the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of ten to nothing!"
16) Jerry Coleman- Padres
-
-"You can hang a star on that baby"

17) Bob Wolff-Senators
18) Jack Brickhouse- Cubs
--"Whoo, boy! Next time around, bring me back my stomach!" "Hey, hey!" "There's a long drive waaay back in center field...waaay baaack, baaack, it is...caaaaaught by Willie Mays! Willie Mays just brought this crowd to its feet... with a catch... which must have been an optical illusion to a lot of people."

19)
Dave Niehaus- Mariners
--"Get out the rye bread and the mustard this time grandma, it is a GRAND SALAMI and the Mariners lead it 10-6! I don't believe it. My oh my!!"
20) Skip Caray- Braves
--"A lotta room in right-center, if he hits one there we can dance in the streets. The 2-1. Swung, line drive left field! One run is in! Here comes Bream! Here's the throw to the plate! He is...safe! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!...Braves win! They may have to hospitalize Sid Bream; he's down at the bottom of a huge pile at the plate. They help him to his feet. Frank Cabrera got the game winner! The Atlanta Braves are National League champions again! This crowd is going berserk, listen!"


Honorable Mentions:
Lindsey Nelson (Mets), Dizzy Dean (Browns, national), Joe Garagiola (national), Marty Brennaman (Reds), Ned Martin (Red Sox), Bob Murphy (Mets), Lon Simmons (Giants/A's), Bob Costas (national), Jimmy Dudley (Indians), Herb Carneal (Twins), Denny Matthews (Royals), Dave Van Horne (Expos), Arch McDonald (Senators), Tom Cheek (Blue Jays), Gene Elston (Astros), By Saam (Phillies), Tony Kubek (national), Jerry Remy (Red Sox),  Bill King (A's)

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Written by Ben Pogany
Call me crazy, but the first thing I thought of upon hearing the news of Peyton’s dismissal was that scene at the end of The Godfather, when Abe Vigoda’s character is pleading for his life after selling Michael out to the rival Barzini Family.  “Tell Mike it was only business.  I always liked him.”  But hey, maybe I’m being too harsh in comparing the NFL to the criminal underground.  At least in the Mafia, this breach of loyalty is the exception instead of the rule, a virtue instead of an outdated vestige from a bygone era.  (And when a bounty is taken out on someone, I’ll bet the compensation’s better.) 

However, what’s to follow in this Manning saga is more likely going to resemble the third Godfather than the first.  Peyton wasn’t just a great player, he was an Indianapolis institution.  Seeing him in a different uniform, like with Montana, Favre, and Rice before him, seems almost unthinkable.  Call it the Godfather III effect.  Same guy we've known all along, but it just feels wrong.  It’s that final chapter most fans wish they could pretend never happened.

In today's cutthroat NFL, the franchise lifer is becoming more and more of an endangered species. All along, it seemed like Peyton could be that guy, a throwback to the age before athletes were little more than mercenaries.  Sadly, even he couldn't overcome business as usual.  Here are the few remaining relics for whom it always felt exactly as it should.


The 25 Greatest NFL Players to Spend Entire Career With One Team Since The Dawn of Free Agency (Roughly 1990-Present)
  1. Tom Brady* (New England Patriots)
  2. Barry Sanders (Detroit Tigers)
  3. John Elway** (Denver Broncos)
  4. Dan Marino** (Miami Dolphins)
  5. Bruce Matthews (Oilers/Titans)
  6. Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens)
  7. Troy Aikman (Dallas Cowboys)
  8. Michael Irvin (Dallas Cowboys)
  9. Jonathan Ogden (Baltimore Ravens)
  10. Jim Kelly** (Buffalo Bills)
  11. Marvin Harrison (Indianapolis Colts)
  12. Michael Strahan (New York Giants)
  13. Troy Polamalu* (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  14. Brian Urlacher (Chicago Bears)
  15. Derrick Thomas (Kansas City Chiefs)
  16. Darrell Green (Washington Redskins)
  17. Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  18. Eli Manning* (New York Giants)
  19. Walter Jones (Seattle Seahawks)
  20. Ben Roethlisberger* (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  21. Reggie Wayne* (Indianapolis Colts)
  22. Terrell Davis (Denver Broncos)
  23. Hines Ward (Pittsburgh Steelers)
  24. Aaron Rodgers* (Green Bay Packers)
  25. Adrian Peterson* (Minnesota Vikings)
* Active
**Career began pre-1990
Written by Ben Pogany
1) Celtics- Founded in 1946. 17 championships and 21 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2008 (1 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .589 (3rd)
All-Time Wins: 3,274 (1st)
Playoff Appearances: 54 (2nd)
Hall of Famers: 31
Defining Voice: Johnny Most
Defining Coach: Red Auerbach
Legends: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Paul Pierce
2) Lakers- Founded in 1946. Formerly the Detroit Gems and then the Minneapolis Lakers (Hence the name Lakers from the "Land of 10,000 Lakes.") 16 championships and 31 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2010 (6 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .598 (2nd)
All-Time Wins: 3,261 (2nd)
Playoff Appearances: 60 (1st)
Hall of Famers: 21
Defining Voice: Chick Hearn
Defining Coach: Phil Jackson
Legends: Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Elgin Baylor
3) Bulls- Founded in 1966. 6 championships and 6 conference titles.
Last Championship: 1998
All-Time Winning %: .522 (8th)
All-Time Wins: 2,107 (13th)
Playoff Appearances: 35 (tied for 8th)
Hall of Famers: 9
Defining Voice: Johnny Kerr
Defining Coach: Phil Jackson
Legends: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bob Love, Artis Gilmore, Derrick Rose
4) Spurs- Founded in 1967 as the Dallas Chaparrals (Chaparral refers to a type of shrub land).  Became Texas Chaparrals in 1970 before taking present name in 1973. 5 championships and 6 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2014 (4 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .603 (1st)
All-Time Wins: 2,445 (9th)
Playoff Appearances: 45 (tied for 5th)
Hall of Famers: 7
Defining Voice: Terry Stembridge
Defining Coach: Gregg Popovich
Legends: Tim Duncan, George Gervin, David Robinson, Tony Parker, Avery Johnson
5) Warriors- Founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors before moving to San Francisco in 1962.  Took their present name in 1971. 5 championships and 8 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2017
All-Time Winning %: .461 (22nd)
All-Time Wins: 2,657 (6th)
Playoff Appearances: 33 (tied for 9)
Hall of Famers: 14
Defining Voice: Tim Roye
Defining Coach: Al Attles
Legends: Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Chris Mullin, Steph Curry, Nate Thurmond, Paul Arizin
6) 76ers- Founded in 1939 as the Syracuse Reds before changing their name to the Nationals in 1946.  They took their present title in 1963, after the year the Declaration of Independence was signed.  3 championships and 9 conference titles.
Last Championship: 1983
All-Time Winning %: .511 (11th)
All-Time Wins: 2,754 (3rd)
Playoff Appearances: 47 (3rd)
Hall of Famers: 14
Defining Voice: Marc Zumoff
Defining Coach: Billy Cunningham
Legends: Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Hal Greer, Dolph Shayes
7) Pistons- Founded in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Pistons. 3 NBA championships and 7 conference titles.
Last Championship: 2004 (1 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .487 (18th)
All-Time Wins: 2,653 (7th)
Playoff Appearances: 41 (7th)
Hall of Famers: 16
Defining Voice: George Blaha
Defining Coach:
Chuck Daly
Legends: Isiah Thomas, Bob Lanier, Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Dave Bing
8) Knicks- Founded in 1946. 2 championships and 8 conference titles
Knicks is short for knickerbockers, referring to a men's trouser popular in New York City in the early 20th century.
Last Championship: 1973
All-Time Winning %: .492 (17th)
All-Time Wins: 2,732 (4th)
Playoff Appearances: 42 (6th)
Hall of Famers: 17
Defining Voice: Marv Albert
Defining Coach: Red Holzman
Legends: Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed, Dave DeBusschere
9) Heat- Founded in 1989.  3 Championships and 5 Conference titles.
Last Championship: 2013 (3 this century)
All-Time Winning %: .520 (10th)
All -Time Wins: 1,211 (24th)
Playoff Appearances: 19 (23rd)
Hall of Famers: 1
Defining Voice: Tony Fiorentino
Defining Coach: Erik Spoelstra
Legends: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Alonzo Mourning, Glen Rice, Tim Hardaway
10)
Rockets- Founded in 1967 as the San Diego Rockets before moving to Houston in 1971. 2 championships and 4 conference titles.
Last Championship: 1995
All-Time Winning %: .520 (9th)
All-Time Wins: 1,955 (13th)
Playoff Appearances: 31 (13th)
Hall of Famers: 10
Defining Voice: Bill Worrell
Defining Coach: Rudy Tomjanovich
Legends: Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, Clyde Drexler, Calvin Murphy, Elvin Hayes


Quick Facts:
--The Timberwolves trail all teams with a .391 winning percentage.
--The Clippers are by far the most career games under 500 with an all-time record of 1520-2286.
--The Kings suffer the longest championship drought in the league, having not won a title since the 1950-51 season (as the then Rochester Royals).
--Five teams were established prior to the '89 expansion and have yet to win a title: the Nuggets, Jazz, Suns, and Clippers.
--Two teams have an all-time winning record and have yet to win a championship: the Suns (.541) and Jazz (.537).
--Four teams remain from the ABA: the Spurs, Pacers, Nuggets, and Nets.
--The Knicks and Celtics are the only two teams present at the NBA's founding to remain in their original city.  Teams that have retained both their original name and city since their founding include the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, and Charlotte Bobcats.
Written by Ben Pogany

Joe Torre- Aside of his hall-of-fame managerial career, Torre has the distinct honor of being the only player to start 500 games at catcher, first base, and third base. Torre started his career alongside his brother Frank, Hank Aaron, and Eddie Matthews on the Milwaukee Braves, where he would go on to win a catching gold glove and prompt Jack Kerouac to call him "the best catcher since Roy Campanella." After being traded to St. Louis for Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, Torre would move to third base where in 1971 he would he hit .363 and drive in 137 runs en route to a NL MVP award. Torre wrapped up his career as a player-manager for the Mets. In his seventeen-year playing career, he would play in nine All-Star games. AVG: .297, HR: 252, RBI: 1,185.

Joe Girardi- Girardi caught 15 seasons in the majors, winning three World Series with the Yankees and appearing in an All-Star game in 2000. AVG: .267, Hits: 1,100, RBI: 422.

Mike Scioscia- The now skipper of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spent his playing career under Tommy Lasorda's Los Angeles Dodgers, where he thrived as a catcher. Scioscia was lauded for his defense, in particular, his unrivaled talent for plate-blocking. Scioscia made two All-Star appearances and took home two World Series rings with the boys in blue. AVG: .259, HR: 68, RBI: 446.

Ozzie Guillen- Emerging from Venezuela, Guillen took the Major Leagues by storm, winning the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year Award as a shortstop. He was an All-Star in 1988, 1990, 1991, and won the Gold Glove Award in 1990. Guillén ranks among the White Sox all-time leaders in games played, hits, and at-bats. AVG: .264, Hits: 1764, RBI: 619.

Dusty Baker- Then, like today, Dusty Baker was never kind to pitchers. (See Mark Prior, Kerry Wood) Dusty compiled quite a resume in his sixteen-year playing career, including 2 All-Star selections, one World Series ring ('81 with the Dodgers), one Gold Glove, 2 Silver Slugger Awards, and the 1977 NLCS MVP honors. AVG: .278, HR: 242, RBI: 1,013.

Bud Black- In fifteen major league seasons, Black put together a very respectable pitching resume, winning over 120 games and capturing a World Series title in 1985. W:121, ERA: 3.84, SO: 1,039.

Terry Francona- After being named Most Outstanding Player in Arizona's 1980 College World Series Championship, Tito went on to have a largely unremarkable 10-year pro career, playing first base and outfield for five different ball clubs. AVG: .274, Hits: 474, RBI: 143.

Charlie Manuel- Though he appeared in five major league seasons in the early seventies, Charlie did not achieve a starting role until he began playing for the Yakult Swallows in Japan. Dubbed "Aka-Oni" (The Red Devil) by fans and teammates, Manuel became a star, enjoying seasons hitting 48, 42, 37, and 39 home runs. At a game against the Lotte Orions, he was hit in the face by a pitch, crushing his jaw. Told he needed at least two months to recover, Manuel returned after being sidelined for only 14 games, wearing a football helmet. The team went on to win the pennant. NPB statistics: AVG: .303, HR: 189, RBI: 491.

Ron Washington- Washington bounced around the majors for over a decade as a middle infielder. AVG: .261, Hits: 414, RBI 146.

Brad Mills- Before he was the newest skipper of the 'stros, Mills was just about the most unremarkable infielder for the now defunct Expos. In his 106 career games, just about the only thing Mills did of note was become Nolan Ryan's 3,509th career strikeout victim, moving the Express past Walter Johnson for first all-time. AVG: .256, HR:1, RBI: 12.

Bruce Bochy- In his decade of MLB service, Bochy caught for the Astros, Mets and Padres. AVG: .239, HR: 26, RBI: 93.

Tony La Russa- After suffering a shoulder injury while playing softball with friends, La Russa spent most of his career as a backup infielder for the A's, Braves, and Cubs. AVG: .199, Hits: 35, RBI: 7.

Bob Geren- After spending a decade in the minors, Geren finally made the big dance as a catcher for the New York Yankees. He sucked for a five years of his major league career. AVG: .233, Hits: 178, HR: 22.

Jim Tracy- Tracy played outfield for a couple of seasons with the Cubs before signing with Japan's Taiyo Whales. AVG: .249, HR: 3, Hits: 46.

Ron Gardenhire- The Twins' skipper battled through an injury-plagued five seasons as an infielder for the Mets before finally hanging up the cleats in 1985. AVG: .232, HR: 4, Hits: 165.

Jerry Manuel- From 1975-1982, Manuel bounced around the majors in a back-up infielder role, accumulating only 127 career at-bats over the seven year span. AVG: .150, HR: 3, RBI: 13

Lou Pinella- (18 seasons at left field) AB: 5867, AVG: .291, HR: 102, RBI: 766, 1972 All-Star and 1969 Rookie of the Year
Don Mattingly- (14 seasons at first and outfield)- Avg: .307, HR: 222, RBI: 1099, 6-time All-Star, 9-time Gold Glove winner, and the 1985 MVP.
Kirk Gibson- (17 seasons at outfield) AB: 5798, AVG: .268, HR: 255, RBI: 870, SB: 284, 1988 MVP
Don Zimmer- (12 seasons at third, short and second) AVG: .235, HR: 91, RBI: 352
Tommy Lasorda- (3 seasons pitching) IP: 58.1, ERA: 6.48, Record: 0-4
Sparky Anderson- (1 season at second) AB: 477, AVG: .218, R: 42
Bobby Valentine- (10 seasons at shortstop, outfield, and second) AB: 1698, BA: .260, HR: 12
Whitey Herzog- (8 seasons at outfield and first) AB: 1614, AVG: .257, HR: 20, RBI: 172
Larry Bowa- (16 seasons at shortstop) (AB: 8418, AVG: 260, SB: 318, 5-time All-Star and 2-time Gold Glove winner
Clint Hurdle- (10 seasons at right field, first, and catcher) AB: 1391, AVG: .259, HR: 32
Cito Gaston- (11 seasons at outfield) AB: 3120, AVG: .256, HR: 91, 1970 All-Star
Ned Yost- (6 seasons at catcher) AVG: .212, HR: 16, RBI: 64
Bob Melvin- (10 seasons at catcher) AB: 1955, AVG: .233, RBI: 212
Eric Wedge- (4 seasons at DH) AB: 86, H: 20, HR: 5
Mike Hargrove- (12 seasons at left field and first) AB: 5564, AVG: .290, RBI: 686, 1974 Rookie of the Year
Phil Garner- (16 seasons at second and third) AB: 6136, AVG: .260, SB: 225, 3-time All-Star
Ken Macha- (6 seasons at third) AB: 380, AVG: .258, HR: 1
Davey Johnson- (13 seasons at second and first) AB: 4797, AVG: .261, HR: 136, RBI: 609, 4-time All-Star

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