Over- or under- rated?
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 14:01
With the “Class of 1996” — Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Ray Lewis and Tiger Woods — getting so much attention in the media recently, it got me thinking about elite athletes and sports legends and I asked myself a question: Who are the most overrated and underrated elite athletes in sports?
Immediately, the first athlete that comes to my mind is Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins. Talk about underrated. While he will likely slip to No. 3 in all-time passing yards next season behind Brett Favre and Peyton Manning, there’s something about Marino.
Consider that he threw for 10,000 more yards than the fourth-place quarterback, John Elway, during an era in the NFL that had the run-first, pass-second mindset. He held nearly every passing record in the books until the NFL transitioned to a pass-happy league.
Until this season, Marino held the single-season passing mark and remains in the top 5 in a handful of passing categories. Pretty astounding considering during the past 15 years since he retired the NFL has become a pass-happy, quarterback-oriented league.
The only reason Marino gets left out of the “greatest quarterback of all time” discussion is his failure to win a super bowl. Teams win Super Bowls, and Marino never had the help the other greats had, which makes him a pretty clear favorite for most underrated player.
On the flip side, there are the overrated players.
I’m talking the likes of Tim Tebow, Dennis Rodman and Jimmer Fredette.
Before I go too much further, let me define overrated. I’m not talking overhyped. That list is far too long and includes some of the greatest athletes of all time. I’m talking those players that get endless recognition because they’re talented and expected to be the best, but perform sub-par.
Tebow is easily the most overrated player in professional sports today. The guy is not an NFL quarterback. He doesn’t have a quality stat line. He has not performed any where close to where he was expected to.
I’m a die-hard Denver Broncos fan and it was one of the happiest moments of my life when he left. Yes, he led the Broncos to an 8-8 record and a playoff win, but that was in an absolutely abysmal AFC West division and against less than stellar teams.
He had one good game, which conveniently came in the playoffs at home against Pittsburgh.
During his 11-game stint as starting quarterback he threw 12 touchdowns and six interceptions with a completion percentage of 46 percent.
He is vastly overrated.
The same applies to Dennis Rodman. Don’t get me wrong, the guy could rebound, but that was all. Even those stats were padded with the number of times he pulled down his own rebound. His rise to stardom was fueled more by his off-court antics and the fact he was a member of several title teams led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Does anyone even remember he was a member of the Detroit Pistons or San Antonio Spurs?
He averaged a solid 13 rebounds per game for his career but averaged seven points and three personal fouls per game compared to one assist and half a steal. He’s not even remotely elite.
And as for Jimmer Fredette — well, let’s just say his field goal percentage got worse from his sophomore season to his junior season and then even worse his senior season, yet his points per game steadily climbed to a national best despite only a two minutes played per game fluxuation.
– Curtis is a proud husband and father, a junior in print journalism and an aspiring sports journalist and referee. He eats, sleeps and breathes sports. his life goal is to bowl a 300. Follow him on Twitter @CurtisLundstrom and send comments to email@example.com