Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dear IOC: These Five Olympic Events Are Ridiculous. Please Remove Them Posthaste


Normally, the Olympics are a non-starter for me.  I've never totally understood the fascination behind being actively engaged in something that you would never tune in for during the other 205 weeks in between the Olympics.  I can understand why people would tune in when we only had three channels, but now?  Let me put it this way: If archery were on television one random Saturday afternoon during the summer at a time that wasn't the Olympics, would you really stop to watch?

Some would.  Most would not.

In fact, I'd be willing to wager that if you had a friend boarded up inside watching archery on a warm summer's day when a million other things are going on, you'd probably laugh at them, and then tell them to go outside.  You might even bust their chops, and accuse them of training to be Katniss.  Or worse, Ted Nugent.  But somehow, during a three-week span once every four years, overt jingoism and a passionate devotion to semi-obscure activities is socially acceptable.

I admit it.  I don't totally understand this.

That said, I actually enjoyed parts of the Olympics this year.  I enjoyed Michael Phelps kicking everyone's ass like he was a dolphin on roids.  I'm convinced that Usain Bolt is actually a rare cheetah species indigenous to Jamaica.  And despite the fact that he killed the Longhorns in the 2003 Final Four, I'm willing to forgive Carmelo Anthony after watching him cry upon winning his third gold medal in basketball.  He became the first man ever to do this, and his post-game interview where he teared up proved to the world that he's not a completely heartless dick who screwed over the Denver Nuggets.

Still, there's way too many meaningless events in the Olympics.  Notice I didn't call them sports.  They're events.  They are things that you'd never watch, never will watch, and things that should never be considered for Olympic gold mainly because there's only about 37 people in the world who actually contest for those events.

I'm pretty sure that my ideas won't make in time for the 2020 Tokyo games, but I think we can implement these for the 2024 Summer games.  My proposal is to remove five events that have no relevance or reason to exist in today's day and age going in order from "Yeah, OK I could see the argument for having it in the Olympics" to "Oh my holy God, nuke that from orbit and bury it in Indiana Jones' fridge."

5.  Canoeing














For the record, I actually like canoeing.  It's a great way to spend a day, especially here in Austin during the late Spring when the weather starts warming up.  Here's my big problem with canoeing, though.  We already have rowing in the Olympics, and rowers take themselves way more seriously.  In fact, here's a sample conversation that shows the primary difference between canoeing and rowing.

Canoeing conversation:

Friend: "So what'd y'all do yesterday?"
Canoeist: "Oh we had a blast!  Sarah and I got up kinda late, but it was such a nice day that we went down to Barton Springs and rented a canoe."
Friend: "That's awesome!"
Canoeist: "Yeah, it was totally cool.  We paddled around for a few hours, then went and had brunch over at Austin Java.  Had some Migas and a Fireman's 4, man.  It was such a great day!"

Rowing conversation:

Friend: "So what'd y'all do yesterday?"
Rower: "Sarah and I went rowing."
Friend: "Oh wow.  What time did y'all get up?"
Rower: "Around 4:30 AM.  We actually got a late start.  We got to the docks around 5:20, and there were already people out there.  We rowed about five miles, then went home to have some black decaf coffee and plain vegan oatmeal."

See the difference?  People that were on the rowing team in college were normally going to practice while many of us were stumbling in from a late night of hedonism.  Even the football team during two-a-days got up after the rowing team.  I have to reward the rowing team for their Puritan work ethic.  Besides, an Olympics after party for the Rowing team might be the only time they will ever stay up past 11 PM.

Sorry Canoeing team.  I'll buy you brunch at Austin Java, though.  Cups of Fog Cutters and migas on me.

If We Must Keep Canoeing in the Olympics:  Bring in some of the Flying Fish from Super Mario Bros.


They're called Cheep Cheeps.  Have them fly at the canoeists randomly.  The more Cheep Cheeps you hit with your paddle, the more points you accumulate.  Whoever makes it through the course the fastest and with most amount of Cheep Cheep kills wins the gold medal. 

4.  Table Tennis


It's the staple of every basement rec room, and every "cool" office break room in America.  And yes, it's definitely fun at the office especially when you can spike the ping pong ball right in Dan from Accounting's face because...fuck Dan, that's why.  That smarmy little bastard.

But no matter how glorious that spike might be, let's face it.  Table tennis is just a fancy way of saying ping pong.  It's still a game you play in the break room at work or when you're entertaining guests over Shiner Bocks in the basement.  Yes, I recognize the eye-hand coordination involved, but video games involve much the same, and no one is lobbying for those to be Olympic sports.  At least not yet anyway.

Ping pong is a fun game that gets you a little bit of exercise, but I'm sorry, there's just no way we can justify a world where athletes like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky take home the same prize as a ping pong player.  I know it takes a lot of skill, but c'mon.  Ping Pong is basically a step up from the pop-a-shot basketball goal we have in one of our break rooms.  Let's retire ping pong back to the basements and office break rooms where it belongs.  Besides, if Dan from Accounting somehow makes the Olympics, he'll be even more insufferable than ever.  

"Hey guys, did I ever tell you about the time I won the Bronze at the Olympics?  You sure you want to play me?"
"Shut up Dan.  You've told us before."

If We Must Keep Table Tennis In The Olympics: Combine both the basement motif with the office motif.  All competitors must drink three Shiner Bocks first, then put on a dress shirt and tie or proper office attire for the female competitors.  In addition, participants will be awarded an extra point if they can actually spike the ping pong ball in their opponents' face.

3.  Badminton


This is the scene every time you have ever played badminton in your life.

You're at a barbecue.  It's late May or early June.  The weather is getting warmer, but it's still tolerable.  The barbecue is pretty lame, though.  The host has put on Train because they're the band that reminds him the most of his personal favorite, early-period Hootie and the Blowfish.  The burgers are slightly burned, but still edible.  However, the only condiments are ketchup and Miracle Whip.  The lettuce is wilted.  The tomatoes have black spots in them.  Notably absent are the onions, pickles or mustard.

Seriously.  This milquetoast jackass doesn't even French's yellow.

The cooler is filled with Bud Lights, wine coolers (for the ladies, of course) and Heineken's because that's the token edgy foreign beer.  Everyone in the know casually sips on the Heineken's conveniently ignoring the fact that they taste like armpit sweat.  Meanwhile, the neighbor from down the street strolls in wearing a Make America Great Again trucker hat.  He snares a Bud Light, and sneers at the Heineken's while muttering about how "All you liberals just love your foreign beer, don't ya?"

The host has just severely burned the hot dogs to the point that the Shriner's would throw them a parade, and there's not even goddamn yellow mustard to cover up the carbon taste.  Just when you're ready to make an early exit and get some real food and beer, someone says, "Hey everyone, let's play badminton!"

Someone goes into the garage, and breaks out the badminton set.  Everyone plays and it's surprisingly not horrible.  The kids at the barbecue can get in on the action.  It's just tame enough for older people to play.  Someone more athletic and who's downed a few Heineken's, even makes a spectacular save, launching the shuttlecock just over the net for a point.  Everyone cheers and tries not to laugh at the word "shuttlecock."

Everyone has a pretty good time until the badminton is retired for croquet.

That describes every single time you've ever played badminton.  Olympic sports should never be described as "surprisingly not horrible" nor should they be the saving grace of a crappy barbecue filled with burned food, shitty beer and no mustard.

Sorry Badminton, you're not an Olympic sport, but you are the patron saint of every lame barbecue everyone has ever been to in their entire life.  Keep up the good work, and don't let that croquet set give you any crap.

If We Must Keep Badminton In The Olympics: Before the event, stage an all-you-can eat hamburger contest.  However, the burgers will be slightly burned, served on white bread, and smeared in Miracle Whip.  Hell no, they can't have cheese on them.  No one makes it past three burgers, I guarantee it.

2.  Synchronized Swimming



After the Olympics, kids from all over the world will finally put down that ridiculous Pokemon game, and actually try a sport.  Simone Biles has already inspired a new generation of gymnasts.  Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky will influence a whole crop of kids to grow fins.  Usain Bolt already has a vast army fleet of youthful foot ready to ride the 100-meter lightning. 

Then there's synchronized swimming.  It's nothing more than a contrived event designed for all those who couldn't hack it as a gymnast or a swimmer.  Yes, I'm aware of the acrobatics involved.  I know that the swimmer cannot touch the bottom.  It's Cirque du Soleil in water, I get that, and yes I'm aware that it takes a great deal of strength and flexibility to pull off synchronized swimming. 

But it's still not gymnastics and it's not quite swimming.  It's a boring Olympic casserole, a contrived event designed as a consolation prize.  Synchronized swimming is to the NIT what gymnastics and swimming are to the NCAA Tournament.  It's an after-thought to the main prize, and no one's really watching it unless they're really bored or have a compulsive gambling addiction. 

Synchronized swimming was introduced as an Olympic sport in 1984.  Since then, the only time any kid has ever said "Let's synchronize swim!" was to be ironic like an athletic hipster.  And just like every hipster with their artisan jellies, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and ridiculously curated mustaches, synchronized swimming just needs to go away and stop trying so hard to be interesting.

If We Must Keep Synchronized Swimming In the Olympics: So far all of my If We Must Keep suggestions have been snarky, but this one isn't.  If they add improvised synchronized swimming, I actually think I'd watch.  Here's how it would work.  People in the audience would submit dance ideas and routines.  A first group reviews the suggestions to make sure there's nothing obscene.  That group hands the curated suggestions over to the judges who pick the audience suggestions at random.  Soloists get sixty seconds to prepare a two-minute routine.  Teams get two minutes to prepare a four-minute routine.  Scores would be based subjectively on routine, interpretation and overall difficulty of subject matter.  Honest to God, I actually think this could work.  No I'm not being sarcastic.  I'm actually saving all the rest of my bile for...

1.  Race Walking


Race Walking, we need to talk.  You are not a sport.  You are a necessity.  Race Walking, have you ever flown into the Atlanta airport?  You know that big one in Georgia that's separated by about 19 sprawling terminals, one of which I swear is actually located in South Carolina?  Thousands of people every day fly into that airport and have to make a connecting flight.  Problem is that they landed in one terminal, and they have to hustle all the way to the other side of the airport to make their flight which leaves in about 20 minutes. 

Guess what they do, Race Walking?  That's right.  They Race Walk.  And given that time crunch, you bet your ass they are race walking faster than you are in the Olympics.  You might be race walking for Olympic gold, but people going from Terminal D to Terminal A have a connecting flight for a presentation in Phoenix that's leaving without them.  If they don't race walk to Terminal A in the next 15 minutes, they're losing a million dollar sale, and they're stuck in the Atlanta airport with a swarm of surly Delta employees.  No amount of Chick Fil-A can fix that problem.  You tell me which one is more urgent.   

Know who else race walks, Race Walking? 

Every resident of New York City trying to dodge meandering tourists while going to work. 

Every parent at Disney World whose kid gets too close to Lake Alligator.

Every person in south Chicago who hears a gun shot.

Race Walking, you're an arrogant embarrassment to sports.  You hide behind the gold, silver and bronze knowing damn good and well that there people out there doing your job better than you, faster than you, with more urgency than you every single day.  You are to the sports universe what Donald Trump's skin is to the human anatomy: A fake glow in a televised spectacle of phoniness. 

Race Walking, you offer us nothing.  Walk away from Rio and never come back. 

If We Must Keep Race Walking In the Olympics: Force the contestants to run like every other athlete in the world. 

It's our job to see to it that these events be removed from future Olympic games.  Let's do whatever we can to influence the IOC to remove these games starting with the 2024 Olympic games.  I heard they take cash.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I'm back. Why I Had To Shut Down SportsKarma...And Why I'm Bringing It Back



It's been awhile, hasn't it?

Literally, years have passed since I last sat down to write anything.  The last time SportsKarma made an appearance, Gary Kubiak was just an Aggie doofus with a faux-crewcut, and a facial expression that never wavered off of Vanilla.  Now he's a Super Bowl-winning coach, and I just threw up slightly writing that sentence.  J.J. Watt wasn't the mayor of Houston or the king of the NFL.  Jose Altuve wasn't the baddest diminutive man since Napoleon.  He was just a rookie.

The Longhorns got Strong and Smart, but the Longhorn Network has made Texas none the wiser.  Barack Obama entered his second term.  Donald Trump began his descent into early-term dementia.  Poking your friends was a craze.  Now it's Pokemon Go, and it's a dead heat as to which one is dumber.  (My vote goes to Pokemon based on the fact that I actually watched a kid with his nose to his phone walk balls-first into a post.  It was glorious in an Ow! My Balls kinda way.)  Most significantly, the last time SportsKarma made an appearance, I had zero nephews.  Now I have two.  My sister even took up the mantle of writing as she is now a frequent contributor to the Boston Moms Blog.

All this happened, and where was I?  Well, I was watching it happen, but I wasn't documenting my thoughts.  I stopped writing to focus solely on my career.  It wasn't an easy decision, and I even admit that it wasn't the healthiest one either.  However, my time away has really given me perspective on art.  We need to have art in our lives.  Our writings, our paintings, our music, our sculptures, what we build, what we write, what we create for the world to see and feel and experience.  It's not there to make us rich.  It's there to make us richer.

That said though, just like OU, being a starving artist sucks.  You can only spend so many hours a day on the Internet writing about sports and society before you look at your bank account, look around at your smallish apartment and wonder "What the hell am I doing with my life?" Upon that epiphany, I set out to change my life.  I abandoned my craft to develop a new one, and it had nothing to do with sports, booze, rock music or anything else I enjoyed writing about.  I studied.  Lots and lots and lots of studying.  For the last three years of my life, that's really all I've done. 

*********************************************************************************

My LinkedIn profile says that I earned my CPCU, AAI, AINS and AIS.  For those not in the insurance business, that means I'm a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, an Accredited Adviser in Insurance, an Associate in General Insurance and an Associate in Insurance Services.  With the exception of AAI, I'm guessing that entire alphabet soup means very little to you, and that's totally cool if you're confused by the boring miasma of mumbo-jumbo I just spewed all over the place.  But I had to earn those titles for my career.

Don't misunderstand.  This wasn't something I arbitrarily chose to do.  I had to do this.  I realized in 2012 that my career wasn't really going anywhere.  I was in tech support for an insurance company, and I was pretty good at what I did.  However, it was obvious that if I didn't do something else, I was probably going to reset passwords my entire life.

My 20s were over.  I was inching closer to 35 years old, and I had no real marketable skills to put on a resume.  After I left radio in 2005, I didn't really have a specific skill to put on a resume beyond the fact that I was good at my job.  I studied to go to law school in 2007, but I did horribly on the LSAT.  Twice.

Earning designations, including the more prestigious ones like CPCU and AAI, was my single-best option to advance my career, to advance my earnings and to provide a better life for myself.  Best of all, my employer was willing to pay for everything as long as I passed all the tests.  But that meant I had to study. A lot.  I knew virtually nothing about insurance when I started with my company in 2009.  I had to basically teach myself the principles of commercial insurance, agency management, accounting and finance, and wait a sec...don't fall asleep on me now!  Okay fine, I'll stop, but you get the point.  These tests were brutal, and I had to learn what was essentially a new language on the fly.  There were many Saturday nights that I spent at the kitchen table at midnight studying actuarial tables and rating principles.  I studied contract law, combined ratios, hammer clauses, deemer provisions, balance sheets almost without end for the better part of the last three years.

I admit that during this time, I became the Least Interesting Man In The World.  But I had to do this.  If I didn't do this, I told myself, where would I really be?  What would I really being doing with my life?  What would my earning potential be?  What would I look like?  A sad, middle-aged guy resetting passwords?  No thank you.

But there was a huge price.  I didn't just quit writing.  I deleted all my dating profiles too.  I literally had no time for dating or relationships.  Even I did get into a relationship, I didn't have the money or the career to sustain anything long-term.  So I forged onward amidst a lot of self-doubt that this was really the right thing to do.

I will never forget grocery shopping alone on Valentine's Night 2015.  Valentine's fell on a Saturday that year, and I was taking a break from studying Insurance Operations.  It was 11 PM, and I was the only customer in HEB.  It was a few stockers, a few checkers, a few sackers, and one sad sack in the produce aisle picking over broccoli.  That moment, I looked around and in between the emptiness and thought "Damn...I hope this is worth it.  Because this sucks."

Truth be told, I spent a lot of late nights at the grocery store.  Many nights, I ate way too late.  Part of it was that I was so hungry and tired after working and studying for 12 or 13 hours, I felt I needed a reward.  And yes, I also drank too much during this period.  Part of it was stress.  Part of it was also entitlement.

"I deserve to have a drink or two, don't I?  I've worked so hard," I would ask myself rhetorically.  That drink or two was what put me to sleep some nights.  I gained back a lot of weight that I previously lost.  I was becoming successful in my career, and I was being publicly recognized for it.  But I was also becoming a lonely fat drunk.  I was morphing into the sad, middle-aged guy that I swore I wouldn't become.

Make no mistake.  Ambition has a price tag, and it taxes you in ways Congress could never devise.  Ambition taxes your sleep.  It taxes your social life, and creates a penalty for love interests.  It taxes your confidence.  It audits you for doubt.  Ambition has no deadline to collect.  It late files at 2 AM, on weekends, and on your birthday.

You own your ambition.  But sometimes ambition can make a lousy tenant.

******************************************************************************

Fortunately, ambition paid up and paid off.  I was hired onto my company's commercial insurance team in April of this year.  This month I finished a Commercial Underwriting test, and for the first time in nearly four years, I can stop studying for awhile.  I am still required to take two courses a year, but I can back away completely at this time and pursue other things.  I can actually work 40 hours a week now, and do nothing more than that if I so choose.  Ultimately, this is why I have decided to return to writing.  I stepped away for so long from my art form that I forgot why we create. 

My sister never quit her job teaching, but she's always writing for her Boston Moms Blog.  My friend Chris never quit his job as a banker, but he's a phenomenal guitarist.  My friend Ramiro never quit his job as a teacher, but still creates beautiful paintings.  What we do for a living, and what we create are almost never the same.  One thing makes us money, but the other is rarely monetized.  But that does not mean that our art shouldn't exist.  It exists for us to share our creative selves, to show the world a different way to think.  Very few truly make money off their music, their writings, their paintings, but the world suffers without those things as does the artist.

I wrote about the things that made me irrationally happy, and perhaps just a bit implausibly mad.  Some of it was great, and some it frankly sucked.  I used to worry a lot about whether or not something I wrote was terrible, but now I realize that even Picasso drew a crooked line now and again.  Not every sentence Hemingway wrote was perfect, and Adele doesn't hit That Note every time.  Art is there to be created, not to labor over.

I can't guarantee you that you will love everything I write.  Chances are I won't either.  You probably won't agree with everything I say either.  That's fine as well.  As long as it provokes, challenges, and entertains, I will have done my job.  After a long period of work, my career is in a much better place.  It is now my time to achieve a balance that I lacked. I don't have any expectations on how often I will be writing.  I'm certainly not under any time constraints to crank out material.  But I'm happy to be back writing about my favorite teams, my favorite drinks, my favorite bands and whatever else catches me by surprise.  I'm also excited to involve my friends in what I create.

I'm pleased to announce that SportsKarma is back.  Believe.   

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Five Athletes Who Would Make Fantastic Pro Wrestling Characters



This summer, I came out of the closet. I began to admit publicly what only a few of my closest friends knew.

It took a lot of courage coming out. It's not something that every 32-year-old man wants to disclose, especially when he has a burgeoning career and wants to attract a likewise partner.

However, after some prodding from an influential website and some mentoring from fantastic role models, I feel liberated enough to proclaim this truth.

I watch Raw on Monday nights.

I loved pro wrestling when I was a kid, but swore it off when I got to high school, mainly because I wanted to attract girls, and knowing a ton about Bret "The Hitman" Hart and "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels wasn't helping my cause.

I denied it again in college when WWF/E was at its apex glory with The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H were all in their absolute primes. I wanted to be above the fray. Frat guys liked that stuff, and they also liked Matchbox 20 too. That wasn't my scene so i stayed away, and missed the party.

I lived without cable for many years after college so up until about two years ago, I didn't even know wrestling was still on TV. One night after work about a year-and-a-half ago, I sat down to dinner one Monday night during the summer and turned on my Astros. They were in the midst of getting crushed by the Pirates, of all teams, and I quickly grew disgusted. I started impatiently flipping channels just looking to see if there were any other ballgames on in the middle of summer when there's not much else in the world of sports to see.

No ballgames on. I kept clicking.



"Was that The Undertaker?" I asked rhetorically to my apartment walls. "He's still wrestling?"

Indeed he was, and here I was just like I was 11 years old all over again. I was watching the Undertaker walk across the top rope for the Dead Man Walking elbow drop, and then set up some poor sap for the Tombstone pile driver.

One.

Two.

Three.

The Undertaker rolled his eyes back into his skull for the victory. I felt so dirty, but I enjoyed the hell out of watching wrestling again. Certainly more than I enjoyed watching the Astros get their asses handed to them by Pittsburgh. So I kept watching the rest of the night more for nostalgic purposes than anything. I didn't want to admit to myself how much I really liked it.

So I denied it and kept it to myself. But when the Astros were suffering on a Monday night, I knew what to turn over and watch. And when Monday Night Football hit a lull or a bad game, I would flip over to see what was going on.

But I still felt pathetic. I'm in my 30s now. What is any self-respecting man really doing watching two grown men pretend to fight?

Throughout that year, though, Aaron Rodgers unveiled his touchdown celebration, The Imaginary Championship Belt.



I, along with millions of other dorks, embraced it. Here was the best quarterback in the NFL pretty much admitting that he was in on the joke too.

So between Aaron Rodgers' influence, and ESPN's Bill Simmons' new website, Grantland, which devotes a weekly column to pro wrestling, it seemed OK to admit that I loved this when I was a kid, and frankly, I still love it now. It's silly, it's fun and they're more enjoyable to watch than the Astros anyway.

But the more I watched Raw, the more it started to color the way I watch other sports. I started thinking of certain guys as heels (bad guys) and faces (good guys), and who did a better job than others at portraying those characters.

So to that end, here are the five athletes that I've seen who would translate best to the squared circle.

5. Brett Favre



What he would be: Heel

Who he resembles: Ric Flair



In many ways, Brett Favre is Ric Flair. Both are good ol' Southern boys who stuck around for entirely too long. Both appear to have had "performance enhancements" throughout their careers. Flair has admitted to steroid use; Favre had a well-documented painkiller addiction. In addition, although it was never mentioned in the media, Favre did have a very peculiar spike in numbers between 2005-2010 when he was in his late 30s. At an age where most athletes should decline in production, Favre threw 51% fewer interceptions in 2007 than he did in 2005, and his quarterback rating jumped from a 70.9 in 2005 to a 107.2 in 2009.

Favre was actually playing the position better at 40 than he was at 35. Perhaps that's because just like every great heel, he might have been using a foreign object to beat his opponent while the referee's back was turned.

Favre and Flair both also seemed to be quite pleased with showing off their crowned jewels. In 2010, Favre's penis was famously captured on his cell phone pictures to Jets reporter Jenn Sterger. In May 2002, Flair was caught "spinning" his willie on a European flight, and the WWE was sued as a result.

But both are undisputed legends of their craft, and any discussion of the greatest of all-time in their respective sports will always include Brett Favre and Ric Flair, no matter how pathetic they may seem.

WOO!

4. Shaquille O'Neal



What he would be
: Face
Who he resembles: Andre The Giant


Even when Andre The Giant was a heel, and was squaring off against Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania III, everybody loved him anyway. By all accounts, he was one of the funniest and best guys to be around in the business, and parlayed his good nature into a memorable film role as Fezzik, the lovable ogre, in The Princess Bride.

Shaq never made a movie as good or as memorable as The Princess Bride. Hell, Andre might have been a better thespian as well because frankly, Shaq was a terrible actor (scroll to about 2:35).



But Shaq, much like Andre, was so revered by those in the sports and entertainment community, that even when he was playing the heel role and leaving the Lakers to win a title in Miami, no one could stay mad at him. He was just too good of a guy, and everyone had a great time around him.

Both were huge men with larger than life personalities. The major difference between the two, though? One broke backboards in his prime. The other broke drinking records.

3. Danica Patrick



What she would be
: Heel
Who she resembles: Chyna



Neither one are particularly attractive, although Danica actually looks like a woman compared to Chyna. Chyna looks like something from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, to be honest.



However, both succeeded in a man's world to a certain extent. Danica is considered a mainstream driver in NASCAR. Although she's nowhere near on par with Jimmie Johnson or Kyle Busch in terms of victories or overall success, she is perhaps the most well-marketed NASCAR driver, especially as a result of her GoDaddy.com commercials.

Chyna's run coincided with the WWE/F's golden age in the late 1990s-early 2000s, and just like Danica Patrick, she could hang with the big boys. She won the Intercontinental Title twice, was actually the #1 contender for the title in 1999. That same year, she won the Royal Rumble.

One could rather easily argue that Chyna, in her brief four-year run with WWE was way more successful than Danica Patrick has been in her whole career in Indy Car/NASCAR. But this is less about success and more about resemblance, and Danica stands out like Chyna for her willingness to compete in a male-dominated field, and succeed to a respectable degree.

Danica, however, gets the heel tag here for her constant provocation of fights, snapping towels at people, running over her pit crew, and generally acting like a pain in the ass.

However, there's no question as to who I would rather see in a sex tape. (Hint: Not Chyna)

2. LeBron James



What he would be: Heel
Who he resembles: Chris Jericho



It would be asinine to suggest that either LBJ or Y2J's careers have been failures. Far from it, in fact. LeBron has made two NBA Finals appearances, won the MVP twice and won a scoring title. Jericho won the Intercontinental title a record nine times, held the World Heavyweight belt three times and became the first-ever undisputed championship in WWE/F history.

LeBron James is one of the most visible athletes in the world. His Nike marketing campaign has made him one of the world's most recognized athletes. Chris Jericho is one of the most visible wrestlers in the world. Between emceeing the game show Downfall on ABC, hosting VH1's 100 Most Shocking Music Moments, and his stint on Dancing With The Stars, Chris Jericho is one of the world's most recognized wrestlers.

But absolute greatness has eluded the both of them. Until LeBron James wins an NBA title, he will always live in the shadows of Kobe Bryant and his teammate Dwyane Wade. Everyone is free to acknowledge his God-given talents but even with the marketing campaigns and all the promise that he had coming into the NBA, LeBron James hasn't quite delivered despite his impressive resume.

Much like LeBron James' craves acceptance in the post-basketball arena, for Chris Jericho, it won't matter how well he does on Dancing With The Stars. He'll never be as big as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Jericho is hosting VH1 specials and appearing on reality television shows. The Rock is appearing in blockbuster films, and his last major hit, Fast Five, grossed $209,805,005 as of August 2011.

Both entered their respective leagues, lauded as the good guys. Jericho entered the WWF/E in 1999 and was supposed to content for the title the same way The Rock did.



LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003, and promised to bring a championship home to his home state of Ohio.

Both turned their back on the fans and embraced the heel role. But both have never really lived up to their potential. And that's what makes them all the more interesting.

1. Aaron Rodgers



What he would be: Face
Who he resembles: The Rock



We end the way we began. Aaron Rodgers first stepped up in 2008 and beat the evil Brett Favre for the Green Bay starting job in a Loser Leaves Town match. Then this year, his Packers defeated the Michael Vick-led Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs en route to Super Bowl XLV where he crushed the villainous two-time champion Ben "The Rapistberger" Roethlisberger in Super Bowl XLV. After that victory, he didn't just become a Super Bowl champion. By virtue of defeating Brett Favre, the Canine Hannibal Lecter and Rapistberger, he became the People's Champion as well.

Similar to The Rock, everyone seems to love Aaron Rodgers. Year after year, Rodgers plays not just for the Green Bay Packers, but he also plays for the People on Team Bring It.

Judging by his fantasy numbers and Packers victories, it's safe to say that he certainly does Bring It.