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Welcome to the latest and greatest installment to the WFNZ blog circles, featuring three of the young stars of CBS Sports Radio Charlotte: Nathan Conley, Colin Hoggard and Travis “T-Bone” Hancock. Each Friday we’ll introduce a Top 5 list of relevant sports issues and allow you guys to interact through the comments section to let us know how wrong we are. Let the games begin!
This week’s topic: Who are the 5 “Must See” athletes right now?
1. LeBron James - This was the only unanimous selection from our esteemed panel. The reigning League and NBA Finals MVP and recently touted pre-game warmup dunk extraordinaire. He’s always been a freak of nature, but this season he has taken his “superstar” status to a completely ridiculous level. The guy shot 64% from the field for the entire month of February! He is leading his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals. I’m not sure if any athlete can ever really legitimately be labeled as “unstoppable” but LeBron James is becoming dangerously close to attaining that designation.
2. Aaron Rodgers - The crop of good, young Quarterbacks might be at an all time high right now in the NFL. Rodgers, however, remains a cut above the rest. Also a League MVP and a SuperBowl MVP, he has the consistently great results over a sustained period of time that sets him apart. Plus, who doesn’t love his “Discount Double Check” commercials.
3. Kyrie Irving - The time is right to reserve your spot on the “Uncle Drew” bandwagon. Fresh off of an All Star Weekend, which had everyone buzzing about him, he’s doing what NBA fans once thought was unimaginable — Making Cleveland Cavalier fans forget about our number one athlete on this list, LeBron James. He still has a ways to go in his development as pro, but his talent is off the charts and his presence in Cleveland has rejuvenated an entire fan base and city.
4. Johnny Manziel - The first Freshman to ever take home the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Football’s legend only seems to grow with time. From his online course schedule, to late-night casino trips, to his court side sightings at NBA games, this guy seems to have the captivated the attention of an entire country. This might be the most fragile player on this list, due to the brief nature of his performance on the “big stage”, but he also has the potential to shoot up this list if he turns in a comparable showing next season.
5. Usain Bolt – Not unanimous, but the leaving the fastest man alive off this would be a travesty. The fact that you only get to see this guy on the big stage once every four years is what solidified his position on this list. Each time he takes the track, he has a shot at setting world records. If that doesn’t intrigue you, then your pulse as a sports fan needs to be checked.
Honorable Mentions: Here a few that were worthy of being mentioned in this discussion, but just didn’t quite make the grade.
Colin Kaepernick: Kaepernick came on the scene in Week 11 and took the NFL by storm. He didn’t quite have enough to win it all this year, and he also just missed out on our list here today. With only 10 starts in his NFL career, we need to see more greatness from this guy before we can place him on this prestigious list.
Mike Trout: Nate wanted this guy on the list more than he wanted to be invited to Tom Brady’s Baby shower to welcome in his and Gisele’s new baby girl, Vivian Lake. He may have had what was one of the greatest Rookie campaigns in MLB history, but still failed gain this distinct honor.
Blake Griffin: Charlotte Bobcat fans would probably have no argument with this nominee, as he recently put on his own personal dunk contest on his way to another impressive aerial display which had NBA fans all over the country jumping out of their seats with every gravity-defying slam.
Lionel Messi: Colin was a big proponent of the world’s best soccer player. Messi is absolutely dominating the International soccer scene and could end up being the greatest player to ever live… Sorry, Pelé. Unfortunately for Colin, we live in North America and not South America, therefore we had to leave Messi on the sidelines for this debate.
Jadaveon Clowney: Perhaps the only other College Football player worth mentioning on this list, fans might want to get out and see this guy while they can, as rumors about him potentially sitting out his junior year at South Carolina are swirling around. Regardless of whatever decision he makes, he’s an absolute beast and appears to be the unanimous #1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft.
Tiger Woods: Whether you’re a golf guy or not, the most legitimate way to determine the star power of an athlete is how much they move the needle, and the impact of Tiger on the game of golf is undeniable. His recent performances and lack of success have knocked him down a peg or two, and that was enough to knock him right off of this list.
Others: Adrian Peterson, Jon “Bones” Jones, Calvin Johnson, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, RG III, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton. Despite T-Bone’s constant efforts to include a wrestler on this list, Colin and I united to thwart his absurd aspirations.