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Every few weeks, the contributors to The Writers, as well as some special guests, will submit a Top 5
list on a given topic.

Top 5 Overrated Current Athletes

Ed Barnes:
1. Andrew Bogut - Despite winning multiple Player of the Year awards and being named a First Team
All-American, Bogut seems well on his way to showing that he truly is overrated. He had a horrible
showing in the summer league including an ejection. Even without that small but telling sample,
Bogut was overrated in college as a good but not great player from a horrible basketball conference
gained the respect of college basketball analysts and Bucks GM Larry Harris.

2. Stephon Marbury - Is there any better way to prove that the numbers
that “Starbury” puts up are empty than simply looking at his team’s
records? More importantly, what about the records of the teams he
leaves? They always seem to improve. Marbury has to lead his team to
some success before I don’t think of him as overrated.  

3. Adrian Beltre - 2004 was great for Adrian Beltre but 2005 seems more
realistic. In 2004, Beltre overcame his penchant for starting slowly and
giving fans hope with a big second half. In 2005 he’s reverted to it. While
he is still is only 26, the two reasons that Beltre might disappoint over the
life of this mega deal is that 2004 was his only great season and Scott Boras is his agent. I think we
all know what some of his one-year wonders have done with their mega deals. Right Darren Dreifort?

4. Aaron Brooks - Somehow Aaron Brooks is still held up as an NFL Superstar. Just take a quick look
at his numbers last season. He threw 21 touchdowns but 16 interceptions and a QB rating of 79.5.
On top of that, he was responsible for the blooper of the 2004 NFL season when he fired a pass
almost directly backwards toward a bewildered lineman while being tackled. Brooks has physical
talent but his bad judgment makes him overrated as his potential has been held up as talent for too
long.  

5. Kobayashi - Sure, this guy is great at eating hot dogs and good for him for dominating his “sport.”
However, the way that people in the world of competitive eating regard Kobayashi is why he is
overrated. During the most recent hot dog eating contest, the “color analyst” said that “Kobayashi’s
record at the hot dog eating contest blows away Barry Bonds’ single season home run record. Bonds
only beat Mark McGwire’s record by a few home runs while Kobayashi doubled the old record.”
Please.


Joel Blumberg:
1. Ben Roethlisberger - It will be interesting to see what he does with the bulls-eye on his back and
only the Bus to drive at running back until Deuce Staley gets back to full speed.

2. Jorge Posada - In the lower echelon of catchers…and not even hitting now.

3. Joe Johnson - And to think, Steve Belkin, one of the Atlanta Hawks Minority Partners, the only one
who opposed the deal was stripped of his decision inputs, makes you wonder about the NBA.

4. Martin Broduer - Great numbers, but let's see what happens when he has to face 30 shots per
game instead of 15.

5. Stephon Marbury - One way player, one way attitude. Can Larry Brown improve him?


Larry Fleisher:
1. Eric Lindros
2. Carlos Beltran
3. Carl Pavano
4. Alexei Yashin
5. J.D. Drew


John Labombarda:
Chris Webber
Carlos Beltran
Stephon Marbury
Antoine Walker
Darius Kasparaitis


Jerry Milani:
1. T.O. - I've always thought this.  Unless you're Jerry Rice or Randy Moss, I don't think the wide
receiver position lends itself to the greatest impact. Sure, a standout receiver makes your quarterback
better, but I'd rather have a big-time back – the threat of the run does more for the passing game than
the receivers.  Wide receiver is, however, the position of prima donas, and T.O. is the leading lady.

2. Curt Schilling - You'll never be able to convince me that "bloody" sock
wasn't stained with ketchup. Cue up the violins...

3. Sammy Sosa - Well, I guess he's not overrated anymore, since he's
barely on anyone's radar screen today. But to me, Sosa was the epitome
of the complete player who fell so in love with the long ball (and who
knows what kinds of enhancers, besides cork) that the rest of his game
fell to pot.

4. Kerry Wood - I think we were all awed by 20 K's in his fifth major league start but I just need to see
a full season to be convinced he's among the elite, start in and start out.

5. Dirk Nowitzki - It pains me to include Dirk because I'm a huge Mavs fan, but until he takes this team
and carries it through a postseason series instead of suddenly disappearing, he's on my list.


Eric Mirlis:
1. Stephon Marbury – A loser. Plain and simple. Nine seasons, three playoff game victories. Not
series, games. Of course, that proves his boast from last season that he is “the best point guard in
the NBA”, right? Maybe if he were more concerned about winning than making statements like that,
he actually would be in the Top Ten.

2. Terrell Owens – I refuse to talk about him and give him more attention that he has already garnered
with his selfish attitude.

3. Larry Hughes – From journeyman enigma to highly sought after seemingly overnight. Now that he
has his big contract with Cleveland, I really find it difficult to believe he is going to be as good as he
was last year, even with LeBron James on his side.

4. Retief Goosen – He has won a couple U.S. Opens, but his folding at
this year’s tourney, as well as at the PGA, shows a golfer that has either
lost his edge or overachieved in the past. My guess is the latter. It is
definitely NOT a big five in golf, just a Big Four.

5. Carlos Beltran – A very good player? Yes. A superstar worth the big
ticket he signed this past off-season? Not even remotely close. Expected
by many to go 30-30 this season, if not 40-40, he going to struggle just to
go 20-20. This is one of those cases where the numbers definitely do not
lie.


Barry Neuberger:
1. Kobe Bryant - While I won’t diminish his talent, the overrated part stems from the fact that he’s not
capable of making his teammates better, yet he’s been handed the reigns of a team that expects him
to do that. Don’t see it.

2. Brett Favre - I love his durability, his impact on his teammates, but has he ever delivered, big-time?
He’s had some chances, too.

3. Steve Yzerman - A gritty, true-to-the-bone hockey player who has benefited (see raised up) from
being on some talent-loaded teams. Hope I don’t get grief from Kenny Albert on this one.

4. Stephon Marbury - That’s as of today. I think he has a great chance to shed this label and become
a true star, if he’ll check his ego, listen closely and forget about what his boys will be telling him.

5. Terrell Owens - ‘Nuff said.


Brian Wilmer:
1.  Carlos Beltran - This is a guy who did okay in a small market, had one
great series of playoffs, and was treated like the best player ever to lace
up spikes in the offseason.  Granted, he has been hurt this year, but to
look at his career numbers, he was a .267 career hitter coming into this
year, with a slugging percentage of .490. His K/BB numbers (641 to 371)
are also not optimal for a guy who spent a lot of time in the top of the
lineup.  7 years, $119 million for Beltran?  This signing may end up
working out well for the Mets, but more likely, this will be one of the more
dramatic examples of someone being overpaid we've seen in recent
years.

2.  Tom Brady - I know, here come the "three Super Bowl rings" and "undefeated in the playoffs"
arguments.  Point taken.  However, keep in mind that he is statistically just a decent quarterback in a
great system.  He has never once thrown less than double-digit interceptions in a year (a 2:1 TD-INT
ratio is not worth the hype he receives), and his career yards per reception is 6.9.  A good
quarterback, yes.  A winner, sure.  But to be mentioned among the league's elite?  I'm not buying it.

3.  Randy Moss - For all of the talk of Moss being a big-play receiver -- which, at times, he is -- a man
who has inspired the Randy Ratio, admittedly taking plays off during key moments in games, and
expressed a predilection for the chronic does not a superstar make.  He is now in Oakland, which is
the perfect place for him and his "talents".  Have fun, Kerry Collins...you'll love it.

4.  All of the "athletes" on the Great Outdoor Games - ESPN devotes tons of TV time to these games,
and all we see is people chopping trees and rolling on logs.  This is something guys do after having
a few beers on a weekend, and ESPN decides to devote a bunch of TV time to it and call it an athletic
competition, which is much the same as...

5.  Poker players - Yet another weekend pursuit with a few beers made glamorous by the four-letter
network.  Don't get me wrong, I love poker, but ESPN has made household names out of guys whose
only skill is being a better gambler than the guy across the table from him.