I asked my wife and three children which athletes they admired. The only one Joy could think of was Ekaterina Gordeeva, the Russian figure skater who lost her partner and husband, Sergei while they were in practice. Leah was stumped, so I asked her about Darryl Sittler because of a children’s book I’d read to her many times when she was little that centered on the Maple Leafs player. Her answer was, “Yeeeeahhh…. I guess.” Erika was impressed by Serena Williams because of the stand she took recently amid controversy and disappointment. (I realize that there are a lot of conflicting feelings and beliefs about this news story, but it was her sticking up for equality and for herself that caught Erika’s attention and admiration.)
So Lukey and I had the longest lists, hence the title to my post. Here is my son’s list of names with a short statement of what he likes about them:
- Tim (Fantana, wrestler) — A small athlete who beats the odds and rises to the top
- Adam (Wesley Pipes, wrestler) — One of the very best in the Maritimes
- Kobe Bryant (NBA) — L.E.G.E.N.D.!
- Steph Curry (NBA) — He’s just amazing overall
- Kevin Durant (NBA) — He can’t miss!
- Kyrie Irving (NBA) — Great dribbler, great shoes
And my list:
- Maurice “Rocket” Richard (NHL) — Insurmountable odds, but still the best in the world at the time.
- Muhammed Ali (boxer…duh!) — The greatest athlete of all time.
- Roddy Piper (wrestler) — Reason? I’m sure I’ve covered this already on this blog.
- Wayne Gretzky (NHL) — L.E.G.E.N.D.!
- Darryl Sittler (NHL) — That ten goal game! Plus my brother sold me on him when we were kids.
- Jackie Robinson (MLB) — For obvious reasons.
- Lukey (the man!) — Always gives his all when playing sports. Not scared of a challenge either.
And as for movie athletes, this is where it’s difficult for me to keep my list down to ten. The following don’t reflect a progression of how much I like each movie, but rather the athlete portrayed in the film:
- Steve and Jack Hanson from Slap Shot (1977)
- Rod Tidwell from Jerry Maguire (1997)
- Vince Papale from Invincible (2006)
- Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass from Remember the Titans (2000)
- Nacho from Nacho Libre (2006)
- Dottie Hinson from A League of Their Own (1992)
- Randy “The Ram” Robinson from The Wrestler (2008)
- Mickey O’Neil from Snatch (2000)
- Rudy from Rudy (1993)
- Rocky from Rocky (1976)
Congratulations Rudy. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actor: John Candy as Del Griffith in Planes, Trains & Automobiles.
Best Quote: “The Godfather is the I Ching. The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question. What should I pack for my summer vacation? ‘Leave the gun, take the cannoli.’ What day of the week is it? ‘Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday.’” — Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail.
Just a thank you to those of you who read this blog, even semi-regularly. I decided when I started to focus on weekly writing and to not worry about whether or not anyone was reading it. But I really do appreciate you taking the time. It means a lot.