Overrated/Underrated: Athletes

Overrated:

Joe Namath

It is hard to compare statistics from different eras.  Old people often make the argument that it was a different game back in the day.  And to a degree they are right.  There were no short pass West Coast offenses to pad completion percentage stats.  Defensive Backs were also allowed to be much more physical, thus making it harder on the Quarterback.  So, I will disregard Namath’s 50 percent career completion percentage due to these factors.  What I will not ignore is his 173 TD’s to 220 Interceptions.  I don’t care what era you played in, that is terrible.  Certainly not Hall of Fame type numbers.  Yet, Broadway Joe is the perfect example of a style over substance type player, whose image overshadowed some mediocre performances.  His persona and famous Super Bowl prediction vaulted him into stardom and hid the fact that he probably shouldn’t have been a Hall of Famer.

Johnny Unitas, now there’s a haircut you could set your watch to!

Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick burst onto the scene with his blistering serve and US Open win in 2003.  Since then, his performance has failed to live up to the hype surrounding him.  I understand that since America is lacking in tennis talent right now, the media feels it has to hype him up.  I’m just sick of hearing his name mentioned among the upper echelon of tennis players.  His name shouldn’t be in the same sentence as a Nadal, Federer, and Djokovich.  It’s debatable if he even belongs in the second tier of players like Murray, Berdych, Soderling, and Del Potro.  (Yes I know Roddick has one more major than all of those players outside of Del Potro).  His game is far too one-dimensional to beat the top players in the world.  He has the serve that can dominate most players, but when he gets to quarterfinals, his ground game fails him against the best.

Underrated:

Novak Djokovic

More American sports fans probably know who Andy Roddick is than Djokovic.  In fact, most probably are still wondering whether Federer or Nadal are the best player in the world right now.  The truth is, right now Novak Djokovic is the best tennis player in the world.  And many casual sports fans probably have no idea.  With Federer on the tail end of his career, the next great tennis rivalry should be Nadal versus Djokovic.  This is all assuming Nadal stays healthy of course.  Djokovic has as complete a game as you will find.  Pinpoint accuracy on his groundstrokes, a solid serve, top-notch speed, and out of this world flexibility.  The only thing that has held him back in the past is his head.  Now that he has matured some, it looks like he has fixed that now too.  Watch out.

Steve Young:

Joe Montana is a tough act to follow.  For years, Young had to live in his shadow and be compared to one of the top quarterbacks of all-time.  For a long time, he was underrated because of this.  It wasn’t until he won a Super Bowl, that he finally started getting the respect he deserved (Aaron Rodgers following Favre in Green Bay is a similar situation).  Even to this day, Young isn’t listed among the best, while guys like Troy Aikman and John Elway get more love.  Young was just as good a passer as Aikman, but it was Young’s ground game which vaults him to another level.  Young was one of the top running quarterbacks of all-time and this is often forgotten.  His combination of passing ability and running is something that modern quarterbacks like Rodgers and Michael Vick should strive for.  As the Quarterback position is revolutionized with more running QB’s who can also throw, Steve Young should be remembered as one of the first to master this art.

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