I've spent the entire existence of Sports Design Blog talking about logos, uniforms and old sports products, but today I'd like to talk about my favorite players of all-time. My team preferences and interests have always been somewhat driven by my love of a particular logo or uniform look. However, most of my favorite players are my favorites due to my loyalty to a team that I loved.
So here you go, my favorites:
Nobody brings back childhood NFL memories more than Ken Anderson. Anderson was the quarterback for the Bengals in the 1970's and 1980's and lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance. One of the most mild mannered athletes of all-time, Anderson's quiet confidence allowed him to become one of the best quarterbacks of his era. His passing accuracy was outstanding and his cool under pressure personality made him one of the greats of his era. His legend in Cincinnati was sealed when he lead the team to Super Bowl 16. Anderson is an extremely underrated player who is worthy of enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, and my favorite NFL guy.
Honorable Mention: Fran Tarkenton- Vikings, Earl Campbell-Oilers, Boomer Esiason-Bengals
This one was easy for me. As I have written before on SDB a few times, David Robinson is my favorite athlete, from any league, ever. I began to appreciate David Robinson the player during his college career at Navy and was an immediate fan when he was drafted by the Spurs. Not only am I a fan of David Robinson the player, but I am a bigger fan of David Robinson the person. A two time NBA Champion, scoring champion, MVP, Gold Medal winner and soon to be Hall of Famer, the Admiral sits atop any favorites list I could ever put togehter.
Honorable Mention: Michael Jordan-Bulls, Julius Erving-Sixers, Manu GInobili-Spurs, Dominique Wilkins-Hawks, Tim Duncan-Spurs
I'm sure this one seems like it came out of left field, but you all know about my love for the old school Astros. Those great Astros teams had many great names like Ryan and Cruz, but Terry Puhl was always my favorite Astro. I remember going to a Reds game in Cinicnnati in the early 1980's and catching a ball that Terry Puhl hit into the stands while bunting balls back to Kiko Garcia. Garcia wanted the ball back but Terry Puhl told me to keep it and came over and signed it for me. I still have it on the shelf behind me today as I write this.
Honorable Mention: Eric Davis-Reds, Jim Palmer-Orioles, Nolan Ryan-Astros, Chris Sabo-Reds
I have always been a dedicated Kentucky Basketball fan, and no other player comes close to being my favorite collegiate hoopster of all-time than Kenny "Sky" Walker. Walker played at Kentucky in the 1980's and was a member of the 1984 Final Four team with the Twin Towers. Walker was an explosive scorer and a high flying dunker for the Wildcats. In addition to being a flashy and entertaining player on the court, Walker's personality made him one of the most beloved Wildcats in the history of the basketball program. Walker graduated as the second leading scorer in school history and was drafted in the NBA by the New York Knicks. It was aproud day when I predicted Walker's win in the 1989 NBA Slam Dunk Competition.
Honorable Mention: David Robinson-Navy, Michael Jordan-UNC, Rex Chapman-Kentucky, Ed Davender-Kentucky, Jamal Mashburn-Kentucky
So there you have it, the players who have made me tick as a sports fan over the years. Some may be obvious, but I'm sure a few were surprises. Tomorrow I'll return to a more design oriented post, but I wanted to talk players today. Who are your faves? Let me know.