Athletes so Good That It's Not Even Fair

Nick DimengoFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2014

Athletes so Good That It's Not Even Fair

0 of 15

    Eric Jamison/Associated Press

    I'm not one to judge an athlete's ability—seeing how I just write about them, while they actually play the sport—but it's easy to tell which players have that extra gear.

    Some may call it an "It" factor, while others may just refer to them as the best, but however you want to describe these guys' abilities, it's unfair.

    From being physically and mentally dominating to holding themselves to a higher standard, here are the athletes whose abilities are so unfair that we just assume they'll always come out on top.

Richard Sherman

1 of 15

    USA TODAY Sports

    Typically, when an athlete is so brash as to declare himself the best at his position in the game, I often roll my eyes and hate on the guy.

    That's not the case when it comes to Richard Sherman, because the dude has backed it up.

    Even with quarterbacks being hesitant to throw his way, he has still picked off 20 passes in the past three years, which, no doubt, helped lead to his new deal.

Felix Hernandez

2 of 15

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    His stats may not always reflect his dominance in terms of wins and losses, but whether you look at his ERA or ask his peers, Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is one of the best in the game.

    A Cy Young Award winner and perennial All-Star, King Felix has already accomplished so much since breaking into the majors in 2005 at 19 years old, and he's still just 28.

    The kid is scary good, and barring unfortunate injuries, he should continue to wax opposing hitters.

Luis Suarez

3 of 15

    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Although players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo get more attention, one doesn't have to be a diehard soccer fan to understand just how great Liverpool and Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez is.

    Netting 31 goals in 33 Premier League games this past season, Suarez may have some baggage that has tarnished his reputation a bit, but he's an absolute nightmare for any opposing team.

    With the World Cup starting in a few weeks, there could be some potential magic from Suarez.

Jon Jones

4 of 15

    USA TODAY Sports

    Admittedly, I'm not the biggest fan of MMA.

    Still, that doesn't mean I'm unaware of how great Jon "Bones" Jones is in the sport, as he has been mentioned as potentially being the best fighter ever.

    With a record of 20-1 with the lone loss coming back in 2009 due to disqualification, it's no wonder the current UFC light heavyweight champ is a wanted man by every fighter who is after his belt.

Sidney Crosby

5 of 15

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Say what you want about the guy, but Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is no doubt the most talented player in the NHL. He's in line for another league MVP this year.

    In fact, he has reached that level where fans find flaws in his game to convince themselves he isn't as good as he really is—which is always the measure of a great player.

    While Crosby gets picked apart for whining and celebrated whenever he fails, he is the king of the league, and his play should be appreciated.

Clayton Kershaw

6 of 15

    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Want to know what's nasty? Everything that comes out of the left hand of LA Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

    When healthy—which he hasn't been this season—he is hands-down the filthiest pitcher in the majors, mixing a mid-90s fastball with a deceptive changeup that frustrates hitters.

    With the lowest ERA of any pitcher in the live-ball era with at least 1,000 innings pitched, it's no wonder the Dodgers tossed a lot of cash to keep the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

Calvin Johnson

7 of 15

    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    It's pretty incredible when a guy can snag 84 balls for 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns and have it considered to be somewhat of a down year for him.

    Yet, that's what happened with Detroit Lions freak wideout Calvin Johnson in 2013.

    Setting the bar as high as it could go after a record-breaking 2012 season, "Megatron" is physically stronger, faster and more powerful than any defender who dares to match up against him.

    No one is unguardable, but Johnson is as close as one can get it.

Mike Trout

8 of 15

    USA TODAY Sports

    It seems that the only thing LA Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout can't do is actually win a league MVP award, because he has finished second in his two full seasons in the majors.

    Besides that, though, he has shown to be the total package, crushing balls at the plate, hitting for a high average, stealing bags on the basepaths and playing amazing defense in the field.

    Still just 22 years old, it's hard to believe that he hasn't even scratched the surface of what superstar he can become.

Cristiano Ronaldo

9 of 15

    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Like a few other athletes on this list, Cristiano Ronaldo is someone you either love or hate, because fans rarely have a modest opinion of the Portuguese star.

    Although he hasn't had the same success on the international level as when he's playing for Real Madrid, CR7 is a terror on the pitch, placing the ball wherever he wants and making defenders look silly.

Kevin Durant

10 of 15

    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma Thunder teammates may have fallen short on their goal of at least reaching the NBA Finals this year, but that doesn't take away from the individual stats that KD reached.

    Winning the league MVP for the first time in his career, Durant proved to have a gear that nearly no one else in the Association has, running off an insane 41 consecutive games of at least 25 points scored.

    At 6'9" and a paper-thin 215 pounds, he isn't supposed to do the things that he does—yet he does them on a consistent basis.

Miguel Cabrera

11 of 15

    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Remember how I mentioned Mike Trout earlier as not being able to win the league MVP?

    Yeah, that's because Miguel Cabrera has been in his way the past two seasons, proving to be the best hitter in baseball.

    While Miggy might not be the most athletic-looking guy on a baseball field, when he's standing in a batter's box, he's the scariest man on the planet, with the ability to crush a ball to all fields for both power and average.

Peyton Manning

12 of 15

    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Sure, there are more exciting quarterbacks than Peyton Manning in the league, but when it comes to playing the position, no one does it better.

    Even at the ripe age of 38, Manning led his Denver Broncos offense to record-breaking numbers in 2013 and took home the league MVP for a record fifth time in his Hall of Fame career.

    He might get knocked for struggling in big games, but he's a magician at throwing the football.

LeBron James

13 of 15

    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Come on, now, who but LeBron James can do the things that he does on the basketball court?

    Even with all the pressure and expectations that have been on his shoulders since his sophomore year of high school, he has overcome all the critics to thrust himself into the conversation for greatest of all time.

    With a chance to win his third straight title this season, James continues to elevate his game to a level that is unmatched by any other active player, combining speed, strength, vision and mentality that set him apart.

Usain Bolt

14 of 15

    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    When Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is in a race, he usually wins it.

    That's a rare situation for athletes to be in, but Bolt has proved that he's not like other athletes, constantly pushing to compete against himself to break world records and leave no doubt as to who the fastest man in the world is.

    With six Olympic gold medals already and the 2016 Games being potentially his last, Bolt is just continuing to write his legacy at this point.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

15 of 15

    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    He's brash. He's talented. He's rich—and he knows it.

    For all those reasons, plenty of people have strong opinions about boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., yet they can't help but acknowledge that he's the undisputed champion of boxing.

    Carrying an undefeated career record, he gets the best from any opponent who steps into the ring against him, yet he has proved that no one can dethrone him.