These athletes are so big that their fame has gone beyond sport.
I have no doubt there are a lot of moms who dig sports, so please, I mean no offense. This is for folks whose mothers show exactly zero interest in sporting events and often ask their sports-fan kids questions like, “Wasn’t that A-Rod guy dating Madonna for a while?” Basically, the word “mom” is code for “non-sports fan.”
Sometimes athletes become so famous that they are no longer just athletes—they are cultural icons. I’ll include a few blasts from the past, names like Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali, so famous you’d have to be a monk to have never heard of them.
But mostly these will be present or recently retired athletes—guys like LeBron James and Michael Phelps—who have made themselves famous well beyond the scope of their chosen profession.
Your mom might not even know the following celebrities are also athletes. But odds are, despite her lack of sports knowledge and preference toward reality TV, she’s heard of them.