My Athlete of the Decade Tournament

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My Athlete of the Decade Tournament

The 2000s have been a great decade in sports. There have been many different records broken, and we have seen great displays of athleticism and talent.

While I and many other people will be handing out yearly and decade awards, I wanted to crown an athlete of the decade.

There were too many people to choose from, so I got some help and came up with a list of 32 athletes to compete in an NCAA March Madness-like tournament to crown the athlete of the decade.

So, without further ado, here are the top 32 athletes chosen and their seeds.


Conference One

1. Michael Phelps

We all know what Michael Phelps has accomplished this decade. It's record-breaking and incredible.

Phelps captured eight gold medals at Beijing in 2008 and has a total of 14 gold medals. He also currently holds six world records in swimming.

There is no doubting that Phelps is one of the greatest Olympians of all time.

 

2. Roger Federer

Federer was ranked No. 1 in tennis rankings for 237 consecutive weeks, starting in 2004 and ending with his defeat to Rafael Nadal. Put that with his 61 singles titles, and there's no doubt he's been tennis' best player this decade.

 

3. Usain Bolt

While Michael Phelps amazed us all in the water during the Beijing Olympics, Usain Bolt did it on his feet.

He won three gold medals in Beijing, and has the world record in the 100 meter, 150, 200, and 4x100 relay races.

 

4. Sidney Crosby

Sid the Kid has been very impressive on the ice this decade, and shows a lot of promise moving forward into the next decade.

Crosby has had 155 goals, 290 assists, and that all-important Stanley Cup in just five years.

 

5. Martin Brodeur

The fact that we've gotten to watch Martin Brodeur play could be something to tell future generations. Brodeur has been spectacular in goal, and owns many records such as most regular season wins, most shutouts, and most games played by an NHL goaltender.

Not to mention, Brodeur started playing back in 1991.

 

6. Ronaldinho

In his club career, Ronaldinho has 159 goals. In his international career, he has 32.

He has won many awards, such as the FIFA World Player of the Year twice, UEFA Club Best Forward, and European Footballer of the Year.

 

7. Mariano Rivera

It pained me to put one of the best closers of all time as a seven-seed, but Mariano has been truly amazing this decade.

He's second all-time in regular season saves, first in postseason saves, and has the lowest career ERA in the regular season and postseason.

 

8. Dwyane Wade

Since 2003, when he was drafted out of Marquette, D-Wade has been one of the best players in the NBA.

He has a career 25.3 PPG average and 6.6 assists. Wade still has a very bright future ahead of him.

 

Conference Two

 


1.
Lance Armstrong

What Lance Armstrong has done as a cyclist is incredible. Winning seven straight Tour de France awards is something that no other man could do.

What Lance has done is mind-blowing, and that's why he deserves a No. 1 seed in the athlete of the decade tournament.

 

2. Kobe Bryant 

Along with Shaquille O' Neal, Kobe Bryant won three consecutive NBA championships and then won again last year.

Kobe won the MVP award in 2008, is a two-time scoring champ, and three-time All-Star Game MVP.

 

3. LaDainian Tomlinson

He broke the single-season touchdown record, he has the most rushing yards in San Diego Chargers' history, and he's eighth on the all-time rushing list.

 

4. Alex Rodriguez  

A-Rod is predicted to surpass Barry Bonds on the all-time home run list sometime in the next decade. He already has 583 home runs, and was the youngest to ever reach the 500 mark.

 

5. Ichiro Suzuki 

Ichiro has been a phenomenal athlete ever since he came from Japan to play with the Seattle Mariners. Just two of the amazing things Ichiro has done are having nine consecutive seasons with 200 hits and a .300 batting average.

 

6. Cristiano Ronaldo

The second of three soccer players to make the list, Cristiano Ronaldo has won many awards, including FIFA Player of the Year and UEFA Player of the Year.

 

7. Albert Pujols

Just like Alex Rodriguez, there is a chance Albert Pujols could break the all-time home run record in the next decade. But unlike A-Rod, there is no past evidence of steroid use yet.

 

8. Tyler Hansbrough 

Some people may have a problem with Hansbrough making my tournament, but he put together a great college career at North Carolina. Good enough to have his No. 50 retired.

 

Conference Three

 

1. Tom Brady 

It's hard to describe how great Tom Brady has been this decade, especially for a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. It's a hard choice between Brady and Peyton Manning, but the Super Bowls give Brady the edge.

 

2. LeBron James

James has been in the spotlight all decade, whether it was his high school days or after he got drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers. And he's put on a real show while in the spotlight.

 

3. Tim Tebow

Go ahead and say that Tim Tebow will be a bust at the next level, but he has put together an amazing college career.

 

4. Derek Jeter

The captain. The leader. He's won four Gold Gloves, played in nine All-Star Games, and won two World Series this decade. A Hall of Famer for sure.

 

5. Shaquille O' Neal

Just like Kobe Bryant, Shaq has won four NBA Championships and won the MVP in all three championship years with Kobe. Even though he has bounced around to different teams in more recent years, he has still been one of the most dominant big men this decade.

 

6. David Beckham

David Beckham was supposed to bring extreme popularity to American soccer. Even though he hasn't done that, Beckham has been one of the best on the soccer field. 

 

7. Rafael Nadal

With a career record of 76-49 and five titles, Rafael Nadal has been arguably the second-best tennis player this decade behind Roger Federer.

 

8. Brett Favre

Football fans may not like Favre because of his retiring and un-retiring, but he holds plenty of NFL records and is going to the Hall of Fame when his career is over.

 

Conference Four


1. Tiger Woods

Not to get mixed up with his recent family problems, there is no doubting that Tiger Woods has been one of the most outstanding and dominating athletes in sports. 

 

2. Peyton Manning

He has 50,000 career passing yards, 366 TDs, three MVP awards, and a Lombardi Trophy. I would put him as second this decade to Tom Brady, but many people also find Peyton to be the best QB this decade. 



3. Alexander Ovechkin

One of the brightest stars in the NHL, Ovechkin has already won two consecutive Hart Memorial trophies, an Art Ross trophy, and the record for points in a season by a left winger. 


4. Ray Lewis

He is definitely the defensive player of this decade. Ray Lewis has been unbelievable at linebacker for one of the most dominant defenses of this era.

 

5. Tim Duncan

He's a four-time NBA champion, two-time MVP, 11-time NBA All-Star, and an eight-time All-Defensive team.  

 

6. Floyd Mayweather

Floyd "Money" Mayweather has a record of 40-0. He has never lost a boxing match. Even though I think he would fall to Manny Pacquiao if they met, Mayweather has dominated his sport this decade.  

 

7. Vince Young

Even though Vince Young's pro career hasn't been phenomenal up until now, his college career was amazing. Six thousand passing yards, 3,000 rushing yards, 44 passing TDs, and 37 rushing TDs in just three years at Texas. 

 

8. Jimmie Johnson

We all know the amazing accomplishment Johnson has completed. Four straight NASCAR championships, a feat no one has ever before matched.

Now that we've gone through all of the athletes in our tournament, let's look at the first-round matchups.

 

Conference One

1. Michael Phelps
8. Dwyane Wade

2. Roger Federer
7. Mariano Rivera

3. Usain Bolt
6. Ronaldinho

4. Sidney Crosby
5. Martin Brodeur 

 

Conference Two

1. Lance Armstrong
8. Tyler Hansbrough

2. Kobe Bryant
7. Albert Pujols

3. LaDainian Tomlinson
6. Cristiano Ronaldo

4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Ichiro Suzuki

 

Conference Three

1. Tom Brady
8. Brett Favre

2. LeBron James
7. Rafael Nadal

3. Tim Tebow
6. David Beckham

4. Derek Jeter
5. Shaquille O'Neal

 

Conference Four

1. Tiger Woods
8. Jimmie Johnson

2. Peyton Manning
7. Vince Young

3. Alexander Ovechkin
6. Floyd Mayweather

4. Ray Lewis
5. Tim Duncan

Keep your eye out for the next round; I'll make sure to get it in soon.

 

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