My Athlete Of The Decade Tournament: Round 1

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My Athlete Of The Decade Tournament: Round 1

After the first installment of my tournament where we introduced all 32 athletes included, now it's time to shorten the field.

Without further ado, let the matchups begin.

Conference One

1. Michael Phelps
8. Dwyane Wade


There is no doubting D-Wade has had a good decade, but he can't hold a candle to what Phelps has done. Even before he was real popular at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he had six gold medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Michael Phelps moves on easily.

 

2. Roger Federer
7. Mariano Rivera


This is a very tough one for me. I have watched Mariano closely on the Yankees, and seen him become possibly the best closer ever. But then you look at Roger Federer, who has become one of the best tennis players this decade.

Its a tough one, but you can't go against Federer.

 

3. Usain Bolt 
6. Ronaldinho

When you first look at this matchup, you would think it is an easy choice with Bolt. But then you think that Bolt just burst onto the scene last year, and Ronaldinho has been playing top soccer for years.

Still, I think this one has to go to Bolt. He was truly amazing at the 2008 Beijing Games, and he was successful in other championships, including three gold medals at the World Championships at Berlin in 2009.


4. Sidney Crosby
5. Martin Brodeur


Martin Brodeur is one of the best goalies ever. He holds so many records it is amazing. But a lot of those achievements come in part from what he did in the 90's. Sidney Crosby, though, has been one of the top hockey players since he came into the league in 2005.

It's tough, but I'm going with Sid. 



Conference Two

1. Lance Armstrong
8. Tyler Hansbrough

This is an easy choice. Tyler Hansbrough was a very good college basketball player at North Carolina, but Lance Armstrong is amazing.  With six Tour De France wins this decade, Lance will be hard to beat. 



2. Kobe Bryant 
7. Albert Pujols

While Pujols has been great this decade , including three NL MVP awards, it's hard to match what Kobe has done for his team and the sport. Four Time NBA Champion, one MVP trophy, 10 All Star appearances, two time scoring champion, and being one of the best player in the NBA.

 

3. LaDainian Tomlinson
6. Cristiano Ronaldo

Even though he has died down a bit this year, prior to this season LaDainian Tomlinson had never rushed for under 1,000 yards. That and his MVP award and shattering of the TD record in a season put LT into the next round.

 

4. Alex Rodriguez
5. Ichiro

This is a tough one. Two great baseball players, and two different types of players. One is a power hitter and the other isn't. But the reason I'm going with Ichiro is because while I believe A-Rod is the better baseball player, Ichiro is the better athlete and has more athletic ability.

 

Conference Three

1. Tom Brady
8. Brett Favre

A great matchup of great NFL QBs. But the winner of this has to be Tom Brady. Favre is one of the greatest ever, but has kind of faded out this decade. The 90's were great for him but he should have been done awhile ago. Both are Hall of Famers, but Brady wins.

 

2. LeBron James
7. Rafael Nadal

Rafa is a good tennis player, but he can't take down LeBron. The most hyped prospect coming out of high school, and he definitely hasn't disappointed. LeBron moves on easily.

 

3. Tim Tebow
6. David Beckham

Tim Tebow has been a great college QB. But now looking back at this, I think I put him too high. I think he survives this matchup with Beckham, but it's a close one.

 

4. Derek Jeter
5. Shaquille O'Neal

This is tough. Jeter has probably been the best defensive shortstop in the MLB, and has the most hits in Yankees history among other Yankees records. Shaq has been one of the most dominant centers at the beginning of the decade, but he is definitely worn down by the end of the decade. I'll take Jeter because I think he is the better player now.

 

Conference Four

1. Tiger Woods
8. Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson has changed the NASCAR world, but Tiger is professional golf. Just look at the ratings when he isn't playing. No one has dominated their respective sport like Tiger.

 

2. Peyton Manning
7. Vince Young

Vince Young had a great college career, and has had an okay NFL career but there is no way that he even stands a chance against Peyton. One of the best QB's I will probably see play.

 

3. Alexander Ovechkin
6. Floyd Mayweather

This is tough. Ovechkin is one of the top hockey players out there, but Floyd Mayweather is a career 40-0. He's never lost. 40 wins. It's insane, and that's why he pulls the upset on Ovechkin.

 

4. Ray Lewis
5. Tim Duncan

This is very tough. Two elite players who have been playing well all decade long. Two great defensive players. Duncan has more championships. Lewis has two Defensive player of the year awards. Both are 11 time All Stars. Both will probably be Hall of Famers in their respective sports.

I think it has to go to Duncan, though it was very close.

So now that we have made it through the first round of our tournament, lets look at the second round.

Note: The highest seed will not necessarily face the lowest. There is a pre-set bracket for this.

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa13/clester1990/Bracket9.png

Conference One

1. Michael Phelps
4. Sidney Crosby

2. Roger Federer
3. Usain Bolt

Conference Two

1. Lance Armstrong
5. Ichiro Suzuki

2. Kobe Bryant
3. LaDainian Tomlinson

Conference Three

1. Tom Brady
5. Shaquille O'Neal

2. LeBron James
3. Tim Tebow

Conference Four

1. Tiger Woods
5. Tim Duncan

2. Peyton Manning
6. Floyd Mayweather

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