Over the last century, society and sports have entangled themselves in one another gradually and irreversibly.
At the center of this mayhem are the athletes, whose names are sung louder than those of the gladiators of ancient Rome.
To many, their presence goes beyond stardom and fame and borders the realm of divine worship.
Their every move and word is documented and dissected by the fans and media alike.
Just look at Tiger Woods' life for perspective. For a few months, he was the most discussed and criticized human being on the planet, and before that he was one of the most followed and revered.
I give you now the 12 most worshipped active athletes in the world. My criteria include size of fanbase, diversity of fanbase, and quality of fanbase.