The history of sports is a unique cross-section of competition, athleticism, accomplishment and even life itself. In a relative flash, its participants paint a picture that can be and often is remembered for years and generations.
Athletes leave an indelible mark not only for the fans but often for something bigger—a league, a university, a city and at times a country or more. That is the power that sports can have.
Throughout the years there have been figures that have defied these boundaries and become more than active participants but part of American folklore for their accomplishments.