After months of anticipation, the oh-so celebrated "Shark Week" is finally upon us.
This week is certainly cause for celebration, as it marks the one time in the year where one can sit around and watch nothing but the Discovery Channel, and still be considered an eligible bachelor.
Sharks are an interesting breed of animal. Known for their viciously intimidating aura, this species has the uncanny ability to emit both fear and fascination within an observer. This ruthless animal contains a distinctive sense of presence. Put yourself in the same tank as a shark, and there's no question whose going to win that battle. Even Tito Ortiz wouldn't stand a chance.
Just like this fascinating sea monster, there are a number of individuals in the sports world who possess a similar notorious flair. These savvy individuals have made a name for themselves in a variety of different ways, but they all have one thing in common—they're not afraid to rip your head off.
This mythical individual does not necessarily fit the billing of a sports shark. However, his mention is duly recognized for the fact that "Sharks have a week named after him."
When you have that kind of pull with the fiercest of animals, you've gotta be doing something right.
When your nickname is "The Shark," your appearance on this list is guaranteed.
Throughout his illustrious career, Norman has spent 331 weeks as the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world. His nickname stems from his Australian descent, intimidating size, and relatively aggressive golfing style. Greg Norman has two Open Championships on his resume.
Despite being titled as killer sea creature, Norman sometimes did not live up to his name. On more than one occasion, Norman failed to completely devours his prey. His final round collapse during the final round of the 1996 Masters, ranks among one of the most stunning big stage flops of all-time.
Though his golfing career is dying down, Norman has set his sights elsewhere. He currently runs Great White Shark Enterprises, a company that centers on promoting the golf lifestyle.
On the surface, it would seem like the outlandish owner of the Dallas Mavericks is one of the most lethal sharks in all of sports. Overly demanding, unafraid to express his opinions, and tremendously charismatic, Cuban possesses all the tools required to be a sports shark.
However, there is one key attribute that Cuban lacks—a killer instinct.
Despite constructing rather successful teams, Cuban has never been able to finish his prey. Although he has certainly brought the Dallas Mavericks back to prominence since his 2000 takeover, the colorful head honcho has yet to slay any meat. His teams have had championship expectations for a number of seasons, most notably during their 2006 NBA finals appearance, but they have not been able to seal the deal.
Thus, Cuban is a Lemon Shark, a shark that has been classified as "harmless unless provoked." Judging by the absurd amounts of fines that Cuban has compiled in his 10 years in the league, he can certainly cause damage if riled up.
If a poker player can make the list, you know he's gotta be a big deal.
Hellmuth is regarded as one of the greatest poker players of all time, a title that could be accredited to his "Poker Brat" personality. Simply put, Hellmuth makes sure that his inhabitance at a table completely alters its landscape, intentionally striking massive amounts of fear into his opponents. Furthermore, he is unafraid to insult anyone who dare challenge him, and has gotten into a number of heated verbal altercations throughout his career.
In 1989, the 24-year-old Hellmuth became the youngest man to ever win the WSOP Main Event. Since that time, he has carried his swagger all the way to poker immortality, as Hellmuth holds a record 11 WSOP bracelets.
According to the poker brat, "if it weren't for luck, I'd win 'em all."
Coach Cal is perhaps one of the most conniving men ever to coach collegiate athletics. Throughout the years, he has shown his considerable aptitude for leading previously average programs to major success. He has also, however, shown considerable ability to provide these schools with major violations. Conveniently for Cal, they all seem to land right after he departs for another school.
Calipari is considered a shark due to the fact that his combination of ruthless recruiting and apparent disregard for consequences seems to wreak havoc upon programs—his own included.
In 2006, Condon was named the "Most Powerful Agent In Sports" by Sporting News.
His pals Peyton and Eli have certainly benefited from Condon's adeptness, as both are the proud holders of some of the most lucrative contracts in football history.
Other clients include, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marvin Harrison, Simeon Rice, and Chad Pennington.
Oh, and he also represents Sam Bradford. In case you haven't heard, the former Sooner just signed a five year, $86 million deal. Without even playing a down, Bradford is now the richest man in the NFL, contractually speaking.
Jerry Jones is one of the most savvy businessmen in NFL history. When he assumed ownership of the Dallas Cowboys in 1989, he virtually staged a coup to gain complete control of the team. Shortly after becoming owner, Jones fired Hall of Fame coach Tom Landry, replacing him with his buddy, Jimmy Johnson. A few months later, Jones essentially forced GM Tex Schramm out, allowing Jones to assume total control of football operations.
Jones is notorious for being one of the most involved owners when it comes to day-to-day operations of his football team. Often during games, Jones will venture down to the sideline, almost as if he were examining his prey.
Perhaps more than any owner, Jerry Jones is arguably the "face" of his team. His high expectations have made him one of the toughest owners to work for, and the combination of his entrepreneurial and football success has made him one of the fiercest sharks in the sports world.
Rosenhaus is probably the most outspoken agent of all time. His arrogant and aggressive demeanor has allowed him to emerge as one of the most influential agent in all of sports.
His clients include Frank Gore, DeSean Jackson, Fred Taylor, Chad OchoCinco, Willis McGahee, Terrell Owens, Clinton Portis, Jeremy Shockey, Marcus Stroud, and Zach Thomas.
Among his various dealings around the NFL, Rosenhaus is most well known for his shark-like handle of Willis McGahee's NFL Draft. The former Hurricane star was barely able to walk during the time of the draft due to a devastating injury suffered in the BCS Championship, yet Rosenhaus guaranteed that McGahee would be drafted in the first round, even offering to waive his commission if he weren't.
Sure enough, Rosenhaus wheeled and dealed around the league, landing McGahee a gig with the Buffalo Bills with the 23rd overall pick, resulting in a five-year contract worth close to $16 million.
Beane is perhaps the shrewdest of individuals in the MLB community. A former player, Beane took on the role of general manager for the Oakland Athletics back in 1998. In the cutthroat world that is baseball front offices, the fact that he is still in the same position is extremely impressive.
Beane is famous for his crafty business model. For years, Beane's teams have ranked in the bottom tier in payroll, yet have finished in the upper tier in the standings. In 2006, the A's ranked 24th in player salary, yet had the fifth best record in the majors.
His slick dealings were the basis Michael Lewis' 2003 novel, Moneyball, a book so successful that it inspired a movie. This film is set to premier in 2011, and is starring none other than Brad Pitt.
Scott Boras is the Jaws of baseball.
His negotiating tactics are the stuff of legend. For nearly 30 years, Boras has represented hundreds of players from every Major League Baseball team, landing record breaking contract after contract. Just in case you were wondering, he was the one that landed A-Rod his 10-year, $275 million deal.
In addition to A-Rod, Boras also represents Manny Ramirez, Mark Texiera, Matt Holliday, Stephen Strasburg, Prince Fielder, Carlos Beltran, and many others.
There isn't much Boras can't do. His ability to procure such hefty contracts has essentially transformed the landscape of baseball over the past two decades.
The man needs no introduction.
Although he has drafted the likes of Robert Gallery, Darren McFadden, and the burger king himself, JaMarcus Russell, there is no questioning Davis' killer instinct.
First off, the fact that he actually emerged victorious in a battle with Lane "Killer Whale" Kiffin may be a bigger accomplishment than winning the Super Bowl.
Davis is not only the owner of the Raiders--he also runs all of the team's football operations, something that he has been doing since 1966. His wrath has not only been felt within the Raider organization, but also throughout the NFL, as Davis' presence has rendered him on of the NFL's most influential men in the past half-century.
Just like his Great White brethren, Davis has been known to chew up and spit out some of the most recognizable names in football. His highly publicized feuds with the likes of Marcus Allen, Pete Rozelle, Ken Stabler, and Kiffin have created some considerable media buzz throughout the years. His spat with commissioner Rozelle, which dealt with moving the team to Los Angeles, was actually taken to court. Naturally, Davis flashed his cutthroat instincts and won the battle.
He may be getting senile in his old age, but I would strongly caution against riling up this man—for lack of a better word, he could be brutal.
The Boss (may he rest in piece) was beyond question one of the most merciless individuals in the sports world. As owner of the New York Yankees for 33 years, Steinbrenner's tremendous success has immortalized him among some of the most influential icons in not only the sports world, but in contemporary American history.
Steinbrenner was notorious for his unyielding, even vindictive demeanor. In his first 23 years as owner, he changed managers 20 times. In that span, Billy Martin was hired and fired on five separate occasions.
The Boss' stranglehold on his team was apparent through everything from personnel changes to how his players wore their facial hair (or lack thereof). Additionally, he was not afraid to get his hands dirty. Steinbrenner was fined and even suspended by the MLB a number of times, most notably regarding campaign contributions to President Nixon.
What makes Steinbrenner the biggest shark of the lot is his uncompromising will to win. Under Steinbrenner, the have Yankees remained one of the most powerful franchises in the world, with Steinbrenner emerging as one of the first truly visible sports owners. As demonstrated by the pictured billboard, his presence has been, and always will be, larger than life.