Smarts And Skills: The 10 Smartest Athletes Of All Time

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2010

Smarts And Skills: The 10 Smartest Athletes Of All Time

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    We all grace this Earth with a special talent.

    Some are smart, some are athletic, and so on.

    However, there are a rare few people who fall into more than one of these categories.

    These people are multi-talented, and extremely special.

    However, a person like that doesn't exit the uterus every day. These people are not born, they are made.

    They are made through hard work and determination.

    In order to excel in academics and athletics you must work your butt off. Nothing comes easy in either field.

    Here are 10 athletes who headed the class and headed the pep rally. Enjoy!

10. Ron Darling

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Ron Darling.

    He got it done on the field. He got it done in the booth. And he got it done in the classroom.

    Darling attended Yale where he became the first player since 19th century pitcher Bill Hutchinson to reach the majors.

    He never fully graduated from Yale, but would have if not for being drafted ninth overall just before his senior year.

    Darling dual-majored in French and Southeast-Asian history during his time at the University, and his brightness is put on display to this day where he takes his job in the booth for TBS Baseball during the regular season.

9. Brian Bosworth

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    I know, I know, Brian Bosworth doesn't seem like the sharpest tool in the shed, but he's much more bright than any of us would have dreamed.

    The Boz was as aware of Denver's love affair with quarterback John Elway as anyone was, and he managed to profit from it.

    How is this possible?

    Allow me to elaborate.

    Bosworth called Elway "Horse Face", prompting the Broncos QB to reveal that Bosworth often said irrational things to him from across the line of scrimmage.

    Bronco fans were so angered that somebody would talk to the Holy John Elway that way, that they began to purchase and wear T-Shirts that read "Ban The Boz."

    Little did they know they were giving Bosworth exactly what he wanted.

    Bosworth had made and distributed those T-Shirts so every time a Broncos fan purchased one Bosworth was profiting.

    I bet Albert Einstein couldn't have thought of that one.

8. Steve Young

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    Steve Young retired from football in 1999, and despite holding multiple records after being talked down upon during the early portion of his career, he wasn't done showing us what he can do.

    Just six years after retiring from football, Young graduated from J. Reuben Clarke Law School in Brigham University. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters at Utah Valley State College for giving a speech at their 2005 graduation ceremonies.

    Young was one of the main people that helped bring the Olympics to Salt Lake City in 2002, and spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000, which has many believing that he will one day become a politician.

    Steve is also a National Advisor to ASCEND: A Humanitarian Alliance.

    All these accolades just bring to more light what a bright guy Young really is.

7. Steve Largent

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Steve Largent worked and worked and worked and worked and worked.

    As a fourth round pick he was never set up to succeed, but Largent worked his way into the starting lineup. And he never looked back.

    Largent was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and was named to seven Pro Bowls.

    However, despite being a Hall of Famer, many could argue that Largent's most memorable work came off the field.

    From 1994-2002 Largent was part of the U.S House of Representatives from Oklahoma's first district.

    One thing's for sure, to join the house, you have to be one smart dude.

6. Matt Birk

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    It's hard to believe, but Center Matt Birk is in fact one of the smartest men in the history of sports.

    Birk graduated from Harvard in 1998 with a degree in economics, and had he not made it in the NFL, there's a good chance his name would have made news anyway.

    Birk is just an all-around smart guy.

5. Jack Kemp

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    Jack Kemp was a seven-time All-Star quarterback for the Buffalo Bills in his playing days in the AFL era.

    However, when he retired in 1969, it wasn't the last to be seen of him.

    Kemp was the ninth Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President George H.W Bush, a Member of the House of Representatives from New York's 38th District, and earlier a Member of the U.S House Representatives from New York's 39th district.

    Those are political accolades that certainly should not be taken with a grain of salt.

4. Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely never be anything more than a back-up quarterback, but his brain should be donated to the National Football Hall of Fame when he dies, because a guy this smart joins the NFL once a millennium.

    Fitzpatrick was a seventh round draft pick out of the prestigous Harvard University in 2005.

    However, Ryan made headlines right away when he was recorded to have scored a perfect 50 on the wonderlic test.

    While other reports have stated this to be not true, it has been reported to be somewhere between 48-50. Any of which would be an unheard of score.

    Not impressive enough for you?

    Keep in mind, he finished this 50-question test in nine minutes. A time that is a record, and one that has been  confirmed.

    Imagine that, finishing a 50 question test in nine minutes, and acing it. Unbelievable.

3. Bill Bradley

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    Bill Bradley. The perfect example of a man who excelled in the fields of athletics and politics.

    He was a Forward for the New York Knicks and then later the United States Senator from New Jersey.

    Those are two achievements that most certainly should not be taken with a grain of salt.

2. Pat McInally

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    McInally, a Harvard graduate, is the only man to score a perfect score on the NFL's Wonderlic test.

    'Nuff said.

1. Moe Berg

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    Moe Berg is the smartest man in the history of professional sports and it's not even up for debate.

    Berg was an average catcher with an elite brain.

    He read 10 newspapers per day, spoke multiple languages fluently, and was a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

    However, all those things take a backseat to the fact that Berg worked for the government.

    That's right, during World War II Berg worked for the US Government as a spy.

    Baseball player, genius, and spy.

    Not a bad combo, huh?