The 25 Most Awesome People in Sports

Bailey Brautigan@BBrautiganFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2010

The 25 Most Awesome People in Sports

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    We all have our own personal favorite sports figures.

    Some of our favorite athletes have superhuman athletic abilities, and some have larger-than-life personalities.

    From Peyton Manning to Shaquille O'Neal, we may love our favorite sports icons for all kinds of different reasons.

    You probably want these athletes on your team...

    Or maybe you just want to hang out with them!

    One thing is sure:

    They are all awesome!

    Here are the 25 Most Awesome People in Sports.

25. Steve Nash

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    Steve Nash is kind of awkward-looking, but after this interview, you have to love the guy!

    Anybody who can put on a smile right after chipping a tooth has to be pretty awesome.

24. Rickie Fowler

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    Anybody who dresses like this has to be either a complete douche...

    Or totally awesome.

23. Dick Vitale

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    "Dickie V" has one of the most recognizable voices (and personalities) in sports.

    His childlike enthusiasm brings a refreshing charm to the game, and he reminds us all of a fun-loving grandfather.

22. Wes Welker

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    Wes Welker is the type of player who fights for every inch, and for that we love him.

    He comes to every game and plays as if it could be his last.

21. Rex Ryan

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    Rex Ryan just doesn't give a crap about anything.

    "Let's go eat a GD snack!"

20. Nick Swisher

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Nick Swisher is one professional athlete who doesn't let his fame go to his head.

    He sees his celebrity as a way to make a difference in the world, and fans absolutely adore him.

19. Michelle Beadle

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    Of all the female sportscasters in the world, Michelle Beadle is the one who can hold her own with the "big boys" of the industry.

    Beadle knows her stuff, and she puts Colin Cowherd in his place on a daily basis.

18. Diego Maradona

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    Diego Maradona may be the most insane human being on the planet...

    But we love every second of it!

17. Shaun White

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    Shaun White is super goofy and super hilarious.

    He seems like the type of guy who gets along with just about everybody.

16. Gus Johnson

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    You don't even have to watch a game to be entertained by Gus Johnson.

15. Shaquille O'Neal

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    Shaq is another athlete who crosses bridges from sports to pop culture and entertainment.

    Even people who don't follow basketball know Shaquille O'Neal.

14. Troy Polamalu

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    Troy Polamalu is one of the most dominant defensive players in the NFL, but he makes the list with his chill, soft-spoken personality.

    And we know he has a great sense of humor from his appearances in advertisements for Head & Shoulders and Coca-Cola.

13. Brian Wilson

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    Brian Wilson is quickly becoming one of the biggest personalities in Major League Baseball, and we can see why.

    Wilson just seems like a regular dude, and after the Giants won the World Series, he told the media that he just wanted to "rage."

    Brian Wilson is definitely the type of guy we all want to hang out with.

12. Tim Tebow

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    You may not be a Gators or a Broncos fan, but it's really hard to not like Tim Tebow.

    He might be a little cheesy, but we need a few more goody-goods in sports these days.

11. Ron Jaworski

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    There is nothing I look forward to more than tuning in once a week for Monday Night Football, and Ron Jaworski plays a huge role in what makes MNF so great.

    The way that Jaws announces play-by-play is second to none, and he just seems like a really cool guy.

10. Peyton Manning

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    Why is Peyton Manning such a marketing gold mine?

    Because people love him.

    He's hilarious, and he is a future Hall of Famer.

9. Charles Barkley

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    Charles Barkley is not a role model.

    He says what he wants...

    Whenever he wants.

    Charles Barkley is one of the biggest personalities in the sports world, and he is always good for a laugh.

8. Tom Brady

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    Women want him.

    Men want to be him.

    Tom Brady is one of the most dominant quarterbacks of his era, and he is married to one of the most beautiful women in the world.

    If that's not awesome, I don't know what is.

7. Andy Roddick

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    Andy Roddick may seem like kind of a douche at first, but he has other talents that don't involve tennis.

    Watch the video to see Roddick show of his rapping chops.

6. Mike Leach

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    Anyone with an intense obsession with pirates is pretty awesome in my book.

5. Dwight Howard

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    Dwight Howard is not just a great basketball player, but also a bit of a comedian.

    Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.

4. Bill Cowher

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    Any team in the NFL would absolutely love to have Bill Cowher.

    Cowher really knows his stuff, and he is every football fan's dream coach.

    Plus he has a sweet mustache.

3. Magic Johnson

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    Magic Johnson is one of the greatest players in the history of basketball, and he is just an all-around good guy.

    He's charming.

    He's smart.

    And when Magic speaks, the world listens.

2. Mark Herzlich

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    Mark Herzlich overcame cancer and then dove right back into the game he loves.

    That is the definition of awesome!

1. Kevin Durant

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    There is no denying Kevin Durant's talent, but he also brings something more to professional basketball: character.

    Kevin Durant is a loyal team player, and he is shaping up to be the face of the NBA.

    When asked to pose for the cover of Sports Illustrated's NBA preview, he would only agree to do so if SI included his teammates Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic.

    Not one to ham it up in the limelight, Durant wanted to introduce NBA fans to other important members of his team.