The Great White Hope: Top 10 White Athletes of Today

Ryan Neiman@RyanNAnthony Contributor IIIJanuary 21, 2011

The Great White Hope: Top 10 White Athletes Of Today

0 of 10

    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    We all know the saying: white men can't jump.  Woody Harrelson tried disproving this theory in the cinema classic "White Man Can't Jump", but movies are fiction. 

    Being a fellow white man, it is quite embarrassing to admit that I can barely jump.  My athletic skills can be compared to that of a two year who is learning how to walk: we are both uncoordinated and we are lost most of the time. 

    Today, there has been an emergence of white athletes who are trying to make their imprint in the sports world by showing that they can play more than just golf.

    Here are the top 10 white athletes of today.

1. Kevin Love

1 of 10

    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Love is in the air and it has yet to touch the ground.

    Kevin Love is doing whatever he can to make white athletes relevant again in the sport of basketball.  Of course, white basketball players shoot from outside the arc, but Love is making his presence known all over the game.

    Kevin Love is currently leading the league in boards per game with 15.6, and he is averaging 21.3 points a game. 

    With Steve Nash's era coming to an end, Love would be happy to take it over from here.

2. Peyton Hillis

2 of 10

    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    He was left behind like a used diaper.

    The wind blew and Cleveland smelled it.

    Instantly, they jumped at the chance and so did Peyton Hillis.

    After a second chance with the Cleveland Browns, nicknamed the "White Rhino" by defenders, he roared into the 2010 football season where he amassed for 1,177 rushing yards, 477 receiving yards, and a total of 13 touchdowns. 

    If he stays healthy, the "White Rhino" has the rare chance of being a white, dominating, running back.

3. Clay Matthews

3 of 10

    Dont Touch the Hair.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Here is an interesting tidbit: Troy Polamalu had his hair insured for 1 million dollars by Lloyds of London.  Clay Matthews had his hair insured for 5 million dollars.  Already, Matthews is trying to out-do his competition.

    On the field, Matthews is an absolute beast.  Just two seasons into his career, he already has 24 sacks, and he has avoided the sophomore slump by getting 14 sacks this season.

    His presence alone creates headaches for opposing offensive coaches.  He has the ability to change the game with just one tackle. 

    Its amazing that he has achieved so much success in just two years. 

4. Joe Mauer

4 of 10

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Joe Mauer is virtually everywhere in the world of baseball.

    In back to back years, he has been on the cover of the heavily popular video game, "MLB The Show." 

    It is surprising that a catcher is currently the face of baseball where outfielders usually grab all of the glory.  But, his extraordinary numbers prove that he belongs in the same category.  

    He has already won the Silver Slugger award four times, is a three-time batting champ, has three Gold Gloves, is a four-time All-Star selection and he has a MVP under his belt already at the young age of 27.  

    Durability will be a factor that will determine Mauer's longevity, but let's enjoy it while it lasts.   

5. Peyton Manning

5 of 10

    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    There is not much to be said about Peyton Manning. 

    Even in what many thought was a sub-par season, he managed to throw for 4,700 yards and 33 touchdowns to guide his team to their 9th consecutive playoff appearance.

    But, we all know the facts.

    He is a first ballot Hall of Famer.

    He is a four-time MVP winner.

    He has been elected to the Pro Bowl 11 times.

    He has a Super Bowl Ring.

    He is the Colts all time leader in wins, passing yards and completions, touchdowns, and pass attempts.

    He is the fastest to reach 50,000 passing yards.

    He is the definition of "white hope."

6. Tom Brady

6 of 10

    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    Everybody hates Tom Brady

    It does not matter if you are white, black, yellow, purple, or orange.

    Everybody hates Tom Brady.

    And from every angle, it is clear to understand why.

    He has a smoking-hot wife.

    He has all the money and the glamor.

    He is every woman's fantasy.

    He is a quarterback for one of the most prestigious football franchise's.

    And if you are bald, you hate Brady even more.

    However, you can not deny Brady's passion for football and his amazing skills.

    Even with three Super Bowl rings, one MVP and another one coming his way, not even his own people accept this guy.

7. Landon Donovan

7 of 10

    Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

    In a sport where I grew up watching many of my white friends play, many of them appeared to trip over the ball half the time while they were playing. 

    I was never able to learn how to dribble or to shoot a soccer ball properly.  I never had the coordination to achieve such a task. 

    Which is why every white American should applaud the skills of Landon Donovan.  He is the most recognized face in United States soccer, and he has placed the United States back on the soccer map with his play.

    It is hard to say that one player has changed the infrastructure of one societies view on a particular sport, but Donovan managed to do so by carrying every American's heart in the 2010 World Cup.

    Aside from the Hollywood story, Donovan is the all-time leader in scoring and assists for the United States national team.  He is the all-time leader among active players for the most caps.  He is also a four time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, and he the only six-time winner of the Honda Player of the Year award. 

8. Michael Phelps

8 of 10

    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    He is possibly the greatest athlete of his sport, and even, all time.

    He has 16 Olympic medals including eight gold at Beijing in 2008, which is currently the record for most gold medals won at the Olympics. 

    With his 39 world records, Phelps has set more records than any other swimmer.  As of today, he holds seven world records.

    White man can't jump, but they certainly can swim.

9. Sidney Crosby

9 of 10

    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Ask anybody who is not a hockey fan to name a hockey player and I bet nine out of ten people say the name Sidney Crosby.

    Drafted as a first-round pick back in 2005 at the ripe age of 18, he created buzz around the league as he was the labeled the "Lebron" for hockey.  In just his first season, he was sixth in scoring and he eventually went on to win the scoring title to become the youngest person in any major North American sports league to do so.

    In 2009, he guided the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup and he represented Team Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics, where he scored the game winning goal against the U.S. to secure the gold medal.

10. Christophe Lemaitre

10 of 10

    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Can anyone spot what is wrong with this picture?

    Sticking out like a sore thumb, it is clear that in track, white sprinters are almost non-existent.

    But, along came Christophe Lemaitre, and everything changed.

    Lemaitre made history by becoming the first white man to run the 100 meters in under 10 seconds.  Back in August, he won the 100 meters for the gold which had Dwain Chambers chugging alongside him.

    It's hard to believe that not only can white men can't jump, but for years, we could not run either.  Finally, a glimmer of hope is here.