Welcome to The Good Life: Top 20 Sports Figures We Want to Trade Places With

Matthew DrumhellerContributor IFebruary 1, 2011

Welcome to The Good Life: Top 20 Sports Figures We Want to Trade Places With

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    We Are All Jealous

    Athletes have the best lives.

    Their careers consists of playing games that children grow up playing. Then comes all the fame and fortune. And the women, oh the women!

    These athletes are idolized by thousands, if not millions, of adoring fans worldwide. Kids want to be them. We wear their jerseys and shoes. We take control of them via video games.

    We pay copious amounts of cash to watch them do their job—a job that at times we will fight for.

    Literally.

    So what would it be like to be one of these local gods? How would it feel to have millions chanting your name? To wake up beside a Brazilian supermodel? To have to take your Escalade to work because the Lambo is low on gas?

    The following 20 sports figures are the guys we want to be, even for just a day. So lets read on and dream on.

    This is the good life...

20. The Oregon Duck

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    The Man. The Myth. The Duck.Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Look at that picture!

    Puddles, the Oregon Duck, is straight chilling at a football game while eating Tostitos! What a life this duck lives.

    But don't think he's lazy. Puddles has quite the workout regimen. Every time the Oregon football team scores, he must do push ups in correspondence with the teams score at that moment.

    And if you saw Oregon play this year, you realize that was A LOT of push ups. He had to do 506 in one game alone this year!

    Picking a fight with Puddles is a bad choice. I'd turn my attention to maybe Brutus or the Leprechaun instead.

19. Brett Keisel

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    Greatest...Beard...EverGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Seriously, look at that thing! If there's a better beard in the world then I have yet to see it.

    It's as if God himself crafted this thing by hand then bestowed it upon one Brett Keisel.

    Plus, his name rhymes with diesel. How perfect is that for a defensive lineman on a team as blue-collar as the Pittsburgh Steelers?

18. Yao Ming

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    Sorry, Big BuddyJonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Yao Ming entered the NBA in 2002 amidst tons of fanfare.

    He is immensely popular in his home of China. He sports a great smile, a larger than life aura and an amazing game to back it up.

    Yao went to the Houston Rockets first overall and evolved through his first three years in the league.

    However, since 2005 on, it's been a very bumpy road. He missed 25 games in '05-06, 34 in' 06-07, 27 in '07-08 and all 82 in '09-10.

    Ouch.

    So why would anybody want to be Yao Ming? His yearly salary is over $17.6 million, eighth highest in the league. So, essentially he gets paid to rehab whatever injury he's afflicted with at the moment.

    Money may not cure all problems, such as foot and ankle injuries, but Benjamin Franklin looks very attractive after you see him that much.

17. Patrick Kane

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    "Party Up " Patrick KaneJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Patrick Kane Party Train keeps on rolling!

    Patrick Kane is a phenomenal young hockey player, no doubt. At age 22, he has already led one of the most prestigious hockey programs in the Chicago Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.

    The great city of Chicago loves him. He's already been on the cover of a video game. He plays with one of the best captains in the game in Jonathan Toews.

    And he can party up!

    Search online for Patrick Kane Party Train and watch the young man woo the ladies. I'm certain being an athlete has nothing to with their interest.

    And don't get too critical—he is only 22.

16. Randy Couture

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    The NaturalJon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    Randy Couture is a man...a 47-year-old man! He barely looks 27!

    Despite approaching FIFTY YEARS OLD, he embarrasses martial artists much younger than he. As a huge MMA fan, "The Natural" Randy Couture will always hold a special place in my heart. He solidified that spot when he defended the mantle of MMA against boxing legend, James Toney.

    After wiping the floor with Toney, Couture was featured in the release of The Expendables.

    In the film, Couture rubbed shoulders with action movie legends such as Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many more. All while blowing stuff up.

    That's a man.

15. Sean Avery

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    What a GoonStephen Lovekin/Getty Images

    Sean Avery is a hard person to figure out.

    On the ice, he may be the biggest pestilence in sports. I mean, very few people have a rule created just to prohibit a figment of their game. Avery does, however. He often irritates the other team so much, they are drawn into very stupid penalties.

    But off the ice, he is a completely different man. Very soft-spoken and very intelligent, Avery is anything but a pest.

    Avery also has a vaunted interest in fashion. Yes, fashion.

    While often interning at Vogue, he also has his own fashion label (Commonwealth Utilities, if you really want to know) and attends Fashion Week in New York City regularly. He also owns a sports bar (Warren 77) and has a movie being written based on his life.

    Wait, I'm not done. He has dated Elisha Cuthbert and Rachel Hunter. Wow. Not to mention he has had the great enjoyment of playing in Los Angeles and New York City.

    Alright, he's starting to irritate me too.

14. Brian Wilson

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    Dont Bring the Machine Out!Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    FEAR THE BEARD!

    San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson may be the most interesting man in the universe.

    For starters, watch this interview with George Lopez , the best interview in the history of mankind. Resembling a horribly disturbing love child of Zach Galifianakis and CM Punk, Wilson is quite possibly the most charismatic pitcher of this generation.

    Unless he brings "The Machine" out. And that's not pretty.

    When he's not harnessing "The Machine" or saving Tim Lincecum's or Matt Cain's masterful games, he trains MMA.

    You know, on second thought, I'm not sure if I wanna be crazy...

13. Peyton Manning

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    Peyton the New Uncle Sam?Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Peyton Manning has won a Super Bowl.

    He will own every passing record in the NFL when he retires.

    He is possibly the best quarterback ever.

    He is in a commercial every 33 seconds.

    He recently purchased the entire city of Indianapolis. Blah blah blah.

    We all know his credentials and stats. That's reason enough to want to be Peyton.

    But think about this: who hates Peyton Manning? Everyone likes Peyton Manning. Even his "arch-rival" Tom Brady. And who doesn't want every body's approval? Besides LeBron James, that is.

12. Rob Dyrdek

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    The Founder of the Fantasy FactoryChristopher Polk/Getty Images

    Fun is the best feeling any human being can feel in life. We all strive for it. Some find it easier than others. But nobody finds fun easier than one Rob Dyrdek.

    His first show, "Rob & Big," illustrated how much fun the founder of DC has. How crazy would it be to just wake up one day and go buy a mini-horse?

    The professional skateboarder has broken numerous Guinness World Records, for giggles.

    His newest show, Fantasy Factory, lets everyone peek in and see what Rob does in his spare time, and I am pretty jealous.

11. Marko Jaric

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    This Guy. Ugh.Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

    Marko Jaric. Marko friggin' Jaric.

    A career journeyman in the NBA, Jaric, with a career PPG of 7.1, is most certainly faring much better in the game of love.

    He wed Adriana Lima, Victoria's Secret dream girl. Lima, a Brazilian native, and Jaric, a Serbian native, have been married since November 2009 and have welcomed a child as well.

    Marko Jaric. Ugh.

10. Tim Tebow

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    Tim-may!Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Tim Tebow's jersey was the highest-selling in the NFL this year, his rookie year. That speaks volumes to his popularity, especially when it's those hideous Denver Broncos jerseys.

    In addition to Tebow's ridiculous likeliness and competitive spirit, he nets some otherworldly hot women.

    Like this lady or possibly her. Or maybe she is more your taste.

    Either way, we're green with envy. I'm curious if Tebow has remained "pure" with all these women around him.

9. Derek Jeter

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    The Captain of NYCElsa/Getty Images

    The New York Yankees are the most popular American sports team with the most popular logo ever.

    They play in the best city in the universe and are part of the best rivalry in sports with the Boston Red Sox.

    When you are the captain of that team, as Derek Jeter is, you are quite the big deal.

    The victor of four World Series, Jeter will go down with Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle as one of the best Yanks ever. Not to mention, Jeter has been linked to Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel and now Minka Kelly.

    As a character in "The Other Guys" phrased it, "He's a biracial angel!"

8. Mark Cuban

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    Greatest Owner in Sports?Darryl James/Getty Images

    Dallas has the two most visible owners ever. Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Mark Cuban of the Mavericks are both very polarizing in their owning styles. Many fans love Cuban and his No. 1 fan style of cheerleading.

    Sitting courtside at nearly all of the Mavericks games, Cuban exudes passion for his team and sports in general.

    Last year, he proposed a playoff system for college football in which he would fund. Of course, the committee turned it down.

    Cuban and his boatloads of money would provide quote the adventure to live out.

7. David Beckham

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    Yeah, I Know It's Not DavidRoss Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Sorry, but I really wanted to post a picture of Victoria Beckham, not David Beckham.

    Any problems? Didn't think so.

    Becks is one of the most popular athletes in the world, despite being way past his prime. His crosses and free kicks were those of legend. But perhaps more popular was his celebrity lifestyle.

    In 1999, David married Victoria Beckham, also known as Posh Spice. He married a Spice Girl! And the super-hot one at that, the only one that's still known of!

    Cheers, Becks. Still married and with three sons, the Beckhams collective worth is valued at £129 million as of 2009.

    I want to "Bend it Like Beckham" at least once in my life.

6. Dion Phaneuf

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    Lucky, Lucky Man

    Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is an extremely physical and smart defensemen for one of the most prestigious franchises in sports.

    However, that's not the reason I'm straight jealous of him.

    It's his girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert. That's all the reason I need to switch places with Phaneuf.

5. Georges St. Pierre

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    "Rush"Dave Sandford/Getty Images

    Hockey is Canada's national sport. That is fact. The hockey players up north are royalty. Any time you can beat the most popular hockey player, it's huge.

    UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre beat out Sidney Crosby to become Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row.

    GSP is undoubtedly the biggest star in the world's fastest growing sport, mixed martial arts.

    He brings huge charisma with perhaps the best wrestling in the galaxy. St. Pierre runs Canada and the world of MMA.

4. LeBron James

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    The VillianLarry Busacca/Getty Images

    As Americans, we are the most hated nation on the planet. We thrive off this. We love being the top dogs that everyone is striving to be.

    We also love being "The Villain." You know who else does?

    LeBron James.

    Never before has an athlete embraced being "the bad guy" as efficiently as James. We hate him because he's arrogant. We hate him because he single-handedly destroyed an entire city. We hate him because he needs an All-Star team around him.

    We hate his goofy grin. We hate the way he throws that powder in the air. We hate how he hangs out with Jay-Z.

    But the No. 1 reason we hate him?

    He's good, very good.

    He's possibly the most dominant in basketball since MJ. Wouldn't it be fun having that much hatred spewed in your direction, just because you're good? Sounds like the USA, huh?

3. Michael Jordan

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    His AirnessJim Rogash/Getty Images

    Michael Jordan is possibly the greatest American athlete ever.

    We all know how great he was. He could probably wax the floor with half the NBA today. And MJ is still extremely relevant. So relevant that his last name is used as a clothing item.

    Jordans, introduced in 1985, are the most popular shoe ever. Brand Jordan, a subsidiary of Nike, contributes over $1 billion each year. A billion!

    Forbes ranked him as the 20th most powerful celebrity in the world. His influence on all sports is undeniable.

    He got to meet Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck! How awesome is that? I think Kanye West was referring to MJ when he recorded "Power."

2. Tom Brady

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    Brady! Brady! Brady!Amy Sussman/Getty Images

    Is Tom Brady one of the greatest quarterbacks ever, blessed with leadership and great looks?

    Or is he an annoyingly long-haired, overrated product of coach Bill Belichick?

    With Brady, you always get two separate arguments. He's part Peyton Manning, part LeBron James. He's Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker rolled into one package wearing a No. 12 jersey.

    The one thing nobody can argue however is the fact that Tom Brady has the hottest wife of all time in Brazilian goddess/supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

    Whether you hate Tom Brady, you love him or both, everybody wants to be him.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    We Know, You Are AwesomeAngel Martinez/Getty Images

    Just looking at this guy makes me jealous.

    Then factor in the fact that he has replaced David Beckham as the world's most recognizable athlete playing the world's most popular sport.

    Outside of the United States, Ronaldo is The Man. He's quite popular here as well. Just recently, he topped 10 million fans on Facebook, becoming the first non-American to do so.

    He has played for both Manchester United and Real Madrid, two of the most popular and successful clubs in soccer history.

    And the women. I seriously do not have enough space to type all the five-star women he's been linked to, but here's a list of 28 of his finest. Ronaldo, you sir are my idol.