"Overrated." One of the most...underrated terms in sports. People seem to confuse its meaning. If someone is overrated, they are not necessarily bad. It means that the standard to which they are held and the expectations they advertise are not on par with their actual performance.
For example, one of the players most commonly tagged as overrated is Alex Rodriguez. The case for him being overrated is simply that he doesn't put up Ruthian numbers every year like he used to. Plus the douche bag factor, plus the Yankee factor, PLUS the huge salary factor and you have quite the case against A-Rod.
The fact is, when he signed that contract, he WAS that good. The team he plays for and his individual personality hold no bearing on his rating. At least they shouldn't. And he shouldn't be expected to put up better than "good" stats every year at his age.
Anyway, that's why you won't find him or Derek Jeter or Chad Ochocinco or Josh Freeman on this list.
Sometimes, it's not an athlete's fault. Sometimes the city they play in dictates it. And sometimes, they just don't tickle this writer's fancy.
Or, in O.J. Mayo's case, it's because he was a cocky little punk who waltzed into Washington State University's Beasley Coliseum my freshman year and dropped eight very pathetic points in a loss to my Cougars. One of my finer sports moments was personally starting the "OVER-RATED" chant when he was shooting (and missing) two free throws in garbage time at the end of that game.
Hence, my love affair with the word, and lists like this. Here is my personal ranking of the most overrated sports figures in baseball and football today: