"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:
Okay, so this has nothing to do with sports. But neither do the other four Honorable Mentions on my list, so get used to it. He kinda looks like Andrew McCutchen; does that count?
My beef here is this: I don't care how popular an artist is, it doesn't take an expert to figure out which lyrics are good and which are bad. I appreciate that the guy pours his heart and soul into rapping, but besides the beat and the ability to sell crappy tunes to the public, what does Lil' Wayne actually do well?
In 2009, Weezy won the Grammy for best rap song for one of his hits. You might remember that migraine-inducing, teeth-grinding single. It's called "Lollipop." The Grammy's lost all credibility after that. Unless you like these lyrics in an award-winning song:
Shawty wanna thug
Bottles in the club
Shawty wanna hump
And oh I like to touch ya lovely lady lumps
Props for the alliteration there at the end I guess? Lil' Wayne is the definition of overrated. THIS is real hip-hop. Why do I have a bad feeling that the Honorable Mentions are going to spark the most controversy?
This one has absolutely nothing to do with his stats or numbers. In fact, he's one of the best closers in the game in my opinion. I think people rate him just right where he should be.
So, why is he No. 24 on my list of overrated baseball and football players? Because the dude sucks at life. He's gotten all sorts of publicity for being this goofy, funny guy with an epic beard. Therein lies the problem.
You say goofy, I say creepy. You say funny, I say annoying. You say epic, I say scuzzy. He sold out his beard. He uses it as a publicity tool. And word on the street is he dyes it! That's just ridiculous.
I know there was some post-World Series infatuation with him. That's all well and good. But go back and look at those "funny" videos you saw him in. They aren't funny anymore, I promise.
He had one good SportsCenter commercial. And he has some balls to rock a spandex tuxedo to the ESPYs, but he really just ruined it with his strange behavior. For further justification of this ranking, please turn your attention to the nearest television, where you are bound to see the god-awful Taco Bell commercial Wilson is in.
And I can't get over the beard. His beard is the Lil' Wayne of beards. Here is a real playoff beard. Wilson just needs to stick to baseball.
This is a hard one to gauge. How do I justify including a guy who is so fresh to the NFL that he probably still doesn't know his way around the locker (so punny!) room? The kid has hardly played a down in the league, but he's overrated? Harsh.
Well, I base this ranking off two things. First, his entire body of work. Second, I hate him.
What? It's rational I swear...
Locker was a very dynamic, athletic, loved player at the University of Washington. He also had an awful career record, was injury prone and wasn't a great passer. The reason that sounds familiar is because all the draft experts said the same exact things. Still, the Titans took a plunge on him with the eighth overall pick.
To be fair, they didn't know Matt Hasselbeck would revitalize his career. What they should have known is that every player from those damn Huskies is evil. That's right, I'm a Washington State Cougar. Therefore, anything Jake Locker says or does is irrelevant. He is and always will be a horrible, overrated person and player.
Oh, come on. You know that's just the diehard fan in me coming out. We all have a Jake Locker in our fandom. Go Cougs.
The dude is a good ballplayer. He can hit for power, plays solid defense and steals bases. The only problem is he was supposed to be the Chosen One. He's an above average player and a key component to that ever-Cinderella Rays team. He just never has lived up to expectations.
If B.J. can cut down on his strikeouts and bring his average up and put together a big season, he might get the free agent contract that his talent deserves. The reason he is overrated is that every single year, he is touted as a breakout candidate. And every single year, he fails to live up to the hype.
His little brother Justin of the Arizona Diamondbacks might need to give him a few lessons.
Look, I'll give the guy props for being so fired up on the field. For every play. Ever. Can you imagine him doing mundane, everyday tasks? I feel like he eats dinner with his family with the same ferocity.
THESE ARE DELICIOUS POTATOES! WHAT? YOU ACED ART HISTORY, SON?! *Proceed to Earth-shattering roar, coupled with back-spasm inducing fist pump and a storm of clapping and maniacal smiling.*
That's a terrifying scene I just imagined.
Back to the field. He's really not a great coach. Carroll is in his second go-round in the NFL. The first time was a disaster. And this one isn't much better.
I really don't want to hear anything about how the 7-9 Seahawks won the NFC West last year and beat the Saints in the playoffs. They played a great game against New Orleans, that's for sure. But if an entire season could ever be classified as a fluke, the Seattle 2011 campaign is it.
The team Carroll inherited form Jim Mora (who never got a fair shake, by the way) is dotted with talent, but chock-full of underachievers at the skill positions. Get the Hawks a real quarterback, a solid No. 1 receiver and some coaching for the offensive line, and this team is suddenly a contender.
I hate this guy so much, it's almost funny. Almost. I won't deny that some of his movies (see: The Rock or Con Air) are awesome. But that's just because I don't let one rotten apple spoil the bunch. See, there's a real skill involved in creating a plot around Nic Cage's characters that allow his one-trick acting style and infuriating lack of emotion to be successful on the big screen.
He is widely considered a star. At least people recognize that he's a little nuts. But that's not enough. I refuse to believe that a man of so little talent can be making so much money in such a fantastic line of work.
I will make it my life's mission to find the answer to this question. But I still will never watch Face Off again. On a related note, this guy is my new best friend!
I don't think the Rockies traded him just because of the prospects they received. One half season does not make a great pitcher. Ubaldo's got the stuff to be a top-tier pitcher in the MLB. He just isn't as good as people make him out to be.
Don't get me wrong. I was riding the bandwagon in 2010 with his unbelievable 16-1 first half. No seriously, it was unbelievable. He stunk after that. And before that, he wasn't that great either. People need to calm down on him until he puts together a full season of greatness.
Hey, at least his MLB commercial got a giggle out of me. Get it? He's got a funny name...
Antonio Cromartie is a skilled corner. Unfortunately, it seems he spends his time mouthing off about Tom Brady, rather than working on the things that contribute to the very same quarterback burning him. I'm not a fan of the current Jets organization as a whole, mostly because they talk a lot of crap, and never back it up.
Confidence is all well and good, Antonio. But when people expect a top-10 cornerback's production, and what they get against the Oakland Raiders (for example), is two pass interference calls, two holding calls and a fumbled kickoff. That's awful.
Cromartie gets burned a lot. He's a playmaker, sure. But I'd rather my corner sacrifice his interception numbers than allow receivers to juke and sprint by him every other play. And all this nonsense about him being such a dangerous return man? He's never taken a punt or kickoff to the house, so we can put that one to rest now.
Yeah, I said it. He’s a genius, he’s crafty, he was played by Brad Pitt…but he’s not a god. And for all the talent that he has brought into Oakland, they have nothing to show for it. Not even a World Series appearance.
I am a huge A's fan, and I would never consider firing Billy a smart move. The man does wonders with what little payroll he has. But, GMs are ultimately measured by rings. And for the amount of rings (zero), he has a lot of movies about his philosophies on how to get that ring (one).
I just think everyone needs to calm down and recognize him for what he is: a smart, thrifty GM with a better eye for talent than most. But don't crown him king until he actually wins something.
Not to take away from the drastic improvement the Longhorns have made since last season, but nobody bought into that 5-0 start and the high ranking that resulted from it.
Texas fans must have been kidding if they thought they were going to keep it close with Oklahoma. How badly they got blown out just verifies that they are overrated. Watching that game was worse than a Nicolas Cage movie.
Whoa. Okay, I take that back.
Yes, this one is designed to shock you. But seriously, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke are all good pitchers. And they've put the Brewers in a position to reach the World Series, so what in hell am I being so nit-picky about? This:
Gallardo: 53 - 34, 3.63 ERA
Marcum: 53-32, 3.77 ERA
Greinke: 76-73, 3.83 ERA
Those are the Milwaukee trio's career numbers. They all have good stuff and the ability to dominate (Greinke does have a Cy Young after all), but I think people see them as one very good unit and assume they are all great pitchers.
Let's take a step back, look at the numbers and realize that in the end, they are all essentially just as down as they are up. Greinke has always been inconsistent, Marcum didn't even hardly get noticed until a couple years ago, and Gallardo seems to like to have a fantastic start sandwiched by two horrible outings.
I might have to remove Greinke's name from this list, though. Upon further investigation, new evidence has been brought to the table that would render any athlete's status as overrated completely moot. Explain to me how that goofy looking mug up there scored THIS!
Why? WHY? A Samoa would be perfectly delicious if not for that nasty coconut concoction sprinkled on top. Without that addition, we've got a combination of chocolate, vanilla and caramel. If you ever told me those three ingredients could be combined and it would taste like a cookie with stale parmesan cheese on it, I would never have believed you.
Somehow, Samoa's are the second most popular type of Girl Scout cookie. That's absolutely ridiculous. Even for people that enjoy the coconut taste, there is no way that they are better than Thin Mints, Tagalongs, Trefoils (the Triple T's) or even Do-Si-Do's!
I honestly think I'd have to be starving to death to nibble on a Samoa. This travesty of popularity of the Samoa is beyond me. If this list wasn't on a sports website, this baffling oversight by the general public might top the list. Look at that picture; is that the flakes of deep fried Rice Krispies? Onion ring residue? Gross.
Triple T's for life!
WHAT HAS HE EVER DONE? I don't get it. Kiffin was a great offensive coordinator for years with USC, but also had the benefit of having the most talented teams in the nation at his disposal. I'm not saying he's a poor play-caller, but my goodness has this guy ever parlayed that job into a rich future.
After USC, he coached for the Oakland Raiders. On what grounds the late Al Davis hired Kiffin, I'll never know or understand. He won five games in just over one full season and left a wake of destruction in his path.
He was terminated for good reason, and lost his grievance that he was unjustly fired. We all found out later that it was because he was constantly lying and violating rules. So, what does the University of Tennessee do? They hire him! Ah, that makes sense.
They learned their lesson after one decent season, when he bolted for USC, leaving more controversy in Knoxville. Now USC is the unfortunate recipient of a ridiculous overrated coach at the helm. And they are paying that coach $4 million per season. I'll never get it. I hate Kiffin and anyone who supports him.
Okay, that's a bit harsh...
The only thing that I hated more than the Giants winning the World Series last year, was that I knew how much credit Sabean would get for it. He is far and away one of the worst GM's in baseball today.
Now before people go crazy and start listing all the big names he drafted, keep in mind that a GM doesn't sit in front of a computer and select a roster like a fantasy draft. Sabean's scouts go out, evaluate the best players, advise him on who to select and then stand by and watch as he announces who the Giants have chosen.
That's not necessarily a knock on Sabean in particular; it's the same for every team. Where a GM is ultimately judged is on his non-draft transactions. Trades, free agents, etc. is the measuring stick by which one is glorified or not.
But, wait! He acquired Edgar Renteria and Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres! Ask any rational baseball fan, and they will agree that sometimes everyone gets lucky. I'm not saying the Giants were bad or didn't deserve to win the World Series last year, but how did those four guys perform this year? That's what I thought.
If San Francisco had a GM like Andrew Friedman (that's the Rays' GM, people), they would be contending for a title every single season with that staff they've got.
Before you mount one last comeback to dispute this ranking, I'll shoot two words your way: Barry Zito. Enough said.
By the way, the Giants cheat. Just kidding. Or am I?
They are just so...stupid! I can absolutely support revolutionizing jerseys, and I know that Nike has a big role in the U of O athletic department. But that's no excuse for how ghastly a lot of their new uniforms have been.
What I can't stand behind is putting a players' name on the back of the jersey in a color that is so similar to the base color, that it's nearly invisible.
I can't argue with the results...but it doesn't mean I have to enjoy the aesthetics of watching the Ducks play.
Update: Okay, right when I went out on a tangent about these jerseys, the Ducks busted out some old-school, simplistic, AWESOME threads for their Thursday night game against Cal. The entire project as a whole is overrated, but these specific ones are perfect! Although they might be bad luck.
I'm going to make this one really simple on everyone:
Werth's contract—$126 million over seven years (or approximately $18 million per season).
Werth's 2011 numbers—69 runs, 130 hits, 20 home runs, 58 RBI, 160 Ks, .232 average.
Hmm, okay. Carry the one (amount of big mistakes involved in this deal), multiply by three (length of a contract Werth should have gotten) and divide by 10 (amount, in millions, he should have earned) and you get...a huge BUST! "Overrated" does not do justice.
He made just under a million dollars per home run this season. If I was making that much per homer in high school, well...I'd have. One million dollars! Shut up, I was a gap hitter.
At least Werth(less) could spare some change for that super cool side burn 'do he's rocking in the picture.
Nebraska is so full of talent it's ridiculous. So why do they always seem to disappoint in crunch time? Because Taylor Martinez is at the helm.
Don't get me wrong. He's a dynamic mobile quarterback and I've seen him make some nice throws. But he's got a bad completion percentage, throws about the same amount of picks as touchdowns through the air and just can't come up with a big throw when the time calls for it.
He's like a less accurate version of Jake Locker. Maybe that's why they were embarrassed in the Holiday Bowl last year against Locker's Washington Huskies.
I'd like to see Martinez split wide or in the backfield to utilize his athleticism. But there's got to be a better QB option in Lincoln. Look at him just carelessly throwing the ball away in the picture! Photographic evidence that he is overrated.
Oh boy, we've got more facial hair problems. That stache is filthy. But he's on here because he's really just not that good.
You tell me how a pitcher with a career record of 106-102 and a 4.33 ERA scored a contract north of $8 million a year and the Twins' Opening Day nod. I'll gladly accept any answer that makes my brain stop hurting.
If the mustache wasn't enough, he just had to go and raise expectations in 2010 with 17 wins, before bombing back to reality in 2011. Seems like everyone bought in for some reason. But the Twins are the biggest losers.
I might have to call the Witness Protection Program to get out of this one. There's a difference between creative, clever humor and a bunch of babbling idiots speaking so fast that you assume they are funny simply because they sound amused by each other as they flail about randomly.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the latter. Danny DeVito is past his prime, but I thought I'd give the show a shot anyway. All the cool kids were doing it.
After 15 minutes, I couldn't take it anymore, and switched back to Scrubs re-runs. I do understand that society has been dumbed down to this level of moronic entertainment (see: Lil' Wayne slide), I just don't understand why.
Just curious, who is spiking the punch on set with five-hour energy shots? Even if it was funny, the dialogue in this show is spewed so quickly that it's difficult to follow. Notice how the word "good" is crossed out on the picture? Even they know it.
Here's another example of a player who's not necessarily bad. More like...mistake prone. See, Cutler has his moments of brilliance, but he also gets picked more than a first-grader's nose.
Cutler's ranking on this list might be more due to his team being overrated in general than his personal case. Still, call me crazy, but I think the Broncos and Bears split even on the Cutler for Kyle Orton trade.
I'll take the boring, semi-effective Orton over the turnover-happy Cutler in most cases. Here's a free bit of advice, Chicago: Throwing for 300 yards doesn't mean anything if the defense amasses half that total returning interceptions in the same game.
Cutler is in a big market with a perennial playoff contender under his watch. He has to contend with a pretty awful offensive line, too. Still, that doesn't excuse the fact that he is just not a very good QB.
I really didn't intend to pick on the Windy City two slides in a row. But it happened. Get over it, Chicago. Or just get better. You'd think in a century of competitive baseball, those strong winds would blow some luck the Cubs' way just once.
But 103 years later, the billy goats and baseball gods are still laughing their butts off over this franchise. Every single season, they sign big name free agents, or bring up a promising prospect and advertise it as the season to end the curse.
Every season they flame out in the playoffs or just rot in the cellar. They've made a huge leap getting Theo Epstein (curse-buster extraordinaire) from the Red Sox to manage a team that is in dire need of some structure.
The Cubbies should start by getting rid of Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Pena. Then they can sign some starting pitching depth, re-sign Aramis Ramirez and make a run at Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.
Do that, and they might win a championship by 2050. Oh, and one last thing. Leave Steve Bartman alone. He's just a kind of nerdy-looking, balding old man with bad eyesight and poor decision-making. He's got enough problems. And he wasn't on the field to blow that lead or that series.
It's just so...pointless. I get that there's "history," or whatever. And I have nothing against Stanford in any way. How could I after seeing this? Or this? Damn. Andrew Luck should be drafted as the first-ever QB/WR/LB combo. What a freak athlete.
Sorry, got a little bromantic there. I love Luck, but hate the mangy mascot prowling his sidelines. I wish he would lay the tree out like that defender. It's just a poorly-executed mascot, even if it was cool. Trees are majestic, beautiful, necessary, etc. I mean, have you ever seen Planet Earth?
BUT. This particular tree. This tree is evil. Look at its stupid face and amateur leaves. It just screams "awkward."
The Stanford tree is simply just ugly and annoying and would be the first mascot I'd eliminate. Aren't mascots supposed to be child-friendly? My god. That thing would give a grown man nightmares. Don't let Little Johnny get a hug from the demented Ent with googly eyes over on the sideline there...
This might sound a lot like No. 8...but it's different. This overrated ranking encompasses Pena's individual career. The whole thing. Since day one, he's been heralded as a great talent with a power stroke worthy of the gods. Pena just isn't that great.
He drops bombs, there's no doubt about that. He drives in a pretty good amount of runs and plays a solid first base. Sounds like he's about as valuable as a Russell Branyan. Yet, he's treated like the left-handed, Latin Mark McGwire.
He made $10 million this year on a one-year deal to the Cubs, even though he hit .196 with the Rays in 2010. Are you kidding me? Hitting .196 should get you an instant demotion, not an eight-figure contract. I'd much rather have a James Loney for a discount, who's going to hit .280 with 15 less homers and the same amount of RBIs.
If the Cubs don't cut ties with him and let Pena walk this offseason, they are just digging their own graves.
I got ripped to shreds on another article on B/R for commenting on how overrated Romo is. You'd think I would learn to avoid public feuds like that. I would, if Romo would just prove me wrong! He continues to amaze me, though.
He plays a solid, steady quarterback for most of the game. Just enough to garner comparisons to some of the best QBs in the game. Just enough to get analysts drooling, and for Ed Werder to unlock his closeted Cowboys shrine.
Then, boom. He blows it. Or when he's bored of doing it that way, he reverses the process. He decides to start sloppy, only to bring the Cowboys back from the brink of destruction to either make it a respectably close game, or seal a win.
It really is an amazing thing to watch. No, not his rushed passes into double coverage. The reaction after Romo leads a comeback, in spite of otherwise awful numbers. The only other thing I'm going to write to justify it, is that Jon Gruden (a man I respect very much outside of the Monday Night Football booth) went as far as to claim that Romo's zero touchdown/one interception, 70 passer rating performance on national television against the Redskins was one of the "greatest performances of his career."
As the blogosphere hipsters say, SMH.
If I thought I was going to get torn a new one for the Always Sunny slide, I might as well start running for the hills now. Let me qualify this. First, she is very attractive. Second, a natural comparison pops into my head when I hear the name "Jessica." Every Jessica must be held to the standard of Jessica Alba.
With that in mind, Jessica Biel is overrated. She's got a rockin' bod, there's no doubt. But her face is kind of squished and her eyes are too small and her face as a whole leaves some awkward longing for something missing.
Yes, I can be that picky, because she's a celebrity. And because of the aforementioned comparison (you're welcome).
I lived in a house my last two years of college with six guys. We were split three and three on the Jessica Biel vs. Jessica Alba debate. Needless to say, I was on the Alba side. The right side. So, I'm a little sensitive to the subject.
But, the fact remains. Jessica Biel is not as hot as advertised. That's not to say that I wouldn't...eh, nevermind. Family site.
J-Hey is a talented young man (it still infuriates me that I am older than him). He will be a very solid baseball player some day. But not yet. He never had a chance to live up to the unbelievable expectations placed on him before he even had his name put on a big league lineup card for the first time.
And he didn't help his case out in his first career at-bat either. But, for the massive pressure he was under, he crumbled like anyone would. He didn't even win the Rookie of the Year last year, which was assumed to be an easy thing for him.
After a pretty solid, if not spectacular rookie campaign, Heyward experienced the slump of all sophomore slumps in 2011. He hit .227 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs. For a measurement, those are the same power numbers as Troy Tulowitzki put up in September of 2010 alone.
Heyward has a lot of work to do. He has all the talent in the world, and being anointed the next great one didn't help. But to live up to that standard, he will have to bounce back in 2012. Until then, he is eternally overrated.
I'll throw this out there up front—I've disliked Manning from the moment he demanded a trade on draft day. He's the spoiled little brother of one of the all-time greats. Eli actually seems like a nice enough guy (minus the draft day debacle), but as a quarterback? He's average.
Blah, blah, he's got a ring. I don't care. Trent Dilfer has a ring. Manning can definitely huck it once in a while, but he's consistently average on the regular. Speaking of that Super Bowl victory, is there any other explanation than simple, pure luck on the pass to David Tyree that essentially won the game for the Giants?
These past couple weeks, we've seen the emergence of wide receiver Victor Cruz. He's been all over the highlight reel. Did you notice on any of the insane catches how poorly the balls were thrown? My main quip with Eli and why I think he's so incredibly overrated is because he has such an awful tendency to just lob it up toward his receivers and pray that it gets caught.
And in cases like Cruz's, the passes get caught. And he makes Eli look damn good. Sorry New York, your version of Manning is a fluke.
More like Crapplebon! Ohhhh, zing!
Just kidding...he's actually a very good closer. He's got the explosive fastball and some nasty off-speed stuff. Too bad he's got the mentality of that high school teammate that took everything way too seriously.
Those freaky intense eyes of his probably make batters laugh. He just looks so absolutely ridiculous out there trying to intimidate. He's a well-documented hot head, and has a very unfortunate tendency to blow it in pressure situations (Exhibit A: Game 162 of the 2011 season).
He almost got demoted in 2010, and quite honestly I think they'd be much better served with a new closer. No matter what happens, Papelbon really needs to take a chill pill.
His numbers aren't bad, but he's no Mariano Rivera. Because he has been the closer for a powerhouse the last few years, he's become extremely overrated. He gets a lot of pub for playing in Boston that he doesn't deserve.
Oops, did I just compare him to a Yankee?
Oh, those Jets. By far the most annoying team in professional sports today. They are getting what they deserve this season. I really didn't dislike Rex Ryan until he took this job and started boasting about winning the Super Bowl and becoming President and your mother's cooking and every other topic ever discussed.
Now, he's just a pain in the butt. As is his team, and ESPN's love affair with quarterback Mark Sanchez. He's a good leader and plays his heart out—all well and good. But, that isn't enough to make him a good passer, a smart decision-maker or any other physical intangible of being an All-Pro QB.
This year, he's got as many turnovers as touchdown passes and a rating hovering around 80. So why is he talked up so much? It could be that he plays in New York for a championship-starved franchise. Or that he is, socially, the reincarnation of Joe Namath.
Maybe because he happened to be playing the glamor position that gets all the attention, when his teammates won a couple playoff games? I'm not sure what it is, but the fact that he has America's heart for some reason despite 37 career TD passes and 38 interceptions, is sickening.