This week’s Top 7 started out as “sports figures with things named after them.” With the Stanley Cup, Cy Young Award, Lombardi Trophy, and Heisman Trophy easily taking four of the seven spots, and with at least 67 more options to choose for the final three spots, the idea was scrapped. Instead, we take a look at the sports figures with random things named after them, some loosely dealing with sports, some not at all. There needs to be more of these, as they are good for society in general. I want to see an Alfonso Soriano shampoo. Also, I didn’t feel that Lou Gehrig’s Disease fit in very well, so here you go.
You could at least understand, even if it’s just 0.001% understand, why Magic Johnson was given a talk show—he was a likable guy. John McEnroe was known for being a whiner who screamed at more referees than Sensational Sherry. He got a talk show on CNBC—the network with the guy who screamed at Obama, not the one with the insane anchors—and it lasted all of about seven days.
6. Mark McGwire Highway
In 1998, you could have required for people in St. Louis to get McGwire tattoos and replaced the Arch with a giant bronze McGwire statue for people to worship and no one would have batted an eye. In this environment, local officials named a portion of I-70 near downtown after him. After everything except video evidence pointing to him being juiced out of his mind, the portion of I-70 was “renamed” I-70.
5. Jim Ross Barbeque Sauce
Good Old J.R. peddled his barbeque sauce so much on the WWF airwaves that it became a running joke amongst wrestling fans, to the point that WCW, in its horrifically dying days, even included it in a storyline as a shot to him. There was actually an entire WWF cookbook at one point. There is no one better at shameless “throw our name on some crap and sell it” than WWE, not even Bill O’Reilly. This is a compliment.
4. Mike Ditka Steaks
You could half-heartedly bag together animal feces, throw Mike Ditka’s name on it, and sell a million units in the Chicago area, so it’s no surprise that he decided to go into the steak and restaurant business. Unlike John Calipari’s Cal’s Steakhouse in Memphis, which was one of only three meals ever that I couldn’t finish because it was so bad, Ditka’s restaurant is outstanding.
3. Howard Johnson Hotels
No, they’re not really named after HoJo. But it’s a good time to pay tribute to Johnson, one of the original 30/30 guys, when 30/30 was cool. He was a member of the hated Pond Scum Mets, but even though he was hated, it wasn’t like he was doing blow down the third base line like some of his teammates. You could also say that he was one of the pioneers of the “first part of first name and last name” nickname. Blame A-Rod on him. The worst part is that there was another athlete named “FloJo” competing right around the same time. HoJo and FloJo.
2. George Foreman Grill
It was mandatory for anyone who had their own apartment in the late '90s and early 2000's to own a Foreman grill. The conversation when someone first got one and was explaining it usually went something like this:
Person with Grill: I got a Foreman Grill.
Person without Grill: How is it?
With: It’s pretty cool! You can make chicken breasts in two minutes and steaks in three!
Without: I may have to get one.
The person with the grill then realized that there is a reason why chicken breasts usually take more than two minutes to cook, and the Foreman grill headed to the back of the cabinet. There is a good chance that 100% of yard sales between the years 2003 and 2005 had at least one Foreman grill for sale. Did you know that Hulk Hogan claims that it was almost him that got the rights to the Foreman grill? Take anything the Hulkster says with a metric ton of salt.
1. Tommy John Surgery
Tommy John won 288 games in his career, and is best known for a surgery, a surgery that is performed 99% of the time by Dr. James Andrews. How did a doctor in Birmingham, Alabama, become the go-to doctor for every single athlete in every single sport, including wrestling? How did he pull that off? Congratulations to all of the Little League coaches across the country who have ruined children 10-15 years olds’ arms to the points that they’ll need Tommy John at some point.
The Top 7 is written by Jason Major. He had no idea how to cook filet mignon on the George Foreman Grill until he saw that video. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.