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Ho hummers

Superstars or not, this group needs some spicing up
Posted: Friday May 30, 2003 12:12 PM
Updated: Saturday May 31, 2003 12:49 PM


By John Donovan, SI.com
There are superstars that have it and superstars that don't. There are athletes whose words we hang on -- superstars that have something interesting to say -- and others who make us instantly go glassy-eyed, scrambling madly for the remote.

You know the ones. They hoist the trophies and face the crowd and their lips start moving but -- arrrrgh! -- nothing comes out. They are Boring, with a capital B. It's like they work at it or something.

Here's SI.com's list of the most yawn-inducing superstars in sports:


Tim Duncan

Blah blah blah...
I'm very excited that we are in the Western Conference Finals again.

-- from the Tim Duncan Web site

Claim to Fame: NBA's MVP for the past two years. Five times an All-Star. First overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. Rookie of the Year, 1997-98. 1999 NBA Finals MVP. 2000 NBA All-Star Game co-MVP.
Claim to Lame: The San Antonio Spurs' center can score, he can pass, he can carry a team with some obvious weaknesses all the way into the NBA Finals. OK, so he shoots free throws like Shaquille O'Neal. But at least the Lakers' O'Neal has some flair about him. At least he can get a little mean once in a while. At least Shaq is fun to watch. Don't get us wrong. Duncan is good. Real good. But, all in all, we'd rather have Shaq over for dinner.


Tiger Woods

Blah blah blah...
Well, I'm just out here playing. I'm trying to get my ball in the right position. That's what I focus on.

-- from the Tiger Woods Web site

Claim to Fame: Winner of 37 PGA Tour events. Four straight Player of Year awards and top money-winner for past four years. Winner of eight majors (including three Masters). Youngest golfer to win all four majors, only one to win four straight (three in 2000 and the Masters in 2001). Nearly $36 million in career earnings on PGA Tour.
Claim to Lame: The greatest golfer ever -- rev up those arguments -- has a spicy side off camera. He'll curse a photographer or fire a family member at the drop of a dollar bill. But on camera, his car commercials are about as interesting as he gets. Eldrick works hard on perpetuating that cool, calm and collected image. He makes no waves, takes no stances. We get the feeling that money and winning are more important to him than anything. And that's kind of hard to cozy up to.


Kurt Warner

Blah blah blah...
It really is no issue. People want to make it an issue. That's fine. That's what they do. That's their job. So be it. I'm not going to comment on any of that stuff.

-- from comments to reporters about "Brendagate"

Claim to Fame: Former stock boy, NFL Europe and Arena Football League alumnus, two-time NFL MVP and three-time Pro Bowler. In 1999, recorded fifth-best passer rating in NFL history (109.2). Passed for Super Bowl record 424 yards in 2000 in leading Rams over Titans. Nine 300-yard games in 2001 tied NFL record. Fastest to reach 10,000 passing yards.
Claim to Lame: It was a nice story while it lasted. Former grocery store hack from Iowa works his way into the NFL's minors, does well, lucks his way into a starting job with the sad-sack St. Louis Rams and leads them to a Super Bowl win. It's a nice story, sure. But nice is boring. Almost as boring as his over-exposed wife, Brenda -- are we even aware of another NFL QB's wife? Should we be? -- making sure everyone knew it was she, and not Rams coach Mike Martz, who insisted Warner get his broken hand X-rayed. Give us a break, wouldja?


Bernie Williams

Blah blah blah...
I try to attack the pitches that I can handle. I try not to go away from my zone. That's my basic philosophy of hitting.

-- from The New York Times

Claim to Fame: Non-drafted four-time Gold Glove center fielder for the New York Yankees. ALCS MVP in 1996. Four-time All-Star. Played on World Series winners in 1996, '98, '99 and 2000). Led American League in hitting in 1998 (.339). Lifetime .307 hitter. One of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, 2002.
Claim to Lame: Williams seems to be one interesting fellow outside the limelight. A trained classical guitarist, he's releasing a jazzy CD this summer. Unfortunately, we get to see the other half of him, a soft-spoken Yanni of a superstar. For a guy who lives and plays in the media cauldron of New York City, for the sexiest franchise in sports, the public Williams is about as fascinating as Don Zimmer in his underwear.


Jeff Gordon

Blah blah blah...
I know I'm not perfect. Now, if people find out I'm not, it's not the end of the world.

-- from the Charlotte Observer

Claim to Fame: Four-time Winston Cup Champion ('95, '97, '98 and '01). Two-time Daytona 500 winner. Youngest to win two Daytona 500s. Youngest in Winston Cup history to win 50 races. Youngest Winston Cup champ. First to win most races in five straight years. More than $50 million in career earnings.
Claim to Lame: A whole lot of people hated the snot-nosed NASCAR driver before last season. He said all the right things. He won. He was pretty (if a little short) and well spoken. He was ... too-perfect. Then came the whole nasty split with his too-perfect wife, Brooke, and all the claims of infidelity and the arguing over his $48 million stockpile of cash and mansions. Celebrity split-ups bore us, too.


Mia Hamm

Blah blah blah...
At a very young age, my parents were incredibly supportive.

-- from a Scripps Howard News Service report

Claim to Fame: Owns all-time career scoring record in soccer (139 goals, 115 assists), for men or women. Gold medalist on U.S. team in 1996. Member of World Cup champs in 1991 and '99. Four-time NCAA champion at North Carolina. Maybe most recognized female athlete in the world. Famed fiancée of baseball's Nomar Garciaparra.
Claim to Lame: Yeah, she can kick with Michael Jordan and sweat in colors. And, yeah, millions of little girls know who she is. But do they really? Granted, part of her nowhere public image is that she plays soccer, which millions of young kids play and about 200 people actually watch on TV. But Hamm has hardly proven to be the energetic, charismatic self-promoter that her sport so badly needs.


Pete Sampras

Blah blah blah...
I'm going to watch some of Wimbledon on TV. I'll be curious.

-- from The Los Angeles Times

Claim to Fame: Winner of a record 14 majors, including seven Wimbledons and five U.S. Opens. Was the No. 1 tennis player in the world for a record six consecutive years. Has more than $43 million in career earnings.
Claim to Lame: Has this guy retired? Does anyone know? Does he? Sampras is arguably the best player to every pick up a frame full of catgut, especially if you forget about a career's worth of failures at the French Open. The trouble with Pete is that he's about as lively as rainout at Roland Garros. Boring Pete, as he's known on several continents, doesn't have the flair of a Connors or McEnroe or Agassi. Which is why, as he bows out, nobody is noticing.


Joe Sakic

Blah blah blah...
You just want to make sure you try and score and not embarrass yourself out there.

-- to reporters after converting a penalty shot in the '01 playoffs.

Claim to Fame: An 11-time All-Star. Conn Smythe winner (Stanley Cup MVP), 1996. Member of 1996 Colorado Avalanche, Stanley Cup champs. Scored 500th NHL goal last December. Olympic gold medalist with Canada, 2002.
Claim to Lame: Zzzzzzzz ... whaa? Oh, yeah. The hockey player. For those who watch, Sakic has long been one of those good-play, poor-PR guys, the kind who uses clichés like an enforcer uses his fists. That's to say relentlessly, with no mercy. He's been a quiet superstar, in the Duncan mold, whom we don't know a whole lot about ... and, evidently, don't care to.
 

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I think I'll take 14 majors and being called "boring" over being "exciting" and having fewer majors ;) I don't know what you are "ha"-ing
 

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I'm not one bit surprised.:p
 

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completely agreed with jeng :worship:

boring but always winning, people are just jealous of his outstanding achievements :rolleyes:
 
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If I want to watch golf, I will watch Tiger Wood.

If I want to watch hockey, Sakic is one of the players that's a joy to watch.

If I want to watch tennis, Sampras is good enough.

If I want some laugh or jokes, I can watch late night talk shows or the comic channel. Why I want to hear something humorous from tennis player, golfers and/or hockey players?

If you want to have your plumbing fix, you don't want a comedian to do it, right, Mr. Donovan?
 

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I guessed that is the reason why nobody is asking Agassi when he would retire... because he "has personality" which the ATP tour really needs right now...
While "Boring" Sampras won the US open last year..beating Agassi (who is even older).... Everybody kept on saying he should retire on a high note... :) :( :) :(
 

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It's true, Sampras' indecision over his retirement hasn't helped his image much, it would have been better to go out on a grand finale having won the US Open and making a gesture in the process. But honestly, you can't realistically expect every player to provide good tennis and good entertainment value as well. He may not be the biggest personality, but Sampras' achievements speak for themselves.
 
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