By Shaun Jarrar
“Sport has the power to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
By the age of 10, I had accumulated 6 jerseys. My favorite athletes were heroes to me. They could do no wrong, and when they did err it was brushed off because of their status. My prized possession was my Priest Holmes. When Twitter first came out, Priest Holmes tweeted back to me and my life was made. The guy oozed cool. He was the catalyst in the 13-3 season that Kansas City was able to put together in 2003. Going through my belongings, I found the jersey – leaving me to think about how “cool” I thought Priest the Beast was. After a little bit of research and memory of some of the best athletes in the world, I put together a list of 5 players whose coolness was too much to ignore.
5. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
This one has to be obvious. No other college football player has had so much attention in the most recent years than Johnny Football himself. He can’t seem to shake off the cameras and scrutiny. That doesn’t stop him from being a badass. First of all, the 2012 Heisman winner puts up video game stats. With a near 69% completion percentage in his college career and 93 (NINETY-THREE) touchdowns in 2 years, Johnny Manziel has definitely earned his status as a top QB. Off the field, Johnny parties like a rock star. Wouldn’t you? In early 2013, Mr. Manziel abruptly left Peyton Manning’s Passing Academy (which he was serving as a counselor) after reportedly raging face the night before. He’s even been known to make appearances at other school’s frat parties. This guy has onions. The most memorable moment of Johnny’s career might have been his first game of 2013. After being suspended half the game for his role in a pay-for-autographs scandal, he entered in the second half. In one half, he threw for 3 TDs and was notoriously benched for the coolest taunt of all time. Making fun of his suspension, Johnny Football throws his hands up in the air and sifts through fake money. Pay the man.
4. Floyd Mayweather, WBA Welterweight Champion
Floyd Mayweather is the baddest dude on the planet. At the end of the day, if he can stay out of trouble, his career will be compared to legends such as Muhammed Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard. He is one of the highest-paid athletes of all time. 45-0. 26 knockouts. Compared to Ali’s 56-5 record, it is equally as impressive. Rumors are swirling about a fight in 2014 against Manny Pacquiao. If (and it’s a big IF) this fight goes down, Mayweather will have a chance to cement his status as the best fighter of all time. If that’s not cool I don’t know what is. Mayweather enjoys the spotlight – as apparent from his recent appearances on Dancing With the Stars and a foray into Pro Wrestling.
3. Kobe Bryant, G, Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe has played his way into the Hall of Fame. Without a doubt he will enter the ranks with Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Magic, and Larry as one of the greatest ballers of all time. What a career he has had. With a ring for each one of his fingers on one hand and enough hardware to fill a closet, Kobe comes in at #3. Kobe is a badass in every sense of the word. He plays through injuries, he wins, and he’s got a jumper that makes the opposing team cringe. He’s been hampered by injuries recently but that doesn’t change what he’s done in the past. Bryant damn near caused a riot when he opened his Twitter account in 2013. Known to keep to himself, the “Black Mamba” interacts much more with his fans today. With each picture he tweets (most notably his 40 million dollar contract) he watermarks it with his Twitter handle, as if we wouldn’t know it was directly from him. Cut Kobe some slack though, he’s only made the only star game 15 times. Scoring? He’s fourth on the all time list, along with third on the postseason list. Again, nothing is cooler than a guy who can dominate his sport.
2. Deion Sanders, DB/Outfielder, Atlanta Falcons/Dallas Cowboys/San Fransisco 49ers/Washington Redskins/Baltimore Ravens/New York Yankees/Atlanta Braves/San Fransisco Giants/Cincinnati Reds
In 1989, “Primetime” hit a home run and scored a touchdown in the same week. He’s played in the World Series and the Superbowl, winning 2 Lombardi trophies. ‘Nuff said.
1. Bo Jackson, RB/Outfielder, Los Angeles Raiders/Kansas City Royals/Chicago White Sox/California Angels
Bo is a legend. A former Heisman, Pro Bowl selection, and MLB All Star, Bo has done it all. He recorded the fastest 40 yard dash time at the 1987 NFL Draft Combine. ESPN’s Sports Science has scientifically proven Bo Jackson as the most refined athletic specimen of all time. He paved the way for athletes like Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, and even Deion Sanders to excel in both sports. What’s great about Bo Jackson’s coolness is that he doesn’t flaunt it like the other athletes on this list. “Bo Knows” how to be humble.