Sporting News 20 Smartest Athletes In Sports

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 7 years ago '07        #1
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TH35 103 heat pts103
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Sporting News 20 Smartest Athletes In Sports
 

 
Brawn is fine and good, but SN's 20 smartest athletes blow up the idea that brains and sports don't mix.


1. Craig Breslow, RP, Oakland A’s

• Age: 30

• On-field accomplishments: Ranks among the A.L. leaders in games pitched, 2.93 ERA in five major league seasons.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Yale, molecular biophysics and biochemistry, 3.5. He was accepted to NYU’s med school.

• SAT/MCAT score: 1420 SAT, 34 MCAT (The average score for med school applicants is about 28.)

• Languages: “English and Spanish.”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Running the Strike 3 Foundation, a nonprofit that raises awareness and support for pediatric cancer research.”

• What I’m reading now: “The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big in Business, by Jeffrey Ma.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Be in med school or preferably have graduated from med school.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I submitted the IRS Form 1023 myself during spring training. The 1023 is a comprehensive document which files for tax deductibility (for a nonprofit organization). (I filled it out) after being largely unable to find an accountant with the time to do this during tax season.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “(My) 2003 minor league teammate and former Yale teammate Jon Steitz, son of Nobel Prize winner Tom Steitz.”



2. Myron Rolle, S, Tennessee Titans

• Age: 23

• On-field accomplishments: Lott Trophy finalist, AP third-team All-American as a junior in ’08. 2010 No. 207 overall NFL draft pick.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Florida State, exercise science (premed), 3.75. He graduated in 2½ years, then received a master’s in medical anthropology from Oxford.

• SAT score: 1340

• Languages: “Just two. Spanish and English. I’m decent (in Spanish).”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Philanthropic medicine. Social equality—I guess that’s more of a human rights issue. ... I love Frank Sinatra. I think I could spit out about 10 of his songs, just (doing) karaoke right now.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Be a neurosurgeon, but I’d be a traveling neurosurgeon. Practice medicine in the States but take it overseas as well.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Christian Ponder, my quarterback at Florida State. We both graduated at the same time, in 2½ years as undergrads.”



3. Ross Ohlendorf, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates

• Age: 28

• On-field accomplishments: Was the only Pirates starter with a winning record (11-10 with a 3.92 ERA) in 2009, his first full major league season. On September 5, 2009, became the 40th pitcher to strike out three batters on nine pitches.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Princeton, operations research and financial engineering, 3.8

• SAT score: 1520

• Off-field/intellectual interests: He worked as a volunteer intern in the U.S. Department of Agriculture last offseason. In addition to having worked on a cost-benefit analysis of a program that traces disease in livestock and its effect on farmers, he helps his father manage the family’s herd of longhorns near, of course, Austin, Texas. “Ranching,” he says, “is pretty much all I do in the offseason.”

• What I’m reading now: “The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L. Sayers.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “(Do) something in business or finance.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I read on the day I pitch.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen.”



4. George Parros, F, Anaheim Ducks

• Age: 30

• On-ice accomplishments: One of hockey’s top enforcers: 694 career penalty minutes in 289 games.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Princeton, economics, 3.18

• SAT score: 1250

• Languages: “English and Spanish. I don’t really speak Greek—I just think I can.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Most likely (be) a business consultant. Either that or some sort of trader on an equity desk. ... In junior (hockey) I took a job as a runner at the Chicago Board of Trade to see if I liked it.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I do crosswords on the road and take some heat for that. I hate the New York Times one. USA Today is good for me. The New York Times one, it annoys me because they’ve got 16th century poets and stuff.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “(Ducks goalie) Jonas Hiller. He can speak five languages or something.”



5. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Buffalo Bills

• Age: 27

• On-field accomplishments: 2004 Ivy League MVP, first Harvard quarterback to rush for more than 1,000 career yards. In 2005 with the Rams, became the fifth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300-plus yards in his debut.

• Alma mater, major: Harvard, economics

• SAT score: 1580

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “I’m an Apple technology junkie.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Probably (have) done the Wall Street thing for a few years and then maybe branched out a little bit. But finance is what I’d be involved in.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “That’s probably a better question for my wife. But I love Scrabble. I’m playing Scrabble on my iPad constantly.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Corey Chavous. The amount of knowledge that dude had about any football player in the locker room was crazy. He knew the name of my high school and my high school coach. He remembers everything about everybody.”



6. Matt Birk, C, Baltimore Ravens

• Age: 34

• On-field accomplishments: 6-time Pro Bowl selection

• Alma mater, major: Harvard, economics

• ACT score: 34

• What I’m reading now: “I just finished Band of Brothers. I never saw the miniseries, but I just read the book by Stephen Ambrose. It was unbelievable.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “I was offered a job out of college to do Wall Street and that whole thing, but then football came along, so I figured I was just delaying Wall Street for about six months. I didn’t think I’d even make the team. Everything happens for a reason.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I absolutely cannot dance. (But) just because I can’t doesn’t mean I don’t.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Robert Smith was pretty smart, and Pete Bercich with the Vikings. He and Robert used to have crazy discussions about physics, the fourth dimension. They might as well have been speaking another language.”



7. Shane Battier, F, Houston Rockets

• Age: 32

• On-court accomplishments: 2-time Naismith award winner (high school and college), 2001 No. 6 overall NBA draft pick, 2-time All-NBA defensive second team

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Duke, religion, 3.5

• Languages: “English and German.”

• Off-court/intellectual interests: “Finance, sabermetrics, golf.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Be working with youth in some capacity. Similar to the mission of my foundation, I would want to encourage and inspire a new generation of potential leaders through higher education and effective leadership skills.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I have a subscription to Laptop magazine.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Brent Barry.”



8. Chris Young, SP, Padres

• Age: 31

• On-field accomplishments: First athlete to be named All-Ivy League in baseball and basketball. 1-time All-Star.

• Alma mater, major: Princeton, politics. He completed his thesis, The Impact of Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball on Racial Stereotypes in America: A Quantitative Content Analysis of Stories about Race in The New York Times, while playing in the minor leagues.

• SAT score: 1300

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Reading.”

• What I’m reading now: “The Big Short, by Michael Lewis.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “(Go to) business or law school and then who knows?”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I do my research, whether buying a TV, going out to eat or preparing for a game. I spend time researching to make sure I am well prepared.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Greg Maddux has the highest baseball IQ of any player I’ve been around.”



9. Brad Ausmus, C, Los Angeles Dodgers

• Age: 41

• On-field accomplishments: 1-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove winner. Has the third-most putouts by a catcher in MLB history (12,828), ranks seventh all-time in games played at the position (1,936).

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Dartmouth, government. “Don’t know what my GPA was, but I never received a grade below ‘B’ in any class.”

• SAT score: 1220

• Languages: “I am not fluent in any language other than English, but I can hold a conversation in Spanish.”

• What I’m reading now: “I just read The Lost City of Z, by David Grann. Moving on to The Accidental Billionaires, by Ben Mezrich.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “I’ve been playing baseball so long, I’m not sure what I would be doing without it. I always a.ssumed that I would have gone to law school after college. My friends and family will tell you I like a good argument.”

• Smartest teammates I’ve had: “Eric Bruntlett, Stanford grad, and Mark Loretta (Northwestern).”



10. Grant Hill, G, Phoenix Suns

• Age: 37

• On-court accomplishments: 1994 No. 3 overall NBA draft pick, 1995 NBA rookie of the year, 7-time All-Star, 3-time NBA sportsmanship award winner. “I have many on-field accomplishments that make me proud. The sportsmanship award is one I’m most proud of since I was voted amongst my peers.”

• Alma mater, major: Duke, history

• Off-court/intellectual interests: “Buying and collecting art, looking at potential business deals, reading biographies and historical books.”

• What I’m reading now: “The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I love going to the bookstore.”



11. Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco 49ers

• Age: 26

• On-field accomplishments: 2004 Mountain West player of the year, 21-1 record as a college starter. 2005 No. 1 NFL draft pick, recaptured the 49ers’ starting job midway through last season.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Utah, economics, 3.74. Graduated in two years.

• Languages: “A little Spanish. I wouldn’t say I’m fluent, but growing up in San Diego, I can get by.”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Traveling. This offseason alone I went to the Dominican Republic, London, France, Italy, Prague and Maui.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “One of my aspirations was to go to law school. I’m not totally sure I would’ve practiced law, but I wanted to get my J.D.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “My teammates would probably say the reading. I mean, I read a lot. I’ve got a lot of random, useless knowledge.’’

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “(49ers center) Eric Heitmann. He’s just a bright guy, a Stanford grad.”



12. Jody Gerut, OF, San Diego Padres

• Age: 33

• On-field accomplishments: 2003 Sporting News A.L. rookie player of the year, .262 career batting average with five clubs.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Stanford, history, 3.1

• Languages: “English, Spanish, bits of five or six others, including Chinese.”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “History, politics, finance, military industrial conflicts.”

• What I’m reading now: “The 16% Solution: How to Get High Interest Rates in a Low-Interest World with Tax Lien Certificates, by Joel S. Moskowitz.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Be in the financial services industry, either a planner or working for a private hedge firm.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I have a carry-on suitcase filled with information—full of fast knowledge—with me everywhere I go.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Craig Counsell.”



13. Craig Counsell, IF, Milwaukee Brewers

• Age: 40

• On-field accomplishments: 2001 NLCS MVP. Scored the winning run for the Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series and was on base when the Diamondbacks scored the winning run in the 2001 World Series.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Notre Dame, accounting, 3.0

• SAT score: 1260

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Politics.”

• What I’m reading now: “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, by (Nassim) Nicolas Taleb.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Have gone to law school and become some kind of lawyer. I wouldn’t be an accountant, I know that.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I majored in accounting.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Smartest guy I’ve met in baseball is Ross Ohlendorf.”



14. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts

• Age: 34

• On-field accomplishments: 1998 No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, 4-time NFL MVP, 10-time Pro Bowl selection

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Tennessee, speech communication (minor in business), 3.61. Graduated in three years.

• SAT score: 1030

• Languages: “English and French.”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Reading.”

• What I’m reading now: “FDR: The First Hundred Days.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve ever had: “Marshall Faulk. I had never played with a guy who just knew everyone else’s jobs.”



15. Pau Gasol, F, Los Angeles Lakers

• Age: 30

• On-court accomplishments: 2002 NBA rookie of the year, 3-time All-Star, 2-time NBA champion, 2-time FIBA Europe player of the year.

• Alma mater: University of Barcelona medical school. He left early to pursue his basketball career, but the dean has said he is welcome to return.

• Languages: “Spanish, English and Catalan.”

• What I’m reading now: “The Facebook Effect, by David Kirkpatrick.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Have loved to have a career in the medical field.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Shane Battier.”



16. Douglas Murray, D, San Jose Sharks

• Age: 30

• On-ice accomplishments: Played for Sweden in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

• Alma mater, major: Cornell, hotel management. “I have one class I have to take—I have not gone back and taken it, but it will be taken care of. My father has been on me quite a bit.”

• Languages: “English, Swedish and German.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “Try to get into finance first ... (and) build the foundation to move on and start my own company.”

• The smartest teammate I’ve had: “(Sharks forward) Patrick Marleau is someone who is much smarter than he lets on.”

64 comments for "Sporting News 20 Smartest Athletes In Sports"

 7 years ago '07        #2
TH35 103 heat pts103 OP
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$85,795 | Props total: 14598 14598
17. Sean Bedford, C, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

• Age: 22

• On-field accomplishments: 2009 All-ACC first team, on the preseason watch lists for the Outland and Rimington trophies.

• Major, GPA: Aerospace engineering and public policy (minor in law science and technology), 3.8

• SAT score: 1520. “I didn’t study. I took it three times. First one in seventh grade and got an 1130. The next time in 10th grade and got a 1400.”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “I’ve always been fascinated with the space program. ... I’d love to be an astronaut. At the moment, being (6-1, 281), none of them are quite as big as I am.”

• What I’m reading now: “Right now, I’m reading The Prince, by Machiavelli. After that, I’ll move on to Paradise Lost, by Milton. I try to keep it to one a week, and if I have spare time, I’ll pick it up more.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “When I was 7 or 8 years old, I could give you the name of not only every NASA mission from the first Mercury flights to the end of the Apollo program, I could name the crew and give a brief synopsis of each mission.”

18. Sam Acho, DE, Texas Longhorns

• Age: 22

• On-field accomplishments: On the preseason watch lists for the Lombardi award and the Lott, Nagurski and Outland trophies.

• Major, GPA: Business and marketing, 3.62. On target to graduate in December, after 3½ years.

• SAT score: 1220

• Languages: “English, Spanish and Igbo. My parents are from Nigeria; Igbo is one of three major dialects there. I’m not fluent, but I can get by.”

• Off-field/intellectual interests: “Shakespeare—there are a couple soliloquies from Richard III that I fell in love with and still remember. And I love everything about marketing.”

• If I don’t become a professional athlete, I’ll ... “Definitely continue my career in marketing. I want to start my own firm.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I drove to Waco to sit in on a business law master’s class with my sister at Baylor.”

19. Matt Bonner, F, San Antonio Spurs

• Age: 30

• On-court accomplishments: 1-time NBA champion

• Alma mater, major, GPA: Florida, business, 3.96

• SAT score: 1350

• Off-court/intellectual interests: “Reading, Scrabble, writing, math games, record collecting, pingpong.”

• What I’m reading now: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer.”

• If I weren’t a professional athlete, I’d ... “(Be a) college professor.”

• Nerdiest thing about me: “I’m a huge cribbage and corduroy enthusiast, and my favorite show ever is The X-Files.”

• Smartest teammate I’ve had: “Brent Barry or Tim Duncan.”



20. Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama

• Age: 21

• On-field accomplishments: 17-0 as a starter, 2009 national championship quarterback

• Major, GPA: Marketing, 3.86. Graduated in three years. Pursuing a master’s in sports management.

• SAT score: 1320

• What I’m reading now: “SportsBusiness Journal and Forbes magazine.”

• If I don’t become a professional athlete, I’ll ... “I’d like to work in a front office of a pro franchise. I’ve thought about going to law school, to maybe be a general counsel or a general manager. I’d also like to get involved in politics.”

Honorable mention: Because smart folks know 20 just isn’t enough

Brian Bannister, P, Kansas City Royals

• Age: 29

• On-field accomplishments: Finished third in 2007 A.L. rookie of the year voting.

• Alma mater, major, GPA: USC, fine arts, 3.7

Matt Howard, F, Butler

• Age: 21

• On-field accomplishments: 2008 Horizon League newcomer of the year, 2009 Horizon League player of the year

• Major, GPA: Finance, over 3.7

Ryan Newman, NASCAR driver

• Age: 32

• On-track accomplishments: 14 Cup wins, 46 poles. Won the 2008 Daytona 500. 3-time Chase qualifier. Alma mater, major: Purdue, vehicular structural engineering.



Last edited by TH35; 09-24-2010 at 12:22 PM..
 09-24-2010, 12:30 PM         #3
Yellob0y 
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this thread is depressing, these guys get to make millions of dollars playing games, have these great s3xy, tone, god-like adonis bodies that make people drool, and now they are even smarter than me.......i lost
 7 years ago '05        #4
Stupendamatic 117 heat pts117
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 Yellob0y said:
this thread is depressing, these guys get to make millions of dollars playing games, have these great s3xy, tone, god-like adonis bodies that make people drool, and now they are even smarter than me.......i lost
stop comparing yourself to other people and focus on you...

god read though, I figured rolle would be high on that list...
 7 years ago '05        #5
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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Rondo should be on here....
 7 years ago '06        #6
samsin420 39 heat pts39
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Alex Smith is the name that sticks out to me in that list. Dudes got crazy potential.
 7 years ago '05        #7
meepos 21 heat pts21
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they forgot ron artest
 7 years ago '09        #8
Lupe Hunter 77 heat pts77
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Where Kobe? Not trying to stan or anything
 7 years ago '04        #9
Mista Mizatti 5 heat pts
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*waits for kids that think they're smarter because they got higher SAT/ACT scores*
 7 years ago '05        #10
BoSox84 
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Never woulda figured George Parros to be a smart, Princeton type
 7 years ago '08        #11
Dee Grande 1269 heat pts1269
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 Yellob0y said:
this thread is depressing, these guys get to make millions of dollars playing games, have these great s3xy, tone, god-like adonis bodies that make people drool, and now they are even smarter than me.......i lost
 7 years ago '07        #12
Truth B T0ld 3 heat pts
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 Lupe Hunter said:
Where Kobe? Not trying to stan or anything
Kobe didn't go to college, why would he be on this list?
 7 years ago '08        #13
fly_society_05 6 heat pts
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wow ! that s**t inspired me no lie


[pic - click to view]

 7 years ago '05        #14
micseles 3 heat pts
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wonder if they only did the list for male atheletes, im sure theres probably some near genious level female athelets out there as well
 7 years ago '04        #15
YGLCA87 
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Damn, how that fool 'George Parros, F, Anaheim Ducks' get into Princeton with 1250 SAT score? I thought they would just filter out all scores below 1500 or something.
 7 years ago '07        #16
KnicksLost 17 heat pts17
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good to see some good dudes gettin recognition
 7 years ago '05        #17
cjlack03 
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peyton on that list with a 1030 SAT. I got a 1160 on the SATs. Go figure.
 7 years ago '05        #18
dahabi 90 heat pts90
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no Amobi Okoye (Texans DT)???

At age 15 Okoye chose the University of Louisville over Harvard, privileging the strong football program of the former over the academic reputation of the latter.
At Louisville, Okoye majored in biology. He later switched his major to psychology and graduated a semester early, thereby completing his degree in three and a half years. At 16, he became the youngest player in the NCAA.

also... "Okoye was born in Anambra State, Nigeria, a member of the Igbo ethnic group. He moved to Huntsville, Alabama, United States when he was 12 years old. After only spending two weeks in middle school, he tested into the 9th grade"
 09-24-2010, 03:35 PM         #19
macadon83 
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These are some amazing guys. Takes a lot of focus to accomplish the things they have, especially when u add on all the groupies they've had to deal with.
 7 years ago '04        #20
BrBHZ 8 heat pts
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 Lupe Hunter said:
Where Kobe? Not trying to stan or anything
why would he be on the list?
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