Decade's outsized personalities (cont.)
11. Ozzie Guillen
To watch Guillen on live TV as a talking head during the 2009 World Series was to see a besuited man as comfortable as a caged raccoon. Without the ability to unleash a torrid stream of profanity, after all, it was hard to identify the head as Guillen's in the first place. Consider a typical pregame tirade, from 2008: "We won it a couple years ago, and we're horse[bleep]. The Cubs haven't won in  years, and they're the [bleeping] best. [Bleep] it, we're good. [Bleep] everybody. We're horse[bleep], and we're going to be horse[bleep] the rest of our lives, no matter how many World Series we win. We are the [bleep] of Chicago. We're the Chicago [bleep]. We have the worst owner [Jerry Reinsdorf]. The guy's got seven [bleeping] rings, and he's the [bleeping] horse[bleep] owner." Indeed.
12. Bill Belichick
A personality doesn't need to be loud to be outsized, and Belichick -- perhaps this decade's most successful coach -- is quiet. He regularly renders a mockery of press conferences. He has made a hooded sweatshirt with cutoff sleeves into an iconic fashion statement. He was embroiled in a cheating scandal. Like the NFL's Darth Vader, he is still feared by everyone in the league. He is, in some ways, the anti-Muhammad Ali: He intimidates without soliloquoy, maybe even because he says so very little. There is an air of mystery always around him. He has a right-hand man with the Patriots (Ernie Adams) whom people know very little about. He seldom smiles. And he always goes for the throat. That's like Darth Vader, too.
13. Chad Ochocinco
There are wide receivers who are divas, and then there are wide receivers who decide to legally change their name to an inaccurate Spanish translation of their jersey number. But that, in sum, is why we love and hate Ochocinco. (As we all know, eighty-five is ochenta y cinco.) In the words of Charlie Murphy: Ochocinco is a habitual line-stepper. He'll feud with you on Twitter. He'll go on ESPN 2's First Take to debate Skip Bayless (the subject, naturally, was himself). He'll mock up a Hall of Fame jacket and wear it during a touchdown celebration. In fact, as NFL fines go, there's a new number we should all be familiar with: ochenta y cinco mil ($85,000).
14. Bobby Knight
Start with the chair, which defined Knight well into the '00s. It flew way back in 1985 -- a protest of a referee's call in a game versus Purdue -- but furniture is still how we remember Knight. Not so much for the three NCAA titles at Indiana, but for all the fury that eventually forced him out of Bloomington and into the national consciousness. He's a caricature in that way, which makes his recent public-relations rebirth as a commentator on ESPN so startling.
15. Lance Armstrong
Hate him or love him (a rift that often seems to fall along the Atlantic Ocean), Armstrong is not only one of the most decorated athletes in the world but also one of the most outspoken. Beyond vehemently denying accusations of doping, the seven-time Tour de France winner has used his celebrity to create Livestrong, a booming philanthropic brand that expects to raise more than $40 million this year. (In the meantime? He's more than happy to put his entire family on Twitter.)
16. Stephon Marbury
There was the face tattoo as well as the constant Ustream'ing, where he'd respond to viewers' questions, talk about how he saw Jesus in the shower the other day and eat vaseline (not in that order). With Marbury, there are so many reasons to put him on this list that you begin to wonder if it's all real. Apparently, it is. But even if Marbury is Andy Kaufman with a line of affordable sneakers and athletic wear, it doesn't make it any less unreal.
17. Floyd Mayweather
Say what you will about his defensive wizardry in the ring; Mayweather Jr. lives his promotional life on the offensive. Most everything about the man is fiscal exaggeration: the Vegas mansion, the lifestyle, the nickname (yes, Money). Of course, there are other issues (confiscated guns and shootings involving his friends, for instance); and hey, if the IRS has anything to say about it, maybe all that braggadocio isn't rooted in sound financials, after all. But caricature is exactly what boxing not only thrives on but also needs.
18. Danica Patrick
Her personality is outsized enough to be the first woman to win an IndyCar race. But Patrick has done more. She's posed in the SI Swimsuit issue. She's hawked everything from Secret deodorant to GoDaddy.com, and been in a Jay-Z video. The voice works, too: She told SI's Dan Patrick last June that taking steroids isn't cheating "if nobody finds out." Danica later called it a "bad joke." But for a driver who's also not afraid to get into on-track tiffs (ask Milka Duno), there's another term for it: ballsy.
19. Ricky Williams
Yes, the Dolphins' running back and former University of Texas star used to smoke marijuana. But that's not what warrants him a slot on this list -- or differentiates him from so many other athletes. Instead it's his singular honesty about one fact: Football does not define him. He may be an undisputed spaceball (he did wear a wedding dress on the cover of ESPN The Magazine), but the way he calmly describes his otherwise odd pursuits -- the study of yoga, massage therapy and holistic medicine, for example -- makes him startlingly refreshing.
20. Rasheed Wallace
Naming one's sports blog is no light task, so it's telling indeed that two notable ones -- Ball Don't Lie and Both Teams Played Hard -- so honor the menacing, quotable subversion of the man who holds the NBA's single-season record for technical fouls. The latter comes from the time 'Sheed, then in Portland, answered that very phrase to every question in a postgame press conference. The former is a statement of philosophy that comes from the time ... well, just watch.
Honorable Mention: Mark Cuban, Peyton Manning, Jeremy Roenick, Hope Solo, Serena Williams