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6/27/2007 08:42:00 AM
John Cusacks' Favorite Chicago Athletes
John Cusack may be sporting a Cubs hat in this photo, but he still pulls for the White Sox.
Photo by Larry Goren/WireImage.com
There's Bill Murray, of course. And he probably ranks behind Jim Belushi, Billy Corgan and William Peterson when it comes to celebrities associated with Chicago sports. But John Cusack has established himself as a bona fide Windy City sports nut. He's a regular at Wrigley Field (he's sung Take Me Out To The Ballgame on many occasions) and says he pulls for both the Cubs and White Sox, a position he's taken flack for in the past.
During the Michael Jordan years, Cusack was a frequent visitor at Chicago Stadium, and he famously played Buck Weaver (one of the White Sox players implicated in the fix of the 1919 World Series) in Eight Men Out. "And I was there for the '85 Bears," says Cusack, who currently stars in the film 1408. "I went to every playoff game and the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Everything was perfect that day...except for my state of mind at the time." Here, the 40-year-old actor offers SI.com his five favorite Chicago athletes over the years, in no particular order:
1. Walter Payton: He was the best. How great would it be to trade places with him when he ran for 275 in 1977 against the Vikings?
2. Jim McMahon: I loved Jimmy Mac with the Bears. I remember when he came off the bench [against Minnesota] to throw three touchdowns the year they won the Super Bowl.
3. Chris Chelios: He's one of my oldest and dearest friends.
4. Michael Jordan: If you wanted to trade places with an athlete, you could pick a few different nights with Michael.
5. Sammy Sosa: I loved Sammy on the Cubs. He was great for a lot of years.
Agree with Cusack? Give us your five favorite athletes from your city.
IN REGUARDS TO THE JOHN CUSACK LIST FOR BEST CHICAGO ATHLETES, THOUGH HE HAD SOME GREAT PLAYERS ON THAT LIST, MINE IS MUCH DIFFERENT. BELOW ARE THE REAL TOP 5 CHICAGO ICONS:
1.WALTER "SWEETNESS" PAYTON:THIS MAN WAS UNBELIEVABLE ON THE FIELD AND EQUALLY IMPRESSIVE OFF THE FIELD. IF YOU WANTED YOUR KIDS TO GROW UP IDOLIZING A SPORTS FIGURE, WALTER IS IT. 2.MICHAEL JORDAN: NEED I SAY MORE. 3.MARK GRACE: FANS LOVED HIM, WOMEN WANTED HIM. ONE OF THE MOST UOVERLOOKED PLAYERS IN BASEBALL HISTORY. 4.BRIAN URLACHER: THIS GUY IS INCREDIBLE AND HIS STOCK JUST KEEPS ON RISING. INTEMIDATOR IN THE MIDDLE DESERVES TO BE ON ANYONES LIST 5.ANDRE DAWSON "THE HAWK": THAT BATTING STANCE. HOW AWSOME WAS THAT. BY THE WAY, NAME ONE OTHER PLAYER WHO SLIDES THE OWNER HIS CONTRACT AND SAYS "PAY ME WHAT YOU WANT, I WANT TO BE HERE"
1. Michael Jordan - no need to explain. 2. Walter Payton - no need to explain. 3. Scottie Pippen - Has there ever been a better sidekick? This guy would have been the main attraction on almost any other team. 4. Mike Ditka - Champ as a player and a coach, and still is "Da Coach" 5. Andre Dawson - CLASS! under-rated. Loved by all Cubs fans (and even a lot of people on the south side). A guy that fans will not soon forget. He did everything, and he got it done the right way. GET HIM IN THE HOF!!
1. Mike Schmidt - the best player in Philadelphia history. Like all athletes in Philly he's had a love-hate relationship with the fans at times, but he's got the right combo of ability, charisma and longevity to top the list. Steve Carlton, Lenny Dykstra and John Kruk, and Richie Ashburn all get honorable mentions from the Phillies.
2. Dr. J - almost as popular as Schmidt, but wasn't a Sixer his entire career. More talent and charisma then any one man should have. Honorable mention from the Sixers goes to Charles Barkley and AI.
3. Brian Dawkins - the heart and soul of the Eagles in the 2000s. I had a hard time picking out any one Eagle, but as far as I know everyone loves Weapon X. Jaworski, McNabb, and Reggie White are worth considering but they all have baggage.
4. Bobby Clark - the face of the Broadstreet Bullies. Yes, he's got baggage as an exec, but in my experience Flyers fans think of Clark the player and Clark the exec as different people.
5. Rocky Balboa - Eh, yo! The Italian Stallion is the personification of Philly, and the city has played a major role in several of the films.
Boise Idaho area 1.Harmon Killebrew,Payette Baseball HOF'er 2.Jake Plummer,Boise Football marched to the beat of his own drummer 3.Rob Morris,Nampa Football Only NHS alum to earn a Super Bowl ring 4.Jerry Kramer,Parma Great Pulling Guard for the 60's Packers.Made "The Block" 5.Jeb Putzier,Eagle
All of the above are classy guys who gave a lot to this community.
Can someone tell why those dopes are writing about Boston and Detroit? I believe the article was asking for Chicago athletes. Boston is self conscious about their "Irish Curse" and that no matter what happens they'll always be looked down upon by those in NYC, and Detroit closely resembles one large sewage treatment plant in both appearance and smell.
1. Michael Jordan 2. Walter Payton 3. Mike Singletary 4. Ryne Sandberg 5. Bobby Hull
1. Walter Payton- You don't have to be from Chicago to understand what he did on the field, but his off field presence and personality will keep him as the greatest Chicago sports figure ever. 2. Michael Jordan- After Walter, no one else could bring as much excitement to our city. LeBron and Kobe, keep dreaming, no one will ever be THIS good again. 3. Mike Singletary- Great on and off the field. No disrespect to Butkus, but his team never won despite his presence. 4. Greg Maddux- How dare we leave the Mad Dog off the list. One of the greatest pitchers of all time even though he spent some time away from Chicago. 5. Bobby Hull- Best Blackhawk around. Chelios was amazing, but this guy was what Chicago was all about.
Milwaukee: 1. Robin Yount - The epitomy of quiet class. 2. Al Maguire - After 30 years, his shadow still looms large. 3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - Lew grew into Kareem in Milwaukee 4. Gorman Thomas - How can you not love a guy who can drink beer through his nose? 5. Bob Uecker - A local boy how made good.
Good list but I would make a few changes. -Greg 1. Walter Payton 2. Andre Dawson 3. Michael Jordan 4. Mark Grace 5. Da Coach Mike Ditka I am too young but Ron Santo and Ernie Banks are truly loved by Cubs fans.
1. Gale Sayers 2. Walter Payton 3. Ernie Banks 4. Ferguson Jenkins 5. Barry Sanders
Not on the list: 1. Michael Jordan... Gambler, womanizer, make-a-billion-dollars-off-of-10-year-old-kids-making-your-shoes-in-sweat-shop-conditions-in-foreign-countries-but-far-too-busy-playing-golf-to-visit-the-plant-er
2. Sammy Sosa... Needs an interpreter to speak to Congress.
St. Louis 1. Bob Gibson-definition of competitor. 2. Ozzie Smith-best defensive ss ever, and made the cards exciting even during the down years. 3. Mark McGuire-roids or not, he brought excitment to the game. 4. Albert Pujols-stud. Love to watch him swing. 5. Jim Edmonds-cocky as can be, but fun for Cards fans. We love him one day when he strikes out, and then call him amazing the next day when he makes a spectacular catch.
1. Walter Payton - total class on and off the field and even played in the pro bowl with the flu because he loved the game, didn't snub it for the sniffles like athletes today, only missed like 1 practice in his career, never heard a complaint....amazing
2. Michael jordan - Seriously, can anyone do what he did with the basketball and demand everyone around him play better....and they did
3. Mike Singletary - Really the most dominant inside linebacker of his time and I beleive of any time
4. Jim McMahon - Why? because they say great players are great leaders. He didn't have the stats and threw his body around but he made everyone around him play better and with the swagger that they will win no matter what with him in the starting lineup....and they did
5. Mark Grace - consistant .300+ hitter, played almost everyday with class and was one of the best fielding 1st baseman in the game....you knew what you were going to get with grace everyday, great for chicago and baseball.
To those who are questioning why people are posting for cities other than Chicago, go back and read the original post where it asks, "Agree with Cusack? Give us your five favorite athletes from your city." Bring on some more cities...
Memphis (I had to dig deep for these): 1. Deangelo Williams 2. Shane Battier (Stupid Move to get rid of him) 3. Reggie White (USFL Memphis Showboats) 4. Pau Gasol 5. 1996 Memphis Tigers football team defeating Peyton and the Vols
1. Tug McGraw (I'm willing to share him with Philly, but he was ours first.) 2. Yogi Berra (great ball player, plus he talks about cash, which is almost as good as money.) 3. Ron Duguay - the NHL could use someone like him right now. 4. Don Mattingly - met him when he played single-A in NC. So much of a class act that even a Mets/Red Sox fan is willing to list him. 5. Jim Burt - nobody was better at getting the crowd going.
Indy-short on tradition in major sports but have had dynamic athletes 1-Peyton Manning-few years away from best ever 2-Reggie Miller-no one made as much of an impact with little talent ever 3-Bob Knight-Most wins in CBB history 4-Marvin Harrison-Model WR in an era where there is none-2nd best ever 5-Dwight Freeney-One man gang
Baseball: Fernando Valenzuela (33-2 life time against Frisco). Football: Bo Jackson (Tecmo Bowl, nuff said) Basketball: Kareem Abdul Jabbar (gave Bruce Lee a good fight in - GAME OF DEATH). Hockey: Marcel Dionne (forget about fruity Gretzky, but I'll keep Janet Jones) Coach: Big Tommy Lasorda (I'll tell you about Kingman...)
It's nice to see other cities have a list, of course, the hardest part was coming up with 5 athletes. However for Chicago, the problem was picking from the plethora of great atletes that have graced the fields of the Windy City. My take, in order:
I'm 26 so this list is limited to people from my lifetime...
1. Walter Payton - Chicago is a football town first, and he is the most beloved and best player it has ever had. 2. Michael Jordan - The greatest basketball player that ever lived. Need I say more? 3. Mike Singletary - Remember the "crazy eyes"? I can't think of anyone who was as intense as him. 4. Andre Dawson - No one was as fun to watch in baseball. 5. Brian Urlacher - Seriously, the Bears always have awesome linebackers for some reason.
1. Walter Payton. Played so many years with a horrible Bears team, yet loved the game and broke records anyway. 2. Michael Jordan. His Airness needs no explanation. 3. Mike Ditka. No one has done more on and off the field for Chicago than Da Coach. 4. Ryne Sandberg. Great athelete, played the game the way it should be played. 5. Harry Caray. Hey! Drinking is a sport isn't it?
in Chicago: 1- MJ 2- Sammy Sosa 3 -5: put Banks, Payton, whatever you want...
Is Mark Grace a HOF? is Dawson there? i don't think so. Is Sammy heading to HOF? No doubt it!! This is about the Greatest Chicago's Athletes ever... not the "Greates Good Looking Guy" or "The best pal in town".
Portland (and the rest of Oregon) 1a. Clyde the Glide - every Oregonian should have him on your list 1b. Pre - see above 3. Joey Harrington - in 2001 Fiesta Bowl or 2000 Holiday Bowl, only really applies to Duck fans 4. Dan O'Brien - anyone remember Dan vs. Dave, at least Dan went on to win Gold in 1996 5. Oden/Durant - maybe I'm jumping the gun
H.M. Maurice Lucas - the Samuel L. Jackson of 1970's basketball
My favorite Atheletes from the Philadelphia Flyers.
#1 Bobby Clarke- the captain of the Broad Street Bullies.
#2 Ron Hextall- There is no goalie who will ever be greater that Ron the Wall.
#3 John Leclair- A very classy player who should have ended his career in Philly.
#4 Bernie Parent- You didn't need to play defense with a goalie like this.
#5 Keith Primeau- Came over in an unpopular trade and became one of the greatest captains that this team has ever known. They would have won the cup in '07 had he not retired. One of the greatest hockey players ever.
1. Gale Sayers -- the greatest running back in history before he was hurt. 2. Luis Aparicio -- a magician. You can have Ozzie Smith, Jose Reyes,etc., give me Little Looie every time. 3. Dick Butkus - born and bred in Chicago. The hardest hitter ever. 4. Nellie Fox -- the best clutch hitter I ever saw. 5. Ernie Banks -- the baseball ambassador of Chicago and a great hitter.
The list can have credibility without Sayers on it. The list is favorite players not greatest players. That opens it up for crazy choices like Mitch Williams and Dennis Rodman. They were entertaining, but not necessarily the best at their respective sports. That being said though my list:
The Hawk (North Side only) Maddux Big Hurt Jordan The Fridge
The last one was certainly not the best at what he did but he was entertaining and still is. The others were a pleasure to watch. I left Payton off, because I was too young to have watched him play. Same goes for Butkus, Sayers, Santo, Williams and Banks.
Ah, geez...only five Chicago favs? Ok, Payton and Jordan are on the list as a default. Seriously. So I'm expanding the list to seven.
1. Walter Payton--Yes, some of his records have been broken in the years since his retirement. Nonetheless, Walter was a spark of hope in some pretty bleak years in Chicago Sports history. Plus, he wasn't just some guy that lived here half the year and booked as soon as the season was over. He was part of the fabric of the Chicago community.
2. Michael Jordan--There was nothing like going to a Bulls game in the old Chicago Stadium and feeling the very building shake from all of the fans cheering and stomping their feet. He made being a Chicago sports fan cool again.
3. Jim McMahon--The Punky QB. In a lot of ways, he was the polar opposite of Sweetness--brash, rebellious, sometimes even offensive. But he was never boring.
4. Kevin Butler--Yeah, he was a kicker. He still holds the record as the #1 scorer in Bears history.
5. Ryne Sandberg--Ryno made watching the Cubs a lot less painful during his run.
6. Brian Urlacher--Yeah, some people think he is overrated. Kinda like breathing is overrated.
7. Chris Chelios--I still do a double-take when I see him in a Red Wings uniform. It's just not natural. Oh, and the last time the Blackhawks played decent hockey was when he was on the team.
1. Ted Williams (Greatest Hitter to Ever Live) 2. Larry Bird (If it hadn't been for the Lakers he would have needed some more fingers) 3. David Ortiz (Mr. Clutch) 4. Tom Brady (Superbowl Regular) 5 Jerry Remy ( He announces all the Sox games, and happened to be a great 2nd baseman)
1. Jordan nuff said 2. Frank Thomas. for a 7 year period he put up numbers that no one in HISTORY ever did , and with out steriods 3. I hate the cubs but i will give credit where its due... Ernie Banks 4.Walter Payton...once again nuff said 5.Shoeless Joe Jackson, cheat or not the man could play