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1/28/2008 02:18:00 PM

World's Most Dominant Athletes

Alex Rodriguez
If he stays healthy, Alex Rodriguez will re-write the Major League Baseball record books.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

Sports usually celebrates the great unknown, the idea that on any given day, any given team can win. But sometimes it's fun to watch a game even when you know exactly what is going to happen. There's a handful of athletes out there who are so good, so dominant at what they do, that their performances are pretty much predetermined before the step on the field or court; they just have to hope their teammates can keep up with them from night to night. Here are my top five most dominant athletes in the world right now...

1. Tiger Woods: Who needs teammates? Watching Tiger this weekend in the Buick Open was a truly awesome sight, as he plunked ball after ball pretty much exactly where he was aiming, and then he won the tournament by finishing an astounding 18 under. If there's any athlete better at his job, well...there's nobody better right now.

2. Tom Brady: So maybe some people don't find him as handsome as Eli Manning, but Tom Brady was hands-down the best player in the NFL this season. 50 passing touchdowns against 8 picks? I'm with Gisele here.

3. LeBron James: What gets me about LeBron is not so much his ability to score but his consistency -- he hasn't had less than 21 points in a game since mid-December. And remember, he just turned 23 years old.

4. Alex Rodriguez: I know, he chokes in the postseason, blah blah blah, but dude hit .314 with 54 home runs and 156 RBIs last season. And over the last three years he's missed a combined 12 games.

5. Cristiano Ronaldo: He's a pretty boy who flops too much. I'm a Manchester United fan and even I agree with that rap. But there's no player I'd rather have on the wing right now than Ronaldo.

Who is the most dominant current athlete? Let us know below...

Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
posted by SI.com | View comments |


Posted: January 28, 2008 3:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how about roger federer....he's equally (if not more) dominant compared to tiger.
Posted: January 28, 2008 4:12 PM   by Anonymous brendan
LeBron James??? NBA rings: 0, Gold medals: 0, MVP's: 0, High School State championships: 3. There you go, now I get it.
Posted: January 28, 2008 4:42 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer
Posted: January 28, 2008 4:42 PM   by Anonymous thenirvdr
Did we forget about federer??? I think he should be #2 on this list. Im from New England but RFed is unbelievable.
Posted: January 28, 2008 4:45 PM   by Anonymous thenirvdr
Hmm, rethinking the entire premis. I must say that there is another non mainstream athlete who should be on here. Swimmer Michael Phelps is also more dominant than the bottom 3 guys on the original list.
Posted: January 28, 2008 4:50 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Michael Phelps? The guy is probably going to be the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics. He dominates the sport.
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:08 PM   by Anonymous wadill
I'd place Floyd Mayweather and Roger Federer ahead of anyone who plays a team sport.
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:14 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer is clearly number 2 behind Tiger. Don't leave him off just because he lost one match. What about Jimmy Johnson? Floyd Mayweather?
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Same thing; where's the love for Roger Federer? Why are all the "best athletes" in the world from the US?
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:26 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tiger Woods is not an athlete, he's a golfer. Golf is not a sport!!! Why don't we put the world's best billiards player and fisherman on this list too if Tiger's going to be on it??? Tiger's the best GOLFER in the world and he does not belong on this list.
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:29 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Roger Federer? He has been more dominant in his sport than anyone of the last year and a half. I'm not even a huge tennis fan but you have to give him props for what he has done.
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:30 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
uh michael phelps . . .
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:51 PM   by Anonymous the rest of the world
why is this post called "world's most dominant" when you are completely oblivious to tennis just like all other american sport writers. roger federer is much more dominant then anyone else on this list. roger is also the best role model in sports. despite all of his accomplishments he will never be recognized by the US. i think i know why americans don't like tennis: they think that it is much too sophisticated and cultured for them, and for once the americans are right!
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:52 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
There's no way you can leave Federer off this list.
Posted: January 28, 2008 5:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Federer is the most dominant athlete in the world.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:01 PM   by Anonymous mark
Michael Phelps. He, Federer, and Woods are on a level not approached by anyone else in the world right now.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Michael Phelps
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tennis is too often ignored by sports writers who do nothing but glorify raw brute strength then awe at finesse. Tennis is the epitome of timing, finesse, fluidity and fitness. For one man to be overwhelmingly dominant for the past 4 years defies comprehension. The closest athlete to Roger Federer would be Tiger, but he hasn't won the Grand Slam of golf. Arod and LeBron haven't won championships. Brady has won 3 Super Bowls in 7 years. While Ronaldo has talent, Portugal hasn't won the World Cup and he led Man U to one FA cup.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
this is so easy to pick the five most dominant athletes

1) Tiger Woods-the best athlete of the last 20 yrs
2)Roger Federer-the best tennis player in the history of the game
3)LeBron James- the best pure athlete since Jordan
4)Peyton Manning- best QB in NFL, would throw for 60 TD's if he had Brady's weapons
5)A-Rod-just a freak on the diamond
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous that someone claiming to cover sports for a living compiled this list without mentioning Federer.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This list is a joke and a reason why Europeans laugh at Americans when it comes to sports. The first 4 guys are Americans and some aren't even athletic. And when you pick the 5th guy, the only non-American, you pick Ronaldo, a guy who can't even score for Portugal and is a pathetic flopper and an embarassment to soccer. Anybody ever heard of Roger Federer? He's by far the most dominant athlete out there. He finally had his 10 straight grand slam finals streak snapped, but he has still made the last 15 semifinals. No one will ever, ever do that again. To exclude him shows complete and blatant ignorance.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:36 PM   by Anonymous Man's man
Dude, Dude! Where is Tim Duncan, and the Most Dominant Ever, Shaq? I think your picks are little too pretty.
Where the heck is Michael Phelps?

7 gold medals at the 2006 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia last March. 5 or 6 world records. You have no idea how tough swimming at that level is, this is obvious!
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:54 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yeah, I'm going to agree with Federer. He'll easily pass Sampras' record. Also should have included Michael Phelps on this one.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:56 PM   by Anonymous HoyaHaft
Hello SI?!!! Did you seriously not include Roger Federer in this list? I can't believe he's not at your #1 spot, let alone not in the top 5.
Posted: January 28, 2008 6:57 PM   by Anonymous the kid
yea im with this dude..federer is a dominator
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How could you not include Federer. Is it becuase he recently lost the Austrialian Open. I dont get why Tiger is included if he only won one of the four majors last year while federer won three of the four slams.
Lang Whitaker, you must not watch/read about/have heard of a sport called tennis. Just because Roger Federer recently lost in a grand slam semi-final does not give you the right to keep him off a list like this one. He has now appeared in 11 of the last 12 grand slam finals and lost to the #3 player in the world in his only semi-final loss during that span. It is not even arguable that he should be at least #2 on this list, possibly #1. Has Tom Brady, LeBron, ARod, or Ronaldo been the best in the world in their respective sports for 4 straight years now? I didn't think so. Let's hear your reasoning for this laughable error.
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:24 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer, Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps are by far the most dominant athletes right now.
Wow if this isn't typical east coast crap. Why not just throw everyone from every New York and Boston team on there?

After Tiger and Federer there is NOBODY who can be named on this list. None of the other athletes mentioned are handing out beat downs like Federer and Tiger.
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:27 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
So when does Sports Illustrated officially change its name to We Hate Roger Federer? Or WHRF as I like to call it.
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
ever heard of a guy named Federer? 10 straight Grand Slam finals, WINS 8 out of the last 11 Grand Slams, #1 ranked player for over 3 straight years, he's much more dominant on everyone on your list except maybe Tiger, but even that is debatable. what does the guy have to do to get any respect?
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:35 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
ever heard of a guy named Federer? only the #1 ranked tennis player for over 3 consecutive years, 10 straight Grand Slam finals (until yesterday), WON 8 out of the last 11 Grand Slams. He is much more dominant by any measure than all the guys on your list, except MAYBE Tiger, but even that is debatable. What does the guy have to do to get any respect?
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:38 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Lance Armstrong?
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:39 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
OK, maybe not the best timing simce we was ousted from the Australian Open, but Federer belongs on the list
Posted: January 28, 2008 7:40 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
OK, maybe not the best timing since we was just ousted from the Australian Open, but Federer belongs on the list
Posted: January 28, 2008 8:26 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Federer? He and Tiger and hands down the most dominant players in any sport right now
Posted: January 28, 2008 8:26 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yes, I agree with Federer too. And how about Floyd Mayweather? He hasn't been beaten yet, and, unlike Joe Calzaghe, he will leave his neighborhood to fight the best.
How is Roger Federer not on that list? Probably the greatest of all time in his sport, and still not dominant?
Posted: January 28, 2008 8:40 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
seriously how could you leave off federer?
Posted: January 28, 2008 8:47 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
no roger federer....and you call yourself knowledgeable about sports.....really....how may championships have LeBron or ARod won, who outside of the US even plays football and when did C. Ronaldo lift the Champions League trophy or the World Cup......what a useless article
Posted: January 28, 2008 9:15 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yea I am with the person above Tiger Woods 1a and Roger Federer 1b
Posted: January 28, 2008 9:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how could you not put federer on this list. shows how much you know about sports. take this blog down.
Posted: January 28, 2008 9:55 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
this is a stupid list without federer. i like how you included ronaldo to make your list look less american-centric, but you picked the wrong 'token international'. you are an idiot.
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:06 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I don't know how Federer got left out..
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:11 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
4. Tiger Woods
3. LeBron James
2. Roger Federer
1. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (after the 2007 he had he's #1)
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer is easily the most dominant tennis player in the world right now. Kobe Bryant is just as dominant as Lebron. They both carry their teams to the playoffs when their teams wouldn't win a game without them.
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:36 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How could Roger Federer not be on the list? I'm not a tennis fan, but I do know he is the most dominant athlete in sports today...period!
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:38 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm with "anonymous." I don't see how you can leave Roger Federer off of this list (despite the fact that he just missed the finals at the Australian Open). I'm not sure who gets bumped off but I'd probably have to drop Ronaldo.
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:44 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
My thoughts exactly.While it's hard to disagree with any of the 5 chosen,Federer has to be just BARELY a sliver behind Tiger.As much as I hate A-Rod (Red Sox fan), and love LeBron, I think you gotta replace King James w/Roger.If only because there are at least 3-5 NBA players on LeBron's level (Kobe,Garnett,Duncan,D-Wade when he's healthy and happy).None of the rest,including Federer,have any competition even remotely close to them.Peyton Manning to Brady being the one obvious exception.Of course, I know nothing of soccer,so maybe it's Ronaldo who should be replaced.
Posted: January 28, 2008 10:56 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
michael phelps?
Posted: January 28, 2008 11:00 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Kelly Slater
Posted: January 28, 2008 11:02 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Woods and Federer are the top 2. Ronaldo has been amazing and deserves a spot. But unlike the previous 3, James and Rodriguez haven't won championships and don't always shine in the big games. My 5 are Woods, Federer, Brady, Tim Duncan, & Ronaldo. Big players on the big stage.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:24 AM   by Anonymous KC Dan
Not too much interest in this subject. There are only two truly dominant sports figures and that's Tiger and Federer.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:30 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
roger federer makes tiger woods look like an amateur
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:01 AM   by Anonymous kavalier
Is this a list or a wish list. Where the Hell is Roger Federer- Tennis-u Moron, Michael Hussey- Cricket,Yelena Isinbeyeva- Pole Vault.See their records and then compare the records of Alex R-( won nothing of note), Le Bron( Duh??? any titles) and Ronaldo( he was not even voted as the best European footballer- that went to Kaka!!!
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:03 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I completely agree--Roger Federer has dominated tennis even more than Woods has done in golf, and is widely considered on track to become the greatest tennis player of all time and he doesn't even make the list?
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:08 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm dumbfounded that a sports journalist failed to list Roger Federer in the top 5. Federer has proven repeatedly that he could be the GOAT, and definitely deserves a mention in any discussion of dominant athletes. He is simply peerless.
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:20 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
michael phelps is an obvious choice. lebron and arod are both very good, but they are nowhere near the total dominance of federer, tiger, or phelps.
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:24 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
roger federer?
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:30 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
thats is true..what about roger federer? He is the current player that is dominating the tennis world.
Posted: January 29, 2008 2:13 AM   by Anonymous Deuce
seriously no federer, and no Crosby, and no Jesus?

.....what are you? drunk?
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:02 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yeah...it is a *shock* when Roger Federer doesn't win a tournament. How can he possibly be left off this list?
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:38 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Interesting, when I loaded this page I got a 404 Federer not found error.
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:11 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer. Get your list straight.
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:45 AM   by Anonymous Rutger Stuurman
Where is Federer in this article???
Okay he last in the semi-finals this year. But that doesn't mean that he hasn't dominated the game of tennis like nobody else ever did!
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:49 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Any conspiracy against Roger Federer? When you can include Alex Rodriguez who by your own admission chokes in the post season, why not give Federer his dues. Borrowing a phrase from your own writing, "the dude" appeared in 10 grand slam finals in a row. He has had a strangle hold on the #1 ranking for 4 years in a row. In one of those years the distance between him and the #2 guy in points was more than the distance between #2 and #10. I would call that dominance. Granted, in this world of TV glitz Tennis is lowly ranked and hence giving limelight to a sport that is not in your fancied world may be a bit inconvenient. But then your question should not have been "Who is the most dominant athlete?".
Posted: January 29, 2008 7:43 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I can't believe Michael Phelps is not more dominant than anyone in their own sport, especially with his 2007 performance and Olympics only getting closer. He clearly deserves more credit on top of the credit he gets after he performs at an event.
Posted: January 29, 2008 8:17 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Yeah, very surprised federer isn't on this list.
Posted: January 29, 2008 8:30 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Roger Federer?
Posted: January 29, 2008 8:32 AM   by Anonymous sol
I don't see how you can leave Roger Federer off this list...Up until The Aussie Open last week he had been to 10 straight Grand Slam Finals winning 7 of them. This past Aussie Open wasn't even that bad, (semifinals in a slam is pretty good).
How about Shaun White? Completely dominates snowboarding, and now skateboarding too.
Posted: January 29, 2008 9:36 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Federer and Phelps absolutely need to be on this list (at #'s 1, 2, or 3). Its near impossible for a hitter to dominate in baseball, so I disagree with A-Rod despite the fact that he's a once-in-a-lifetime talent, even ignoring his postseason failures. I would consider any of the top 3-5 pitchers more dominant than ARod. And C. Ronaldo? Again, near impossible for an individual to dominate in soccer, especially one who's not even the best player in his sport.
Posted: January 29, 2008 9:47 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Did Someone forget about Roger Federer?

He is just as dominate in Tennis as Tiger is in golf.
Posted: January 29, 2008 9:48 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer should be first or second on this list.
Posted: January 29, 2008 10:01 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
not including federer in here is a joke. Phelps, I'll agree with as well. What about Fedor Emelianenko? He might not be as well known, but I can guarantee there aren't many fighters in the world that want to go up against him.
Posted: January 29, 2008 10:24 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Not Brady, he's surrounded by stars everywhere. If he didn't put up those numbers it would be sad, having the receivers around him right now...
Posted: January 29, 2008 10:39 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tom Brady???? Peyton Manning could have thrown 60 TDs with that O-line. By the way, how many of those 50 TDs came in blowouts as opposed to Manning's season of 49 when he sat out a considerable number of quarters?
Posted: January 29, 2008 10:42 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Where's Mayweather???
I find it ridiculous that Roger Federer isn't beiong considered in this discussion. Up until this past weekend he was in the finals of every grand slam for the past two years(or close to, I'm not sure on the exact numbers). My list would be Tiger, Federer, Phelps, Floyd Mayweather and the fifth spot is up for grabs. Lebron shouldn't even be on the list, and because he is, makes your list a joke.
Posted: January 29, 2008 11:17 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Once again you missed the most dominate thlete in all the world. Check out his record in a sport that is difficult. Notice that he competes in the most difficult events and still blows everyone away. His times in events that aren't his specialty are still some of the best in the world. The most dominate athlete in the world is Michael Phelps, bar none!
Posted: January 29, 2008 11:59 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how can you say ronaldo is more dominant that kaka? kaka swept every major award and his team won the champions league last year.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
anyone that says tiger woods is not an athlete is just and ignorant moron. i could see that if you said that about john daily or hefty lefty but tiger come on.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:15 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
UNREAL that you could leave Floyd Mayweather off this list. 0 losses, in multiple weight classes, with mutiple titles...in an individual sport.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:19 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
First of all it's hard to call someone who doesn't play a sport an athlete. Tiger may be the most dominant golf player, but how can you call him a more dominant athlete than any of these guys? And where is Federer?
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
ARE YOU SERIOUS?? NO ROGER FEDERER???? He should be # 2 right behind tiger. Did you even think about this list or did you leave him out on purpose?
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:25 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
what about Sid "the Kid" Crosby, easily the best hockey player by far...and don't give me the crap of no Stanley Cups, give him a couple more years, and the complaints will be too many cups...Pens will be the Oiler's of the '80s.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:30 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'm not a tennis fan, but you have to put Roger Federer in this conversation.
Federer should not even be mentioned until he wins in France
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:46 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
are you insane?! Roger Federer should be #2 on this list right after Tiger Woods, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who would argue he is just as dominant. Personally, the list lost all validity when I got to A-Rod. Dominant?! What a joke!
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:47 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous

Posted: January 29, 2008 12:49 PM   by Anonymous beedub
Not to sound like a broken record but Federer and Phelps should be listed and those individuals that play team sports ( most notably Brady ) their accomplishments are somewhat circumspect. They are all terrific athletes but some of their success can be attributed to who surrounds them. A case in point would be Wayne Gretzky ( this is a possible sacrilege for a good Canadian boy like me ). Would he be as dominant if he were not surrounded with the likes of Messier, Kurri , Anderson and Coffey. Perhaps for LeBron a case may be made for him but in all the other instances those individuals that compete solely by themselves should be accorded greater acknowledgement. By the way, Jeremy Wotherspoon is dominating his field right now as well.
Honesty, I believe that Lang Whitaker composes these lists so that everyone and his mom could rebuke it. Hell if he really wanted to go overboard he should of listed:

5. Marcus Camby
4. Sterling Marlin
3. John Daly
2. Craig Counsel
1. that guy from that foreign soccer league.

And let's set things straight, Pro Bass fishing is by far the most demanding, draining, and physically exhausting sport out there. Those guys are out on a boat all day drinking beer and fishing all day all while getting great tans lines from their sunglasses.
Posted: January 29, 2008 12:57 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Why isn't Federer on the top 5?
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:08 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Hahahaha..I think you misspelled USA as world!
any list of dominant athletes today that excludes Roger Federer speaks to the ignorence of the guy making the list.

Lol...what a joke of a list. Brady and James have no business being up there. James hasn't won it all yet and without Randy Moss or Wes Welker Tom Brady has another average year, I'd take Manning any day. Federer has to be top 2, and who else does Mayweather have to beat?
1. Roger Federererer
2. Tiger Woods
3. Shaun White
4. Michael Phelps
5. No one else dominates on this level, sorry.

Can't believe no one else mentioned the Flying Tomato (Shaun White) until now....he's dominant in TWO sports, an Olympic champ, repeated Gold medal champion in two sports, the icon and ambassador for skateboarding and snowboarding around the world, and absolutely awe-inspiring to watch. He is literally unreal. This all started professionally at 14 as well, for a kid who's now only 23.

Take that to the bank.
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:48 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I agree with all the Federer comments. You can't leave off a player who has been so dominant, he has no equal that the sport has become boring. You also left out Johan Santana. He single handly kept the Twins competitive. Their offense was anemic, the games that he lost, he would lose to scores of 1-0 or 2-1. Truly sad. You also forget the the single most dominant player in the NBA, no not LeBron. Kobe. Yes he is a pompous a-s, but don't tell me that opposing teams play the Lakers and not prepare plans on how to stop Kobe. Take Kobe out and the Lakers are down right horrible. A-Rod has never won a championship, it doesn't matter where he has been, he has great team mates, and still can do nothing. He doesn't deserve to be on this list.
Posted: January 29, 2008 1:49 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Not having Roger Federer on this list is the equivalent of leaving off Gretzky and Jordan during their careers. He has been the world number one for over 200 weeks. You have LeBron James on here, and he has been the greatest player in his sport for zero weeks (no MVP's). Also, how could you leave off Michael Phelps after his absolutely dominating performance in Australia last year. Maybe the writer should follow sports and not just sports headlines. This list is a joke.
Posted: January 29, 2008 2:04 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I can not believe that you left American Swimmer Michael Phelps off the list.
Posted: January 29, 2008 2:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger Federer is easily in the top 5 most dominant athletes in the world. Not having him in your top 3, let alone your top 5 just shows your lack of sports knowledge. The bigger debate is who is more dominant Tiger or Federer.
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:09 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How about Federer, or Sidney Crosby? How can Tom Brady be on the list when he needs a great offensive line in front of him and has only put up these stats since his receiving group has gotten significantly better
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:16 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:33 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how do you get a job doing this for a living and leave Roger Federer off this list regardless of his loss in the Australian. The rest of the list has no credibility because of your incredibly ridiculous omission.
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:55 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Without Roger Federer's name this list has ZERO credibility. It is certainly your opinion as a writer but when your opinion reaches millions it should at least be somewhat of an informed opinion.
Posted: January 29, 2008 3:58 PM   by Anonymous David from KC
I am with the Federer group. The fact you left him off, tells me you're rankings had some HUGE holes. You must not view tennis as important enough. What other possible logic can be used.

Gonzalez and James are great, but nowhere near as dominant as Federer. Not even close. It's even debatable if James is the most dominant in his sport.

I am sadly disappointed.
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:03 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
1. Tiger Woods
2. Roger Federer
3. Michael Phelps
4. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
5. Shaun White
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Federer more dominant then tiger i think not. Not even close
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:15 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Everyone needs to get away from the major sports for a quick second. Michael Phelps is the most dominant athlete in any sport. If you mention any of these guys as "Best ever", you'll get a lot of arguments. Phelps is rewriting all the record books and has already established himself as the best swimmer of all time while just entering his prime now.
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:36 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
There's a kid in my weekly basketball game who is lights out ... Jimmy or Johnny something. Oh, and also Federer.
Posted: January 29, 2008 4:59 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Lang Whitaker should be fired for not including Federer - and I don't even like tennis !! Maybe he should become a subprime mortgage trader!!
Posted: January 29, 2008 5:04 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How can you possibly ignore roger Federer. 10 of 12 Grand Slam finals; more weeks than anyone in the history of the game at #1.

SI must really only think inside the US -- you've omitted him from Sportsman of the Year the last two years, too.

Glaring oversight.
Posted: January 29, 2008 5:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
No athlete has been as dominant as Roger Federer in the last four years - not even close. All you have to know is eleven out of 16 slams in that time. Exactly how many majors did Tiger win in that time?
Posted: January 29, 2008 5:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I guess since he's retired, we're not counting Michael Schumacher in F1?

So dominant, that only once he left the sport did we get any semblance of competition back in the sport.
Posted: January 29, 2008 6:12 PM   by Anonymous arze
poor lang whitaker, he obviously had a major brainfart in leaving off federer. how can lebron be most dominant without winning.
Posted: January 29, 2008 6:28 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
ROGER FEDERER!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: January 29, 2008 6:29 PM   by Anonymous Karan
I have to disagree with all of you, the most domnant athletes are in soccer especially in European soccer and tennis. So the most dominant athletes according to me are
5. Nadal
4. Federer
3. Garnett
2. Kaka
1. C. Ronaldo
Posted: January 29, 2008 7:08 PM   by Anonymous Flash2308
I am not even going to mention the obvious misses (Federer, Phelps), but iff Lebron gets on the list with regular season numbers and no titles then I guess Johan Santana should be on the list. Beyond that, how about Lorena Ochoa or Shawn Johnson the US gymnast who has NEVER lost an all-around title.
Posted: January 29, 2008 7:26 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What about Doyle Brunson. The guy has won like 90 Poker tournaments...
Posted: January 29, 2008 7:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
81 points
Posted: January 29, 2008 8:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
im going with top three in no specific order


no one else even deserves to be mentioned with these three
Posted: January 29, 2008 8:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I agree with Sean. Federer certainly deserves to be on the list, but not ahead of Tiger because he has not won the French Open. Tiger has won every major at least twice. Federer is unbelievable, but he is not #1. Woods is clearly the most dominant athlete right now, and, when his career is over, he could end up being the most dominant athlete in the history of sports.
Posted: January 29, 2008 8:56 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
no athlete has been as dominant in any sport as federer? at the 2007 world championships, phelps won 7 golds and set 5 WORLD RECORDS, 5 world records at one single meet, that seems pretty dominant to me
top 5
1. Phelps
2. Federer
3. Shaun White
4. Woods
5. Mayweather
no one else even deserves to be mentioned with these 5
Posted: January 29, 2008 9:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Anika Sorenstam had an off year, but what about Lorena Ochoa? Do you have to wear a jock to be dominate?
Posted: January 29, 2008 9:41 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Duh....Federer could be substituted for anyone other than the hated Tiger Woods.
Posted: January 29, 2008 10:47 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
You are with Gisele? You mean Tom Brady impregnated you also???
Posted: January 29, 2008 11:18 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
The author loses ALL credibility by leaving Roger Federer off of this list. I'm perplexed to say the very least.
Posted: January 30, 2008 12:11 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
1. Michael Phelps
2. Tiger Woods
3. Roger Federer
4. Floyd Mayweather
5. Toss up for the best team sport athlete

You could really shuffle any of the top 4 around. It's too hard to compare sports with the ridiculous things these guys accomplish. The original list was a bit of a joke though.
Posted: January 30, 2008 12:15 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Many have noticed mostly Americans on this list. I also noticed there's no women.
Posted: January 30, 2008 12:29 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
i dont think people realize that players like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer play a one-man sport. they dont have teammates to rely on while playing. C. Ronaldo has not won the world cup or won the champions league, but he also has to rely on 10 other teammates on the field. Secondly, european clubs like manchester united play in four top class competitions that span from August to May. Plus, teams devote at least a month towards a preseason tour around the world and every other summer starts off with either the UEFA Euro Championship or the FIFA World Cup. the basketball season is the only comparable tough schedule with 82 games.
Posted: January 30, 2008 1:08 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
is there any argument for leaving federer off such a list?
Posted: January 30, 2008 4:43 AM   by Anonymous Yank in the UK
Hey Lang, There is life outside the confines of the 48 states... How can 3 of the top 5 be from sports that are predominately US Sports? Soccer (football to the rest of the world) is the Lingua Franca of the World. This list, to be fair, has to list Tiger and 4 football players... including Cristiano Ronaldo (aka the Flop). I am a Yank living in England. The rest of the world probably knows very little of Lebron, Tom and Alex. The world is truly made up of the basic elements - dirt, air, water and football! Vive la Foot!

KP from the UK
Wow, please stop this redneck from writing anymore. As an American it's so obvious why other countries laugh. Where is Federrer and Ronaldo?? A joke of a list, so America-centric.
Posted: January 30, 2008 9:14 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
How can anyone take this list seriously without Roger Federer included -- and near the top?
Posted: January 30, 2008 9:14 AM   by Anonymous FedererBestEverer
Federer for the win. You lost all credibility by not including Federer.
Posted: January 30, 2008 10:10 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This list is rediculous...Tom Brady, most dominant ahtlete in the world, he might night even be the best QB in the NFL??? No mention of Roger Federer? As much as I hate him, Floyd Mayweather? Maybe you should have named this the most dominant athlete in the United States' most popular sports....
Posted: January 30, 2008 10:38 AM   by Anonymous big ghi
Okay, here's one everyone else left off - Mariusz Pudzianowski. Four "World's Strongest Man" victories, including one of the most dominant performances in the 2007 competition. The events may be unorthodox, but anyone who has seen his improvement in the Fingal Fingers knows that this guy is an incredible athlete.

Nonetheless - Go Phil Pfister!

As for the other comments, the original list shows a huge bias toward US sports. How about Paula Radcliffe, the top women's distance runner in the world? Look at this set of recent achievements

2000 World Half Marathon Championships Veracruz, Mexico 1st Half Marathon
2001 World Cross Country Championships Ostend, Belgium 2nd Short Cross Country
2001 World Cross Country Championships Ostend, Belgium 1st Long Cross Country
2001 European Cup Bremen, Germany 2nd 5000 m
2001 World Championships Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 4th 10000m
2001 Bristol Half Marathon Bristol, England 1st Half Marathon
2002 World Cross Country Championships Dublin, Ireland 1st Long Cross Country
2002 London Marathon London, England 1st Marathon
2002 Commonwealth Games Manchester, England 1st 5000m
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 1st 10000m
2002 Chicago Marathon Chicago, Illinois, U.S. 1st Marathon
2003 London Marathon London, England 1st Marathon
2003 World Half Marathon Championships Vilamoura, Portugal 1st Half Marathon
2003 Great North Run Tyne and Wear, England 1st Half Marathon
2004 European Cup Bydgoszcz, Poland 1st 5000m
2004 New York City Marathon New York, New York, U.S. 1st Marathon
2005 London Marathon London, England 1st Marathon
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 1st Marathon
2007 Great North Run Tyne and Wear, England 2nd Half Marathon
2007 New York City Marathon New York, New York, U.S. 1st Marathon
Posted: January 30, 2008 10:38 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Lebron at 3? Top 10 for sure but tiger, roger and Arod are all more dominant for sure
Posted: January 30, 2008 10:43 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I'd have to agree with previous posters that Federer should have been on this list. Why was he excluded? Because he didn't win the Australian Open? He's made a career off winning majors just as Woods has. Woods doesn't win every tournament either.

A very lame oversight for someone who makes a living writing about sports!
Posted: January 30, 2008 10:46 AM   by Anonymous Bob ryan of the boston globe
Mr. Lang Whitaker, You didnt put alot of work into this piece did you? this is based on pure oponion and it seems your thoughts are....wrong. Lets go down your list.the 3rd baseman has 1 RBI in his last 3 trips to the postseason, not exactely dominant. Nice work trying to out think the room by putting a socer player on your list. I think they are hiring asst. manager at sports authority.
Posted: January 30, 2008 11:00 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Posted: January 30, 2008 11:01 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
No Federer ????
Posted: January 30, 2008 11:04 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
how about marion jones, she rocks!
I'd switch A-Rod with Manny Ramirez. He hasn't put up the numbers that a-rod has but if you look at his numbers the last 10 or so years and especially in the postseason, you see what consistent means. I'm an Angel fan and I KNEW what he was going to do when he crushed a K-rod slider in the playoff series last year. Plus, I would replace Ronaldo with Randy Moss. Moss is a veteran, Ronaldo is still young and unproven. Dam i almost sound like a Boston fan...
Posted: January 30, 2008 12:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tiger is an athlete, and one of the best and easily the most dominant in the world. Golf is a sport, if you disagree than you have nevr walked a course in the heat, and attempted to swing a club.
Posted: January 30, 2008 1:07 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Simply put, to be a dominate athlete, you have to be on top of your sport for a significant amount of time. Roger, yes, but for how long, LeBron, he is not even the best player in the league. Tiger has been dominating the SPORT of golf for 5-7 years, how long has he spent as the #1 player in the world, that should put to rest who the Most Dominate Athlete is, not another active athlete has dominating their respective sport.
Posted: January 30, 2008 1:20 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Devin Hester. Now, before everyone starts flaming this pick, I realize that no one would list him as the best player in football...Brady, Manning, LT are well ahead of him. However, for what he does, there is no one like him. Even when teams kick away from him he still scores. After only his second season he is close to obliterating the previous kick return records which took others 10+ years to achieve.
Posted: January 30, 2008 3:27 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Tennis is too "sophisticated and cultured" for Americans? Really?

Didn't Hingis get banned and ultimately retire because of all that "sophisticated and cultured" coke snorting?

You're telling me a pretty boy hitting a little fuzzy ball back and forth with another poor sap is harder than running for 296 yards against 11 other guys that are trying to kill you? Really?

I guess the American definition of hard is just a tiny bit different than that of the rest of the world.

God Bless America.
Posted: January 30, 2008 5:52 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This argument should be split into team and individual sports; they are apples and oranges. For team sports, no soccer, hockey or baseball player should make the top five, since even the best players can't stand out like Lebron or Randy Moss. Top team sport athletes:

1. Lebron
2. Kobe
3. Brady
4. Duncan
5. Manning

Individual sport athletes:

1. Tiger
2. Phelps
3. Federer
4. Mayweather
5. Jimmy Johnson
Posted: January 30, 2008 7:01 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Unbelievable that you would leave off Michael Phelps and Roger Federer
Posted: January 30, 2008 7:02 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
1. Tiger Woods
2. Roger Federer
3. Ronaldihno
4. Brett Favre
5. Alex Rodriguez
Posted: January 31, 2008 12:05 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
roger federer
tiger woods
michael phelps

tiger would not have made this list without all of his wins, i am assuming and then you put a-rod and lebron on this list.
neither have won anything and a-rod sinks in championship moments. he is probably the biggest reason why the yankees have not even been to a world series since he became a yankee.
tiger and federer are so dominant that every tournament begins not with "Give me a prediction" but rather "Can anyone challenge Tiger" or "Can anyone challenge Roger".
whoever at SI compiled this list needs to go back to high school journalism and start over.
Posted: January 31, 2008 4:38 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger.. effin Federer. What the hell is wrong with some American publications!???
Posted: January 31, 2008 10:07 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I hate him so it pains me to say. Roids or no roids, Barry Bonds DOMINATED baseball for about 4 years. A lot of other people that were on roids couldn't sniff his jock and again I hate him. Phelps, Federer, Lance Armstrong, Shaun White, and I agree with the other guy...Hester all should be considered
Posted: January 31, 2008 6:21 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
This isn't a list, this is a travesty. ROGER FEDERER. MICHAEL PHELPS. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR. SIDNEY CROSBY. How are these guys all missing from the list???
Posted: February 4, 2008 1:10 PM   by Anonymous CW
Roger Federer....enough said.
Posted: February 6, 2008 4:25 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Valentino Rossi - Moto GP world champion.
Posted: February 9, 2008 4:22 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
You have to split it into team sports and individual sports
5. Shaun White
4. Michael Phelps
3. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
2. Roger Federer
1. Tiger Woods

5. Cristiano Ronaldo
4. Roberto Luongo
3. Tom Brady
2. Alex Rodriguez
1. Kobe-I'm sorry all you Lebron freaks but no-one in basketball single handedly dominates like Kobe
Posted: February 9, 2008 10:17 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Roger F'ing Federer. He's either 1 or 2 with Tiger.
Posted: February 10, 2008 3:05 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Your most glaring omission-Roger Federer. That alone totally invalidates this list. The only one that belongs on the list you created is Tiger Woods. Oh yeah, by the way, there are some women athletes in the world as well.
David Wright is HOTT!
We just need to give him time to show the world his full potential
Posted: February 14, 2008 8:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
what kind of list is this?? How can Roger Federer not make your top 5? you seriously need to do your homework...
Posted: February 19, 2008 6:00 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Uh... Roger Federer?? Ever heard of him? Wow.

You can even recycle the arguments used for Tiger and save yourself some work.
Posted: February 19, 2008 10:31 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
What a silly list. How about this.
1. Roger Federer- dominates tennis
2. Kenesia Bekele- World record holder in the 5k and 10k. Won 10 World Cross Country Championships. Has a gold medal in the Olympics. In a bet of Bekele v. the field... nobody takes the bet.
3. Michael Phelp- How many gold medals?
4. Tiger Woods- In a Tiger v. the field bet it is usually 50-50.
5. Alex Rodriguez- dominates baseball
Posted: February 21, 2008 3:26 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
i agree with federer. whoever said mayweather is funny. from a guy who doesnt fight the best 147 fighters in the world and beats smaller or past their prime fighters( hatton, oscar de la hoya) if a boxer is to be included joe calzaghe should be him. he'e beaten the best his division has to offer and he has done so convincingly unlike mayweather (ex: jose luis castillo part 1 and 2). he doesnt duck anyone. when he beats hopkins i hope he finally gets the credit he is long overdue.
Posted: February 21, 2008 6:11 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
whoever thinks Peyton Manning should be up there is obviously smoking something. You say he could throw for 60 touchdowns if he had Brady's weapons? He's had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne for 4 years together. Those arent weapons?
Tiger Woods
Roger Federer
Michael Phelps
Tim Duncan
Alex Rodriguez
Posted: February 25, 2008 12:59 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
this list is ridiculous. michael phelps is the worlds most dominant olympic athlete. He absolutely destroys all competition and nobody even comes close to him. Its a shame that just because swimming isn't exactly one of the most popular sports that he doesn't get the attention he deserves.I would also most definitely put federer in there to, what are you thinking?
Posted: February 25, 2008 7:42 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
ronaldo????? no way bro
obviously you dnt no anythin bout football. hes a choker. he cant step it up against big teams. Messi!!!!!!!!!!! has got to be in the list
#1 phelps
#2 federer
#3 tiger

after that, doesn't matter. lance only won 7 seven because of his teams (yes, cycling is a team sport). a rod is good, but he can be stopped, and is a lot. lebron is overrated. ronaldo is a joke in the soccer world. brady? please.
Posted: May 14, 2008 1:53 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
You are seriously telling me you are leaving Lance "oh, looks like I won another Tour de France with one testicle" Armstrong out?
Posted: May 18, 2008 9:37 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
LeBron is not even the best basketball player! How about Ochoa?
Posted: May 20, 2008 11:32 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
I guess winning championships isn't required for dominance?
Posted: May 20, 2008 12:32 PM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Since 1993, the Chinese Men's team has won every World Team Table Tennis Championship except for one (Sweden - 1997). Since they won their first in 1959, they've won it 16 out of the 24 times the event has been held. I know that's not a single athlete, but for a sport played competitively all over the world, that's some serious dominance. Especially considering that the game wasn't invented in China, making them the only ones playing it (like most American sports).

It's hard to put athletes on team sports in these things because they win or lose based on their team. Bill Russell won 11 championships, but wasn't the best player in the league at any point along the way. Jordan was individually dominant from his rookie year, but he had to win 2 three-peats to cement his GOAT status. He also didn't win until Pippen came along, a basketball great in his own right. Of the current basketball players, only two can lay claim to dominance - Tim Duncan and Shaq (though he is past his prime now). Lebron's too young and Kobe isn't efficient enough. When Shaq played, the defense collapsed on him and he still hit 60% of his shots from the field. Kobe gets the other team's best perimeter guy, but not the whole team's focus. you can put your best guy on him and try to stop everyone else from scoring. You could never do that with Shaq back in the day - they would keep getting it to him and he would keep dunking it, plain and simple. Timmy, can claim dominance because his team has won so many times in the past year. Last night, in a road game seven, the opposing team's crowd was *nervous* about the game - if you can make the home crowd of a top team feel like they're gonna lose even before tip-off because you've got such a reputation for winning, that's dominance. Lebron didn't get that in Boston and Kobe didn't get that in Utah.

Soccer is even harder to find a dominant player - I'm not up on who's good now, but there's 10 other guys on your team that subtract from your responsibility for getting wins. You also need to have been around for awhile, consistently winning big matches. Is C. Ronaldo that good these days? Flopping definitely takes away from a player's dominance, because dominance is something that happens because of your will to win, not because the refs give you undeserved penalty kicks. That's why Manu Ginobili isn't a dominant player, despite his amazing abilities, winning record, and clutch performances. Again, I haven't been able to follow soccer lately, so I could be wrong about C. Ronaldo.

With what Tiger and Federer have done, you need to a "player of the decade" kind of guy to claim dominance in your sport.

I'd put Lance Armstrong up there, but he's retired, so he WAS dominant, but isn't anymore.

LOL about the Undertaker. I can't claim that WWE wrestlers aren't athletes, but they sure aren't competitive ones. When two or however many wrestlers are in the ring, it's a cooperative performance - like Chinese opera. They're all on the same team and nobody wins or loses.

I'm a doubter when it comes to the recent emergence of Marius P. in the world's strongest man competitions. His performance has been electrifying, but there's an S-word that rhymes with "pteroids" sitting in the back of my mind that isn't going away. Sure, I've heard no evidence, but I also don't know how well they police the event in the offseason. I have a hard time believing that a guy can build himself up to look that massive and ripped without hormonal manipulation. Other than that, he doesn't have any of the dimensional advantages that usually put a guy over the top in the sport. He's awesome to watch and his performances have been great, but I had my eye on Clemens years before any of the current stuff came to light, so I trust my instincts and just hope I'm wrong about him. The red flags in my book are "bodybuilder big and lightning fast" and "dominant power player over 35."

Michael Phelps definitely belongs on the list - this is the second Olympics in which he's the guy to beat.

There's got to be women on here - I just don't know enough to pick them.
Posted: August 1, 2008 11:01 AM   by Anonymous Anonymous
Im no self loathing american, but lets be honest, Mr. Whitaker is a country bred hick who has little respect or knowledge of non-traditional American sports. Roger and Phelps should be on this list along with Tiger, no questions asked. Most Olympic athletes specialize in one sport, only because it's their only chance of success, yet Phelps dominates in two strokes, and the IM. Obviously Rogers stats speak for themselves.
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