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1/25/2008 03:26:00 PM

Top Five Current Hometown Athletes

LeBron James
LeBron James has been giving the people of Ohio thrills for many years.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com

The strangest part about all the Super Bowl hype hasn't been the speculation about Tom Brady's injured foot, but that Tom Brady keeps hanging around New York City. There's a good reason for that, of course, but still, he's hanging around the enemy's home. Not many people seem to care, however, because that's how sports is these days. Players jump around from team to team, city to city, and have friends and homies all over the place. In fact, not many athletes stay with one team anymore, and even fewer have careers in and ties to their hometown (or near their hometown).

Here are my top five current hometown athletes…

1. LeBron James: He's actually from Akron, but it's close enough to Cleveland that everyone considers LeBron a homeboy. Maybe 'Bron can finally erase Cleveland's legacy of losing. Might want to lose the Yankees hat, though.

2. Barry Bonds: Originally from San Mateo, Bonds has spent the last 15 years in San Francisco.

3. Julius Peppers: Born in Wilson, N.C., and he's played his entire college and pro career in North Carolina.

4. Stephon Marbury: From Coney Island, played for the Nets and now plays for the Knicks. Well, technically he's on the Knicks.

5. Ken Griffey Jr.: Despite frequent trade rumors and a propensity to get injured doing even the most mundane things, the Cincy native has spent nearly the last decade playing for the Reds.

Who are your favorite current hometown athletes? 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 | Add a comment
1/23/2008 12:11:00 PM

Our Favorite Super Bowls

Scott Norwood
Scott Norwood's missed field goal gave the Giants an improbable win in Super Bowl XXV.
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
By Jimmy Traina, SI.com

More times than not, Super Bowl Sunday ends up being a huge letdown. Sure, the party is usually fun and the food and drink is always good and those boxes provide entertainment, but the game usually falls flat. A few "Big Games," however, will always stick out in my mind. Here are my favorite Super Bowls of all time. These aren't the best ones or the most exciting ones, but the ones that I remember fondly. When you're done reading my list, be sure to send in yours.

1. Giants 20, Bills 19 -- Super Bowl XXV: The high-powered Bills were expected to roll but the Giants played the ball-control game to perfection. And then things ended with wide right.

2. Patriots 20, Rams 17 -- Super Bowl XXXVI: Like the Giants-Bills Super Bowl, this matchup featured a high-octane offense, known as "The Greatest Show on Turf," and a team that wasn't expected to stay close. But that wasn't the case, and legend of Tom Brady, who orchestrated an efficient drive that resulted in a game-winning field goal at the buzzer, was born.

3. Niners 20, Bengals 16 -- Super Bowl XXIII: Speaking of legendary quarterbacks and memorable drives, Joe Montana showed why many people consider him the best QB of all time. One of the great stories about this game came out afterward. Right before the 92-yard game-winning drive, Montana got in the huddle and pointed out John Candy in the stands to his teammates.

4. Bears 46, Patriots 10 -- Super Bowl XX: The game was a blowout, but the is the first Super Bowl that we can remember getting built up by the hype machine thanks to the Bear's Shuffling Crew. It also featured one of the greatest defense's of all time, Jim McMahon's newsworthy headbands and William "The Refrigerator" Perry running the ball.

5. Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21 -- Super Bowl XXXVIII: We're sure nobody but Bucs fans care about this game, but we'll always remember it for one reason: Our good friend PT made 12 proposition bets on this game. He went 0-12. Seriously.

Those are my favorite Super Bowls. What are yours, and why?
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