10 Athletes Who Might Not Be Total Douchebags
5. Derek Jeter
I feel pretty safe about branding Derek Jeter the George Clooney of the sporting world. Despite being a fixture in the tumultuous Manhattan tabloid world, Derek Jeter has managed to live like a confirmed bachelor since his rookie year for the Yanks without so much as scratch to his reputation. Further, as steroid discussions continue to run rampant (especially among the Yanks), his name is never bandied about, which sadly, counts for something these days. Add these qualities to the fact that he continues to quietly be one of the best clutch hitters in baseball, and you’ve got a player that carries the total package with a level of dignity and class that isn’t seen too often, especially in the world of sports.
4. Tim Duncan
The most boring man alive? Maybe, what makes him so boring is what makes him the anti-douche. When asked if he had any vices, he once told a reporter that he has a fondness for video games. That’s the level of dorkiness that we’re dealing with here, people. Being a dork has its advantages though, as Duncan has been honored with the St. Croix Medal of Honor for his philanthropy, which is something that Ben Roethlisberger probably won’t be receiving any time in the near future. Duncan may not be exciting, but if exciting means you’re more like Dennis Rodman, I’ll take Duncan any day of the week.
3. Baron Davis
Growing up in South Central and playing not far from home at UCLA, Baron Davis certainly could have fallen into the thug mentality that is fostered by so many athletes, but Baron Davis has channeled his pursuits elsewhere, most notably an interest and activity in the entertainment industry. For a while, he was even blogging fairly thoughtful movie reviews on the NBA website. While many athletes are hitting members of thief entourage with bottles at strip clubs or texting photos of their junk, Mr. Davis is thoughtfully deconstructing the context of Inception. Kind of refreshing.
2. Roger Federer
By all accounts, Federer shouldn’t be on this list. He’s widely considered the best tennis player of all-time, he’s good-looking, he’s young, and he’s European. That’s a pretty foolproof recipe for garnering the disdain of many Americans. However, Federer handles himself with such class on and off the court that it’s hard not to like the guy. Beyond that, his charitable efforts are virtually unrivaled in the sports world, having been a vocal advocate for relief funds for natural disasters ranging from Katrina to 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake to the more recent Haiti earthquake. Further, his list of endorsements reads like something James Bond’s PR team would set up, pimping out Mercedes, NetJets, Rolex, and several other Swiss luxury brands. Against all odds, Federer has seem to kept his head, and a Tiger Woods-like meltdown seems unlikely given his graces.
1. Lance Armstrong
He might not be the world’s most recognizable athlete, but he’s pretty damn close. When someone achieves that station, it’s hard to believe that they are still a regular person, but Lance Armstrong has done that throughout his career, beating cancer, wining the Tour de France year after year after year, dating Sheryl Crow, and hanging out with Matthew McConaughey. Not only is his professional life the stuff of legends, but his personal and social lives are probably the envy of most men as well. Add to that the fact that his “LiveStrong” campaign against cancer is one of the most successful marketing campaigns of for any cause or product ever, and you’ve got a guy who has been in the public eye for over a decade with no missteps and a pretty bad ass reputation.