If you’re anything like me (which is a shame, in many, many regards), you’ve been horribly annoyed at the “Doppleganger Week” thing that’s spread on Facebook. Does anyone care that I bare a resemblance to a chubby Alton Brown or a skinny Drew Carey? I think not. What I do care about are long, convoluted comparisons between two things that can easily be led into by a stupid meme. So I’ve decided to compile a list of sports dopplegangers. (Note: None of these guys look anything like each other. It’s more of a spiritual doppleganger thing. Don’t believe me? Read the first one.) And if you don’t like that gimmick, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and these pairings would totally take each other behind the middle school and get themselves pregnant.
Tim Duncan, Sidney Crosby- I like to think of myself as a sane Penguins fan. To that end, the biggest similarity between these two is the “Aw, come ON ref!” face- though Crosby looks more whiny doing it (because he will always look 18) and Duncan looks like his eyes are going to pop out of his head (give it time, it’ll get there). Also, I think both players will struggle to be properly evaluated. Duncan has been too consistent to be notable, he’s just always really good at what he does. Meanwhile, Crosby vacillates between wildly overrated and so-overrated-he’s-underrated, neither of which are accurate. Both players don’t get a ton of the national spotlight- Duncan because he’s not a guard/in San Antonio; Crosby because he plays hockey. Perhaps most importantly, they’re both incredibly boring. Duncan makes oatmeal seem edgy. Crosby gives enough canned answers that Nicolas Appert’s family demands royalties. Selfishly, I hope Crosby can match Duncan ring-for-ring, if only so he can jam them in his ears and not have to listen to the “CINDY CRYSBY I CALL HIM ROSBY BECUZ HE DOSNT DERSERVE THE C!” crowd.
Dan Marino, Patrick Ewing- Two guys that never won a championship, were vastly overrated and consistently outclassed by peers in the same sport. For Ewing, he was another one that would never be able to live up to the expectations that were placed on him…and spent his career getting owned by MJ/Hakeem when it counted. Marino broke every record in the book, but the one that mattered…was 8-10 in the playoffs. He never beat Jim Kelly or Joe Montana (or, more accurately, the teams on which they played) in the games that mattered most. You can blame the supporting cast in both instances- it’s a veritable Who’s Who of…Who?- but for how long both of them played their respective sports, anyone that good should have won a title.
Martin Brodeur, Tim Tebow- Filing this under “Systems, Products of “. Let’s face it, certain opinions aside, Tim Tebow is a very good college quarterback…that just happened to play in the perfect offense for him. If the Senior Bowl is any indication, he’s going to have some serious growing pains on the next level, and possibly won’t shake out. But those that have deified him as the Greatest College Football Player of All Time need to get some perspective- if he was *that* good, there’s no way he would have stayed for that senior season. He stayed because there’s a very real chance of failure outside of Urban Meyer’s system- and there’s no biblical passage advising on center-quarterback exchanges. Brodeur is similar- most shutouts in NHL history, yada yada yada. But how much of Uncle Daddy was a result of the Devils neutral zone trap? This was something that got so bad that the league had to redo rules to make sure offense still existed. Brodeur is a talented goalie, but a toddler waving a traffic cone could have managed a shutout or three in that system. So, Tebow/Brodeur, Bo/Roy you ain’t.
Danica Patrick/Michelle Wie- Both are victims of a media hype machine that’s existed since roughly the time Title IX came to be. Here’s the girls that are finally going to beat the boys!…or not. At least in Danica’s case, it’s not really a sport where any gender difference is really a help. Regardless, she’s been wonderfully mediocre, but due to her attention grabbing skills for being a female “athlete” and being moderately attractive she’ll continue to fail upward to NASCAR. If her and Lane Kiffin reproduced, the kid would become President and run the place like Isiah Thomas ran the CBA. Michelle seems to be a mixture of overhype and youth. Either way, both Wie and Patrick have won once in their professional careers. Yawn.
Frank Reich/Scottie Pippen- Two perfect second bananas. Pippen’s exploits are pretty well documented, Reich sometimes gets a little lost in the ether. The biggest comeback in playoff history came with Reich at the helm, due to an injury to Jim Kelly the week before. Reich was about the most perfect backup QB you could ask for, dependable and content. Both Pippen and Reich could have left their situations and gone to another team (with less overall success) but were happy with their roles, and benefited greatly.
Greg Oden/Robert Parrish- I’m just convinced that both of these guys had their emotions removed like that episode of ‘Fairly Oddparents’. “How do you feel?” “I do not.”
Ray Lewis/OJ Simpson- Allegedly!
Tiger Woods/Wilt Chamberlain- Mmm…tastes like month-old Cheeto…
Tom Brady/Larry Bird- Both worshiped in Boston, both very good at what they do/did…and both very, very white. You really have to wonder what the adoration level would be if you swapped them with Magic/McNabb (McNabb isn’t a perfect fit, but finding an appropriate QB is failing me). It would be an interesting experiment, to say the least.
Coach K/Joe Paterno- Hear me out. Penn State football and Duke basketball both have what are basically coaches for life. They are consistently (’01-’04 NEVER HAPPENED OK?) good, they’re both classy guys as best I can tell, and their players have uneven results at the next level. The biggest reason for the last one is that I don’t think either coach uses their program as a professional prep program. They design their team to be a) good at the sport they play- and at the level they play- and b) solid citizens. Sometimes the second of those two doesn’t totally work- calm down, Outside the Lines- but it is, at least, the intention. They’re like the anti-Lane Kiffin/John Calipari tandem. If you think about Duke and PSU, those two are the names that come to mind. And Bobby Bowden can get bent.
Emmitt Smith/Shannon Sharpe- Because they made my English teacher cry.
Additions welcome below, kids. Criticism, of course, will make me cry, and it’s February so it’ll just be little ice cubes coming out of my eyes CAN YOU LIVE WITH THAT?