An interesting article/list that's sure to start online debate on a lazy Sunday morning, Last Word on Sports offers a list of the Top Ten athletes to have never won The Big One.
Most are reasonable choices, but already there is controversy at the inclusion of Mats Sundin over Dale Hawerchuk, for example. Again, the Toronto Maple Leaf factor magnifies the talent and historical relevance of a player out of proportion to his actual standing. Mr. Sundin benefited from a greater rep by playing in Toronto, while Dale Hawerchuk was overshadowed by Wayne Gretzky, Denis Savard, Peter Stasny, and others, and played in smaller media and hockey markets like Winnipeg and Buffalo. I give the nod to Dale Hawerchuk without any reservation, he was much more of a dominant player and deserved a championship even more, if that can be measured.
A word also about Ken Griffey Jr. being on that list. I think he disqualifies himself by being his own worst enemy. If he had kept his mouth shut and played hard in Seattle, he would have had a much better chance to win surrounded by Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner (remember how Frank Costanza rued letting Buhner go?).
I'll always remember Junior's 'deer caught in the headlights' expression at his press conference upon finally landing in Cincy. Classic "What have I done?" pose.
Out here, the American channels we get are from Seattle, and we get a lot of visitors from Seattle as well, and the people were gutted by the defection. I never wished him ill or anything, but I certainly didn't want him to benefit from his boneheadedness, kind of like I wanted LeBron to never win after leaving Cleveland. So it was a shame for Junior to suffer all those injuries that robbed him of the chance to be a once-in-a-lifetime player, but I never felt sorry for him. And I felt his return to Seattle to finish his career was a complete joke.