Who are the greatest alliterative athletes by letter? Australian native and frequent SI.com reader Cam Bennett found himself pondering that question in 2010 after reading SI's list of the best players by number. He published his original list on his blog that year and filled in a few missing letters after consulting with SI.com's editors. In the leadoff spot in the gallery below, Andre Agassi—as alliterative an athlete as any.
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Who are the greatest alliterative athletes by letter? Australian native and frequent SI.com reader Cam Bennett found himself pondering that question after reading SI's list of the best players by number. He published his original list on his blog (click the link on the last frame to weigh in) and filled in a few missing letters after consulting with SI.com's editors. In the leadoff spot, Andre Agassi -- as alliterative an athlete as any.
Photo: Caryn Levy/SI; Mary Schilpp/CLP
Firstly, the drugs controversy surrounding Barry Bonds means he is removed from the discussion before it even begins. And one feels for Boris Becker, who isn't even the best BB from his own sport as Bjorn Borg's 11 Slams (from 27 attempts, with a record 89.8% winning record in Slam matches) beats Boris hands down in my book. Arguably though, Borg sits only second or third on the list of BB's. He joins Bob Beamon -- whose long jump world record lasted 23 years -- as perhaps the unluckiest in the whole alphabet not to score a win. But Blair won five gold medals in speed skating, including three in the same event, across four Olympics. She didn't just break world records, she smashed them... and won Olympic events with record margins.
Photo: Heinz Kluetmeier, Manny Millan/SI
Sure, he may have changed his name from CC to MA after his first title fight, meaning that most of his career happened in a non-alliterative sense. However, other contenders -- from Chris Chelios' mammoth NHL career to Argentinian Claudio Caniggia's World Cup heroics - still aren't enough to knock out The Greatest.
Photo: Neil Leifer, Tony Triolo/SI
Beating former top ranked golfer David Duval, Drogba's continued success with Chelsea during their club's greatest era gives him the nod here. Coming from the Ivory Coast gives him extra points here too.
Photo: Bob Martin/SI
Fights off stiff competition from alliteratively nicknamed legends Eddie the Eagle and Eric the Eel. The South African becomes the second leg in an African trifecta, as...
Photo: David Walberg/SI
The world champion sprinter and four-time Olympic silver medalist wasn't just a brilliant athlete, he is also Namibia's only Olympic medalist.
Photo: Walter Iooss Jr./SI
One of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time, Gervin should feel lucky here to have ousted a man who holds the record for having played the most rugby union test matches in Aussie half-back George Gregan and the man who shares in the highest-scoring-partnership over the course of a test cricket career in West Indian opening bastman Gordon Greenidge.
Photo: Andy Hayt/SI
So do captain/coaches count on my team? Sixteen Davis Cup wins say they absolutely should here. And besides, it's about time we had an Aussie on the list.
Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images
Bulgarian weightlifter who scored gold in Barcelona. That being said, one struggles for II athletes about as much as Mr. Ivanov's parents did for an original first name for their son.
Photo: David Leah/Getty Images
Sports Illustrated rated her the best female athlete of the 20th Century.
Photo: Ronald C. Modra, Peter Read Miller/SI
The only person to have won Olympic gold medals in both indoor and beach volleyball.
Photo: Jim Gund/SI
A shame, as we Aussies dislike her so, but she is a four-time Olympic gold medalist and a three-time WNBA MVP.
Photo: John Biever, Robert Beck/SI
Right up there with the BB's as the most competitive letter in my book, but Mantle just takes this one.
Photo: John G. Zimmerman, George Silk/SI
Six-time Pro Bowl selection on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys.
Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
A late addition to the team, knocking out Oleg Ogorodov, a Uzbek tennis player once ranked 101st in the World. Double O compiled a 108-71 record with the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs in the early 1900s. He won 23 games in 1907, second in the NL to only Christy Mathewson (24).
Photo: Chicago History Museum/Getty Images
Whether or not he wins another championship with the Celtics this season.
Photo: Damian Strohmeyer/SI
The youngest on the list at 23, the Singaporean golfer appropriately went to Q-school to qualify for this year's Asian tour.
Photo: Stanley Chou/Getty Images
So West Indian cricketer Malcolm Marshall missed out in the M category, but this West Indian great scores a spot on my team, even though the U.S. crowd can suggest the likes of Ray Rice, Rex Ryan and others. (For those who favor one of the greatest boxers of all time, let me remind you that Sugar Ray Robinson's real name was Walter Smith Jr.)
Photo: Bob Thomas/Getty Images
How does one compare a golfer at his peak in the '40s and '50s to Stephen Silvagni, the AFL fullback of the century? Or with record-breaking NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe? Such is the ridiculousness of this and so many similar lists -- naming the greatest players by number for example. The only sure thing is that Summer Sanders is the best looking alliterative sports person in history.
Photo: Hy Peskin/SI
The man who started a Super Bowl a little late because he couldn't find his helmet. Fair running back, mind.
Photo: John Biever/SI
The only player in Major League history with the initials UU may now be sitting in a Venezualan jail for attempted murder, but in his former life he won a World Series with the Marlins and was a two-time All-Star.
Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images
In my original blog post, Vladimir Vasin, a diving gold medallist from Russia, defeated former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Vladimir Voltchkov in this spot. But what's not to like about Vincent Vittoz (pictured) -- a cross country skier from France who has won seven World Cup individual events and competed in the last four Winter Olympics.
Photo: Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images
Willie Wood? Willie Wilson? Willie Wise? Walt Weiss? I went with the Patriots receiver, who has led the NFL in receptions in two of the past three seasons, becoming the first player in history to receive 110 passes in three consecutive years. He joins Drogba, Els, Pierce, Quek and Vittoz as one of six members of the list who are still active.
Photo: Damian Strohmeyer/SI
A two-time badminton world champion (2005, 2006) and silver medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Xie Xingfang is extra special.
Photo: Bob Rosato/SI
Yang Yang (A)
China comes to the party again, with a second consecutive obscure letter -- Yang Yang (A) was a more successful short track speedskater than her colleague Yang Yang (S). She was a two-time gold medalist.
Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP, Clive Mason/Getty Images
Who better to finish the list than the head-butting and World Cup-winning footballer? How would you adjust the list? Click here to comment on Bennett's blog.
Photo: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images