Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rangers' Greats Remembered

WFAN: Top 20 Sports Celebrities of the Last 20 Years Poll
New York radio station WFAN (Sports Radio 66), 660 AM, ran a Top 20 Sports Celebrities of the Last 20 Years Poll and contest. Former New York Rangers, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, and Mike Richter were voted in by the station's listeners. All three players were instrumental in the 1994 Stanley Cup victory. Messier getting voted to number two is a welcome surprise. Also having Mike Richter ahead of Bernie Williams and just behind A-Rod has to be considered an "upset" of sorts. Mike Francesa and Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo had a special edition of their afternoon radio show to announce the list on November 1st.
#1 Derek Jeter
#2 Mark Messier -- Mark Messier talks with Mike Francesa and Christopher "Mad Dog" Russo.

#3 Lawrence Taylor
#4 Joe Torre
#5 Patrick Ewing
#6 George Steinbrenner
#7 Mariano Rivera
#8 Bill Parcells
#9 Mike Piazza
#10 Don Mattingly
#11 Phil Simms
#12 Dwight Gooden
#13 Martin Brodeur
#14 Brian Leetch -- Brian Leetch talks with Francesa & Russo.

#15 Darryl Strawberry
#16 Wellington Mara
#17 Curtis Martin
#18 Alex Rodriguez
#19 Mike Richter -- Mike Richter talks with Francesa & Russo.

#20 Bernie Williams
Home News Tribune (NJ) reporter and NY Mets fan Steve Feitl was a voter who put Roger Clemens first - "he was part of one of the biggest stories in New York sports history with Mike Piazza and he did win championships here. Huge star power." Steve put Brian Leetch at number 4, and Mark Messier at number 7. He also "nixed the great players who didn’t transcend into celebrities of their own, meaning Martin Brodeur, Curtis Martin, Mike Richter, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams all didn’t make my list."

Based on the final list, estimates of Clemens "star power" in New York might be slightly exaggerated.

Note that four of the twenty celebrities, or 20%, are hockey players. It's funny, but WFAN probably spends 2% or less of their air time on hockey. Something is out of wack.

Interestingly, Francesa & Russo spoke with Joe Torre about 2:30 pm to discuss his selection for the list and he told them there was no deal with the LA Dodgers. Torre also said he was going away today in order to attend a family wedding over the weekend, so any deal might have to wait until next week. About two hours latter while they were still on the air, Russo and Francesa had the news that Torre had worked out a deal to manage the Dodgers.

Regarding the Dodgers, before he was hired Torre told WFAN: "As a kid growing up, you didn't like them.'' He also said, "as a player, to me the Dodgers were the Yankees of the National League because ... you either loved them or you hated them.''

WFAN: Top 20 NY Sports Celebrities

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