The quality of the UCLA Spirit Squad cannot be exaggerated, but when it comes to trojans in the NFL, several of them are vastly overrated, according to all the guys who play with and against them; Sanchez and Bush are near the top of the list
When a College team stacks the deck with Steroids, illegal benefits, cash incentives, dirty play, and manipulation of Officials, the players can end up looking a lot better than they really are. That would explain why so many trojans get drafted and then fail miserably to live up to the hype. The most obvious case in point is Matt Leinart, who can’t shed clipboard-holding duties in the Pro’s. Many other trojans make NFL rosters, then epic-ly fail to meet expectations, like John David Booty, LenDale White, Joe McKnight, Chauncey Washington, Taylor Mays, Damian Williams, Curtis Conway, Dwayne Jarrett, Mike Williams, and Marc Tyler, just to name a few.
But some of them become starters, and get plenty of playing time, and lots of credit… that they apparently don’t deserve. Sports Illustrated just released a poll, voted on by current NFL players, that lists the 20 Most Overrated Players in the League, and trojans landed in positions #2, #6, and #17. First of all, to show that the poll is legit, #1 is Tim Tebow, the genuflecting QB who can’t even beat out lackluster Mark Sanchez for the starting gig for the Jets. And guess who is #2 — That’s right: Mark Sanchez. Half the back-ups in the League could outplay Sanchez and make the Jets an instant contender. But with Sanchez at the helm, they keep underachieving, like in today’s 30-9 loss to the Dolphins.
Sanchez threw 26 incompletions and an interception, and got completely out-performed by ex-Bruin Matt Moore, who was pressed into service as Miami’s QB. With very little help from Miami RB Reggie Bush, Moore led the Dolphins to the easy upset victory, IN New York. And speaking of Bush, guess who is #6 on the Most Overrated List? That’s right, it’s Reggie “No Heisman” Bush. Reggie has a good game every now and then, but he has been in the League for a long time now, and just never came close to realizing all the potential he showed during all those games at u$c that the trojans had to VACATE because Reggie the Cheat was ineligible.
Sanchez and Bush were shoo-ins for this list. But here’s the big trojan shocker: At #17 comes Pittsburgh’s Shampoo Boy, Troy Polamalu. I would have expected to see him maybe on a Dirtiest Player list, but he has earned his All-Pro status over the years, and is likely headed to the Hall of Fame pretty soon. So why do his peers think he is overrated? My guess is that his skills have deteriorated over the years, so that the Polamalu of 2012 is overrated, as people still think of the 2004 Polamalu, and don’t realize how far he has fallen since then.
This poll has grabbed a lot of attention recently, so not to be outdone, the wildly overrated website Bleacher Report also put out a list. They focused on the NBA, trying to determine the 50 MOST WORTHLESS players in Pro Basketball. And guess what? A trojan made THAT list too: Goofy redhead Brian Scalabrine, who was somehow still taking up bench space for the Chicago Bulls last year before just recently retiring. Considering that there were only about 4 sc players in the League, that means about 25% of them were worthless. The Bruins have about three times as many palyers in the NBA, and all of them contribute to their teams, so not one of them was selected for this dis-honor. Two Bruins will be playing locally this year, as the Clippers have signed both Ryan Hollins and Matt Barnes to this year’s squad. The Lakers will be Bruin-less for the first time in recent memory, unless you count Kareem’s new statue that is about to be unveiled in front of the Staples Center next month.
Speaking of Bruins with World Championships, congratulations go out to Bruin Brandon Crawford, whose San Francisco Giants just swept Detroit to take the 2012 World Series. Too bad he has to share the champagne with ex-trojan Barry Zito, who was the most overrated, overpayed player in MLB history for his first years in San Francisco, not even making the Postseason roster the last time the Giants won it all. But he finally found his groove again this September (Steroids, anyone?), and helped Frisco pull it off again. He was the reason I was rooting for the Tigers… At least he helped a Bruin get a Ring.
Speaking of rings, here are 40 more photos of the UCLA Cheerleaders, and if any of them are your girlfriends, I suggest you quickly, as Beyonce would say, “put a ring on it.” Don’t forget to click on the horizontal pictures, to expand/zoom in.