Monday, December 25, 2006

The Best of Funky in Sports

In honor of James Brown, the funk legend who passed away early this morning, I've decided to put together a list of the funkiest, most colorful individuals, items, and institutions in sports history. I'm bound to forget somebody or something, so let me know if you think there are any glaring omissions. The following however, are my favorites:

Funkiest Player: Walt "Clyde" Frazier. One of the most stylish players in NBA history earned his nickname due to the movie Bonnie and Clyde in honor of the outlaw Clyde Barrow. Add the combination of an elegant but timeless style of play with his untamed 70's facial hair, and you've got funky.

Funkiest Name: World B. Free. Originally named Lloyd, you couldn't get a more perfect stage name for a man with his surname and career during the NBA's most colorful period, the 1970's. With his flashy playing style and his flamboyant dress off the court, he has always seemed to live up to his name.

Funkiest Owner: Al Davis. You want to talk about an outlaw, a non-conformist, a man who flies in the face of seeming logic, here's your man. He's had both successes and failures during his tenure as face of the Raiders, but no matter what, he'll stay true to his philosophy - a commitment to the vertical
passing game and an intense hatred for the Denver Broncos. The silver and black leisure suits he wears are just the cherry on top.

Funkiest Stadium: Fenway Park. Yeah, you don't usually put funky and Boston in the same sentence, but you can't deny the quirks that make Fenway one-of-a-kind. Whether it be the Green Monster turning a sure home run into a long single or double turning into a triple because the visiting outfielder can't handle the the angles of the outfield barriers, the park is something of a 10th man, playing a role in the outcome of the game.

Funkiest Uniform: Houston Astros' Rainbow Uniforms. You look at this uniform and you do one of two things: Either you puke with disgust, or you visit your local retro uniform retailer and make plans to get one of your own. There is no middle ground on a uni like this.

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