What State Produces The Best Athletes? Wait For It… Alabama

Ask any coach or sports writer in the country and 90% of them will say, the best blue-chip athletes come from California, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Jersey. This has been the conventional school of thought for decades. But to quote Lee Corso, from College Football GameDay. “Not so fast, my friend.”  This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to attend the state of Alabama’s Sports Hall of Fame Dinner. The Talent level that has come out of “Bama” is 2nd to none.

Some of the Hall of Fame Inductees.

Johnny Davis:

From 1974-1977 Davis started in Bear Bryant’s wishbone offense. Davis became the first fullback in school history to lead the Crimson Tide in rushing for three consecutive seasons. That is an amazing accomplishment considering their backfield consisted of three running backs every game. Davis earned All-American honors and All-SEC honors. Davis played 10 years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Browns. Davis won a Super Bowl ring with the San Francisco 49ers.

Best line of his Hall of Fame Speech:

I wanted to play football, but my mom wouldn’t let me. She said, “The only way you get to play football is if you learn how to play the piano. There weren’t a lot of boys in my neighborhood playing piano.”

(Johnny became a legendary pianist who plays in his church almost every Sunday.)

Terrell Owens:

The former Tennessee- Chattanooga star and NFL Hall of Fame player has a list of accomplishments a mile long. Owns played in 219 NFL Games, had 1,078 receptions, 15,934 yards and 153 TD’s. He is the only wide receiver in the history of the NFL to have a touchdown reception against every NFL Team.

Best line of his Hall of Fame Speech:

They say behind every great man is a great woman. My grandmother and mother were everything to me and they made me great by instilling values and work ethic. I never have gotten in trouble off the field and its because of their up the way they brought me up.

Dabo Swinney:

Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney is interviewed while holding the trophy after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

(According to Sports Nation)

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made history with his team’s 35-31 win over Alabama in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship.

Swinney became just the second person to have won an Associated Press national championship as a player and coach. Swinney was a wide receiver on the 1992 Alabama team that won an AP national championship.

Swinney joined former Oklahoma coach Bud Wilkinson, who played on Minnesota’s AP title-winning team in the 1930s and later coached the Sooners to three national titles in the 1950s, as the only other player/coach to accomplish such a feat.

Best line of his Hall of Fame Speech:

Alabama football has gotten so good, has gotten so dominant, that when you beat them now, they have no choice but to put you in the Hall of Fame.

After the dinner, I walked over to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. I was blown away at the talent, that has come out of Alabama.

Not only was this hall of fame filled with a plethora of professional athletes, it is literally the best of the best.

Some of the previous inductees:

Joe Namath (New York Jets Quarterback).

Ken Stabler (Oakland Raiders Quarterback).

Tim Hudson (Oakland A’s, Atlanta Braves and San Francisco 49ers Pitcher).

Satchel Paige (Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Kansas City Athletics, Pitcher).

Frank Thomas (Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A’s 1st baseman and designated hitter).

Evander Holyfield (Only boxer to ever hold the undisputed Cruiserweight and Heavyweight Title)

ESPN’s list of the “Top 100 Athletes of the Century,”…5 of the top 15 are in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame

Jesse Owens, Hank Aaron, Joe Louis, Willie Mays and Carl Lewis

In 2017, GQ Magazine released its list of “The 50 Greatest Living Athletes”… 5 of the top 50 are in the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Bo Jackson, Carl Lewis, Willie Mays, Mia Hamm, Hank Aaron

If you look at this list above, you have two of the greatest Olympians of all-time in Owens and Lewis and may be the greatest athlete of all-time in Bo Jackson.

There are two members in the ASHOF that aren’t listed above.

Derrick Thomas, (Linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs):

Most NFL experts will say Lawrence Taylor is the greatest linebacker to ever play the game. But, for my money, Thomas was the best I have ever seen. Thomas played 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.

If you were to build the perfect linebacker in a laboratory, Thomas would be the end result. He had the rare combination of speed, power and competitiveness.

  • 9 Time Pro- Bowl Selection
  • 1990s NFL All-Decade Team
  • 642 tackles and 126.5 sacks.

On January, 23,2000 Thomas died in an automobile accident. His life was tragically cut short, but he will always be remembered.

Charles Barkley, (Power Forward for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets):

Other than Tim Duncan, Barkley was the greatest power forward to ever play the game. He was an 11-time All-Star who had a career average of 22.1 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists. The man they once called, “The round mound of rebound” played with such passion and desire. He was named as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players.

Nationally, the State of Alabama doesn’t get the recognition it deserves for producing some of the greatest athletes of all-time. If you don’t know… now you know!

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About Monte Perez 478 Articles
I am a former AAU and College basketball coach as well as a Former Stand Up Comedian. Over the past three years, I have written over 600 articles for numerous websites. I am the former host of The Monte Cristo Sports Thing on WRNJ radio in New Jersey. I am now the host/producer of The Full Monte Sports Show live on Youtube Sunday's at 11 AM and Tuesday at 9 PM Over the past 3 years I have been a featured guest or host on over 300 radio shows and podcasts. For bookings send emails to Monteinsidesports@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter MonteJP231
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