Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/12/14
Appearing on AskMen.com's list of most influential men is an achievement that should not be taken lightly. With names like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, among others, it's needless to say that appearing on this list is the highest of compliments. But what does it take to appear on such a list? Though much of the list is inhabited by brilliant minds, entrepreneurs and political icons, a select few figures in the world of sports found their way into the Top 49. Some obvious, and others you may not have expected. 44. Tim Tebow: Though Tebow hasn't done much since joining the Jets, the quarterback remains a cultural icon due to his positive attitude as well as his devotion to religion and his family. AskMen.com even took the liberty of commenting on the former Bronco's current playing situation. "Though he's now used as a spare part for the Jets, he could get back on the field if Mark Sanchez keeps turning in lackluster performances." 33. Andy Murray: To put it in short, Murray has become the pride of Great Britain. After a heartbreaking loss at Wimbledon to Roger Federer, Murray was able to win the Olympic gold for singles tennis riding a wave of energy from the crowd. After beating Federer in the gold medal match, Murray continued his magical year by capturing his first grand-slam title ever by winning the U.S open. 32. LeBron James: After being harassed by media and critics alike for the first six years of his career James was able to silence everyone in No. 7, as he won his first NBA title. After a scare against Indiana, and an all-out battle with the Celtics in the conference finals, James and his teammates were able to bring an NBA title back to Miami for the first time since 2006. 14. The Replacement Refs: Nobody ever said that this was the "most beloved" list. The replacement refs took the sports world by storm as they progressively got better at blowing calls in extraordinary fashion. As the weeks rolled on, the replacements only got worse and the NFL finally caved. "The league tasked these guys with policing millionaires, superstars and some of the toughest athletes on the planet. What qualified these men to step in? Experience at the college, high school and middle school level. It's no wonder that there were blown calls and sideshow controversies." 12. Michael Phelps: "The Greatest Olympian in History," has a nice ring to it wouldn't you say? That's the title that Phelps was awarded after he finished his Olympic career in London. Phelps made it crystal clear that his career in the pool was over, but that his athletic career was not. Phelps has taken up golf and a video of him went viral as he sunk a 159-foot putt while golfing overseas. Looks like the sports world hasn't heard his name for the last time. 2. Usain Bolt: The Jamaican sprinter left the world in awe for the second consecutive Olympic games as he won another 100 meter gold medal. Sports fans may never know how fast Bolt really is considering he slows down to be a crowd pleaser at the end. Bolt has rejuvenated his home country as well as the rest of the world as he has truly captured and embraced what it means to be both an Olympian and a champion. Honorable Mention, No. 29 Felix Baumgartner: Though he may not play a sport, Baumgartner is revolutionizing what it means to push the human body to its limits. The dare devil has planned a high-altitude jump from 120,000 feet which would set a new record. The jump was scheduled for early October, but unexpected wind conditions have left it postponed. To view the full list of the 49 most influential men of 2012 -- including a very surprising man at the No. 1 slot -- click here.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks about Eminem referencing her

WATCH: Dwayne Harris dirty hit on Nolan Carroll sparks fight

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.