Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/11/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rob Gronkowski’s younger brother, Glenn, trying to make NFL as fullback

Michael Bennett fined over $17K for nasty hit on Alex Smith

Cam Cameron battling prostate cancer

RG3 to be held out 1-2 weeks after doctor changes mind

LA Kings offer Peter Budaj a professional tryout

Carlos Boozer hoping roster spot opens on playoff team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Starting EJ Manuel not a bad idea for Bills’ third preseason game

Tim Beckman fired by Illinois amid mistreatment allegations

Chip Kelly reveals thought process behind Bradford trade

Charles Barkley on ex-agent: ‘I’d blow his damn brains out’

Bryce Harper doesn’t seem to care if Nationals make playoffs

Could the Spurs backups make playoffs in the east?

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

Jonathan Kraft: Patriots haven’t apologized to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Ballmer declines $60M/yr TV deal, could start streaming

Nationals forced to re-issue massive bobblehead order

Jay Gruden would like the media to stop calling him fat

Spieth: Could new irons be reason for missed cut at Barclays?

The Opening Drive: Where have all the great UM tailbacks gone?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Andy Reid perfect play: 'That’s like a good cheeseburger'

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Boston Red Sox

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The WWE Divas Revolution is getting ugly

The NFL’s season kickoff isn’t going as planned, but plans don’t matter in the NFL

The Opening Drive: What happened to all the great Michigan tailbacks?

The 1980s Lakers represent the NBA’s ultimate creation story

The Orioles’ frustrating season

Five greatest NBA players of all-time

Finding signs of life for the Red Sox

10 NFL players set for down seasons in 2015

Why NFL preseason games matter

August's winners and losers in sports

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker