Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SportsNation [Print without images]

Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Updated: August 8, 5:24 PM ET
SportsNation: Give them props!


What do the 1970 Orioles, Rice Krispy Treats, Jeff Bagwell, the U.S. Postal Service and Canada all have in common? Page 2 says, they are all highly underrated. We gave you our opinion, then opened the floor up to the suggestions of SportsNation. As we expected you shared plenty of people, places and things that have earned your respect -- and deserve some more.

Marvin Harrison
Marvin Harrison
Marvin Harrison
How did you leave him off this list?? He's got numbers superior to Jerry Rice in his first six years, shattered the single-season receiving record, and is a consummate pro. Still, all you talk about is T.O. and Randy Moss.
John Clark
Indianapolis, Ind.


Nutella
Though recently thrust into the spotlight via Kobegate, Nutella has got to be the most underrated spread ever. Wow -- slap some of that stuff on bread and you've got yourself a chocolate donut. Junk food? Hell no -- it's just a sandwich!
Katie
Oshkosh, Wisc.


Organ music at baseball games
Why do we need to hear Gary Glitter for the 8000th time? It's BASEBALL, not pro wrestling. If the organ is good enough for L.A., it's good enough for the rest of the country. I learned "Fly Me to the Moon" when Frank Charles ("at the Wurlitzer organ!") played it at County Stadium when I was nine and the Brewers needed a big hit. He also played "Rockin' Robin" when Yount came to the plate, proving he was at least moderately hip. Frank and his organ are long gone, replaced with the usual canned stuff.
Rich Mueller
Evansville, Ind.


Rod Smith
How about some love for Rod Smith? The guy was an undrafted free agent out of some podunk college in Missouri, and has quietly become one of the best receivers in the NFL. He has two Super Bowl rings, several 1,000-yard receiving seasons, and has become a mentor to the young wide receivers of the Broncos, most notably Ashley Lelie and Chris Cole. The guy never makes excuses, always talks to the media, and plays 110 percent every down of football.
J.R. Humbert
Boulder, Colo.


PAGE 2's UNDERRATED WEEK
A few weeks, we had some fun with overrated athletes and celebs. This week we celebrate the underrated and unappreciated.

  • Jeff Merron: Underrated current athletes
  • Jim Caple's hidden treasures: All-underrated list
  • Underrated teams

    Coming up:
    All-time underrated athletes
    Underrated movies
    Underrated men ... and women
  • Montreal fans
    Expos fans are lambasted for being allegedly bad fans. Canadians fans are consider spoiled because of all those Cups all those years ago. And the best team in town, the team with the highest average attendance per game is the team no one in the U.S. has ever heard of. I refer to last year's Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes, they of over two dozen consecutive home sellouts since leaving the cozy confines of Olympic Stadium, the same Alouettes who packed 57,125 into the Big O for last November's CFL Eastern Conference Final.

    Caple, if you want to see Montreal fans act like angry villagers with torches and show some passion for sports, I'l pick you up at Dorval Airport and take you to Percival Molson Stadium at McGill University. I'll match this crowd against any in the NFL, even Philly.
    Don Thompson
    St. Albans, Vt.


    Boise State
    Most underrated college football program -- Boise State owns this category. Let's see, the single coolest field in sports (blue Astroturf), the country's most prolific offense, beaten media darlings Fresno St. the past two years, a coach that has turned down big-time money to stay around, a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, and because there isn't a major media market within 350 miles, nobody else knows and nobody else cares.
    Bob
    Meridian, Idaho


    Deep Purple
    Most underrated band ever. These guys are the real fathers of heavy metal. Sabbath gets all the credit because Sharon figured out how to make Ozzy a star, but as good as Sabbath was, give me Purple anytime. Legendary live act (everything Zeppelin wished they could be live) that is still creating wonderful new music and touring the world as a relevant headliner today.
    Pat
    Astoria, NY


    McNair
    Steve McNair
    Steve McNair
    If there's one player in the NFL that doesn't get the respect that he deserves, it's McNair. The guy isn't a QB, he's a tank, regularly playing with serious injuries that would sideline mere mortal players for good. In eight years he's had enough injuries to keep the cast of ER busy for an entire season -- chronic turf toe, toe surgeries, back surgery, knee surgeries, a bone spur and infection in his right shoulder, a bruised right clavicle, a bruised right elbow and countless bruised and pulled ribs. Yet week in, week out, he keeps the Titans offense ticking, turning sure-fire sacks into TD passes and pulling off the kind of plays that give defensive coordinators nightmares. What recognition does he get? A measly one Pro-Bowl appearance -- and that was as an alternate. This guy is one of the best QBs in the game, but how often do you hear his name mentioned alongside Favre, Garcia, Manning and Co.?
    Harry Patel
    London, England


    New Zealand
    A totally underrated country. Sorta like Canada is to America, New Zealand is to Australia. Making them an underrated country next to an underrated country!
    James Stone
    Japan


    Medeski Martin & Wood
    Most Underrated Band. You're probably saying, "Who Who & Who?" A very common response when someone is asked if they know this band. Starting out as an acoustic jazz trio, MMW (as they are commonly called) has become a groundbreaking jazz/funk/hip-bop/jam/avant-garde organ trio that is just plain mind boggling. All of their studio albums are amazing, and their live shows are INSANE. They have accumulated an incredible fanbase (mostly neo-hippie jam band fans) and are highly recognized in the music community, but feed off of almost no radio play. I could honestly go on and on. Just pick up one of their CDs, (I highly recommend Combustication, It's a Jungle in Here, or Univisible), and you'll see what I'm talking about!
    Josh Frisch
    Roseland, NJ


    Wendy's
    It's better here.
    Wendy's
    It's open late. The chicken fingers are made of chicken. The Frosty a highly underrated dessert in and of itself. And the mascot is a girl, not a big arch or a burger crown. Come on, where's the love?
    Kyle Garberson
    Alma, MIchigan


    Curtis Martin
    Curtis Martin may be the most underrated player in the NFL. Year in and year out he is one of the best running backs in the game, yet his name hardly mentioned when people discuss the better players in the game. Eight straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons
    Sebastian
    Norwalk, Conn.


    Rafael Palmeiro
    O.K. let me just start by saying that I really dislike the American League, so it takes me to my philosophical limits writing this message. Now with that said there is one player that has received not nearly the respect he deserves. That player is Rafael Palmeiro.

    This is a player that has current career stats of 517 HR, 2728 hits, 1651 RBI, .291 BA, and a .373 OBP. Within the next 2-3 years, if he continues his current rate of offense, he will rate in the top 50 of all time in eight major offensive categories. He is one of four people to average 35+ HR and 100+ RBI in seven consecutive seasons. (Jimmie Foxx, Babe Ruth and Sammy Sosa are the other three.) Within three years on current offensive pace he will have reached three career milestones that anyone with a little baseball knowledge would say are Hall of Fame numbers: 600+ HR, 3000 Hits and 2000 RBI. And we're still questioning whether or not he should be in the Hall??!! C'mon. Give credit where it's due.
    Jason Clark
    Sacramento, Calif.


    NCAA Baseball
    More ping. Less bling.
    NCAA Baseball
    College baseball is very underrated. No salary disputes or strikes, just kids playing the game. Cheap tickets, cheap dogs, and great fun.
    Tom Stuart
    Temple, Texas


    "Serenity Now"
    Most underrated "Seinfeld" episode ever. It gets slighted for being in the final season, post-Larry David, and not being "The Contest," but it might just be the best episode of all.
    Adam Hoff
    Calabasas, Calif.


    Magglio Ordonez
    The fact that Magglio Ordonez didn't make your 'Most Underrated' list only further proves how incredibly underrated he really is. Vernon Wells is a fine player and is quickly morphing into a superstar, but he's only completing his second big league season, and he's done it all with Carlos Delgado hitting behind him in the lineup. Every spring, Maggs can be penciled in for a .300 average, 30 bombs, 110 RBIs, double digit steals, and adequate, if not spectacular, defense in right field. He never gets hurt, never has a bad thing said about him in the papers, and never complains about not getting enough attention. Despite all this, outside of Chicago, he probably wouldn't be recognized while standing in line at McDonald's. If that's not underrated, I don't know what is.
    John M. Crist
    Chicago, Ill.


    Robin
    The Boy Wonder gets no love. Of course there are cracks concerning the extent of his relationship with Batman (so what, you all watch the Real World). Everybody's just jealous of the Dark Knight living in his tripped-out mansion wearing a cape and riding in that swanky car that can even turn into a motorcycle. The guy is always there when he's needed. The ultimate wingman. Plus, sometimes he's ten, other times he's like 20. Danny Almonte?? The boy's abilities seem to be endless.
    John M. Crist
    Chicago, Ill.


    Thursday
    Everybody loves Friday, and the weekend, but what about Thursday? You know Friday is gonna be an easy day, making Thursday the best night to go out. The most skipped day of work/class is Friday -- meaning Thursday is often the start of the weekend. The first round for golf tournaments, the new baseball series, and now often football games fall on Thursday. The day deserves some love.
    Sean McCloskey
    Destrehan, La.


    Gary Player
    Most underrated golfer. He played head to head against the best, Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino, Snead, etc. His record and major wins don't get enough credit. Traveled and played all over the world before it was fashionable. Never complained about the travel, and didn't use a private jet until late in his career. Just about invented cross-training in the 1950's, before anybody else ever thought about it or was even born. He biked, ran, swam, lifted weights, watched his nutrition, etc. He was about 30 years ahead of everyone else. Thats why even today, he performs at a very high level, and has consistently done it for 45 years. He may still be the best sand trap golfer that ever played the game.
    George Press
    North Caldwell, NJ


    Beer in a can
    Underrated beverage: canned beer. What's so big about a bottle?
    Mathew Branh
    Traverse City, Mich.


    Hockey
    Hey, Page2 . . . remember that other sport? You know, the one where really athletic guys play on ice with sticks, while traveling 30 mph on a quarter-inch of rockered steel?
    Kurt
    Norman, Okl.


    County and State Fairs
    Most underrated entertainment -- ever. They're totally unhip, uncool, cornball . . . and liberating. One of the few places you can go and feel like everyone's your friend and neighbor. Be surrounded by the most satisfying and totally unhealthy foods you can find. (Not to mention all those tubetops without inhibition). All this is cancelled out by the massive benefit of simple pleasures. Be a kid again, check one out.
    Aoife Ellis
    Oacoma, SD


    (+/-)
    It's a totally underrated statistic. This hockey stat is a great measure of an individual's offensive and defensive prowess, as well as (to a degree) a player's ability to make his teammates better. Even though most top NBA players play around 40 minutes of a 48-minute game, I can't help but think this stat, applied to basketball, would be a very interesting indication of the impact of a few key role players/reserves.
    Brett R.
    Greenville, SC


    Bobby Abreu
    A former 30/30 guy ... a perennial .300 hitter ... an outstanding outfielder ... a five-tool guy -- what more could you want?
    Dan Duhamell
    Warrensburg, Mo.


    "Wish You Were Here"
    Underrated Pink Floyd album. While "Dark Side of the Moon" was heralded for being on the Billboard 200 charts forever, and "The Wall" is regarded as Pink Floyd's masterpiece, WYWH, with its epic "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", plus its satiric look at show business with "Welcome to the Machine" and "Have a Cigar," should be a staple in any rock CD collection.
    Neil Kerr
    Hastings, Neb.


    Suggested Sports Books
    We received plenty of suggestions for the "most underrated book you've ever read." Here's a sampling:

  • "If I Never Get Back" by Darryl Brock. Baseball, time travel, and Mark Twain.
    Derek LeLash
    Sunnyvale, Calif

  • "Real Grass, Real Heroes" by Dom Dimaggio. Detailing the '41 baseball season.
    josh manning
    Clinton, Ill.

  • "A Season on the Rim." Inside the CBA. For a true NBA junkie, this book is incredible.
    Tim Kraft
    Austin, Texas

  • "The Greatest Game Ever Played" by Mark Frost. Story of Francis Ouimet's victory over Harry Vardon and Ted Ray at 1913 US Open.
    Mark Feldmann
    Roanoke, Va.

  • "Baseball and Men's Lives." Great book about fathers-sons and baseball.
    Eric
    Baltimore, Md.

  • "The Tropic of Hockey." A wonderful book about a man's search for hockey in strange places.
    Mike Walker
    Burlington, Ontario

  • "Life Its Ownself" by Dan Jenkins. Funnier and more polished than "Semi-Tough," with pungent observations on race, education, money, fidelity, and oh yeah, football.
    Tom Kelso
    Chicago, Ill.

  • "The Sweet Season" by Austin Murphy. One of the most storied, yet underrated football programs in the country and their coach -- St. John's University (not New York, but Minnesota).
    Josh Eager
    Apple Valley, Minn.

  • "My Life in Baseball: The True Record" by Ty Cobb. Really old but it's a great book and it might give some people a different view of the 'bad boy' Ty Cobb.
    Andy Herron
    Irvine, Calif.

  • "The Great American Novel" by Philip Roth. I'm the only person I know who's ever heard of it.
    Peter
    Boston, Mass.

  • "Friday Night Lights." If you've ever wanted to know why football and Texas are synonymous, look no further. It starts at an early age, and the epicenter is the Permian Basin.
    Mike
    Champaign, Ill.