Page 2's American Sports Idol
By Dan Shanoff and Kevin Jackson
Page 2

It's not enough anymore to stick a couple of youngsters in an apartment or on a wild island and call it reality television. Now, it's about singing for your supper -- if not superstardom.

Simon Cowell
For those who guiltily sneak a peek, the talent search "American Idol" has been less about finding the next Britney or Backstreet Boy as it has been a showcase for the stinging critiques from judge Simon Cowell. Simon says what you'd like to -- but are too polite to actually tell someone.

So, what would happen if Sneering Simon took a look at the candidates for "American Sports Idol"? Page 2 hazards a guess at the process -- and gives you, America, the Chance to Vote!!!

Kobe Bryant

Display of Talent: Posterizing poor Richard Jefferson, then flexing his right bicep while pointing at it with his left hand and muttering in Italian -- all while grimacing at the apparent problems he had with his shoes.

Simon Says: "Your teammates hate you, you know that, right? You live in the shadow of Shaq, and Jerry West can't bail you out for a few more seasons. And, yes, those shoes you wore were terrible-looking."

LeBron James

Display of Talent: Stringing along shoe companies, while logging frequent-flyer miles shuttling between the Nike high-school summer basketball camp in Indianapolis and the adidas high-school summer hoops showcase in New Jersey -- all while sporting a T-shirt that reads "King James 23."

Simon Says: "Hmm. So good you couldn't even win your own state title last year? Very impressive. It's a little too early to be preening like an NBA prima donna."

Shaquille O'Neal

Display of Talent: Rapping (remember "Shaq-Fu"?), acting (remember "Blue Chips," "Kazaam," and "Steel"?) and moonlighting as a cop-in-training (we want to see him in a guest spot on "NYPD Blue").

Simon Says: "No one wants to wear your jersey because no one can relate to you. And let's hope you have more talent as a police officer than as an actor, because Shaquille O'Livier, you are not. And one other thing: Your rapping sounds as dreadful as Chilean Karaoke."

Derek Jeter

Display of Talent: Dating hotties, serving as guest host of "Saturday Night Live" and pointing at drunks in the bleachers who chant his name.

Simon Says: "If you were on the Devil Rays, no one would know who you are. And Jeremy Giambi was safe, by the way."

Randy Moss

Display of Talent: Demanding an oversized contract, then dogging his effort on most plays during games. Spectacular touchdowns come every so often.

Simon Says: "I'm going to give you an effort on three out of every 10 words in this message. No wonder Red McCombs is trying to sell the team. If you were to win this contest, it would be a disaster."

Landon Donovan

Display of Talent: Plays soccer in two countries, carries hope of U.S. soccer nation, sex symbol to thousands of screaming soccer-loving hotties, including Britney Spears.

Simon Says: "It's just too bad that no one has ever heard of you because when you play, the rest of us are asleep."

Tom Brady

Display of Talent: Cleverly masks obvious playoff fumble from referee, makes John Madden eat his words during final Super Bowl drive, possibly disses girlfriend (or is that ex-girlfriend) during ESPY Red Carpet Show on E!.

Simon Says: "Since you have played a grand total of six quarters of notable football, we will reserve judgment on you until after this season to judge if you are the real deal or yet another Michigan one-hit wonder like your fellow alums Griese and Grbac."

Serena Williams

Display of Talent: Crushing her sister as easily as all other opponents, while displaying the best hair on the women's tennis tour.

Simon Says: "Oh, I think Venus has a few wins left in her in this rivalry. And we know all about the shopping habit, so don't think you're fooling anyone."

Sue Bird

Display of Talent: Leads UConn to undefeated championship season, then instantly becomes WNBA superstar. Has been known to appear as part of Backstreet backcourt.

Simon Says: "Two words: Nick Carter. Sue, dear, what are you thinking?"

Sarah Hughes

Display of Talent: Irrepressible good-girl personality dominates talk shows and pro-skating exhibitions.

Simon Says: "What will you have to do to stay in the public eye for another four years until the next Olympics? Appear on a bubblegum reality-TV series? Leave some of your DNA frozen under the rink? ... I won't say any more than that because I can't rip a helpless teenager."

Michael Jordan

Display of Talent: Still capable of averaging 20-plus in the NBA even as his 40th birthday approaches, looks better in a commercial than just about anyone, actually made the moribund Wizards interesting for a little while.

Simon Says: "You were once the ultimate idol ... but then again that was in the late-1990s, when Jamiroquai and "Ally McBeal" were in, too."

Tiger Woods

Display of Talent: Bouncing golf balls on a club head, dating a Swedish model and making other golfers soil themselves.

Simon Says: "You are the only 28-year-old who drives a Buick. And, yet, if that's the worst thing I can say about you then you must truly be the most fit to be American Sports Idol."


Randy Moss wins Page 2's Unsportsman of the Year

Anna Kournikova named Page 2's first MVP

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