Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Greatest Bloodlines in Sports History

The Big Picture today posed a great open thread idea. Inspired by the game "King's Cup" or as we like to refer to it around our parts "Circle of Death," The Big Picture asks us to offer nominees in the category of sports families.

While some pointed to obvious selections including the Griffeys, the Bondses, the Boones, immediately one family jumped out at us...

The Agilars

Kelly Leak was clearly the Bears team MVP in '76, if not that of the North Valley League. The addition of hurler Amanda Whurlitzer, whose infamous spitter somehow went undetected, undoubtedly was the boost the team needed to make them serious contenders. The pure grit and emotion of one Tanner Boyle kept the kids in line and focused on the ultimate prize. However, the true moral fiber behind the so-called "Bad News" Bears was the brother combination of Luis and Miguel Agilar, who when they put there foot down against wearing athletic supporters due to their Catholic upbringing, showed true leadership and determination in standing up to authority, not just sticking up for their personal beliefs, but becoming a unifying voice for the fractured team.

Here are some other noteworthy sports bloodlines:

The O'Sheas - Kevin, Danny & Becky

Becky "Ice Box" O'Shea carries on the O'Shea Gridiron Legacy.

Kevin and Danny O'Shea. One was a star athlete. One was a star towel boy. One became a successful car dealership owner, married a smoking hot wife, and is the pride and joy of his hometown. The other owned his own auto repair shop, his wife dies, and he raises a young girl (Becky) who tackles boys and gets the nickname the 'Ice Box'. Eventually the two men's lives must collide. And where better than a Pee Wee football field with the psyche and self esteem of 9 year-old kids on the line. One will emerge the victor. One will lose but become the better man.

The Shuttlesworths - Jesus and Jake.

If ever there was a personification of John Updike's Flick Webb, it would have to be Jake Shuttlesworth. Only instead of working the pumps and inner tubes of an old garage, Jake is entrapped behind bars to reminisce of his finer days on the court, while his even more talented and bitter son Jesus, taunts him with his ability and resentment. Regardless, the Shuttlesworths, despite all of their faults and personal demons, has to be among the most talented father-son combos in hardwood and blacktop history.

The Dudleys - Bubba Ray, Devon, Spike, Sign Guy, Dances With, Little Snot, Chubby, Dudley and the late Big Dick (et. al.)

When you think of famous wrestling families, the Poffos, Von Erichs, Andersons, Rougeaus and Harts surely come to mind. However, while not the "first" family of sports entertainment, misfit band offspring of traveling salesman "Big Daddy" Dudley, the Dudley Boyz are certainly the most violent and far reaching, thanks to Big Daddy's occupation.

The Browns - Mack & Stepson Chris Jessie

While not technically a bloodline, who are we to define for society what does and doesn't constitute a "family?" Truth be told we don't need folks like the NGLBT Task Force on our asses offering definitions for us. So let's call this tandem indeed a "family."

Jesse until recently has been over-shadowed by Brown, one of the highest paid and successful coaches at various stops in college football. So he didn't wait for the spotlight to shine on him, he grabbed it by the longhorns.

The Gramaticas - Bill, Martin & Santiago

The legendary Gramatica family was the kicker position's answer to Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens. Their celebratory nature after even the most mundane kicks elevated them to cult-like status for South American former soccer players everywhere. Until one day it all came crashing down on the right knee of Bill. Once the pride of Argentina, the Gramaticas are now a mere blue print of all that is wrong with idiot kickers. Today the reclaiming of the lost legacy lies on the thunder toe of eldest brother Martin as he attempts to ignite the floundering New Orleans Saints franchise with that legendary Gramatica style and flair.

(Photo: SPTimes)

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