Tim Tebow, Jeremy Lin, and Lionel Messi Make Time's 100 Most Influential People List

Time published its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. There’s no precise definition of influential. “Notable” might have been a more accurate description for a list equating human rights activism with hosting a late night show on E!, though we thought we’d look at the athletes who made the cut.

Jeremy Lin: He’s a phenomenon. The media response to him was fascinating, though he seems to be more of a pretext for racial issues and cheap hard work and perseverance narratives than someone who is veritably interesting and influential.

Tim Tebow: Fair enough. He touches on virtually every cultural flashpoint from intangibles vs. statistics to the very existence of God and affects the discussion.

Novak Djokovic: A men’s tennis player? How many would recognize Djokovic walking down the street or be that jacked if they did? Not sure I would remember his name but for Robert Flores’ epic “Is Wayne Brady Going to Have to Djokovic” line.

Lionel Messi: He hits the limits of human proficiency. Watch him play soccer is like watching Rembrandt paint a self portrait. That said, he’s a profound automaton in a sport where philosophers, eccentrics and deviants capture the imagination. He’s no Didier Drogba.

Oscar Pistorious: Not sure how “influential” he is, but the South African sprinter has a legitimate chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games, as a double amputee. He’s inspirational if nothing else.

[Photo via Getty]

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