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]