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Legacies: Describing Sports Icons In Five Words Or Less

It's not as easy as you would think.
A view of the Texans stadium with an American flag on the field.

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: A general view of the stadium during the National Anthem before the game between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

There has been a lot of talk about Joe Paterno's legacy after yesterday's release of the Freeh report. For context, one's legacy is loosely defined as what people remember most about the person. In sports, as in life, it's usually the highest high or the lowest low. For Paterno, it's obviously now a little more complicated than that.

But the reality is that it's hard to define someone's legacy in a few sentences, let alone a few words. So that's exactly what we're going to try to do.

If you've ever played the game Taboo, then you've gone through this before: quickly communicate what/who you're talking about as efficiently as possible. This time though, there is also a word limit. In a very Twitter-like exercise, we're seeing how many athletes and coaches we can "define" in five words or less, so much so that the answer is unmistakable.


  • Five words or less
  • No first, middle, or last names
  • No nicknames
  • No mention of teams played for or coached

Here are ten - we will add worthy submissions as we go.

Give us some suggestions in the comments below, or tweet @collegespun using hashtag #sportsicons.


Ultra-Religious Heisman Winning Quarterback

Boxing's Ear-Biter

HIV-Positive NBA Superstar

Golf's Sex Addict

100-Point NBA Scorer

Bus-Riding Video Game Creator

German NBA Champion

Spanish Clay Court Master

Shaggy-Haired Canadian Point Guard