Rondo, Suzuki are on All-Auto Team
Forget about the Big Three. Here are our Big Ten -- not likely to expand to 12 -- on the All-Automobile Team for 2010:
LeCharles Bentley: If the former Saints center wants to purchase one of his namesake British vehicles these days, he'll need as much as $231,400. And by namesake, we mean Bentley. As far as we know, LeCharles is not on the market in 2010.
Dedrick Dodge: NFL receivers had a hard time dodging Dedrick, a former Florida State Seminole who won Super Bowl rings with the 49ers (SB XXIX) and Broncos (SB XXXII) in a six-year pro career.
Keisuke Honda: He's not related to the automaking dynasty, but Keisuke Honda, a member of Japan's World Cup team, does come from an athletic family. An uncle participated in the canoe events in the 1964 Olympics, and a cousin was a wrestler in three more Olympics.
Lincoln Kennedy: Might be captain of the All-Presidential Team one day. Born Tamerlane Fizel Kennedy, he acquired the nickname Lincoln from his mom, who was also born on Abraham Lincoln's birthday of Feb. 12. The youngster took a liking to the name, and he made the legal change shortly before entering the NFL in 1993. He played with the Falcons and Raiders in the NFL and even took a stab at arena ball as a 36-year-old in 2007. He's now a broadcaster for Fox.
Marcus Liberty: Allegedly next in line of great Chicago players (Doc Rivers, Mark Aguirre, et al) when he came out of high school in 1987, Liberty never quite justified the hype. After four seasons with the Nuggets and Pistons, NBA teams offered him as much freedom as the Jeep Liberty provided an adventurous driver.
Eddie LeBaron: The model marketed as LeBaron was Chrysler's high-end vehicle in the late 1950s -- just about the time Eddie LeBaron began to break through as an NFL quarterback -- but there was no relation between the two developments. Chrysler brought the brand back after a 20-year, economically related hiatus. It didn't go mainstream until 1977, by which time the 5-foot-7, 160-pound signal-caller known as the Little General had retired. Renyel Pinto: Unlike the infamous Ford from the 1970s, Renyel Pinto won't explode if you make a little contact. Over his career, which has spanned 231 innings, opponents are hitting only .183 against him with runners in scoring position.
Rajon Rondo: Perhaps there's something to this "You are what you drive" theory. Here's what Consumer Reports said about the Kia Rondo, a seven-passenger SUV, in 2009: "The Kia Rondo may not be the coolest car on the planet, but it's really useful and the long warranty just adds to its value." Rajon Rondo missed only one of the Celtics' 106 games this year (playoffs and regular season) and has competed in 380 of the club's 392 contests in his career.
Ichiro Suzuki: The not-so-ancient Mariner is already a member of the 3,000-hit club. If you count the 1,278 he collected for the Orix Blue Wave in Japan, that is. And if xenophobia or something else prevents you from counting those, fear not. At his current rate of 225 hits per season, Ichiro will surpass 3,000 in MLB competition on or about June 1, 2014. He'll be 40 then.
Cadillac Williams: Carnell Lamar Williams earned the nickname from a TV guy while still in high school. As they do with so many running backs, knee injuries have limited Williams' contributions to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he says he'll improve on the 823 yards he posted last season.
Rob Daniels is a freelance writer for Sports Media Exchange, a national freelance writing network.