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Friday, January 4, 2002
Updated: January 8, 1:17 PM ET
People who should hang it up

Page 2 staff

For our sake and theirs, sometimes it's just a good idea for some athletes to pack it in.

Evander Holyfield
Evander Holyfield has nothing left to prove in the ring.
So today we present our list of people we'd like to ride off into the sunset as gracefully as possible before our good memories (if any) are tainted like an aged, bruised and beaten Muhammad Ali. Take a look at our list of athletes who should hang it up, then see how Page 2 readers ranked their top 10. Also be sure to vote in the poll to choose the top sports personality who should hang it up.

Here's our list:

1. Evander Holyfield
Noble warrior who seems determined to keep taking punches until he turns into the next Ali ... as he is now ... or worse.

2. Bud Selig & Donald Fehr
Please, go away before your unenlightened self-interest kills the game you pretend to love ... and we actually do. Even Richie Phillips understood when it was time to leave.

3. Pat Riley
We imagined it would be fun to watch this imperious know-it-all suffer as his luck inevitably ran out. We were wrong. It's just painful.

Mark Messier
Mark Messier hasn't been in the playoffs since 1997.
4. Karl Malone
Still an effective performer, but the opposite of joyous on and off the court. Can't keep out of catfights with everybody he runs across, can't decide whether he wants to stay in Utah or be traded, can't even shut his mouth and just carry the damn torch ... and, of course, he's always right and everybody else in the world who disagrees with him about anything is always wrong.

5. Mark Messier
To quote Walt Whitman: "Oh, Captain, my Captain, your fearful trip is done."

6. Patrick Ewing
You're backing up Andrew DeClercq for crying out loud.

7. Anna Kournikova
Then tennis won't be such a distraction for her.

Doc River & Patrick Ewing
Even the look on Doc Rivers' face says, "Patrick Ewing in a Magic jersey just looks wrong."
8. Doug Flutie
While we still have all those good memories.

9. The entire dysfunctional Portland Trail Blazer family
Fellas, this is getting embarrassing.

10. Mike Tyson
We know the show must go on. But must it go on and on and on and on and ... ?

Also receiving votes:
Chris Chandler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Eric Lindros, Alonzo Mourning, Anthony Mason, Emmitt Smith, Terrell Davis, Mark Jackson (Knicks), John Rocker & Carl Everett, Don King, Chuck Knoblauch, the Bee Gees, the Rolling Stones, Sylvester Stallone, Anne Robinson, Bill Clinton, Gary Condit, Stockwell Day, Breckin Meyer, "Friends," music videos, "Survivor," Tom Green