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Friday, November 7, 2008
THE MAG.COM PRESENTS:
ALL WORLD POWER RANKINGS



No, seriously, we're not hating. He was a victim of cover circumstance.

WHEN IT COMES TO OUR BAD IDEAS WHEN SELECTING "NEXT," WE'LL GO WITH KORDELL STEWART IN '98

[Ed's note: Not sure what All-World Power Rankings is? Please click here.]

Voting for NEXT 2009 begins on Monday, November 10th right here (it runs for a week). We've been doing this whole NEXT concept for the entire duration of ESPN The Magazine ('98 is when it started). In that time, we've gotten some right and some wrong. (Hey, it's a rough world we live in, ya know?) This is a list of the ones we think we've gotten wrong. For a list of the ones we think we've gotten right, please go here. Think we're patting ourselves on the back too much or missing the boat? Holla at us, dear reader.

TOP 5
RANK (YESTERDAY) WHAT WHY
1 (14) KORDELL STEWART ('98) Here's the first cover we ever ran. Note Kordell Stewart on there. We still get junk about this, but here's the real deal: Kordell was actually a good football player. (Miracle at Michigan, anyone?) It's just hard for anyone to appear on the same cover as Kobe, A-Rod and Lindros, not reach that same level and not get this designation. Hey, though: he's good analyst for ESPN these days.
2 (410) KEITH VAN HORN ('99) Jeez, this seems pretty rough looking back. What was in the water coolers that week?
3 (21) VINCE CARTER ('00) VC's a good player. The dunk over Weis is incredibly filthy. At the time of this selection, though, he was supposed to seriously blow up. He never really did. We'd argue his boy 'Sheed is a far more relevant NBA'er.
4 (127) KAZ MATSUI ('04) Sign this wasn't a good call: to make this list, we had to Google what team he plays for now. Astros? Nice. Squad could blow up if they can land Jake Peavy!
5 (899) VINCE YOUNG ('06) Here come the boobirds! Seriously, though, VY isn't a miss—yet. He played the single-greatest game a dude in college has ever played (he actually did it twice, if you count the Rose Bowl against Michigan too) and he got the Titans to the playoffs already as a pro. Here's a few things, though: (1) with a more reined-in offense, Kerry Collins has Tennessee undefeated and, uh, Colt McCoy has been making himself into an Austin legend in his own right. (Granted, no rings—yet.)

HONORABLE MENTION
RANK (YESTERDAY) WHAT WHY
18 (144) STEVE FRANCIS ('01) We had him as a NEXT runner-up in 2001. We like Steve Francis, honestly (we're not haters!) but in our mind, the most relevant hoops thing he's done since '01 is consistently be associated with Cuttino Mobley, who apparently had a brief fling with Kim Cattrall. Wow.
28 (701) MIKE WILLIAMS ('05) We had him in the 'NEXT Ones' gallery with, uh, Carlos Beltran, Sidney Crosby, D-Wade and Roethlisberger. That could be the worst example of "Which one of these doesn't belong?" in modern societal history. (He isn't higher because he was in a side gallery, not the main NEXT athlete.)

RISING AND FALLING
MOVEMENT WHAT
JOBA CHAMBERLAIN ('08) ("Falling" in the good Rankings = "rising" in the bad ones. See how we do?)
REGGIE BUSH ('06) (Everyone was all ready to call this guy "a bust," but before the injury, he was looking darn fine. And there's always Kim.)