10/31/2008 - Houston Rockets
"The Pixies changed my life." Getty Images

[Ed's note: Not sure what 'The Sporting Equivalency' is? Please click here.]

A few weeks ago, we hit a brewery tour with one of our friends. As expected, the back end of it was fairly ugly, but here's what eased the situation: he has 336 Radiohead songs on his IPod (including, we think—things were a bit fuzzy—a cover of "You Can Call Me Al"). This led to a discussion of how cool Thom Yorke is, including the fact that he's a huge rock star (in all logical definitions of the word) yet doesn't date a supermodel or anything. His girlfriend, Rachel Owen, is a printmaker. Yorke turns 40 today, so we're turning the Sporting Equivalency on him (Side note: Putin turns 56 today, if you're interested in Russian power politics.)

Thom Yorke's MLB Equivalent: Mark DeRosa

The only problem with this is that DeRosa might not be big enough in baseball. Here's our logic: you know what one of the most popular shirts for the female set in Wrigleyville was this summer? "I want to see Mark DeRosa in every position." Dude can literally do it all (except help his team beat NL West teams in the NLDS round). Yorke: guitar, piano, bass guitar, drums, sings, hits and holds notes that no self-respecting man should be able to hit or hold. Bonus: we could see Yorke, in a parallel life, being an Ivy League QB.

Thom Yorke's NBA Equivalent: Dikembe

This one's all about giving back. Read this regarding Yorke's activism. Now read this regarding Deke's. They both get it in terms of legit applications of celebrity. Bonus: this may be heavily disputed by some, but Mutombo has always been a B-tier center in terms of perception (even to his fellow Georgetown boys). Yorke is viewed by many (not our friend, apparently) as "the British rocker who cares about the world but isn't Bono."

Thom Yorke's NFL Equivalent: Michael Strahan

Completely preposterous and we are kidding. (Heck, Strahan's retired!) But, have you ever seen this clip? How many NFL guys can hold that "No one, no one, no one" note? Seriously, though, if Yorke ever sang that song, we'd vomit.

Thom Yorke's College Football Equivalent: Mark Sanchez

Our logic: they both seem like down-to-Earth guys. If you've ever read an interview with Yorke, he is quick to cite the past as an influence. Dudes like Neil Young, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, Elvis Costello, R.E.M. and the Pixies have all influenced him. Sanchez, upon taking the reins at USC, was quick to nod to the recent past of tremendous QBs. Music and athletics—apparently both forms of celebrity where acknowledging those who came before makes a lot of sense.

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