By Sean Cunningham
One of the biggest obstacles to Tim Tebow becoming the Jets' starting QB is the perception that he can't, you know, actually throw. So naturally, he's spending the summer doing ... MMA training? Hey, whatevs. In honor of this latest development, here's a look at other athletes who found fame despite having games with serious "glitches."
The Flaw: Trouble Getting Out of the Blocks. Bolt is a notoriously slow starter. In the 2008 Olympic 100-meter final, he had the second-worst start reaction time. Does It Matter? Bolt won gold while setting a world record, then did the same in the 200 meters. In other words, no. Or at least not yet.
The Flaw: Lack of Speed. Rice reportedly turned in a miserable 4.71 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine. Bill Walsh and the 49ers made him the 16th pick of the 1985 draft anyway. Does It Matter? Rice retired as the all-time leader in touchdowns (208) and all-purpose yards (23,540). Imagine what he could have done if he were fast ...
The Flaw: Striking Out. Despite twice leading the NL in home runs and hitting 442 homers, he batted a lousy .236 while leading the league in whiffs three times. Does It Matter? Before Kingman, 400 or more jacks almost guaranteed admission to the Hall of Fame. He changed that forever, earning less than one percent of the Hall vote his only time on the ballot.
The Flaw: The Drop. Top trainers agree that boxers should keep their damn hands up. Photos to the contrary, both Ali and Martinez are frequent hand-droppers, telling opponents, “I’m giving you an open shot to the face, but I’m so fast I’ll still kick your ass.” Does It Matter? Ali is widely considered (including by himself) “The Greatest.” Current middleweight star Martinez still lowers his mitts at age 37... and since the Argentine’s last four opponents all failed to reach the 12th round, it seems to be working.
The Flaw: Free Throw Ineptitude. Shaq shot .580 for his career, Russell .561 and Wilt .540. Does It Matter? Shaq won four titles in 19 seasons and Wilt collected two in 14. Russell focused on defense, leaving the charity stripe to his other Hall of Fame Celtic teammates while winning 10. 10!