The deep pool of LeBron James jokes were put to bed Thursday night with the crowning of the Miami Heat.
LeBron's stock is at an all-time high, and his status as one of the sporting world's great love/hate figures has only intensified.
Something about LeBron elicits admiration or rage, depending on who you ask. He stands as the NBA's most polarizing player. So what about the NFL? I huddled with Rosenthal, and it took about 119 seconds to come up with our list of the league's most polarizing performers.
Here they are:
10. Eli Manning: People laughed when he called himself "elite," but he shut everyone up on a Sunday night in February.
9. DeSean Jackson: Bombastic and a frequent nuisance. Still, his game remains unpredictable and dangerous. It's hard to peel your eyes away when he has the ball.
8. Ray Lewis: This future Hall of Famer's not the player he once was. Why aren't we allowed to say that?
7. Cam Newton: He called himself an "entertainer" and "icon," but his critics called him a phony. Everyone on this list was/is captivating to watch on the field, but there's nobody like Newton.
6t. Randy Moss: A hot-to-the-touch topic from the day he was drafted in 1998. Fourteen years later, nothing has changed.
5. Ndamukong Suh: Ask two men on the street about Suh. The first will say he's everything you could ask for in a defensive lineman; the second will call him dirty, someone who operates outside the rules. Uncontrollable. The Lions support him; the league suspends him. If there's a Mrs. Evan Dietrich-Smith out there, she's none too pleased with this angry behemoth.
4. Tony Romo: His career numbers are outstanding, but he remains the scapegoat for a painful Super Bowl drought in Dallas. He is blamed nationwide for gas prices, tropical storms and botched romantic relationships. Most of these aren't his fault.
3. Chad Ochocinco: We stopped talking about him as a premier wideout years ago, but has that dimmed our interest in his every move? Child, please.
2. Michael Vick: When a star quarterback is shipped to prison on dogfighting charges, only to return to play his best football, we've stumbled upon the story of a sympathetic villain-type that most Hollywood studios would turn down as simply too unbelievable (Note: These same people brought us "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2," so all bets are off.)
1. Tim Tebow: Do we need to go into depth on this? Not at all. He tops the list with ease. The mere mention of his name -- the hint of his presence -- generates chatter, debate, fury and pride. The NBA has LeBron, but we have Tebow. And when it comes to the most polarizing of them all -- we win.