Mt. Rushmore: The Faces of Each Sports City

ESPN has launched a campaign searching for the Mt. Rushmore of athletes from, or associated with, every state in America.  I think it’s kind of a cool idea, so 4HT has liquored up Steelhead, and gave him a chance to reflect on his personal Rushmore for each sports city.  The following format was followed:

1. One player from each professional sports team in every city

2. Players are chosen on the basis of:

  • Contribution to organization
  • Popularity among fans
  • Legacy in respective city

3. No Canadian cities will be featured (Sorry Calgary)


So here we go, and as always, share someone you feel was omitted and should be included…..

Anaheim: Don Baylor, Paul Kariya

Baylor played EVERYWHERE in his career, so Anaheim can use him as their Rushmore entry for the Angels (Nolan Ryan is included elsewhere).  Kariya was the face of the Ducks back when they were still the Mighty Ducks, and means quite a bit to the organization’s 13 fans.


For the record, DO NOT start a “Quack…..Quack….” chant at Ducks games, you WILL be beaten

Arizona (Phoenix): Kevin Johnson, Randy Johnson, Pat Tillman, Keith Tkachuk

With most Phoenix-area teams being relatively new to the Valley, this is a difficult city to pick.  Charles Barkley made a name for himself in Philadelphia, therefore KJ has to get the Suns vote (sorry Marjerle).  The D-Backs faithful embrace The Big Unit much more lovingly than ass-bag Curt Schilling, and since he returned for what was supposed to be a farewell tour this past season, he’s their pick.  Pat Tillman is a saint to Arizona natives, and an easy no-brainer.  Tkachuk wins by default, seeing I would never in a billion years allow Jeremy Roenick’s face to be associated with Phoenix’s most storied athletes.  GO HAWKS!


R.I.P. Pat, you were a true American

Atlanta: Dominique Wilkins, Hank Aaron, Deion Sanders, Ilya Kovalchuk

Wow. Atlanta surprises, and makes a verrrrry respectable Rushmore here.  The Human Highlight Film is, and always will be the Hawks.  That pick took 2.3 seconds.  Although Hammerin’ Hank played the bulk of his career in Milwaukee, he is an Atlanta icon that will never be forgotten.  Primetime represents the Falcons here, and was another easy pick.  The Thrashers have been in the NHL for only 10 seasons now, so a franchise short on history is represented by Kovalchuk, the team’s all-time leading scorer.


A rare moment of modesty from Deion

Baltimore: Cal Ripken Jr, Johnny Unitas

Another easy city to pick.  Ironman Ripken is a first ballot hall of famer that makes many all-time team lists, and even though Ray Lewis has been the heart and soul of the Ravens organization for the last decade,  Johnny U is on a different level than any Baltimore football player.  Nuff said here. *I made an exception for Unitas: Although he never played for the Ravens, he is a Baltimore legend, and therefore needs to be represented.


Baltimore will never forget Cal…

Boston: Larry Bird, Ted Williams, Tom Brady, Bobby Orr

Finally, a city that took some serious thinking/debating for a few spots.  Every franchise in Beantown is rich in history, and the choices weren’t easy.  Bird gets the nod over Bill Russell, but barely.  The Splendid Splinter was much easier to go with, for he is one of the ten best baseball players of all-time.  Brady was fairly easy too, seeing the three Super Bowl rings around Giselle’s neck.  Orr steals the Bruin slot from Ray Bourque, but this may have been different if Ray didn’t fink out and go to Colorado.  Easily the best Rushmore thus far.


Two Words: Larry Fucking Legend (that’s three dumbass)

Buffalo: Bruce Smith, Pat Lafontaine

Pretty easy choice considering O.J. is a criminal, dirtbag, and generally despised person.  Smith, to me, represents the Bills better than Jim Kelly, Jack Kemp & co.  Lafontaine was a star for the Sabres, and I guarantee you still see a dozen or more jerseys of him at Buffalo games.  Dominik Hasek’s success in Detroit nullifies his marriage to the city.


Laffy was damn good

Carolina (Charlotte): Emeka Okafor, Sam Mills, Ron Francis

Well they have one hall of famer in Francis, but the other two are sadly about as good as it gets.  Okafor still has a chance to be productive, yet mediocre, and Mills’ popularity with Panther fans is more stable than Steve Smith’s right now.  *Due to the short history of an NFL franchise in Carolina, Mills can be used in their Rushmore even though his heyday was in New Orleans.


Great player, even greater person…..

Chicago: Michael Jordan, Ernie Banks, Harold Baines, Walter Payton, Bobby Hull

Well here it is, my beloved city’s Rushmore.  There isn’t any sane person in the entire universe that would leave MJ out, and seeing I’m insane, maybe every insane person puts him on too.  Mr. Cub is a Chicago legend, and his ties to that shitty organization are still strong to this day.  The White Sox have certainly had better players than Baines (read: Frank Thomas) throughout the years, but he embodies the South Side, and is loved as a coach.  Sweetness beats out Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, and co., and The Golden Jet is simply the best player to ever put on a Blackhawks jersey.


I wasn’t supposed to cry today…..R.I.P Walter

Cincinnati: Pete Rose, Boomer Esiason

Too bad the Bengals can’t forfeit their spot to Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, or Chris Sabo (last one’s a joke).  The legacy of  Charlie Hustle will forever live on in Cincy, and all his scumbaggery over the years have done little to sway Reds fans opinions of the icon.  Boomer is the best QB in Bengals history, and beats out Icky Woods, David Klingler, Dan Wilkinson, and Kijana Carter for the win (another joke).  I sincerely apologize for the pic below.


Thanks Pete, we really needed that

Cleveland: Lebron James, Bob Feller, Jim Brown

I know it may be too early to put LBJ on here, but the alternative (Mark Price) defies all logic.  Bob Feller was my choice for the Indians, and any knucklehead with a brain can pencil Brown on here over Otto Graham or Clay Mathews.


Remember when the Browns were good?  Me neither…

Columbus:  Fuck if I know, Woody Hayes????

Dallas: Fat Lever, Nolan Ryan, Emmitt Smith, Mike Modano

For sake of argument, the Rangers will be considered a Dallas team.  Lever is still a popular player in Maverick history, and is the city’s NBA pick.  Ryan, although having better years in Houston, retired a Ranger, and opted to wear a Ranger cap into the Hall of Fame, so he’s an easy choice there.  Smith, although I bitterly despise him, clips Roger Staubach to represent the ‘Boys.  Modano brought exciting hockey to Texas and won a Stanley Cup there, so he gets the nod. 


The teams are short on history, so Dallas borrows Lever and Ryan

Denver: Alex English, Todd Helton, John Elway, Joe Sakic

Not too bad of a Rushmore for a city that acquired their baseball and hockey team not too long ago.  English edges out Dikembe for the Nuggets pick.  Helton has been a model of consistency his entire career, and will retire with almost every Rockie batting record in tow.  Elway doesn’t take too much thought, and even though Sakic spent time in Quebec, his best years were on the Colorado Nordiques. 


Best jerseys ever…..Worst shorts ever……

Detroit: Isiah Thomas, Al Kaline, Barry Sanders, Gordie Howe

Motown cranks out a Rushmore that is pretty damn impressive.  Detroit is the only city in America that still has small pockets of Zeke fans, so Thomas is my choice for the Pistons.  The Georgia Peach, as rotten as he really was, gets snubbed for Tiger legend and fan favorite Kaline.  Sanders is the only bright spot in Lions history with the exception of Bobby Layne, Alex Karras, and a few others, and Mr. Hockey himself narrowly makes the cut over the favorite of every single Wing fan I’ve ever met: Stevie Y.


Why do I feel like puking every time we play Tampa?  Oh it’s those godawful jerseys….

Green Bay:  Brett Favre

I don’t really need to explain this one at all…..


Oooopsy me, how’d that get there?

Houston: Hakeem Olajuwon, Craig Biggio, Warren Moon

Pretty straightforward Rushmore for H-town.  The Dream won two titles for the Rockets, played for “Phi Slamma Jamma,” and is a legend in Houston.  Biggio is the Astros rep, since Ryan was snatched up by the Rangers, and Kevin Bass was unavailable for comment.  Moon led the run-and-shoot for the Oilers, and set quite a few records, most notably most fumbles in NFL history.  He takes the spot from Billy “Whiteshoes” Johnson, Bruce Mathews, and Ray Childress.


Will people remember Moon the person, or Tecmo Bowl Moon?

Indianapolis: Reggie Miller, Peyton Manning

Manning is head and shoulders above any player to ever wear a Colts jersey in Indianapolis, and is therefore a pretty damn easy pick.  Miller is just as easy, seeing the Pacers are on par to oust the Clippers as “America’s worst run NBA franchise.”  Sorry Legend, but get your head out of your ass…..


Only day in history Reggie was even remotely cool…

Jacksonville: Fred Taylor (I refuse to dignify my choice with words)

Kansas City: George Brett, Derrick Thomas

Brett is about as easy of a pick as they come.  DT, on the other hand, was a tad more difficu of a call to make.  Sure Len Dawson was a superstar, and Will Shields was a rock for all those years, but I feel Thomas is more synonymous with the Chiefs than the aforementioned two.

George after the infamous “pine tar incident,” obviously with a cooler head about it

Los Angeles: Magic Johnson, Ron Harper, Sandy Koufax, (no football pick), Wayne Gretzky

As the song should go, “I fucking hate L.A……”  Magic was a tough choice, seeing the Lakers, since being in L.A., have had some pretty damn good players.  Harper was the worst decision I have ever had to make in my life.  You know you have a terribly shitty franchise when you are grasping for straws, debating whether or not to put Harp or Corey freakin’ Magette in the Rushmore slot for the Clips.  Koufax beats out other L.A. Dodger greats, and since Edmonton will not be listed, The Great One can be enshrined as a King. 


Pretty happy with putting Sandy in L.A.’s Rushmore

Memphis: Pau Gasol (paaaaathetic)

Miami: Dwayne Wade, Josh Beckett, Dan Marino, John Vanbiesbrouck

Kind of unsatisfied here with Miami’s Rushmore, but it’s hard to argue against any of these guys.  Wade is the Heat, and Beckett singlehandedly won a World Series for the Marlins.  Marino is still #1 for ‘Phin fans everywhere, and the “Beezer” was the cog for the Panthers Stanley Cup run, yes that one where fuckheads kept throwing rubber rats on the ice.


Worst gimmick……ever……

Milwaukee: Robin Yount, Oscar Robertson

Since Hotlanta stole Aaron, and Yount edges former Milwaukee Braves Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews, Robin gets to represent the Brew Crew.  Yount is absolutely freaking worshipped in the real “fat city,” and that pushed him ahead.  Jack Sikma was a beast, and to be honest he should be on Rushmore simply because I would love to see a carving of his perm, but, in a small bit of reality, Robinson more sense.


The hair gets a 9, and the jersey a 10….

Minneapolis: George Mikan, Kirby Puckett, Fran Tarkenton, Neal Broten

Pretty impressive when you look at it.  Mikan is a top 50 all-time baller, and Puckett was loved by fans everywhere.  Tark beats out Jim Marshall and Randy Moss, and Broten was a North Star legend, and fan favorite.


This ain’t your grandfather’s basketball….oh shit, it is

New Orleans: Archie Manning, Chris Paul

Manning is still a saint in NOLA, and it ain’t for being the whiny bitch that refused to let his son play for the Chargers.  Drew Brees is making a solid case to take the Saints spot, but he isn’t ready quite yet. The Hornets have been in Louisiana for not too long, and CP3 has been the show that whole time.


Three people…..Two generations of douchebaggery

New York: Walt Frazier, Jason Kidd, Babe Ruth, Tom Seaver, Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Messier, Mike Bossy, Martin Brodeur

Wow…..possibly the most anti-climactic event in my life.  I thought hours would be spent compiling NY’s Rushmore, but that was actually quite painless.  Frazier gets the Knick vote since he did something Patrick Ewing could never do: win a title.  Kidd (I’m lumping New Jersey in with NY) was the Nets most prolific player (sorry Drazen, DC), and therefore gets the nod.  No argument about Ruth, he has to be on there.  Seaver is also a no-brainer.  Broadway Joe may not have been the most skilled QB ever, but his popularity, Super Bowl performance, and raging alcoholism earn him the Jets spot.  LT was one of (if not THE) most dominating defenders to ever play the game, and easily beats Y.A. Tittle for the Giants spot.  Messier brought the cup to MSG, Bossy brought the cup to L.I. 4 times in a row, and Brodeur has been the undisputed model for longevity and consistency among goalies in the NHL.  Yep, it’s that easy….


Couldn’t resist putting LT on New York’s Rushmore

Oakland: Reggie Jackson, Ken Stabler

Reggie gets the A’s bid, seeing that Mark McGwire’s legacy has a very dark cloud over it right now, and The Snake is a Raider legend.  The Blackhole usually has quite a few Stabler jerseys being worn among the rabid fans every Sunday.


Wander in there wearing a Chargers jersey…..I dare you

Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant (Sorry Seattle: No description or pic needed here)

Orlando: Dwight Howard

Seeing Shaq won 4 NBA titles elsewhere, Howard is the next big thing for the Magic.  The young superstar has the Magic flirting with the best record in the league, and deserves Rushmore recognition over say, Penny Hardaway.

Philadelphia: Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt, Reggie White, Bobby Clarke

Philly puts together a pretty damn impressive Rushmore.  Dr. J repping the Sixers instead of Barkley was a tough decision, but it had to be done.  Schmidt gets the Phillies vote over Steve Carlton.  White uses the Eagles slot, beating out Chuck Bednarik, and Clarke, still closely tied to the Flyer organization, was a fan fav.


Holy shit…..Sikma is sitting somehwere right now, and he is PISSED

Pittsburgh: Roberto Clemente, Joe Greene, Mario Lemeiux

Prett easy pick for the Pens, but the Steeler Rushmore face was a task.  Since the Steel Curtain is alive and well these days, Greene gets my vote over offensive stars Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and fellow defender Jack Lambert.  Clemente is a worldwide icon, and easily beats out “Pops” Stargell and others.

Portland: Bill Walton

The Glide led the Trailblazers to the NBA Finals twice, and was part of the ’92 Dream Team, but Walton won a title in Portland.  We’ll have to wait and see if Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, or Lemarcus Aldridge can dethrone him on Rushmore.


I thought teen Wolf was a movie….

Sacramento: Chris Webber (sorry Kings fans)

San Antonio: Tim Duncan

Duncan beats out David Robinson and Sean Elliott here.  End of story.

San Diego: Tony Gwynn, Dan Fouts

This obviously will change very soon when Tomlinson takes the all-time greatest Charger spot from Fouts or Kellen Winslow Sr., but Dan is the man for now.  Gwynn was as easy to pick as Jordan, sorry Dave Winfield…..


Wow….a sub 400 lb. Tony Gwynn

San Francisco: Rick Barry, Barry Bonds, Joe Montana

Pretty standard SF Rushmore.  Montana is the greatest quarterback of all-time, and leaps Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott for the Niners spot. (Rick) Barry is still adored in the bay area, and is pretty much the only Warrior ever worth two shits besides Chris Mullin.  Barroid has gotta be on here, like him or not.


Ollie from Hoosiers learned from the best….

San Jose: Owen Nolan (Now piss off)

Seattle: (No NBA pick), Steve Largent, Ken Griffey Jr.

Largent is probably the most beloved of all Seahawk players, and he is a shoo-in for their Rushmore spot.  Griffey, despite leaving Seattle, will always be known as The Kid who made incredible catches in the old Kingdome.  Ichiro will never replace him.


People just love the scrappy little overachievers…P.S. go back to these unis, they are sweeeeeet

St. Louis: Bob Gibson, Bob Petit, Marshall Faulk, Al MacInnis

Gibby was a tough pick, but was definitely solid enough to be on Rushmore over Stan Musial, etc.  Petit was a stud during his time in St. Louie, and Faulk had monster years as part of The Greatest Show on Turf.  MacInnis represents the Blues over Brett Hull, who was hijacked by the Stars since he won a cup there, not to mention his time Detroit.


Most dominating/intimidating hurler ever….

Tampa Bay: Evan Longoria, Derrick Brooks, Vincent Lacavalier

The Sunrays are young, so I might as well have their rep be the young sensation Longoria.  Brooks has been the backbone of the Bucs D for quite some time, and helped earn them a Super Bowl victory, as Lacav did the same for the Lightning.

Tennessee: Steve McNair (close second Eddie George), Jason Arnott, goodbye

Utah: Karl Malone, John Stockton

Hey, if these two boners can share the NBA All-Star MVP trophy, then they certainly can share the Jazz spot on Rushmore. 


You complete me…..hey, are you listening???

Washington: Moses Malone, Harmon Killebrew, John Riggins, Dale Hunter

D.C. has a pretty nice looking Rushmore here.  Malone dominated for the Bullets (am I allowed to say that?), Killebrew was a nasty home run hitter, Riggins was a lovable running back that liked to play hungover, and Hunter delivered what was, at the time, the biggest cheap shot in the history of hockey on Pierre Turgeon.

That wasn’t very nice Dale, not very nice at all….

So there you have it…..every American city with a professional sports team, and what face would represent them in my Rushmore picks.  Please share your ideas below, and as always, remember to keep your whiskey cold -SH


  1. Comment by Chris on January 19, 2009 11:16 pm

    No Nashville 🙁

  2. Comment by Steelhead on January 20, 2009 6:20 am

    Chris, Nashville is under “Tennessee.”

  3. Comment by Gentlemen on January 21, 2009 11:55 am

    Detroit: Cecil Fielder – greatest homerun hitter of all time
    Indianapolis: Stephen Jackson/Jamal Tinsley – Street cred

  4. Comment by Ice Man on February 18, 2009 4:25 pm

    I feel you left out the greatest athlete and actor of all time …. Brian the Boz Bosworth! in case you need to know what rushmore it would be its Seattle.

  5. Comment by Steelhead on February 18, 2009 5:53 pm

    I find it absolutely hilarious that you bring this up, seeing my desktop background for the last week (and current moment) has been a 1988 Topps #144, aka Brian Bosworth “Super Rookie” card. If you haven’t seen it, Boz looks identical to WWE star John Cena in it. I wish I was making all this up……

  6. Comment by josh on July 4, 2016 7:37 pm

    How the fuck does Moses Malone get the nod over Wes Unseld or even Elvin Hayes.

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