**This week on ETSF, as we bring a close to the year 2010 we decided to highlight the five coolest sports figures of the year. Why cool? Because there's something about the way some cats carry "it" during critical moments that makes you look at them in disbelief. Check out our top five as we unveil them this week, starting with #5, Brian Wilson.**
"That is one of the livest beards I've ever seen in my life." - Dez Allen (what up homie)
Its by far the first thing you notice when you see Brian Wilson, dude has a ridiculous beard. He dyed it, grew it out to epic proportions, and even talked about the beard in 3rd person. When asked if he actually dyed it, Wilson said "It's just dark because we play a lot of day games, it's really tan. It's just focused."
Just like his beard, his game was focused as well. The crazy-eyed closer for the San Francisco Giants became a cult-figure for the Bay Area fanbase, and for every save he accumulated in the 2010 baseball postseason, Wilson's legend grew, culminating in a World Series victory over the Texas Rangers.
Here's what you need to understand about Wilson when you talk about ultimate cool. The man essentially throws two pitches. A fastball (cutter and 4-seamer) and a slider, that's literally it. The man has literally convinced himself and the people around him that he has the hardest (pause) stuff in the league, and you can't hit it. Yes, the man can throw up to 100 mph, but major league hitters can catch up to that. Except they rarely did, especially in the post-season.
This is the same man who in his major league debut, tore his oblique in the first couple of pitches, finishes the inning, then is mad that he's hurt so he chugs a Red Bull and kept it moving.
This is the same man that by his own admission is a certified ninja, and took the 12-week training class to prove it.
This is the same man that wore a pair of cleats with bright orange spikes while coloring half of them black with an indelible marker after being fined $1,000 by National League for non-conforming shoes. Wilson claimed he was punished for "having too much awesome on his feet."
This is the same man who has created a made-up friend named, "The Machine." This is the man that rocks the brown mohawk with the super-"tanned" black beard and has made one out of every three Giants fans showing up looking just like him.
What I found most riveting was simply how intense dude was. When you put that mohawk, that beard, and Wilson's eyes that would constantly be bouncing around yet with an intense stare-down happening with the hitters at the plate. Dude was always randomly yelling and screaming, and was still always ready for "the moment." Yes, he not the best closer I've seen in the world, props to Mariano Rivera, but dude had me glued to the Tube anytime he came on.
That's a real display of cool, the man is feared and revered simultaneously. What more could you want? You want to rage? Oh, I got that for you too.
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!