We're in the doldrums of the offseason here, so I wanted to take a minute and appreciate how freaking great Serena Williams is. At this point, I feel confident saying she's the most dominant athlete of the new millennium. Even with someone like Lionel Messi or LeBron James, they have their various contemporaries in their sports. The gap between Serena and pretty much everyone else in women's tennis is as vast as the Grand Canyon.
The fact that Williams could actually hold all four majors by the end of next week, then go onto to complete the calendar grand slam is just a remarkable feat of dominance. At age 33! Women's tennis players are supposed to be phasing out of the professional tour by this time. Serena is still peaking, stays peaking, and keeps wrecking.
She's not the most popular athlete out there, and I know there are plenty of people who dislike the way she can behave, but the way she has conquered, come out. Brian Phillips of Grantland described it better: "She’s playing tennis the way some people salt the earth."
So that got me wondering. Who are the most dominant Cal athletes of our lifetime?
Matt Biondi: Can't deny eight gold medals. Biondi dominated Seoul in practically every event he swam in. Biondi finished with eleven medals overall.
Jason Kidd: Took over Cal basketball by storm. Made the Golden Bears nationally relevant. Upset the defending national champs. Great things happened with Kidd at the helm.
Tony Gonzalez: Played both football and basketball, then went onto become the greatest tight end in NFL history. He's my leader in the clubhouse. Gonzalez was astounding at Cal and then went onto be astounding.
Natalie Coughlin: Coughlin set a record for most medals for an American female athlete in Athens, and she has no plans on stopping her swimming anytime soon.
Aaron Rodgers: Funny thing with Rodgers: I never really thought of him as dominant the way I thought of other people on this list, and certainly not at Cal. But you've got to put the best quarterback in the NFL up on this list, don't you?
Marshawn Lynch: I don't think it's any coincidence that the best Tedford years coincided with the age of Beast Mode. There has never been a Cal athlete so physically impressive (and culturally revered) as Marshawn Lynch in modern America. Toss that man some Skittles boss.
Missy Franklin: Missy is just getting started as a swimmer and will be at her athletic peak for the next two Olympic games in Rio and Tokyo. It's hard not to see her shattering all the records by the time she's done.
Who's your most dominant Cal athlete and why?