It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!
Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.
This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.
Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?
There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.
The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.
WALTER CAMP REGION
7. Bill Romanowski
NFL linebacker: 1988-2003
Four-time Super Bowl champion Bill Romanowsi might have been the most feared linebacker at the time he was playing. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro Selection. Romanowski played in 243 consecutive games from 1988-2003– an NFL record until it was broken in 2006 by Chris Gardocki.
He finished his career with over 1,000 tackles, 39.5 sacks, 18 interceptions, and 16 forced fumbles. Other than on the gridiron, you might have seen Bill on your television screen in movies like The Longest Yard and The Benchwarmers.
10. Charles Nagy
MLB pitcher: 1990-2003
The UConn product was the 17th pick in the 1988 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians. He was a three-time All-Star who played 14 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and the San Diego Padres.
Nagy collected 129 wins in his career, winning 15-plus games in a season six times. He had a career ERA of 4.51 and struck out over 1,200 batters.
Romanowski definitely had the bigger biceps, but who was the better athlete?