Greatest Athlete in Connecticut Tournament: Dwight Freeney vs. Bobby Valentine

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.

GENO AURIEMMA REGION

4. Dwight Freeney

NFL (2002-10).

Bloomfield

One of the best defensive players in Indianapolis Colts history, Freeney totaled 94 sacks in nine seasons and won the AFC Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2005. Freeney, who was known for his incredible speed and short stature, was a seven-time Pro Bowler.

He was also a part of this feature News 8 did on him back in his Bloomfield days:

Image (8) b__bobby_valentine_76.jpg for post 330213. Bobby Valentine

Five MLB Teams.

Stamford

The mercurial manager was once a star-crossed shortstop with the L.A. Dodgers, hitting .260 over nine injury-plagued years in the major leagues from 1969-79. He was also a terrific high school athlete, and had an offer to play football at USC.

The Stamford native managed the New York Mets to the World Series in 2000, and led Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines to a championship in 2005.

After a failed stint with the Red Sox in 2012, Valentine is back in Connecticut, working as the Athletic Director at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport.

VOTE ON OTHER MATCHUPS!!!

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