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By Aaron Charles

Sports Figures Who Were All Reputation

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Some athletes electrify us with their elite skills and unreal talent. Especially early in their careers, athletes capture our imaginations with the things they can do. Even if they don't sustain that level of success for long, they often develop a great on-field reputation. These 15 athletes, while talented and in some cases legendary, were made to look better than they were by their reputations established early on.

15. Brett Favre

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15. Brett Favre

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
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Favre is on the tail end of the top 10 quarterbacks to ever play the game, but many think he was better than he really was. Things you can't take away from him is that his play making ability was legendary and he had better longevity than any other quarterback. However, he turned the ball over a lot as well. With Favre, you took the good with the bad, but it's often only the good that is looked at in his case.

14. Reggie Bush

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14. Reggie Bush

Celebrities on the Red Bull Energy Station
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While at USC, Bush was one of the most exciting playmakers in college football history. One would think that would transition well to the NFL, but he's only had mild success there. He's dealt with a lot of injuries, which has made him a change-of-pace back. While he still is a playmaker, many act as if he's a top 10 back in the league.

13. Stephon Marbury

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13. Stephon Marbury

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks
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Marbury, unlike others on this list, isn't necessarily looked at as a legend, but people still speak more highly about his game than is warranted. He was a good player and he was always flashy, but he never lived up to the hype that always seemed to surround him.

12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ford EcoBoost 400
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12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ford EcoBoost 400
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Following in the footsteps of a legend is never easy. It becomes even harder when that legend is your own father. Most NASCAR fans are enamored with Dale Earnhardt Jr. since his dad was such a legend, but he's never been half the driver his dad was. Nonetheless, he continues to be one of the most popular drivers in the sport.

11. Shaquille O'Neal

2000 NBA Finals Game 6: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
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11. Shaquille O'Neal

2000 NBA Finals Game 6: Indiana Pacers vs. Los Angeles Lakers
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There's no doubt about it, Shaq was a force and he was a winner. But when it comes down to raw skill, he didn't have a whole lot of it. Most of his game was predicated on the fact he was a larger-than-life human being. His free-throw shooting was pitiful and he couldn't shoot from the field at all. That goes to show just how much Shaq's insane size did for his game.

10. David Beckham

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014  - Show
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10. David Beckham

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports Awards 2014  - Show
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Beckham was great during his short prime, but he's never been quite the player others have been, like Lionel Messi. His good looks and charm played a large part in him becoming a legend in the game of soccer in the U.S., England and across the world.

9. Bo Jackson

BCS National Championship - Florida State v Auburn
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9. Bo Jackson

BCS National Championship - Florida State v Auburn
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There's no denying the fact that Bo Jackson was one of the best raw athletes in sports history. He excelled in baseball and football, and could do things in both sports we haven't seen before or since. However, his career didn't last long in either sport, so his overall contribution to both sports is often overstated.

8. Danica Patrick

Oral-B USA 500 - Qualifying
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8. Danica Patrick

Oral-B USA 500 - Qualifying
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One of the most famous race car drivers in the country is Danica Patrick, who has never won a major race in her career. Is it impressive she's made it in an industry dominated by men? Sure, it is. However, she's not even in the top half of drivers on the circuit.

7. Scottie Pippen

2014 Draft Combine
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7. Scottie Pippen

2014 Draft Combine
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Since he played with Michael Jordan in the 1990s, and was his sidekick during that time, Scottie Pippen is a second-favorite among most Chicago Bulls fans. He was a great talent and without him, the Bulls may not have won as many championships as they did. However, playing with MJ likely ballooned his stats and made him seem better than he truly was.

6. Deion Sanders

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6. Deion Sanders

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Deion Sanders, one of the most exciting playmakers in any sport, made his reputation for himself. He loved talking about his immense talent and that turned him into an icon. However, his relatively short career in baseball and solid career in football weren't as good as most may think. He was entertaining, though, so most people still look at him as a legend, especially in football.

5. Dwight Howard

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Six
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5. Dwight Howard

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Six
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Probably the biggest physical force in the NBA since Shaq, Dwight Howard seems intent on keeping himself from becoming great. He's one of the best centers in the league, but his physical size helps a lot with that. His size grouped with his proficiency in complaining has gained him a reputation as a cry baby. That reputation gets him talked about more than he probably should be.

4. Ricky Williams

Ricky Wiliams #34
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4. Ricky Williams

Ricky Wiliams #34
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At one point in time, Williams was thought to be the next great running back in the NFL. However, his well-documented off-the-field issues kept him from realizing that potential. Since head coach Mike Ditka orchestrated a huge trade to get him to New Orleans early in his career, he was always something of a myth. He never turned out to be great, though.

3. Eli Manning

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3. Eli Manning

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Giants
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Being the son of a successful NFL quarterback and brother of possibly the greatest quarterback of all time isn't easy. Eli Manning deserves the praise he gets for winning two Super Bowls, more than brother Peyton, but he's only been elite during a couple seasons in his career. Winning championships is the most important, but as an overall player, Manning's career hasn't been as great as many think it has.

2. Vince Carter

Toronto Raptors v Dallas Mavericks
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2. Vince Carter

Toronto Raptors v Dallas Mavericks
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During his Raptor days, there weren't many NBA players more fun to watch than Vince Carter. He never lived up to his enormous potential, though, and has just had a very good career rather than a great one. To his credit, he's become a better shooter as he's aged and has actually carved himself a niche with the Grizzlies this season. However, his reputation as a high-flying act should have only lasted a couple seasons.

1. Joe Namath

3rd Annual NFL Honors
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1. Joe Namath

3rd Annual NFL Honors
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If a young "Broadway" Joe Namath hadn't promised a Super Bowl win over the heavily favored Colts way back when, he may not even be a household name at this point. That promise and the fact that he followed through on it, made Namath a legend. His career wasn't all that great, though. Don't try telling that to Jets fans who love the guy as much as any other player in team history.

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