Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list is out, and I checked, you aren't on it. But some athletes are! But how did they get there? How can a pro athlete who's not Muhammad Ali or Jackie Robinson or Maximus from Gladiator possibly qualify as "influential?" Time's metric for selection is top secret, but I think we can tease out some common threads among the major athletes listed.

Novak Djokovic
Foreign: Yes.
Religious: Yes. Wears a prayer rope.
Handicap: None.
Good: Yes.

Tim Tebow
Foreign: No.
Religious: Yes, controversially so.
Handicap: Throwing Motion
Good: Maybe. Even more controversial than his religion.

Oscar Pistorius
Foreign: Yes.
Religious: Yes. Prays before races.
Handicap: Double amputee.
Good: Yes, for a guy with no legs.

Lionel Messi
Foreign: Yes.
Religious: Unknown. Is possibly God.
Handicap: Stunted growth.
Good: Yes.

Jeremy Lin
Foreign: No, though treated as "other."
Religious: Yes, just short of controversially so.
Handicap: Intelligence, possibly Asian-Americanness.
Good: For a while there.



Note: I scrolled through the list, so it's entirely possible there are more athletes whose names I didn't recognize because they're just too foreign. (Hey, the world's top ranked women's golfer! )