The Scholar Athlete

FarSide.jpgIn the most recent MLBlogosphere Latest Leaders, one particular blog jumped out at me. Ross Ohlendorf of the Pittsburgh Pirates is writing a blog based on his experience working at the US Department of Agriculture during the offseason. This started me thinking about which athletes are the most intelligent, at least in the traditional, intellectual sense.

For instance, Ohlendorf went to Princeton and is now doing research with the USDA but when you offset his intelligence with that of Rickey Henderson, well, at best they cancel each other out. Offensive linemen in football, and especially centers, are noted for their intelligence despite the head knocking they do all day long. As for basketball and hockey, I really have no clue and I won’t even hazard a guess.

However, based on zero scientific proof and nothing more than my incredibly suspect intuition, I’m going to say golfers are probably the smartest. Despite Tiger’s recent personal flameout and John Daly’s entire career, golfers are smart enough to play a sport that doesn’t involve getting hit on a regular basis. They walk a lot and exercise like that is good for the mind and body. If that wasn’t enough, they can also continue playing well into their later years, bouncing from circuit to circuit as need be. That seems pretty intelligent to me.

But I also have to say that bowlers might be on to something. I mean, practice involves hitting the lanes and rolling some balls. And everyone knows you can’t go bowling without at least a pitcher or two of whatever happens to be on tap. All I know is that pretty much anything beats the heck out of driving in circles for hours and never knowing when some guy might ram you at 225 miles per hour. Or, for that matter, working at the USDA.




  1. greg1969

    Good job, Allen, bringing back The Far Side. Probably my favorite of Larsen’s many gems!
    Props to Ohlendorf! Take care.

  2. raysrenegade

    Sometimes people forget that before guys get to that second year of arbitration they might not ever boost over the $1 million mark in salary.
    Not that someone making $450,000 a MLB full season is nothing to sneeze at, but then again I do not have to pay agents, clubhouse attendants and valets.
    Could be worse……Ohlendorf could work for Homeland Security…That would be a bummer right now.

    Rays Renegade

  3. stonebutch99

    Tiger always came across as extremely intelligent but he sure blew it with this last brouhaha. First of all, why must he call the mistress to tell her to change her outgoing message and asap? Dude, if your money can keep you from an embarrassing hospital trip which in turn helps you avoid the police, I think it can buy you a personal assitant who can MAKE CALLS FOR YOU. Fine, maybe that’s not a great idea since you’d end up banging her too…so what about your caddy?? You pay him damn good money, have him give her a ringy dingy. How hard is that?

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