The Smartest Professional Athletes People In Sports

The Smartest Professional Athletes

Originally By 18k votes 2.5k voters 103k views 119 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Vote up the pro athletes you know (or believe) to be the smartest in the leagues

The smartest professional athletes include Rhodes Scholars, 1580 SAT scorers and Ivy League standouts whose book smarts and pure intelligence is equally as impressive as their athletic ability. Smart athletes come from all sports with members of the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB among those who could easily be doctors, lawyers and very successful businessmen.

While typically athletes are stereotyped as meatheads or big dumb animals, these athletes from football, basketball, hockey and baseball have nearly as many accomplishments off the field as they do on. These are not the athletes who skipped college or left early for the promise of big bucks playing professional sports. These are the athletes who made the tough decision to stay in school and earn a degree to carry them once their professional career ended.

Take NFL safety Myron Rolle for example. He didn't just graduate premed from Florida State University in 2 1/2 years but went on to earn a master's from Oxford. He's far from the only smarty pants in the NFL though. Ryan Fitzpatrick isn't just the fifth quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards in his debut but also the 2004 Ivy League MVP while pursuing an economics degree at Harvard.

As if we didn't need another reason to hate be jealous of professional athletes with their fame, fortune and hot wives, these highly successful athletes are also way smarter than us. Some guys have all the luck!
List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 12 ReRanks
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  1. 1
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    Peyton Manning is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    most listed
    Peyton Manning 39 University of Tennessee

  2. 2
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    Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by hookstyler
    Wayne Gretzky age 54

  3. 3
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    - 308
    Jeremy Lin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes


    Jeremy Lin age 27 Harvard University

  4. 4
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    - 66
    Jack Nicklaus is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by zxray
    age 75

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  5. 5
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    Tom Brady is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    often listed & added by qzsp
    Tom Brady age 38 University of Michigan

  6. 6
    + 483
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    Ryan Fitzpatrick is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes


    Ryan Fitzpatrick 33 Harvard University

  7. 7
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    - 76
    Carolina Klüft is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Carolina Klüft age 32

  8. 8
    + 231
    - 47
    Annika Sörenstam is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Annika Sörenstam age 45

  9. 9
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    - 57

    added by Argos66
    age 35

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  10. 10
    + 226
    - 63
    Paula Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Paula Radcliffe age 42

  11. 11
    + 208
    - 48

    added by Argos66
    age 39

    ;
  12. 12
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    - 38

    added by Argos66
    age 26

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  13. 13
    + 333
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    Drew Brees is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by hookstyler
    Drew Brees age 36 Purdue University

  14. 14
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    age 41 Santa Clara University

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  15. 15
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    age 43 Duke University

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  16. 16
    + 165
    - 40
    Jenny Thompson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Jenny Thompson age 42

  17. 17
    + 88
    - 37
    Max Schmeling is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by bfrank53
    Max Schmeling Died at 100 (1905-2005) Became owner of Coca-Cola of Western Europe

  18. 18
    + 165
    - 43
    Věra Čáslavská is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Věra Čáslavská age 73

  19. 19
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    age 39

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  20. 20
    + 134
    - 95
    Mike Marshall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Rat Calabrese
    Mike Marshall age 72

  21. 21
    + 166
    - 109
    Greg Maddux is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by hookstyler
    Greg Maddux age 49

  22. 22
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    age 35

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  23. 23
    + 155
    - 49
    Tanja Frieden is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    ranked low on reranks & added by Argos66
    Tanja Frieden age 39

  24. 24
    + 82
    - 21
    Dana Vollmer is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Dana Vollmer age 28

  25. 25
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    - 89
    Dan Fouts is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    often listed & added by DavidBrands
    Dan Fouts age 64 For his time there was no quarterback who could read defenses and surgically connect on passes than Dan Fouts. His brains/arm and Don Coryell's offensive genius made for some of the most exciting

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  26. 26
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    Shane Battier is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes


    Shane Battier age 37 Duke University

  27. 27
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    added by Argos66
    age 47

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  28. 28
    + 73
    - 18
    Maggie Vessey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Maggie Vessey 34

  29. 29
    + 75
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    added by Argos66
    age 50

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  30. 30
    + 78
    - 25
    Missy Franklin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Missy Franklin age 20

  31. 31
    + 61
    - 18

    added by Argos66
    age 28

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  32. 32
    + 72
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 33

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  33. 33
    + 156
    - 177
    Alex Smith is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Alex Smith age 31 University of Utah

  34. 34
    + 61
    - 24

    added by Argos66
    age 27

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  35. 35
    + 70
    - 20
    Natalie Coughlin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Natalie Coughlin age 33

  36. 36
    + 65
    - 20
    Meredith Kessler is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Meredith Kessler

  37. 37
    + 49
    - 19

    added by RobLein
    age 54

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  38. 38
    + 25
    - 5
    Christine Theiss is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by Argos66
    Christine Theiss

  39. 39
    + 56
    - 22

    added by Argos66
    age 40

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  40. 40
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    added by username001
    age 50 Widely considered one of the greatest centers in both college and NBA history. Robinson scored a 1320 on the SAT, and chose to go to the United States Naval Academy, where he majored in mathematics.

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  41. 41
    + 119
    - 33
    Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    ranked low on reranks & added by zxray
    Died at 33 (1940-1973)

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  42. 42
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    age 38

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  43. 43
    + 33
    - 20
    Bill Bradley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by ryanmcw
    Bill Bradley age 72

  44. 44
    + 90
    - 120
    George Foreman is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by zxray
    age 66

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  45. 45
    + 82
    - 112

    added by Rat Calabrese
    age 70

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  46. 46
    + 20
    - 4

    added by Pixie81
    age 48

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  47. 47
    + 82
    - 155
    Brad Ausmus is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Brad Ausmus age 46 Dartmouth College

  48. 48
    + 89
    - 118


    age 35

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  49. 49
    + 59
    - 49
    Mike Ditka is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Smartest Professional Athletes

    added by zxray
    Mike Ditka 76

  50. 50
    + 75
    - 66

    added by BenjaminFarias
    age 39

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120 +

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