BLAKE SEBRING: Who are Fort Wayne’s Favorite Athletes?

Jaylon Smith
Karissa McLaughlin
DaMarcus Beasley

Things social media is bad for: stirring political controversy, reinforcing urban myths and picking on celebrities and athletes who did absolutely nothing to you personally.

Things social media is good for: reminding you to wish friends happy birthday, kids’ first and last day of school pictures and sometimes asking for prayers and support from friends during tough times.

It’s also fantastic at sparking nostalgia (if you are old enough to know what the word means).

Recently, there’s been a topic going around asking fans to list their favorite players by sport. The main topics have been the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, college football, college basketball and professional wrestling. (Hey, I didn’t make up the original list.)

That’s started some great debates over Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James, Tom Brady vs. Walter Payton, Mario Lemieux vs. Wayne Gretzky, Barry Bonds vs. Willie Mays and Dick the Bruiser against Leaping Lanny Poffo. (The definitive answers are Jordan, Payton, Gretzky, Mays and the Fabulous Moolah, of course, with no debate possible! Yes, I understand those are all the older athletes, so what are you trying to hint at?)

RELATED: Who is Fort Wayne’s Favorite football player?

See how much fun this social media experiment can be? Arguing is fun and at the very least gets the blood flowing. It also inspires tenacity, stubbornness and the inability to ever get the last word in because every internet debate IS. STILL. GOING. ON.

But who would be Fort Wayne’s favorite athletes?

Well, some of those are very easy decisions like soccer star DaMarcus Beasley or golfers Bill Kratzert and his sister Cathy Gerring. So we’ll just go ahead and name them the winners of their categories. But what about the rest? The only criteria is there must be some significant tie to Northeast Indiana.

Over the next eight weeks starting today, News-Sentinel.com will post a category every Monday asking you to vote from among 10 candidates in each sport, starting today with football. Over the next seven weeks, we’ll use some of the more traditional categories such as baseball and hockey, but we’re going to split basketball into men’s and women’s and we’ll include Olympians and auto racing.

The voting will continue for a week and we’ll announce your selections the following Monday when we post the next category. The News-Sentinel.com staff might also tell you what we think of your picks. Turnabout is fair play, you understand.

But, you may ask, isn’t this just click bait? Hey, did you see the part about how we stole the idea from social media?

Fair warning, because of that, our 10 selections in each category are also skewing younger.

Feel free to argue among yourself over the voting. I’ll start a prayer chain.

This column is the commentary of the writer and does not reflect the views or opinions of News-Sentinel.com. Email Blake Sebring at bsebring@news-sentinel.com.

RELATED: Here were our picks for Fort Wayne’s Greatest Athletes in football, basketball and baseball in a 2016 series

RELATED: Northeast Indiana’s 50 greatest athletes from the 20th century

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