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Staff Picks: The scariest player to play against

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Photo via Sports Illustrated

In honor of the spooky season, The Scout sports staff picked the scariest players to play against throughout sports history.

Ray “The Quarterback Killer” Lewis

By Umar Syed

​​There are many professional athletes that people are scared of because they have elevated their craft and their game to an unbelievable level. Ray Lewis is one player that I would never dream of lining up against. 

Lewis is one of the greatest football players of all time and considered to be the best linebacker in football. Lewis is the only player in league history to have 40 career sacks, 30 interceptions and 19 fumble recoveries and when he hits you, I can imagine it’s like getting hit by a freight train.

The defensive beast: Metta Sandiford-Artest

Photo via Sports Illustrated

By Ethan Carbone

If I had to pick one athlete that I wouldn’t want to go up against, it would have to be Metta Sandiford-Artest, formerly known as Metta World Peace and Ron Artest. For a short period of time, Sandiford-Artest was the best defender in the NBA, as evidenced by his Defensive Player of the Year trophy in 2004 and the fact that he made three All-Defense teams. 

Yet, the moment that many people think about when they hear his name and the moment that made me pick him is the Malice at the Palace. In a 2004 game between the Pistons and Sandiford-Artest’s Pacers, a fan threw a drink at Sandiford-Artest. In response, he ran into the stands and mistakenly grabbed a different fan, leading to a massive brawl and the cancellation of the game. Sandiford-Artest was suspended for 86 games, the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history.

All day: Adrian Peterson

Photo via Britannica

By Aiden Dewhurst

When I think of most-feared, there is only one player in the sports world that comes to mind: Adrian Peterson. 

Peterson is one of the best running backs to step onto the field. He can truck, stiff-arm, juke, spin, hurdle and break tackles. Peterson has the most rushing yards in a single game with 296 and has the second-most rushing yards all-time in one season with 2,097.

More than anyone else, Peterson strikes fear into his opponents’ hearts. 

Tackles, fights and red cards: Pepe

Photo via Telegraph

By Rodrigo Perez

While it’s easy to pick the best player from any given sport, I decided to go with brute force instead of proficiency. Former Real Madrid defender Kepler Laveran de Lima Ferreira, or  commonly known as Pepe, was once one of the most feared defenders in Spanish soccer. 

With numerous fights and dirty tackles overshadowing his defensive brilliance, Pepe made Real Madrid fans question his way of play. He would do anything to come out on top, even if it meant hurting another player. 

The Home Run King

Photo via Britannica

By Mason Klemm

Here’s a crazy stat: If Barry Bonds played the entire 2004 season without a bat, his on-base percentage would be .608, the highest single-season mark in MLB history. He’s the all-time leader in intentional walks with 688, nearly 400 more than the next highest player. You don’t purposely walk someone that much unless you know what will happen if you pitch to him.

Although I never saw him play, the stories of Bonds’ dominance transcend generations and his name is etched into baseball folklore forever. His steroid usage doesn’t apply when talking about his mythology, as my stomach would be doing somersaults if I ever saw a guy with 762 career home runs step in the box.

P.S. He should be in the Hall of Fame, no questions asked.

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