After struggling to endure a normal amount of sleep(that darn anticipation of the NHL All-star game must have me too excited), I decided a cool exploration point would be to endeavour into the player who I feel is the most underrated in each major professional sport(NBA,NHL,MLB,NFL) and provide a brief synopsis as to why I feel this way. Enjoy!
NBA:Nikola Vukevic(Orlando Magic)
Nikola Vukevic I don't believe receives the credit he rightfully deserves due to playing in the basketball Ghost town that Orlando has become. The Magic have lost that prestige from the early to mid nineties when some including myself viewed the Magic as a model franchise being led by Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway. Wrapping around back to Vukevic, averaging 16.7 points per game is commendable for an organization who currently lacks a gamebreaker. Point totals aside, his claim to fame is his ferocious rebounding as he continually piles up the boards on a yearly basis. The outdated ascertation that "White men can't jump" has been disproved long ago as Vukevic is just one of in a long list of players who are revolutionizing the way the center position is looked at.
NHL:Marco Scandella(Minnesota Wild)
I remember during his stint as a member of the Canadian World Junior team, the offensive upside he had as a defenceman was criminally understated by the broadcast team of Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire at the time. There's this false misnomer that he's proficient in the defensive side but has limitations with the puck, which couldn't be further from the truth. A modest five goals thusfar this season but was able to pot eleven last season, so if that's not enough evidence proving Scandella's completeness, I don't know what is!
MLB:Gio Gonzalez(Washington Nationals)
I'm one that has no qualms about making prognostications that insult the word bold, and a couple years ago I made the claim that Gonzalez would win the Cy Young as a member of the Nationals. Now, like most of my outlandish predictions at times, that particular pinnacle wasn't reached but this individual has been a dominant force in the Majors going back to his debut with Oakland in 2008. Doesn't possess an overpowering repertoire but has a looping curveball that's become his trademark pitch, the curveball channels similarities to how Jamie Moyer in his prime used to baffle hitters(certainly not referring to the late 2000 Moyer that gift wrapped beach balls). Gonzalez fits perfect in this list because over the last several years he's been overshadowed in Washington sitting behind the likes of Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer and yet some, okay not some but I will argue that Gonzalez's importance exceeds that of the aforementioned two due to this reason.....every team has an ace now a days the key for longevic success is having reliable depth, something that Gonzalez provides in spades.
NFL:Brandon Flowers(San Diego Chargers)
Let me begin by saying that it's nearly impossible for anyone to succeed in San Diego playing behind the Double Agent himself in Philip Rivers. On most Sundays, you're never really sure what organization Rivers is affiliated with. Brandon Flowers, an alumni of Virginia Tech has been of the few in this franchise which has seen a musical chair amount of coaches take foot in San Diego that had prospered. When he left the Chiefs via free agency, he was a prized possession on the market and chose the Chargers as had the correct realization that he would be the focal point of the defensive attack. Without a doubt,Flowers is an underrated(queue reason for why he's been included) ball hawk and I find it appalling he hasn't been invited to more Farce Bowls(oops, meant Pro Bowl) over the course of his career.