With the NBA and NFL regular seasons in full swing, NHL hockey getting going and the MLB world set to focus on the World Series, there’s a whole lot of sports taking place right now.
There’s also a lot of competition for the NFL as the most talked about league in North America. Unfortunately for those looking to take that mantle, the NFL itself is still dominating in our most-recent SNIP 100 popularity rankings.
Here’s a look at the top 25 for the week ending October 16th, 2017.
25. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
A former No. 1 on the SNIP 100, King James made his way into the top 25 this past week. It’s only fitting due to his popularity in the NBA and the league starting its regular season last Tuesday. Though, he wasn’t among the top-five NBA players in popularity. A ho-hum 2-1 start to the season coupled with no real drama in Cleveland led to this.
24. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
At 5-1 heading into Monday’s action against Washington, Wentz has his Eagles with the best record in the NFC East. He’s also thrown 13 touchdowns compared to three interceptions in six games. He’s also up 27 spots in Twitter popularity since the week before. Yeah, people are talking about the sophomore Philly quarterback big time.
23. Tony Ferguson, MMA fighter
Potentially set to take on UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, traction for Ferguson in regards to popularity is taking off. At 23-3, he would be a tremendous challenge for McGregor. He also find himself as the third-most popular MMA figure on the weekly SNIP top 100.
22. Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland Cavaliers
Still sidelined due to a hip injury, one of the newest members of the Cavaliers still finds a way to crack the top 25 this week. He peaked at No. 1 in popularity for Cleveland after being acquired from Boston, but has since taken a back seat to those actually suiting up. The Cavs expect Thomas back by December.
21. Serena Williams, tennis
Growing in terms of consistent popularity, Williams has now been on the SNIP 100 chart eight consecutive weeks. She’s also the third-most popular tennis figure of all-time. That ranking is just ahead of her sister, Venus. Still sidelined after giving berth to a child, it will be interesting to see how Williams’ popularity grows once she does head back to the court.
20. Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers
Inconsistency aside, Ball’s first week in the NBA wasn’t too shabby. After being shut down by Patrick Beverley to the tune of three points in his debut, Ball put up 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in his second game. He’s averaging 13.3-9.4-8.7 in three games. Obviously, this comes with popularity.
Considering Ball is ranked ahead of King James, that’s a big deal. He’s also No. 2 among all athletes in Twitter popularity. Yeah, Twitter likes itself some drama. With the Balls in Los Angeles, that’ll continue to be the case.
19. James Harden, Houston Rockets
Despite the injury to Chris Paul, Harden’s Rockets started the season with a 3-0 record in the first week. Last season’s MVP runner-up is averaging 27.7 points and 8.7 assists in three games this season. Though, he did drop six spots in popularity from the week before and is down from his No. 3 peak position earlier in the year.
18. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
“Twinkle Toes” Gronkowski put up two touchdowns in a win over the New York Jets back in Week 6. It was the tight end’s first multi-touchdown performance since September of 2015. Surely Tom Brady’s favorite target will continue to find himself popular as long as the two dominate.
17. Addison Russell, Chicago Cubs
Russell put up just two hits in 16 at-bats in the Cubs’ NLCS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. For the young shortstop, it was a continuation of struggles we saw earlier in the playoffs. And the social media world let him know about it. Though, with the Cubs now eliminated, everything is surrounding the Bulls and Bears in Illinois. The state’s SNIP top 100 is a prime example of this.
16. Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves
Andrew Wiggins might have hit the game-winning shot against Oklahoma City on Sunday, but Butler remains the most-popular member of the Wolves early this season. He was also sixth among all NBA players in SNIP popularity this past week. An All-NBA performer for an up-and-coming team, none of this should be considered a surprise.
15. Dana White, MMA
More so than any other executive outside of Roger Goodell, White puts himself in the public eye. It’s his willingness to pimp the product and pump up fights that consistently has White among the most popular MMA figures. As big-time fights are put on the calendar, we can expect White’s popularity to grow even more.
14. Roger Federer, tennis
The most talked about tennis figure of all-time, Federer is trending due to recent struggles that have seen him lose to lesser tennis players. It’s a rare downtick in a career that has seen the all-time great win 19 Grand Slam tourneys throughout his career.
13. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
The Process is really getting going in Philadelphia, and Embbid remains the most-popular figure for the up-and-coming Sixers. Embiid has now been on the charts for 15 weeks, a clear indication he’s the face of the franchise. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s putting up an average of nearly 14 boards per game on the season.
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Drama appears to be the name of the game in Pittsburgh this season. But the team still stands at 5-2 after seven weeks and Big Ben is playing much better football. Despite not being anywhere near as consistently popular as the likes of Tom Brady, Big Ben has peaked at No. 11 in the SNIP top 100. Being 12th this past week is a sign of consistency here.
11. Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Once Gordon Hayward went down with a fractured foot in the season opener, it became apparent that Irving would be the face of the Celtics’ franchise moving forward. He has his Celtics at just 1-2 on the season and is shooting at a 37 percent clip from the field. This led to a drop in popularity from No. 5 overall the week prior to 11th last week.
10. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma Sooners
Mayfield and the Sooner fended off Kansas State on the road this past weekend. It’s the team’s second consecutive narrow win against an inferior opponent after losing to Iowa State earlier in October. A Heisman candidate, it’s no surprise that Mayfield continues to dominate college football rankings.
9. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Even prior to putting up north of 200 total yards and three scores against San Francisco on Sunday, Elliott was talked about in a big way. Obviously, this has to do with his ongoing legal battle with the NFL and the potential of a six-game suspension. But he’s still on the field and dominating. His peak position is No. 1 on the sports top 100. Yet, as people grow tired of the legal situation, Elliott’s on-field performance will dictate how popular he is moving forward.
8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady has his Patriots at 5-2 on the season and in first place in the AFC East heading into Week 8. He’s also thrown an NFL-best 15 touchdowns compared to two interceptions. As the reigning Super Bowl champ and one of the greatest of all-time, it’s no surprise he remains one of the most talked about NFL figures the world over.
7. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers was among the most popular NFL players this past week for all the wrong reasons. Likely done for the season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken collarbone, Rodgers’ absence pretty much ends the Packers’ season. That was magnified Sunday when the team fell short at home against the New Orleans Saints.
6. Michael Jordan, NBA owner
Jordan just won’t go away. In addition to ranking No. 2 on the SNIP 100 for legends (yes Tony Romo is first), Jordan was among the most-popular NBA figures this past week. He’s also now been on the charts for 12 weeks — a clear indication the Hornets owner will remain a viable figure in terms of popularity.
5. Conor McGregor, MMA fighter
Sure McGregor’s yet to be announced title bout is making the news, but it’s his homophobic comments that had the MMA fighter in the news for all the wrong reasons this past week. You can check them out here. A volatile figure — one that isn’t afraid of drama — McGregor is the most-popular MMS figure of all-time. And it’s not close.
4. Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
With NFL owners and players meeting this past week to discuss the National Anthem protests, Goodell himself was back in the news. And with the Ezekiel Elliott legal situation still playing out, this will continue to be the case. He’s up three spots from last week in the Twitter top 100 and is seeing his popularity be more a product of social media than news itself. No surprise there.
3. Colin Kaepernick, free agent quarterback
Again not too much of a surprise here. With the Kaepernick-led National Anthem protests still making the news, he remains a popular figure on the Internet. This, despite the fact that Kaepernick is still unemployed. His peak position on SNIP stood at No. 1 among the top 100 and the former Super Bowl quarterback has been on the chart for 36 weeks.
2. Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
Peterson was the talk of the football world after putting up 134 yards and two touchdowns in his Cardinals debut back in Week 6. Sure he struggled this past Sunday, but people still remain intrigued over the future Hall of Famer. The interesting dynamic here is that AD dropped from No. 6 on Twitter to 92nd this past week. Maybe fatigue is taking hold.
1. Jerry Jones, owner, Dallas Cowboys
Jones’ Cowboys defeated San Francisco by the score of 40-10 at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday. It was the team’s first game since Jones made it publicly known that he would not allow his players to kneel for the National Anthem. None did. But Jones himself remains a very popular figure in our SNIP 100 rankings.