I was watching the highlight of Alonzo Mourning refusing to be brought off the court in a stretcher last night and instead limping off with the help of teammates. I thought about how much my pereption of him changed over the years. When he was a young guy, I didn't like him at all. He was one of those Georgetown guys from that era of cockiness and there was just something about him I didn't like. He was one of those players I actively rooted against.
But over the past several years, I've really come to have a great deal of respect for Mourning. He'e committed, about as passionate as an athlete could be, and he's had one hell of a career. And by all accounts, he's a fine human being.
Brett Favre is another. I just didn't like anything about the guy throughout the 90s and couldn't stand the Packers (still don't love the Packers). But he's a guy I've come to really admire and actively root for. He plays football like a kid plays the game. He will be sorely missed when leaves and I wish the NFL had a few more like him.
In baseball, that guy is Jeter. I alwasy thought he was over-rated (and probably still think so a little), but I've also come to realize what a great player he's truly been, and I've developed a lot of respect and admiration for him.
So who are some of the athletes you've completely changed yor perception of throughout their careers?