Now, tennis is a sport that almost certainly divulges an advantage if you have long arms. Just think of how much power you can put into your serve if you stand six feet and ten inches like John Isner! This huge guy is considered one of the best servers ever to play on the ATP tour, and it should be pretty obvious why. Lots and lots of practice, of course. Oh, also, he’s six-foot-infinity.
Isner was ranked as high as number eight in singles and number fourteen in doubles, which is a little amazing. Being one of the best servers in the world must deliver a huge boon to your game – maybe he was so used to acing his opponents that he didn’t have enough time to work on his backhand or something like that.
Manny Yarbrough – 6’ 8”, 600 lbs
You read that right – six-foot-eight and six hundred pounds. This tower spectacle of manhood once held the Guinness World Record for the world’s heaviest living athlete. Also, yes, that’s him in the sumo ring battling the comparatively minuscule Jay Leno on the set of “The Tonight Show.” Manny Yarbrough was born in Rahway, New Jersey, but it was clear that he was destined for sumo greatness.
He was only ever in amateur sumo, but he also competed in American martial arts, as a football player, and even enjoyed the spotlight as an actor for a short time. He achieved a brown belt in judo, didn’t have a great record in Mixed Martial Arts, and was in a Bollywood film. He once reached eight hundred pounds, at which point he started to see an obesity specialist.
Phil Blackmar – 6’ 7”
These days, hearing that a golfer is almost two hundred and fifty pounds doesn’t really raise many eyebrows. That’s most golfers, even if we’re just talking about amateurs. Once you hear that Phil Blackmar is more than six and a half feet tall, it makes a little more sense. While he was on the PGA tour from 1985 to 2000, he was the tallest player on the tour. For that entire time. And he was probably the tallest by a significant margin, too.
Doesn’t having all that extra height give you some sort of advantage? It doesn’t really seem like it, since then we’d be seeing a lot of tall golfers. Maybe it’s just a very minor advantage. Or maybe those big, long muscles make it HARDER to control the ball?
Shawn Bradley – 7’ 6”
You see those two guys holding Shawn Bradley back from getting into what we assume is yet another fight on the hardwood? Those are Eddie Rush in the front and Walt Williams behind him. Walt Williams is six-foot-eight! Shawn Bradley is a very tall person in a sport that is practically built around having lots of really tall people. In fact, Shawn Bradley is one of the tallest players to ever play the sport professionally.
Currently, he’s number five on that list, but he’s tied with two of the people ahead of him, and only Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan are listed as taller – and they only have an inch each. Being almost as tall as Manute Bol really means something in basketball. He’s also almost three hundred pounds, but that’s just because of his ridiculous height.
Paul Millar – 6’ 10”
This is a picture of Paul Millar kicking another man in the crotch, which means we might have finally found a soccer player that we actually want to watch play. While Paul Millar might be a mere six feet and ten inches, that’s pretty tall when it comes to this sport as well as real life. In fact, he’s widely recognized as the third-tallest player in the sport to date.
However, he’s had a couple of bad knee injuries, and people who are taller already have to deal with putting tons of extra pressure on their knees. Soccer players have to be quick and agile, and that means even MORE pressure on your knees and other important ligaments. Unfortunately, Millar never truly recovered from some of these injuries, which cut his career short.