An Upset in the Search for the Jersey Shore’s Greatest Sports Personality
Raise your hand if you know who Phil Villapiano is I see a few out there but not too many. Now raise your hand if you know who Todd Frazier is? Wow most of you have apparently heard of him.
With that said would it surprise you to know that Villapiano, a former Pro Bowl linebacker for the Oakland Raiders soundly defeated the popular Toms River baseball star in the final round of voting in the Shore Sports Network’s search for the Jersey Shore’s Greatest Sports Personality of the last 50 years?
Sponsored by Sonny’s Recycling of Waretown, the online contest has been going on since early March when we started with 64 sports greats with Villapiano and Frazier rolling into the finals. The now 69-year old Ocean Township High School graduate received tremendous support throughout from those he knew during his high school days, alumni at Bowling Green State University and fans of “Raider Nation” who remember #41 as one of the key members of their 1977 Super Bowl winning team.
While Villapiano’s victory would have to be a major surprise he is an iconic sports figure who has lived in Monmouth County his entire life. Even though his playing days have been over for decades his impact on the game was such that he is being considered by the Senior Committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
On his way to beating Frazier in the finals he ousted Joe Montano, Scott Goodale, Jim Nantz, Warren Wolf and Christie Pearce Rampone, an impressive list of all-time greats of Jersey Shore sports history.
Frazier had little trouble getting to the finals, beating jockey Joe Bravo in the first round and then running through the likes of Jerry DiPoto, Dan McCullough, Vic Kubu and Al Leiter before falling to the Villapiano juggernaut. I’m sure Todd is not too upset as he’s a bit preoccupied with playing third base for the New York Mets.
Thanks to the thousands who voted each week and to our sponsor Sonny’s Recycling and Ocean Trophies. We will present Villapiano with a special plaque when he returns from a business trip at the end of the month