Vote: Is Jeremy Lin the Best Pro Athlete From Harvard?

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Vote: Is Jeremy Lin the Best Pro Athlete From Harvard?The hype surrounding New York Knicks guard and international sensation Jeremy Lin just continues to grow with each passing day.

After jumping from team to team for his first year-plus in the NBA, Lin has finally found a home in New York. Lin has now started five straight games for the Knicks, throwing up rediculous stat lines that include better than 27 points and eight assists per night during New York's current six-game win streak.

The Linsanity created by the 2010 Harvard graduate's sudden emergence on the sporting landscape returned memories of other popular Crimson alumni in sports history.

Current Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk graduated from Harvard in 1998. Birk was a standout in the Ivy League but fell through the cracks during the 1998 NFL draft, finally being selected in the sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings. The 13-year NFL veteran has been selected to six Pro Bowls (2000-2001, 2003-2004, 2006-2007) and named to the NFL All-Pro team twice (2003, 2004). Reports have recently surfaced that Birk is set to retire after another solid 2011-12 season.

Aside from Birk, Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is another Crimson alum who has seen success in the NFL. Fitzpatrick was originally selected in the seventh round of the 2005 NFL Draft but after a few years of riding the pine in St. Louis, Fitzpatrick finally got a shot in Cincinatti. The 30-year-old QB has put up solid number for the Bills since taking over the starting role in 2009, throwing for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns in each of the past two season.

Another Harvard alum that made waves in the NFL was Cincinatti Bengals punter Pat McInally. McInally primarily served as a punter for the Bengals but also saw some time at wide receiver on offense. McInally was a reliable punter for the Bengals, playing nine NFL seasons and becoming the first Harvard graduate to play in both the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl (both in 1981). McInally is also well known as the only player ever to record a perfect score on the Wonderlic Test, an aptitude exam given to NFL prospects.

Former Boston Bruins winger Ted Donato is another Harvard grad who excelled in the pros. A Boston native, Donato played 13 seasons in the NHL, including his first seven seasons and again in 2003-04 for the Bruins. During his career, Donato played in 796 games, scoring 150 goals and 197 assists for a career total of 347 points. Since retiring in 2004, Donato has served as the head hockey coach at Harvard.

Don sweeney was another Crimson hockey star to play well for the Bruins in the NHL. Sweeney was a consistent figure in the Bruins defense for 15 seasons, ranking third on the Bruins' all-time played games list with 1,051 and racking up totals of 52-221-273 during his 16 season playing career.

So, given the list of notable Harvard graduates in the pros, who do you think is the best professional athlete ever to come out of Harvard?

Who is the best pro athlete from Harvard?

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