Brady among most influential

The mother of all list-makers, Forbes, has come out with yet another, this one ranking the most influential athletes in the country.

According to the magazine, New England franchise quarterback Tom Brady is the second-most influential pro, behind Nascar champion Jimmy Johnson.

In a poll of more than 1,000 adults by E-Poll and Nielsen, 23 percent of respondents rated Brady as influential, with 40 percent saying they “like” him or like him “a lot” (11 percent said they dislike him). His N-score – which rates endorsement potential – is 131; the average athlete has an N-score of 14.

Other NFL players joining Brady in the top 10 were the Steelers’ Troy Polamalu, whose humorous Head N Shoulders commercials likely improved his rating, the Colts’ Peyton Manning, and the Broncos’ Tim Tebow.

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The Celtics’ Shaquille O’Neal came up fourth on the list because he continues to be popular with fans and endorsers despite clearly being near the end of his career.

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