Top 100 Irish America's Finest In Sport "What we talk about is great effort outstanding preparat


Justin McBride

Justin McBride rides bulls for a living. On the Professional Bull Riders Build Ford Tough Series since 1999, McBride has had his ribs broken, his lung punctured and his ankle shattered in a sport where making mistakes means a lot more than being told off by your coach.

But such an unforgiving sport produces hardy men, and McBride is one of the hardiest. The two-time world champion (2005 and 2007) had an amazing season last year when he not only clinched his second world title, but also recorded the most tour victories in one season (eight) and the most career wins (30) to date.

The 28-year-old also broke the one-season earnings record with his 2007 haul of $835,321. McBride had surgery to reconstruct his left shoulder (he rode while injured in the 2007 World Championships) last November and is currently working hard on his rehabilitation.

Away from the rodeo, Justin is married to Jill. The couple have one daughter, Addison Claire and live in Oklahoma. Just before he won the 2007 title he released his first country album, Don't Let Go. No guessing as to where he got his inspiration for that title!

Patrick McEnroe

2008 has already proved that there's no rest for the weary, at least not for Davis Cup winners. U.S. team captain Patrick McEnroe is already preparing his team for the Summer Olympics as well as the defense of their Davis Cup crown. McEnroe, luckily, is familiar with pressure. A world-class tennis player, he had his greatest success as a doubles player, winning 17 professional titles in his career, including the 1989 French Open with Jim Grabb. His career-high doubles ranking was # 3. As a singles player McEnroe won one title, in 1995 in Sydney.

McEnroe took over as Davis Cup team captain in 2000 after his brother, tennis legend John McEnroe, retired. It was the Davis Cup that brought the McEnroe men back to Ireland in 1983, where the McEnroe patriarch, JP, traces his ancestry to Belfast.

When not training for the Davis Cup, McEnroe works as a sports analyst and commentator for ESPN. He is married to actress Melissa Errico, who is from his hometown of Manhasset, New York.

Shaun O'Hara

Without protection from the offensive linemen, often the forgotten men of football, the quarterback is a sitting duck. Shaun O'Hara, New York Giants' 303-pound 6-foot-3-inch center, is a Giant in every sense of the word. It was a typical gracious gesture when O'Hara turned the spotlight on quarterback Eli Manning as the Super Bowl hero.

"He's always being compared to somebody, whether it's his dad or his brother or Phil Simms. Tonight, I think Eli built himself a platform for others to be compared to him," O'Hara told The New York Times.

The Chicago-born 30-year-old has always been a team man. Able to play at both guard and center, O'Hara has been an important cog in the Giants' offensive line since he joined the team in March 2003 from Cleveland.

Not only does he give of himself on the field, in 2005 he was named the Giants' Man of the Year in recognition for his contribution to the community. That same year he was honored by the United Way as its Hometown Hero.

Vin Scully

For the past 58 years, Vin Scully has been known as the "Voice of the Dodgers." Following the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, Scully has witnessed and broadcast the triumphs of the greats, from Jackie Robinson to Sandy Koufax. His recent sign-on to his 58th season with the Dodgers makes this the longest time any sportscaster has spent with one team.

Inducted into the American Sportscasters Association's Hall of Fame in 1992, Scully was also elected to the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. The 2005 book Voices of Summer by Curt Smith names Scully "Baseball's All Time Best Broadcaster." That year Scully was also named the California Sportscaster of the Year.

In addition to 25 World Series and 12 All-Star game broadcasts. Scully has worked for the NFL and PGA. A graduate of Fordham University, Vin Scully was born in the Bronx to Irish immigrant parents. Today he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Sandra.

Debbie Ryan

In her 31st season at the helm of The University of Virginia's (UVA) women's basketball team, Coach Debbie Ryan's stellar career will see her inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame with the class of 2008. A Naismith Coach of the Year in 1991 and a seven-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year, Ryan had her 600th victory in 2004.

In 2000 Ryan was diagnosed withpancreatic cancer and is now in remission. Ryan told UVA about her brush with the disease and how it affected her. "I've learned to reach out to other people in this same position, and to families who have loved ones in this position. It's been a friend to me because I think that as much as an enemy it is, it's made me a better person, a better coach and a better mentor."

As well as continuing her quest for her first NCAA title, in 2004 Ryan coached the women's basketball team at the Pan-American Games, where they won the silver medal.

Alan Webb

At only 25, Alan Webb holds the American record for the mile at three minutes and 46.91 seconds, and ended the 2007 season as the fastest miler in the world. In September he won the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York over the defending champion, Kevin Sullivan.