Yannick Noah vs. Joakim Noah

April 6, 2006

Tale of the Tape:
Yannick Noah vs. Joakim Noah

Last year Joakim Noah was just another benched freshman who couldn't dribble. This year he broke out as the shot-blocking dunk machine for the Florida Gators en route to the 2006 NCAA National Championship. Is he now bigger than his pro-tennis-playing rock star dad? Let's see how they line up on paper:



Claim to Fame
The flamboyant Noah Sr. remains a star on the senior tennis tour, is a rock star in France, and was nominated to the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005. Joakim has NBA scouts licking their lips, but junior is still a blip on the fame radar compared to dad, who gets the nod.
The Look
Yannick rocked the shades and sweet Euro-dreads watching the NCAA final, while Joakim is still coming to terms with the fluffy pony-tail. Dad has some serious fathering to do with the hairstyle.
Charity Work
Yannick has invested a huge amount of time and effort in humanitarian causes such as his "Association des enfants de la terre," which provides temporary homes for children in need. Joakim since winning the National Championship has invested large amounts of time and effort in helping wayward Gator groupies.
Noah began his singing career in 1983 with the album Urban Tribu, shot to fame in France, played Live 8, and is still in demand today. Joakim listens to music on his iPod -- and our money says he's probably not listening to dad.
Joakim's legs go up to dad's Raybans - with a wingspan that would have put away a lot of volleys on the tennis court. And with his newfound fame can put those arms around a lot of Gator groupies.
Yannick says, "I have always considered tennis as a combat in an arena between two gladiators who have their racquets and their courage as their weapons." Joakim said, when the UNLV cheerleaders were trash-talking him during the final, "...when somebody is screaming all that stuff at you, you know, the best thing I could do was just blow a kiss by, and maybe they like me." Game, set, match to the son.
Signature Shot
Joakim is a blocking machine, setting a NCAA final record for blocks. Yannick's signature shot was the between-the-legs retrieval, a dangerous crowd-pleaser that should make Joakim feel fortunate he was ever born.
Yannick is the son of a Cameroon soccer player and his French wife. Joakim is the son of the Yannick, the French Open winner, and a hot Swedish model. That trumps soccer, or football, or whatever the Euros call it.
Noah won the French Open in 1983, and reached a career-high of No. 3 in 1986. Joakim won the National Championship with Florida -- tough call. Joakim, get back to us when you win an NBA title.
Close but Yannick still rules. Joakim says he will stay at Florida rather than jump to the NBA, so 2007 and back-to-back NCAA championships could be a different story.


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