Wednesday September 23rd, 2015

America is caught up in Papal Visit Fever, thanks to Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. Admittedly, we’ve caught it, too. That’s why we decided to take a look at the best athletes named Pope and create a definitive ranking.

10. Nicholas Pope

Nicholas Pope didn’t get an NBA opportunity after his playing career at Oklahoma Baptist University ended, so he went to France. He’s played five seasons in the French first tier and spent last year with STB Le Havre, where he averaged 6.8 points per game. 

9. Roshawn Pope

After four seasons of football at the University of Houston, Roshawn never made it to the NFL. But he did have a nice senior season as a third-string running back and made a nifty tipped catch against Southern Miss. 

8. Monsanto Pope

After being selected in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL draft, Monsanto Pope played four season with the Broncos as a defensive tackle. He had four sacks as a rookie and started 15 games in 2004. 

7. Dave Pope

He played four seasons in the majors as an outfielder with the Orioles and Indians and was a career .265 hitter.

6. David Pope

Not the same as Dave Pope. David Pope played one season for the Kansas City Kings (that’s before they moved to Sacramento) and one season for the Sonics. Both teams finished 31–51 in those seasons and Pope averaged 1.9 points per game each year. That kind of consistency bumps him up a few spots on this list.

5. Bucky Pope

Bucky Pope isn’t on this list because he played three NFL seasons and led the league with 10 touchdown receptions in 1964. He’s on this list because of his nickname, “The Catawba Claw.”

4. Mark Pope

A journeyman NBA forward, he played 153 games over six seasons with the Bucks, Pacers and Nuggets, plus stints in Europe and the CBA. He’s about to start his first season as the head coach at Utah Valley University. 

3. Marquez Pope

Marquez was a ball-hawking defensive back for 10 NFL seasons with five teams. He had 19 career interceptions and nine forced fumbles.

2. Leonard Pope

This Pope had a pretty successful career as an NFL tight end. In seven seasons with the Cardinals, Chiefs and Steelers, he caught 105 passes for 982 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Sure, his last name is hyphenated but we’ll count it anyway. After all, Caldwell-Pope is the only active professional athlete named Pope and a pretty good player. He started all 82 games for the Pistons last year, averaging 12.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. 


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