Athletes are great for our country - they inspire us, they motivate us and entertain us.  They are our heroes - athletes make us want to be like them. But when it comes down to it, let's face it - they are still just men and women playing sports! They are not the ones who make the BIG decisions that affect every American. 

However, I feel like there are plenty of athletes out there destined for bigger things after sports. Athletes who could (and should) run for office after they are done with their sports careers. Leadership in Washington stinks, plain and simple. It's time for some fresh faces to run this country!

Here are my top 5 list of current and former athletes who should run for President:

#5) Jeremy Lin

The question isn't why... it's why not Jeremy Lin? Besides being incredibly motivational and inspiring to the entire nation, the dude also happens to be really smart, graduating from Harvard with a degree in Economics and a GPA over 3.0. A President should also be a strong leader, which

Jeremy Lin(86615)Credit: AP Photo

Lin has proven to be for the Knicks, who play in the biggest sports city in the world! They are under a huge microscope, so to speak, but Lin has shown tremendous poise under the pressure of the bright lights.

Jeremy Lin should run for office (of course, after his long NBA career that has only just begun!) You must be 35 years of age to run for President, so the 23-year-old has some time anyway.

#4) Tom Brady

Tom Brady(86616)Credit:

Brady is arguably one of the most likeable players in all of sports - he's cool, calm and collected out on the field and in the press room, too. He handles the media very, very well. I have no doubt that Brady would be able to handle criticism and the heat of the press if he ran for office.

Brady also displays tremendous leadership skills, courage and is a team player. He seems like a very intelligent man. Brady also graduated from the University of Michigan, a pretty decent school.

#3) Phil Mickelson

Mickelson would be able to win office easily because he is so beloved by the sports community. Mickelson has accomplished a lot on the golf course, winning four major championships and 40 total PGA tour events. He often is matched up with "rival" Tiger Woods, and is now arguably the better golfer.Phil MickelsonCredit:

"Lefty" is very likeable, smart and perhaps the most friendly golfer on the PGA Tour. People around the country love him - you can just tell by the cheers he receives every time he hits the ball.

#2) Curt Schilling

Schilling is a 6-time MLB All Star and 3-time World Series Champion, winning one with the Red Sox and two with the Diamondbacks. The retired pitcher has been involved in politics even during his MLB career - he campaigned for President George W. Bush in 2004 and has testified before congress several times on the issue of steroids.

Curt SchillingCredit:

According to Wikipedia: "In a Fox News interview on January 18, 2010, Schilling was asked about his own political ambitions. While he didn't rule out a future run for public office, he said that after his family had spent so much time and energy supporting his baseball career, it was time to focus more time at home."

Schilling isn't the most well-liked athlete, but the fact that he already has experience in politics is a big plus. Only time will tell if Schilling decides to try a run for office in the future.

#1) Peyton Manning

Probably the most obvious choice on the list, Manning is smart and lists reading as a major hobby. He is also pretty funny, appearing in many commercials, and is a proven leader, winning the Superbowl with the Colts.

Manning graduated in just three years from the University of TennesseePeyton ManningCredit: with a 3.61 GPA,  according to The Sporting News' "20 Smartest Athletes." Manning said he was currently reading “FDR: The First Hundred Days." He also might not have much of a football career left as it's currently up in the air where he will play next year, if he does play.

Other Potentials: Danica Patrick, Derek Jeter, Steve Nash, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Shane Battier, Andy Roddick, etc.

Which athletes do you think should run for President or U.S. office?