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Thread: Greatest sporting Legend

  1. #91
    Roberto Aqui
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    Legends

    The topic is a beauty contest, and like beauty, I know a legend when I see one.

    BTW, golf most definitely is a sport in that it takes strength, coordination, timing, concentration, and practice just like any sport does.

    Don't kid yourself, the Century's chosen best athlete in the world would've sold off a few of his NBA trophys to make the PGA tour or even MLB.

    BTW, those Senior Tour guys are better at golf than 99.95% of the players who aspire to better golf scores which includes a who's who of great athletes. Moreover, there's quite a few female golfers who can spank most any male. Give it up guys, you can hate it, but golf is a sport and a great one, but only if you like sports.

  2. #92
    Chuck1052
    Guest

    Re: Legends

    I would rather have a Jerry Rice in his prime over
    Terrell Owens or Randy Moss any day of the year.
    Rice has been a team player who wants to win.

    In my opinion, Tiger Woods has dominated at
    a time when there has been many more capable
    golfers that when Jack Nicklaus was at his best.

    - Chuck Johnston

  3. #93
    TKO11
    Guest

    Chuck

    That's an interesting point, and one a lot of sportscasters make. When Nicklaus was at his best (1962-1978 ) there were only about 20 guys that you knew you had to look out for. Today, Tiger's era, there's about 60, any one of whom can win any given week.

    My argument against that is that these guys today have the potential to be there every week.... but they aren't. They have the ability to be superduperstars.... but they aren't. The guys in modern golf that deliver week in and week out are Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. Mickelson and Els are either right there, or nowhere. The rest of the best show up now and then, but it's always a crapshoot.

    In Jack's day he had to gut it every single week. There were guys that were comparable to the Mickelsons of the world, like Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Ray Floyd, Tony Jacklin and Larry Nelson (many more almost-elite than there are today, IMO), but he knew in every event he'd have to deal with monsters that were guaranteed to be there - Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Gene Littler, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson.

    The overall level of play on the tour is much better today than it ever was, I agree wholeheartedly. But the elite guys at the very top are far fewer in number and far less consistent in their performances. Where Jack knew he'd have a half dozen guys putting hte screws to him in the big events, Tiger knows that if a the Singhs, Els and Mickelsons aren't there, he just has to hang around and watch the best-of-the-rest either crumble under the pressure, or he just has to play better than them. Which he generally does, because he's better than any of the non-elite players, even on a bad day. Nicklaus rarely had that advantage - at least one of the other big guns was going to be nose-to-nose down the stretch.

  4. #94
    gazot
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    Golf v Cycling...

    A sport by definition is 'a competitive activity involving physical effort and skill'. So golf is a sport. Just because the physical effort required is relatively low doesn't mean it should be discounted, after all how much skill does it take to ride in the Tour de France? Also the 'watchability' of a sport should count for something. I've been thrilled by many a golf tournament but never by a cycle race. Yes I've sat there and been amazed at the athletic achievement of scaling a mountain on a bicycle, but it's hardly edge of your seat stuff!!

  5. #95
    Roberto Aqui
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    TDF

    [[after all how much skill does it take to ride in the Tour de France? ]]
    ============

    Riding a bike at the elite level like that requires a great deal of skill, coordination, balance and reflexes not to mention endurance and judgement. Don't kid yourself, this is a dangerous sport that riders die in. You try riding a bike down hairpin mountain roads at 60-70 mph on a square inch of rubber for traction with only your body as the suspension system.

  6. #96
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: TDF

    I'll leave it with you guys, but trying to say Jack Nicklaus was a greater athlete or sports star than an Ali, Jordan, Carl Lewis, Joe Louis....(the list is endless) is utterly absurd.....

  7. #97
    gazot
    Guest

    Skill?

    It doesn't require a great amount of skill. A sport that riders die in? 2 have died as a result of crashes in the Tour de France in over a hundred years. I'm not saying it's not dangerous but lets not exagerate. 70 mph into a hairpin bend would be suicidal, and that's why it doesn't happen, it's easy, when approaching a bend, slow down. I've cycled downhill at speed, I was also a cycle courier in London for 5 years and I know which is more dangerous!

  8. #98
    Roberto Aqui
    Guest

    Re: Skill?

    2 riders have died during Lance's run alone. That doesn't count the dozen or more yearly who fall out because of fractured wrists, skulls, collarbones, ect.

    And I won't comment on bike couriers other than to say it ranks with ice climbing and blowdrying one's hair while bathing as things to do if you have a suicide complex.

  9. #99
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    .

    Some sports require little strength and a lot of skill (golf). Some require a lot of strength and little skill (weightlifting). They are all points on the spectrum.

    As for the Seniors making big money, they wouldn't make it if the sponsors didn't pay it, and the sponsors wouldn't pay it if the people didn't watch it. Like the man said, supply and demand. No elite athlete is worth the kind of money they make, in any sport.

    I tend to agree that golf was a lot more competitive in Nicklaus' time, and over the years, he has amassed an unparalleled record. He is the king until Woods catches him. That having been said, around 1999-2000, when Woods was completely spanking the best players in the world, he was playing at a level never before seen. But he hasn't been able to sustain it. Nowadays, you are just as likely to see Woods spraying tee shots all over the lot in major championships as you are to see him run away with them. It's just that his length and strength -- and equipment that adds 30-40 yards to shots let him get away with boners. Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Miller, etc. did not have the luxury of souped up clubs and balls.

  10. #100
    Chuck1052
    Guest

    Re: Skill?

    TKO11- You made a great case for Jack Nicklaus.
    I will say that Nicklaus is the greatest golfer ever
    at this point in this time, but I think Tiger Woods
    well on his way to smashing Nicklaus' records.

    It is too early to assess the careers
    of Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, and Phil Mickelson.
    All three players are doing very well at this
    time and could win many more tournaments.
    Moreover, Singh, Els, and Mickelson have
    much more impressive records in the majors
    than they have been given credit for. In fact,
    Mickelson has quite a number of top tens,
    including a few runner-up finishes. Another
    player who has done well in majors is Retief
    Goosen.

    - Chuck Johnston

  11. #101
    blv30
    Guest

    Carl Lewis

    Can you honestly put Carl Lewis over Jim Brown?

  12. #102
    TKO11
    Guest

    walsh and Chuck

    Walsh - I would never call Nicklaus a greater athlete than an Ali. But the topic is "Greatest Sports Legend", which suggests not only athletic ability, but the big picture, including being head-and-shoulders above the men that play the same game, being a sportsman, everything. Ali was a great athlete, and grew his sport like nobody else. But other than a brief time during hs first reign, he wasn't head-and-shoulders better than everyone else. And his sportsmanship (not his gamesmanship) left a lot to be desired.

    Chuck - Tiger may well go on to beat Jack's records. But considering that he has started to (as DScribe said) show more inconsistency, and the pull of domesticity is starting to be more apparent, we'll have to see. Nicklaus was better between the ages of 30 and 35 than he was from 25-30. Tiger still has to keep up what he's been doing for the last 8 years for another 8 years. If he can do it, my hat will be off to him.

    Singh is always there, at least for the last few years. But he's over 40 now, and I guarantee that he will fade badly within the next couple of years. Els won a couple of US Opens as a young man, but since then has only backed into one major, which was handed to him on a silver platter. He's great, but much like Woods having a wife looks like it's taking away from his game. Always happens. And Mickelson pissed away so many majors before he broke through, that he now knows how to deal with it, and could ring up several more. But again, when he isn't right there in the hunt, he's scraping the bottom of the barrel. He's the ultimate hot-and-cold player of the generation. But next to Big John, he's my favorite player, and has been (along with John, of course) for nearly 10 years.

  13. #103
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: Carl Lewis

    Blv30, I could put Lewis ahead of everybody except Ali. The only thing against him is the admission that he failed drugs test in the past. He was cleared at the time but he did admit to it, so his legacy will forever be tarnished. But what an athlete on his day. He was the most graceful sprinter I've ever seen and I have to say that apart from maybe a prime Ali or Maradona in action, watching Carl run at full speed was one of the most beautiful sights in sport.

  14. #104
    Chuck1052
    Guest

    Re: Phil Mickelson

    TKO11- Phil Mickelson is my favorite golfer. I
    was thinking that he could be at the top for
    a number of years since he is only in his middle
    30s. As I recall, Ben Hogan didn't reach his
    peak until his late 30s.

    John Daly has amazing talent. Of course,
    he can hit the ball out of sight and has
    a tremendous touch around the greens.
    Who knows how he would have fared
    as a golfer if he didn't have some
    personal demons?

    It seems that Tiger Woods has done very
    well after being married. In fact, he has
    had a very good year in 2005.

    - Chuck Johnston

  15. #105
    TKO11
    Guest

    Agreed

    No question - Tiger's had a great year. But the main reason it was a great year was that he won 2 majors. But one of them, the Masters, was a perfect example of why I say he has it easier than Nicklaus. He didn't have to gut it out. The biggies were nowhere to be found, and he had to beat Chris Dimarco (a very good player, obviously, but nobodies idea of Tom Watson). And even at that, he barely pulled it off. He played the last 16 holes of the tournament 1 over par. If he'd had a major-tested someone with balls of steel gunning him that day, he loses.

    Great 3 shots in the playoff though. He really came through for that one hole when it counted most.

    He had a chance at the US Open, but really and obviously choked for the first time in his career. And he shot two great rounds at the British, then cruised the rest of the way because the biggies were absent once again.

    Tiger's 1999-2000 were amazing. Even better than Jack's 1972-1973. But he isn't the same now as he was then - of course, how could anyone be? He could still go on to win 25 majors, but it would most likely be because he continues to play in an era where nobody iss tepping up to really challenge him. I don't want to take anything away from him (though I imagine it's clear that I'm not a fan of his), but in order for me to think he is going to unseat Ohio Fats as the best ever, he has a long way to go. 8 more big ones, and about 25 total wins. For anyone else, I'd say that what he needs to accomplich from right now to unseat Jack would make one hell of a career on it's own.

    I'll believe he's going to do it if he's 35 and has gotten within 4 majors. Until then, he's just the best since Jack.

  16. #106
    gazot
    Guest

    ...

    'And I won't comment on bike couriers other than to say it ranks with ice climbing and blowdrying one's hair while bathing as things to do if you have a suicide complex'.

    :lol You're right about that!!!

  17. #107
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    .

    As someone who's almost been crushed numerous occasions by a bike courier going the wrong way down a one-way street, I can honestly say that a lot of these "suicide complexes" won't be happy unless they take a few folks down with them.

  18. #108
    blv30
    Guest

    Re: Carl Lewis

    walsh b, Carl was a great sprinter, but I wouldn't definitely put him above someone like Jim Brown, who got out of his sport on top.Not too many people can say that.

  19. #109
    jyoungfan2
    Guest

    lewis

    True, but Lewis competed against, and beat, the WORLDS best. Back in Browns day, football wasn't an international sport.

  20. #110
    blv30
    Guest

    lewis

    As long as he stays out of ads wearing pumps, I can grudgingly accept him.

  21. #111
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    top 10

    Top 10 athletes of all time:

    1. Pele
    2. Pele
    3. Pele
    4. Pele
    5. Pele
    6. Pele
    7. Pele
    8. Pele
    9. Pele
    10. Pele

    When we're watching the world cup this year, it would be a good idea for us Americans to reflect on the merits of the most global sport's greatest player ever. (Yes, even more global than boxing.)

    Edson Arantes do Nasicmento. O Rei. A Perola Negra.

    Pele:

    1265 goals... EXCLUDING his years with the New York Cosmos.

    The greatest player in the game today, David Beckham, has like... 352. Diego Maradona: 588. Just look at the stats on "soccer gods" like Best, Beckenbauer, etc. Ronaldo. And so on. Then look at THE KING. I mean... this guy scored double hat tricks! Who the f*ck even gets hat tricks these days... let alone SIX GOALS IN ONE GAME!!! So dominant was The Black Pearl at the zenith of his career that... or so I've heard... the Santos fans would be sitting in cafes, drinking cachaca or cafezinhos, and when they'd announce "gol, Pele" on the radio... the response would be like...

    "Oh, yeah. Goal. Pele. Another. And so you were saying?..."

    So routine was it for this soccer machine to pop one in the back of the net... it would be like... for example... take basketball...

    Jabbar is the #1 scorer in NBA history with 38,387 points. Chamberlain... 31,419. Now, what if Kareem had not only passed Wilt but had wound up his career with, say... 60,000 points.

    That's like Pele.

    How do you compare Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, etc. You simply can't compare them. It's a toss up.

    You can't compare any other soccer player to Pele... but not because it's a toss up. There was only ONE king.

    Look at the stats for yourself. He was not just the most dominant player in the world's most widely played sport...

    HE WAS, IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE SOCCER ITSELF!

  22. #112
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    Re: top 10

    Yeah, but . . . it's soccer . . . .
    PeteLeo.

  23. #113
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    He probably wouldn't score highly on a national poll at this time, but I can't think of anyone ratilng higher consideration than Olympic Decathlon Champion Bob Mathias. He was only 17 years old when he took on and beat the world's top athletes in ten different events. Having been a half-assed track man, I can assure you that had to be a monumental achievement.

    Mathias first won the decathlon at the 1948 Olympic Games as a school boy, then put in a stint at Stanford University as a fullback on the football team, then won his second decathlon gold medal at the 1952 Olympic Games, again winning over the world's top track and field athletes.

    Just a thought, of course, but they were true amateur sportsmen back then.

    hap navarro

  24. #114
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    Re: top 10

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteLeo
    Yeah, but . . . it's soccer . . . .
    PeteLeo.
    Pete, that has got to be the funniest, best four word message ever posted on any board, on any subject!

    Guys, every country will have its sports legends. I have a feeling Pele will be remembered as the greatest sports legend of the 20th century. More people knew of him, I think, than any other athlete, even more than Ali.

  25. #115
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    As for other ideas of mine, in regards to "the greatest..."

    Boxing? I have a feeling I'll be working on who was "the greatest" to the day I die.

    Olympics? I think the decathalon has to be the ultimate test in sports, taking nothing away from marathon runners. Sure, Daley Thompson won, what, three straight decathlons? Unreal.

    But Thorpe won the decathlon and the track and field pentathlon, which of course is no longer used. What a lot of people don't realize in that Thorpe's scores not only won him the gold medal in 1912, but had he somehow been born later, and competed in both the 1920 and 1924 Olympics, and done exactly the same times and distances, he would have won gold medals in both of THOSE decathlons as well.

  26. #116
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    Baseball? How many guys in the history of the game had 20 wins seasons as a pitcher and 60 home runs in a season batting? One. Fella named Ruth. Nobody else comes close.

    Some people claim Bonds is the greatest baseball player ever. I'll believe that as soon as he wins 20 games as a pitcher.

    Basketball? Chamberlain. Jordan was the greatest shooting guard ever, no doubt about it. One of the 5 greatest players ever.

    Did Jordan re-write the NBA record book? No? Chamberlain did.

    Football? A lot of great athletes, no doubt about it. Jim Brown's lifetime average per carry, something over 5 yards per, is a statistic that a lot of runners wish they could have for a SEASON, let alone a career.

    But how about a guy who won Defensive Player of the Year... while playing for a team that went 1-13? Later voted in the Hall of Fame. Maybe the greatest ever at his position. Fella named Butkus. I saw him play. Saw Brown play. It's close. Defensive players just don't have the stats that an offensive player does. Defensive player does his job, the offense goes the other way. You don't even get credit for a tackle.

    Gymnastics? Nadia.

    And so on.

    I guess it depends on how they define "legend."

  27. #117
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    jim thorpe-then well boxing is the toughest sport inmost areas-so dempsey,luis,ali,-maybe rith, then by sport-brown,karelin,manowar--may have been better than secriatiat-joran,when the states are high-alot of sports--but boxing is the toughest in most areas and deserves highest praise.

  28. #118
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    I think maybe the best single athletic performance I ever saw was Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont. He absolutely left the entire field miles behind in the dust. I still remember the picture. It was positively surreal. We always abuse the word "unbelievable," but that was really beyond belief.

  29. #119
    mike
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    secretariats belmont was one of the great performances ever by a horsperhaps the best. manowar broke reords by as much as 6 seconds. in that race he won by 100 lenghts --without a whip--;by 1950-racecourses were a full 3 seconds faster than in 20s but his reord was not tied until 1960; im not sure-but suspect-it has been broken since;but you would need to tack on 3 seconds to the present record. anyhow i think the whip came down on manowar only twice in his carreer set 7 american records easing up --under as much as 138 puonds and on any surface. he broke all the horses and all the records. because of his ease in mud and extra weight- he is regarede as a slight favor over secrariat who did have some trouble with it and manwar was vertually undefeted---but seemmed to have no limitations suspected of him. that belmont thing was incredible!!

  30. #120
    mike
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    Re: Greatest sporting Legend

    the owner of manowar at some point after his 3 year lod season inquired what the handicap would be in case he came back at four --it would have been 150 FUCKIN POUNDS .so manowar rouged it as a stud.

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