Falcon84
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Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 7:27 am

Sporttalk radio, WKNR in CLE had their afternoon host bring this subject up today. It's one that no one can really answer, in all honesty, but it's fun to see peoples' opinion.

Who's the greatest pro athlete of all time? Doesn't matter the sport. And I'll put names down, but I'm just musing out loud. The "list" isn't limited to those named. Some candidates I can think of:

Football (the real American one): Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, Otto Graham, Walter Payton, Lawrence Taylor?

Baseball-Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Cy Young, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Johnny Bench, Joe Dimmagio?

Basketball-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Shaq, Julius Erving?

Hockey-Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Hull, Rocket Richard, Ken Dryden? (a lot more, since I'm not huge on hockey.

Boxing-Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ray Robinson, Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr, Felix Trinidad, Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis?

I'll leave Futbol/Soccor/Football for those more learned, but one name jumps out to me-Pele.

So, who IS the greatest in your mind, in ANY sport?
Have some fun with it. I'm off to my son's last band concert of the year at school.  Smile
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pogo
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 7:38 am

The first that come to my head are.
Athletics - Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Linford Christie

Football (soccer) - Pele, Platini, Eusebio, Bobby Moore, hate to admit it but Maradona

Rugby - Martin Johnson, JPR Williams, David Campese.

Cricket - Ian Botham, Dennis Lillee, Don Bradman, Courtney Walsh, Brian Lara, Curtley Ambrose.
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 7:55 am

bowling (PBA): the great late Earl Anthony
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texan
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 7:58 am

There is only one The Great One, number 99, Wayne Gretzky!



Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
1979-80 Edmonton Oilers 79 51 86 137 21
1980-81 Edmonton Oilers 80 55 109 164 28
1981-82 Edmonton Oilers 80 92 120 212 26
1982-83 Edmonton Oilers 80 71 125 196 59
1983-84 Edmonton Oilers 74 87 118 205 39
1984-85 Edmonton Oilers 80 73 135 208 52
1985-86 Edmonton Oilers 80 52 163 215 46
1986-87 Edmonton Oilers 79 62 121 183 28
1987-88 Edmonton Oilers 64 40 109 149 24
1988-89 Los-Angeles Kings 78 54 114 168 26
1989-90 Los-Angeles Kings 73 40 102 142 42
1990-91 Los-Angeles Kings 78 41 122 163 16
1991-92 Los-Angeles Kings 74 31 90 121 34
1992-93 Los-Angeles Kings 45 16 49 65 6
1993-94 Los-Angeles Kings 81 38 92 130 20
1994-95 Los-Angeles Kings 48 11 37 48 6
1995-96 Los-Angeles Kings 62 15 66 81 32
1995-96 St.-Louis Blues 18 8 13 21 2
1996-97 New-York Rangers 82 25 72 97 28
1997-98 New-York Rangers 82 23 67 90 28
1998-99 New-York Rangers 70 9 53 62 14
NHL Totals 1487 894 1963 2857 577

Trophies
Art Ross Trophy - 10 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1994)
Hart Memorial - 9 (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989)
Conn Smythe Trophy - 2 (1985, 1988)
Lester B. Pearson Trophy - 5 (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987)
Lady Byng Memorial - 5 (1980, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999)

Championships
Stanley Cup - 4 (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988)

He finished his career at a +518, while during his first 9 years in the NHL he was a combined +551, including 1984-85 when he was a +98 for one season! 14 out of his first 15 seasons he had more than 100 points, the least amount of points scored during one of those years being 121. 5 straight years with 196 or more points, with 4 of those more than 200 points (212, 205, 208, 215). 382 points in the playoffs. 73 short handed goals, 453 power play points. He is the greatest player to ever play a sport! And seeing how he brought fans from across the world to the sport, he electrified the game, brought hockey to everyone.

Texan
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2H4
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 7:59 am

How about Lance?












2H4


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ANCFlyer
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 8:04 am

Football: Terry Bradshaw, Bret Favre
Baseball: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron
Basketball: Wilt the Stilt, Larry Bird
Hockey: Is that a sport, I thought it was a bar fight?
Boxing: Ali
NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 8:11 am

I'll take baseball and hockey, Alex. No particular order for either.

Baseball: Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gherig, Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, Honus Wagner, Willie Mays, Nolan Ryan, Christy Mathewson

Hockey: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Maurice Richard, Bobby Hull, Jacques Plante, Vladislav Tretiak, Patrick Roy, Phil Esposito.
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Sabena332
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 8:17 am

Football (the real one  ): Pele, Beckenbauer, Maradona, Lineker, Ronaldo, Beckham, Figo, Carlos, Seeler, Del Piero, Zidane...

Formula 1: M. Schumacher (without a doubt although I don't like him very much), Senna, Lauda.

Tennis: Agassi, Graf, Becker, Williams, Sampras.

Actually I only follow these kinds of sport, so I can't say much about other.

Patrick

[Edited 2005-05-20 01:19:06]
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2H4
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:04 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
Football: Terry Bradshaw, Bret Favre
Baseball: Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron
Basketball: Wilt the Stilt, Larry Bird
Hockey: Is that a sport, I thought it was a bar fight?
Boxing: Ali
NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt, Sr.




NASCAR....is that a sport? I thought it was a line of glorified Camaros unable to turn right.



 Wink



2H4


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bristolflyer
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:24 am

Eddie the Eagle


Legend.

BF
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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:29 am

I should have added the caveat of who was the most dominant athlete of all time. I think that's self-evident, but it may not be to some.

And yes, Lance Armstrong would definitely get votes-except in parts of France, perhaps.  Wink

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 6):
Vladislav Tretiak

Oooh, great name drop there, Garnetpalmetto! Of course, in the US he'll be rememberd for one thing.  Big grin

I think I could only give my finalists, from a few sports. And they are:

Baseball: Hank Aaron (755 HR's)

Football: Otto Graham (10 seasons, 10 Title Games)

Basketball: Michael Jordan

Hockey: Wayne Gretzkey

Soccor: Pele

Boxing: Muhammad Ali

Cycling: Lance Armstrong
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yanksn4
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:33 am

George Herman "Babe" Ruth

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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:43 am

Wow, Yanksn4 picked a Yankee. Whodathunkit?  Silly

He certainly has to be considered the greatest baseball player of all time. I'll give the nod to Aaron, though.

And I don't think either Aaron or Ruth are the greatest pro athlete of all time.

Oh, Yanksn4, does ANYONE who didn't wear the vaunted pinstripes even count? (yes, filled with sarcasm)
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747srule
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:59 am

No one dominated a sport like Wayne Gretzky did. See Texans post. Just look at those stats!!! 'Nuff said!!
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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:04 am

Otto Graham didn't domiante his sport in that way? 10 seasons in pro football, appeared as a starting quarterback in 10 championship games? That's pretty freaking dominant!

I'm just playing devil's advocate there. But think about that-every season he played, he played for a title. That's pretty impressive. Oh, and he might have played more years but served in WWII.
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:05 am

Hockey;

Wayne Gretzky,

Basketball;

Micheal Jordan, Wilt Chamberlind,

Baseball;

Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams,

Football;

Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White

Auto Racing;

Mario Andretti

Boxing;

Muhammed Ali
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dl021
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:11 am

Falcon....great post. My favorite pastime.

Football (the real American one): Jim Brown, Joe Montana, Lawrence Taylor, Otto Graham, Walter Payton, Lawrence Taylor? golden age: Jim Thorpe;
modern era: Jim Brown; My personal Favorite: Sweetness himself...Walter Payton.

Baseball-Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Cy Young, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Johnny Bench, Joe Dimmagio? old timers... Ty Cobb had it over Cy Young; modern era Mickey Mantle had it all, but Johnny Bench was more disciplined. My favorite is Hank Aaron.

Basketball-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Shaq, Julius Erving? Michael Jordan....his Airness over everyone there.

Hockey-Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Hull, Rocket Richard, Ken Dryden? (a lot more, since I'm not huge on hockey.)
Gretzky is the one all my friends say, but I defer to Garnetpalmettoe on this one.

Boxing-Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Ray Robinson, Ray Leonard, Roy Jones, Jr, Felix Trinidad, Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis?
Ali.....Ali....boomaya Ali..... Sugar Ray Robinson was the best boxer in his weight class. Joe Louis may have given Ali more than he could have handled. but we'll never know.

I'll leave Futbol/Soccor/Football for those more learned, but one name jumps out to me-Pele.
Pele was the greatest to ever play that game, and as a kid I watched him play, including the famous New York Cosmos vs Brasil where he played both sides. I know someone will say Beckham or someone could take him, but I don't really know about todays soccer.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:32 am

Here's my only problem with automatically naming Gretzky - and this is partially me being a Penguins homer. Mario performed at or near Gretzky's level fairly frequently despite playing on teams that had defensive talent inferior to the teams Gretzky was on. Further, Mario was out for significant portions of the season or seasons at a time due to his Hodgkin's and had he been able to play the full course of his career, I have no doubt he'd have exceeded Gretzky.
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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:35 am

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 17):
Further, Mario was out for significant portions of the season or seasons at a time due to his Hodgkin's and had he been able to play the full course of his career, I have no doubt he'd have exceeded Gretzky.

The key is he didn't get to play-not his fault, but it has to be taken into consideration. You could say the same in football for someone like Gayle Sayers vis-a-vis Jim Brown, as the best comparison.

Lemieux was incredible, no doubt. But another thing in Gretzky's favor was he won what? 4 or 5 Stanley Cups? He shattreed the point record for a single season. As great as Lemieux was, the Great One was simply the best there has been-certainly in my lifetime.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 11:49 am

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 18):
4 or 5 Stanley Cups?

Again, the Cup is won by a full team effort and one can hardly poor mouth the teams Gretzky played for. Yeah, Gretzky won 4 Cups, but the Oilers and the Kings were great teams on the whole too. The same can't be said of the Penguins. Still, 2 Cups is more than some teams have. In terms of hardware, let's look at what Mario's racked up. Again, keep in mind that it may be less than what Wayne sports in his trophy case, but again, Wayne had more opportunities with better teams overall and being mostly healthy throughout his career.

Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie of the Year) - 1985

Lester B. Pearson Award (MVP, as selected by NHLPA) - 1986, 1988, 1993, 1996

Art Ross Trophy (Most points scored) - 1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997

Hart Memorial Trophy - (Regular Season MVP) - 1988, 1993, 1996

NHL Plus/Minus Award - 1993

Bill Masterson Trophy (Perserverance and Sportsmanship) - 1993

Sure, there can only be one Great One...but only Lemieux has "The Best" in his name  Wink (To those with no French knowledge, Le mieux translates to The best)
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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 12:02 pm

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 19):
Again, the Cup is won by a full team effort and one can hardly poor mouth the teams Gretzky played for.

No, but on the same token, do those Oiler teams win ANY cups without him, even with great players like Fuhr, Coffey, Kurri, Messier, Tikkanen? Who was the glue on those teams. It was Gretzky. That puts him in a league of his own, I think.
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geedo
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 12:37 pm

I know Gretzky was called the greatest and he certainly was on the ice, but there can only be one "Greatest"

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
Hockey: Is that a sport, I thought it was a bar fight?

[insert rimshot here]

I've seen some of your posts. You should be more clever and/or original with your humor. (Sorry folks, he hit a nerve with my hockey)
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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 12:40 pm

Quoting GEEDO (Reply 21):
(Sorry folks, he hit a nerve with my hockey)

Until the jackasses on both sides of this idiotic labor dispute get the game going again, hockey at the top level is only a figment of anyone's imagination.
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allstarflyer
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 1:26 pm

For a diehard Chicago fan, this one is hard. Emmitt Smith  spit , as great a guy as he may be, still had the Newton/Tuinei/Stepnoski left side of the line with Novacek to help block (and, with the Aikman/Irvin combo, to keep the run defense honest with their passing game). Walter didn't have much of anything, and Emmitt still needed 13 years (like Walter) to get to that same level of rushing greatness. If Walter only had that . . .

And, then, there's Michael . . .

Quoting Texan (Reply 3):
He is the greatest player to ever play a sport! And seeing how he brought fans from across the world to the sport, he electrified the game, brought hockey to everyone.

Only 4 players have totally elevated their entire sport like this - Gretzky, the Babe, Ali and Lance. Tiger was on his way, sans Elin. Michael recreated the shooting guard position, but then Wilt and Kareem did that at center and Magic did that at guard. In fact, it was when Magic (and later, Michael) played that the focus in basketball shifted from strong low-post play to stronger guard play. Magic is almost revolutionary - he showed big guys can be fluid and not be relegated to low-post play, except, Oscar Robertson proved it before Magic (but Oscar's play wasn't so pronounced like others mentioned here).

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 4):
How about Lance?

If Lance stuck around for 8-9 Tour championships, there'd be no question. People would still argue him, though, among the other three I mentioned (and, no doubt, others).

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
Boxing: Ali
NASCAR: Dale Earnhardt, Sr.

Almost forgot Earnhardt, but my fab-4 remain.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 7):
Tennis: Agassi, Graf, Becker, Williams, Sampras.

Sampras is up there, with all of the championships he won, but he didn't revolutionize the game like the other 4. He seems to be like Montana, or, like Falcon84 mentioned, Otto Graham. Complete champions, but a revolutionary is something that's once in a lifetime. Like my 4.

Quoting 747srule (Reply 13):
No one dominated a sport like Wayne Gretzky did. See Texans post. Just look at those stats!!! 'Nuff said!!

Another Gretzky vote!!  yes 

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 14):
Otto Graham didn't domiante his sport in that way? 10 seasons in pro football, appeared as a starting quarterback in 10 championship games? That's pretty freaking dominant!

Yup, and glad that Falcon was able to bring someone that's not current-day. It's tough for some to take in the full scope of a sport, or of sports in general, when some of the players haven't played in decades.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 16):
Pele

DL021, from your post, you sound like the kind of guy with whom to sit down and blow a day (complete w/fridge, grill and recliners) watching ESPNClassic.


Bottom line, there's dominators - Jordan/Wilt/Bird/Kareem of hoops, Montana/Unitas/Luckman/Graham of football, Mantle/Mays/Ted W./Dimaggio of baseball - and others - Sampras, Lemieux and the list goes on. These guys didn't just win, they dominated for years, sometimes spilling over a decade.

But then, there's revolutionaries - guys who dominated and also changed their sport altogether. Ali would be in the dominating category, but the guy was also a revolutionary figure. Lance has revolutionized cycling, but, really, he's more just the most dominant cyclist ever. Gretzky elevated his sport more than Lance did his. Babe is the biggest name in, what was for a long time, America's pastime.

With that, though, the Babe is #4. Guy looked like he enjoyed hard living (which, I believe, he did). It's incredible he lived past 1930. Lance is #3, though, it's harder to find a more pure athlete. Ali is #2. Gretzky - a great athlete who thoroughly dominated - and changed his sport like no other - is my #1.

-R
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peterpuck
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 1:30 pm

I wouldn't automatically pick Gretzky, take a look at the career of Bobby Orr!
 
geedo
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 2:23 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 22):
Until the jackasses on both sides of this idiotic labor dispute get the game going again, hockey at the top level is only a figment of anyone's imagination.

Agreed. I know its not for everyone, but I just hate to hear the yuckety yuk humor about something I like so much.
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tbar220
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 3:22 pm

All Around - Jim Thorpe



Hockey - Wayne Gretzky



Baseball - Jackie Robinson (every single team has retired his number 42)



[Edited 2005-05-20 08:24:44]
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SSTjumbo
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 3:31 pm

Greco Roman wrestling:





Aleksandr Karelin. Three olympic gold medals, one silver, and nine world championships, undefeated for something like 16 years and unscored against for something like 9, most opponents would simply let him win instead of withstanding the reverse body lift. If you ever saw the move itself, it's most comparable to a spider capturing a bug and injecting its venom in the way the opponent attempts to squirm out of the move but is completely helpless as Karelin shows no sign of expression on his face as he executes the move. When asked who his toughest opponent was, he'll tell you about the 400 lb refrigerator he carried up eight flights of stairs to his apartment after the freight elevator broke.  

[Edited 2005-05-20 08:34:03]
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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 9:23 pm

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 23):
Only 4 players have totally elevated their entire sport like this - Gretzky, the Babe, Ali and Lance.

Pele didn't? Jim Browns didn't? Hank Aaron didn't? Wilt Chamberlain, averaging 50 POINTS in one season, didn't?
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:10 pm

Falcon, 2H4,

I would not comment on US or NA sports, but as far as pro-cyclism is concerned:

7 (successive) times No 1 in the yearly pro rankings

One of the only three riders to win all three major tours (incl. 5 Tour de France
- 5 Tour of Italy - 1 Tour of Spain)

One of only four riders to win all one-day classics (incl. 7 Milan-San Remo -
5 Liege-Bastogne-Liege - 3 Paris-Roubaix - 2 Tour of Lombardy - 2 Tour of Flanders)

4 World championships

486 pro victories + 17 indoor 6-day races

No 1 in all-time rankings, official and unofficial, where Lance Armstrong comes in No....19, with a total of race points 4.5 x less than the rider I did not name.

Who is it ? (tip: nicknamed the cannibal)
 
2H4
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:29 pm

Eddy Merckx is certainly a contender. I suspect, however, that had his goals been the same as Lance's, or the other way around, they would have achieved similar results.


2H4


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Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:41 pm

I think after weighing everything that I see, the one name that I constantly come back to is Wayne Gretzky. He dominated his sport like no one else I can think of, in may ways redefined it; shattered just about every offensive record in the history of his sport, and won 5 titles in the process. He make it fashionable to watch hockey, not a bunch of goons fighting. He plays hockey the way it's played in Eastern Europe, and I've always like that brand of finess hockey vs. the goon system you often see in North America.

My vote has to go to #99, the Great One.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 10:49 pm

Quoting GEEDO (Reply 21):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 5):
Hockey: Is that a sport, I thought it was a bar fight?

[insert rimshot here]

I've seen some of your posts. You should be more clever and/or original with your humor. (Sorry folks, he hit a nerve with my hockey

Touchy touchy . . . it's only a game - that doesn't get played professionally anymore by the by. . . lighten up . . .  biggrin 
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 11:27 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 32):
that doesn't get played professionally anymore by the by

AHL, ECHL, CHL, and UHL are still all playing, as are the European pro leagues.
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Logan22L
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Fri May 20, 2005 11:44 pm

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 30):
Eddy Merckx

He certainly wins for coolest spelling of a surname. I's have to put him over Lance (right now) because he won so many different races.

For baseball, I go with Roberto Clemente. Probably not the best hitter (although he's right up there), but as an all-around player, he was a fantastic athlete. He could throw you out at third base from the right field corner if you were two steps from the bag. Wink

Bo Jackson has to be right up there as well.

Logan
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KROC
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:12 am

How about Aaron "Fing" Boone?

 
Falcon84
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:15 am

Uh, no KROC. I can tell you he's not in the group-not with a .167 batting average-and that's UP 40 points in the last week!
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:19 am

Overall-I'd say people like Bo Jackson, and Dieon Sanders. These fellows played multiple sports and did well while playing them.

Each sport:
Basketball: MJ
Football: Walter
Baseball: Ruth and Bonds
Hockey: Gretzky
Boxing:Ali
Others:
Lance Armstrong
Go big or go home
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:27 am

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 34):
For baseball, I go with Roberto Clemente. Probably not the best hitter (although he's right up there), but as an all-around player, he was a fantastic athlete. He could throw you out at third base from the right field corner if you were two steps from the bag.

Amen - damned fine humanitarian too. Look at how much he poured into helping the children of Puerto Rico have the opportunities he had. Heck, look at the circumstances of his death. I doubt you'd see Barry Bonds delivering relief supplies after an earthquake.



A few other basbeall players to consider: Rogers Hornsby, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Nap Lajoie, and someone Ian mentioned but nobody else has touched...Ty Cobb.
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Greyhound
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:37 am

I've got my favorites, and yes I'm biased.  Smile

In Baseball: (which by the way gives me an idea for another thread)
SP: Randy Johnson (yes I'm biased, but this guy is just plain scary on the mound)
CL: Mariano Rivera (No, I'm not forgetting Eckersley, Smith, or others)
1B: Lou Gehrig
2B: Rogers Hornsby
3B: Mike Schmidt
SS: Cal Ripken Jr. (here's my main bias... I thought this guy was great. Not as great power numbers as some of your modern knotheads (ARod), but he got a decent amount of hits, he was solid defensively, and he was there night in, night out. Who else is that dependable?)
OF: Hammerin' Hank Aaron, Joe Dimaggio, and Babe Ruth. (Sorry, but I don't think these guys had a clue about steroids in their day)

Basketball wise (and I'm not going beyond the Jordan era mainly because I don't care) I'd have to take:

PG: John Stockton (as much as I'm a fan of Nash and I like Kidd, this guy is the poster child for being underrated)
SG: Michael Jordan (explanation not required)
SF: Scottie Pippen (only when he was WITH Jordan)
PF: Charles Barkley (again I'm biased, but the Round Mound of Rebound was good)
C: Shaquille (Diesel) O'Neal. This guy is unstoppable down low. And he's a decent passer. His free throw shooting on the other hand....  thumbsdown 
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Lutenist
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:42 am

Texan, I appreciate the photo of Gretzky in an Oilers jersey. His Edmonton years were truly the defining part of his career. Too often--i.e., almost always--he's shown wearing a Rangers uniform.

I've always felt that Mario Lemieux was the most powerful force in hockey. When that boy showed up to win he could single-handedly destroy the opposition, more so than #99, I dare say. His highlight reel includes some rather embarrassing moments for players he face one-on-one.

To the hockey roll I'd nominate Valery Kharlamov and Alexander Yakushev.

Quoting Pogo (Reply 1):
hate to admit it but Maradona

Certainly one of the most shameless cheats in the glorious history of that game
 
Logan22L
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:50 am

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 38):
Amen - damned fine humanitarian too.

Indeed he was. I was looking through some of my old baseball cards the other day, and I have Clemente cards from '66-'73. I was noticing what ended up being his final career totals on the '73 card, and he got his 3,000th hit right at the end of the '72 season (I wonder if it was on his last at bat). Somehow the sports Gods must have let this happen, knowing what would transpire on New Years eve 1972. I still remember being at a family friends house that night and hearing the sad news.

Garnet, wasn't it Nicaraugua he was travelling to following the earthquake, not Puerto Rico?

Edit: oops, I mis-read your sentence, Garnet.

Logan

[Edited 2005-05-20 17:51:24]
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
Greyhound
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:55 am

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 41):
wasn't it Nicaraugua he was travelling to following the earthquake, not Puerto Rico?

Correct. The plane was carrying medical, food and clothing supplies. It went down off of Puerto Rico. Roberto's body was never found.
29th, Let's Go!
 
Greyhound
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 12:57 am

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 38):
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson

A good player. Considering the steroid scandals of today, he doesn't look that bad, does he? But still not in the Hall of Fame. How hypocritical of Mr. Selig.
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pera
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 1:01 am

Basketball: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, George "IceMan" Gervin(my favourite), Magic Johnson.

Icehockey: Gretzky, Jagr, Brett Hull, Dominik Hasek, Börje Salming, Peter Forsberg:D

Soccer: Maradona, Pelé, Eusebio, Ronaldinho!

Tennis: John Mcenroe, Björn Borg, Boris Becker.

It's so hard to compare the athletes today and in the past, of course they are much more proffesional today and all the sports is harder, I'm quite sure Pelé would have it quite tough today in Serie A/La Liga etc even if he was 20!
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 1:06 am

Quoting Greyhound (Reply 42):
Correct. The plane was carrying medical, food and clothing supplies. It went down off of Puerto Rico. Roberto's body was never found.



Quoting Logan22L (Reply 41):
Garnet, wasn't it Nicaraugua he was travelling to following the earthquake, not Puerto Rico?

Yup, he was travelling to Nicaraugua at the time, but his plane crashed off the Puerto Rican coast. Even before that, though, he spent most of his time in the off-season working with charities in Puerto Rico and donating money to build sports facilities for children. Again, he gets my respect for being a good player and a good humanitarian.

[Edited 2005-05-20 18:11:53]
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 1:11 am

Quoting Pera (Reply 44):
Jagr



Jagr was decent, but I don't know if I'd class him among the hockey greats after his drop off the radar after he left the Penguins.

I'll nominate him for greatest hockey mullet of all time though  Silly

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Greyhound
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 1:45 am

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 45):
Again, he gets my respect for being a good player and a good humanitarian.

Which brings the question to mind (at least for me)... Why aren't there more players like that? He made considerably less than today's players but he donated so much more (including time which in a way, is more valuable than money).
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geedo
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 2:03 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 32):
Touchy touchy . . . it's only a game - that doesn't get played professionally anymore by the by. . . lighten up . . .

Sorry mister, I just love hockey and I hate to see the same old jokes getting posted about it. Check it out sometime, I bet you'd like it. Best wishes.
I've got Titanic hopes and they aren't sinking
 
KROC
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RE: Pro Athletes: Who's The Greatest Of All Time?

Sat May 21, 2005 2:15 am

Jessie Owens

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