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Is Gretzky the most dominant athlete ever in any major sport?

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Old
06-21-2013, 06:04 PM
  #101
Wrath
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Originally Posted by Shrimper View Post
Michael Schumacher dominated Formula One for a good while but would you consider a F1 driver an athlete or a sportsman?

Not really sure you'd consider it a major sport. Cricket in terms of popularity is a major sports and Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting dominated it for a while.
Michael Schumacher is a great driver, but I don't think any F1 fan seriously considers him undisputed GOAT. He's usually lumped with Senna (and maybe Prost or something) in the possible GOAT category.

Michael Schumacher raced in the least competitive era of F1 racing in recent history. Ferrari had the best chief designer (which by history seems to be the most important factor for winning in F1), had tires specially made for them (no standardized tires, so basically Ferrari hired Bridgestone to make tires formulated around their racing chassis for the season), had a hell of a secondary driver who was completely willing to let Schumacher win at all costs (hitting the brakes with a solid lead in the last lap!).


Many people consider Senna to be the greatest of all time in F1 simply because the competition at that time was historically high (namely Prost, and others like Mansell), and yet he still put up incredible lap time margins over his competitors at his best.

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06-21-2013, 09:24 PM
  #102
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06-21-2013, 10:05 PM
  #103
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Originally Posted by Wrath View Post
Babe Ruth is pretty much undisputed GOAT in baseball, I've yet to hear a reasonable argument for a player better than him.
I've seen some pretty compelling cases made for Willie Mays but I think it's close enough that there shouldn't be any real quibble if someone has one over the other.

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06-21-2013, 10:19 PM
  #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrimper View Post
Michael Schumacher dominated Formula One for a good while but would you consider a F1 driver an athlete or a sportsman?

Not really sure you'd consider it a major sport. Cricket in terms of popularity is a major sports and Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting dominated it for a while.
Ponting doesn't belong anywhere near this thread, great player but no. Statistically doesn't even come close to Bradman, it's like comparing someone like Sakic to Gretzky. Test average of 51 compared to a test average of 99 lol? There's several batsman who should be mentioned before Ponting, none of them who come even close to Bradman either.

As good as Warne was, his dominance doesn't compare to a guy who basically averaged a century every innings.

There is only one Cricket name that belongs in this thread.

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06-21-2013, 10:30 PM
  #105
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Originally Posted by Darth Yoda View Post
Bad genetics for a visually nice muscular composition.

Plus he competed in a sport that distingues their top talents into four different strokes, therefore watering down the elite on each discipline to one fourth on each. For christs sake, just see who's fastest on every distance! Let them use whatever style they want like in any other sport. Usain Bolt uses one style, Tyson Gay another.
haha. Allof my inlaws are very solid competitive swimmers, and I argue this all of the time. What stroke do you use everytime you're in the lake??? Crawl. What stroke is always the fastest? Crawl.

Why the **** are there 3 other strokes?? We don't have a "Who can run on one foot four times, spin around, run on the other 4 times" contest.

We do have things like Speed-walking and triple jump, though.

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06-22-2013, 05:02 AM
  #106
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Originally Posted by brianscot View Post
Two boxers, one ring.
Oh, and speaking of rings...
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Originally Posted by Jtown View Post
It's Wilt /thread
One 'baller... two Rings.

Michael Jordan... one 'baller, six Rings.

Now, I love my adopted Delaware Valley home... and I'm (for the most part) happy and comfortable in the presence of Philly fans. Still, a lot of them have an (how do I put this) idiosyncratic perspective on the topic of 'Greatest-Basketball-Player-Ever.'

To address another point, I did think about the Belgian monster- Merckx, as well as "The Power" bedding his "one-hundred and eighty!!"s. We could probably avoid a lot of talking past one another if we could arrive at a consensus as to what constituted a "major sport." [The phrase Major Sport was in the thread-title...]


Last edited by ChiTownPhilly: 06-22-2013 at 06:33 AM. Reason: factual correction
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06-22-2013, 05:34 AM
  #107
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Originally Posted by florida pwnthers View Post
messi is playing behind one of the most stacked teams of all time.

i still hold ronaldo di lima (? real ronaldo, brazil one), maradona, pele and a few others above him until he can win a gold
Anybody who really follows Barcelona (and sees most of their games) knows that Messi has been carrying that team the last 2 or 3 seasons, players like Xavi, Puyol and Piqué have severly declined.

Top club football has been of a much higher level then National Team football the last 10-15 years with the Champions League. The World Cup is still the most prestigious tournament that is true though.


Last edited by NMF78: 06-22-2013 at 05:41 AM.
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06-22-2013, 05:37 AM
  #108
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And in my opinion the most dominant athlete of all time was Eddy Merckx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_Merckx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...by_Eddy_Merckx

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06-22-2013, 06:16 AM
  #109
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Originally Posted by NMF78 View Post
Anybody who really follows Barcelona (and sees most of their games) knows that Messi has been carrying that team the last 2 or 3 seasons, players like Xavi, Puyol and Piqué have severly declined.

Top club football has been of a much higher level then National Team football the last 10-15 years with the Champions League. The World Cup is still the most prestigious tournament that is true though.
Their "decline" still won them two Euros and one WC. I'm yet to see the result of Spain's "decline."

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06-22-2013, 06:19 AM
  #110
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Originally Posted by NMF78 View Post
And in my opinion the most dominant athlete of all time was Eddy Merckx
I know nothing of cycling, but have to ask: was his dominance compared to Armstrong's?

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06-22-2013, 07:05 AM
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I know nothing of cycling, but have to ask: was his dominance compared to Armstrong's?
Setting aside the whole issue of performance-enhancing-drugs, and teams suffused with colleagues who were also PED-users [and I say this as someone who drank a little too much Lance Armstrong Kool-Aid, before the scales fell from my eyes], there's this to observe:

In Lance Armstrong's competitive prime, he famously geared up for the Tour de France- pretty much to the exclusion of similar effort in other races. Merckx, on the other hand, had 5 Tour de France wins, including four straight (69-70-71-72)... AND in 1973 pulled out a Giro d'Italia/Vuelta a España double, IN ADDITION TO winning two one-day monuments (Paris-Roubaix & Liège-Bastogne-Liège) that year.

In short, at any distance and any gradient not limited by the inside of a velodrome, Merckx was not only a threat to win, but the default-favorite to win. Sometimes, he even succeeded inside the velodrome, as he did famously in 1972 as he ran laps in Mexico City to set a one-hour record that stood for twelve years, the longest such time that record stood since the start of World War I.

The only reason I balked at sharing any of this is that there's some (hopefully) understandable reservation on my part as to whether cycling can be considered a "major sport."


Last edited by ChiTownPhilly: 06-22-2013 at 07:09 AM. Reason: spelling
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06-22-2013, 07:18 AM
  #112
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I'm a fan of Marciano, but his fight card is so watered down that he has not, does not and will never enter to conversation of say top ten pound for pound fighters (usually finishes just outside, still in the top 15). Marciano is remembered fondly not for his record, but more for his heart. He never really dominated.

This isn't to say he wasn't a tremendously talented fighter to go along with that heart, but really what does an undefeated record mean? Mayweather has never lost a fight and you'd have people laughing in the streets if you brought him into a conversation for most dominant. The fact with Rocky is that the best fighters he ever faced were on the wrong side of 30, often approaching 40. Guys like Moore and Walcott (who by all accounts embarrassed Rocky for most of their first fight at 38 years old) were great at one point, but really on the cusp of retirement by the time he got to them. It's generally agreed that Marciano fought in the second weakest boxing era of all time, the talent was virtually nonexistant.

As I said, I'm a fan. The guy was a pitbull with a never say die attitude who beat the snot out of much bigger men, but he is a victim not only of having faced the weakest competition he could possibly have faced, but also his fighting style. The fact is, Marciano wasn't the smartest of fighters. He'd basically duck his head, say "Show me what you got", then stand and trade for as long as it took, throwing exponentially more misses than hits in the process. I have no doubt that if he were in the age of boxing where he'd be facing guys like Ali and Frazier and Foreman and Liston, he would have had his fair share of losses given his lack of footwork, terrible accuracy and relatively poor in-ring IQ. Put him against a brilliant fighter with actual head movement and power/heart to match (Tyson or Ali) and it would have been a slaughter.
Finally someone (besides myself ) with a realistic evaluation of Marciano. Foreman, Liston, Tyson, would have knocked him out in one or two rounds. Ali would have taken longer but would have picked him apart without Rocky ever laying a glove on him. The reason being Marciano was not a true heavyweight by modern standards. Hell, he wouldn't even qualify as a cruiserweight.

To Rocky's credit however, "pound-for-pound" would be another story. Who's going to beat him at 185 lbs? Dempsey? That would be a hella fight but I'd still pick Marciano.


Last edited by BobbyAwe: 06-22-2013 at 07:25 AM.
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06-22-2013, 07:26 AM
  #113
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Originally Posted by Ace14 View Post
I'm a fan of Marciano, but his fight card is so watered down that he has not, does not and will never enter to conversation of say top ten pound for pound fighters (usually finishes just outside, still in the top 15). Marciano is remembered fondly not for his record, but more for his heart. He never really dominated.

This isn't to say he wasn't a tremendously talented fighter to go along with that heart, but really what does an undefeated record mean? Mayweather has never lost a fight and you'd have people laughing in the streets if you brought him into a conversation for most dominant. The fact with Rocky is that the best fighters he ever faced were on the wrong side of 30, often approaching 40. Guys like Moore and Walcott (who by all accounts embarrassed Rocky for most of their first fight at 38 years old) were great at one point, but really on the cusp of retirement by the time he got to them. It's generally agreed that Marciano fought in the second weakest boxing era of all time, the talent was virtually nonexistant.

As I said, I'm a fan. The guy was a pitbull with a never say die attitude who beat the snot out of much bigger men, but he is a victim not only of having faced the weakest competition he could possibly have faced, but also his fighting style. The fact is, Marciano wasn't the smartest of fighters. He'd basically duck his head, say "Show me what you got", then stand and trade for as long as it took, throwing exponentially more misses than hits in the process. I have no doubt that if he were in the age of boxing where he'd be facing guys like Ali and Frazier and Foreman and Liston, he would have had his fair share of losses given his lack of footwork, terrible accuracy and relatively poor in-ring IQ. Put him against a brilliant fighter with actual head movement and power/heart to match (Tyson or Ali) and it would have been a slaughter.
Finally someone (besides myself ) with a realistic evaluation of Marciano. Foreman, Liston, Tyson, would have knocked him out in one or two rounds. Ali would have taken longer but would have picked him apart without Rocky ever laying a glove on him. The reason being Marciano was not a true heavyweight by modern standards. Hell, he wouldn't even qualify as a cruiserweight.

To Rocky's credit however, "pound-for-pound" would be another story. Who's going to beat him at 185 lbs.? Dempsey? That would be a hella fight but I'd still pick Marciano.

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06-22-2013, 08:09 AM
  #114
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Their "decline" still won them two Euros and one WC. I'm yet to see the result of Spain's "decline."
I'm talking about Barcelona not Spain, and yes Puyol (35) and Xavi (33) 2 key Barça players aren't the players they used to be (injuries and inconsistent performance-wise) and someone like Piqué has been very mediocre this season. Apart from Messi, the only Barça players who had a good season were Iniesta and Alba. Most other players were rather inconsistent.

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06-22-2013, 08:11 AM
  #115
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I know nothing of cycling, but have to ask: was his dominance compared to Armstrong's?
He was a lot more dominant, he dominated the Grand Tours and one-day races like the classics and also won 3 world championships. And in most of his Grand Tour wins he won like 6 to 8 stages.

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06-22-2013, 11:04 AM
  #116
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Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
Finally someone (besides myself ) with a realistic evaluation of Marciano. Foreman, Liston, Tyson, would have knocked him out in one or two rounds. Ali would have taken longer but would have picked him apart without Rocky ever laying a glove on him. The reason being Marciano was not a true heavyweight by modern standards. Hell, he wouldn't even qualify as a cruiserweight.

To Rocky's credit however, "pound-for-pound" would be another story. Who's going to beat him at 185 lbs.? Dempsey? That would be a hella fight but I'd still pick Marciano.
Admittedly I have a bias toward Dempsey, but I believe he would have handled Marciano. Marciano's greatest weaknesses were movement, accuracy and ring IQ. Dempsey excelled at these things. His head movement was awesome (see the Dempsey Roll), he made his punches count and he knew the science as well as anyone in that era. He truly was the original Tyson (Tyson has said he modeled a lot of his style after Dempsey). He was the perfect fighter during his peak, and is generally considered one of the hardest hitters of all time. Credit to Rocky who would have likely been willing to stand and trade, but there are just some guys in the history of the sport that you have to avoid doing that with at all costs, and the Manassa Mauler was one of them.

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06-22-2013, 12:10 PM
  #117
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Obviously noone mentioned Eddy Merckx. "The Cannibal" was the best cyclist ever and won in an extremely dominant fashion.

Gruß,
BSHH
I was just about to mention him. His dominance of cycling really was dominance. Nobody has even come close to his career accomplishments.

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06-22-2013, 12:14 PM
  #118
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Michael Schumacher dominated Formula One for a good while but would you consider a F1 driver an athlete or a sportsman?

Not really sure you'd consider it a major sport. Cricket in terms of popularity is a major sports and Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting dominated it for a while.
Driving an F1 car is a little tougher than driving your Honda down to the grocery store. Those cars pull incredible G-forces. You have to be in excellent physical condition to do that. Not saying that they're the greatest athletes, but reflexes, good vision, endurance... all are required.

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06-22-2013, 12:18 PM
  #119
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I know nothing of cycling, but have to ask: was his dominance compared to Armstrong's?
Armstrong never even came close. Career victories, margins of victories... Merckx basically smothers everyone else.

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06-22-2013, 08:23 PM
  #120
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Bill Russell played 19 seasons of competitive basketball in high school, college and the NBA. He lost just four times in terms of championships, once to Chamberlain, one of those while he was injured in the NBA, the other two in his sophomore seasons in College and High School. Really one of the most incredible things accomplished in sports.

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06-23-2013, 12:06 AM
  #121
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Bill Russell played 19 seasons of competitive basketball in high school, college and the NBA. He lost just four times in terms of championships, once to Chamberlain, one of those while he was injured in the NBA, the other two in his sophomore seasons in College and High School. Really one of the most incredible things accomplished in sports.
Plus he won as a player and a coach... at the same time.



That said Bill Russell is usually lumped into the GOAT candidates along with Wilt, MJ, and Magic.

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06-23-2013, 12:18 AM
  #122
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I think this type of thread underrates someone like Diego Maradona. He played the biggest sport in the world and he played midfielder, a position that naturally produces less stats than a pure striker. Yet many knowledgeable soccer fans think he's better than both pele and messi. He also spent the majority of his career with napoli and argentinos juniors, two very mediocre clubs. Maradona won world cups and serie a's with mediocre rosters and back in 2000 he won the fan balloting for player of the century by a massive margin. Regional/peripheral sports like basketball-ice hockey- american football are much easier to dominate because their talent pool is significantly smaller.

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06-23-2013, 12:21 AM
  #123
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Lou Gehrig's case to be in front of Babe Ruth is similar to that of Mario ahead of Gretzky.

Lou coulda compiled 700+ HR if he stayed healthy (and aged well), Babe Ruth did.

Lets not forget Babe Ruth held the home run record in a single season until the steroid powered Mcguire vs. Sosa contest of the mid-late 90s!

Also lets not forget that Babe Ruth came into the game about 8 years before Lou Gehrig did. When Babe Ruth came into the league he was the first of his kind. Think of if Coffey started playing after Orr or something (although Gehrig obv is better than Coffey in terms of all time ranking in respective sports).


Babe Ruth was also a successful pitcher too before he was converted to an outfielder. But lets not get away from things, neither of them were exceptional at fielding. Ken Griffey Jr. and Willy Mays were better all-around/five tool players.

Then advanced stats continue to back up the fact that Babe Ruth is the greatest of all time. Best career OPS/OPS+ is Babe Ruth (although Gehrig manages a very respectable 4th in this category, 3rd if you wish to discount Barry Bonds), then of course the vaunted WAR stat in single season, "prime", and career heavily favors Babe Ruth.


Babe Ruth is pretty much undisputed GOAT in baseball, I've yet to hear a reasonable argument for a player better than him.
Barry Bonds from 01-04 was far better than any other player's prime in the history of the game.

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06-23-2013, 12:46 AM
  #124
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I think this type of thread underrates someone like Diego Maradona. He played the biggest sport in the world and he played midfielder, a position that naturally produces less stats than a pure striker. Yet many knowledgeable soccer fans think he's better than both pele and messi. He also spent the majority of his career with napoli and argentinos juniors, two very mediocre clubs. Maradona won world cups and serie a's with mediocre rosters and back in 2000 he won the fan balloting for player of the century by a massive margin. Regional/peripheral sports like basketball-ice hockey- american football are much easier to dominate because their talent pool is significantly smaller.
There isn't even a general consensus that he is the most dominant athlete to play his sport so how can he be the most dominant athlete across all sports?

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06-23-2013, 08:17 AM
  #125
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I think these five guys are more dominant than Gretzky:

Michael Jordan

Fedor Emelianenko

Babe Ruth

Sergei Bubka

Usain Bolt

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