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Why always so many Gretzky bashers?

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Old
07-26-2005, 10:20 PM
  #1
Big Phil
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Why always so many Gretzky bashers?

This is something that has irked me for a long long time. Why do so many people dislike Gretzky? Yeah the majority of us love him,, and even others will respect him but where do people get off bashing him? Are you Flames fans? Or Isles fans? If so the Isles won four straight Cups so dont cry. Or better yet are you Russian?

Gretzky had more assists than anyone had points in four seasons in his career. He led the league in assists for 13 straight years. And then three more after that. And if the 80s was so easy to score a dumpload of points than why did Gretzky routinely crack 200 and no one had more than Bossy's 147 until Mario in 1988. Why didnt Stastny, or Savard or Trottier, Dionne or Hawerchuk ever get even 150 if it was so easy. No disrespect to any of those guys, the are all legit HOFers but it just shows that Wayne in his prime was so much better than the competition.

He won four Cups played in 6 finals, and own three Canada Cups. He led the Canada Cup tourny's in scoring in '81, '84 '87 and '91. He also led Canada in scoring in '96 at age 35. He also is a pretty good executive in leading Canada back to the gold in '02 and '04. He led the league in assists when he was 37, and that same year was Second team all-star behind an in his Prime Forsberg.

Was it because he never fought? Well neither did Lafleur. Bossy ran rather than fought. Is it because he couldnt play defense? He may not have hit but he wasnt really that bad positionally. Is it because a guy like Orr was more well rounded and did everything right? Or is it just jealousy? I put Gretzky and Orr and the best ever and I never argue with anyone who says one is better than the other. But explain to me why do you hate Gretzky?

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07-26-2005, 10:27 PM
  #2
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Phil, I believe only the truly great, those who transcend a sport can incite this kind of hatred you speak of.. Gretzky seems to attract childish insults for doing the same things others couldn't do.. Most people can appreciate greatness, whether they are a fan of the subject at hand or not. A small minority will seek self validation or validation of their own heroes by attempting to belittle those whose success they can't identify with .. It's sad, but a guy like Gretzky got used to it when he was seven. People have made fools of themselves trying ot drag him down to their level his entire life. It's not suprising that it continues even into his retirement from play.

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07-26-2005, 10:32 PM
  #3
Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
Phil, I believe only the truly great, those who transcend a sport can incite this kind of hatred you speak of.. Gretzky seems to attract childish insults for doing the same things others couldn't do.. Most people can appreciate greatness, whether they are a fan of the subject at hand or not. A small minority will seek self validation or validation of their own heroes by attempting to belittle those whose success they can't identify with .. It's sad, but a guy like Gretzky got used to it when he was seven. People have made fools of themselves trying ot drag him down to their level his entire life. It's not suprising that it continues even into his retirement from play.

Good point. I still dont see why it is though. I mean I hate Hasek with a vengeance but I'll admit no one was close to him in terms of greatness for the most part of '94-01. Gretzky was even more dominant in his prime.

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07-26-2005, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Good point. I still dont see why it is though. I mean I hate Hasek with a vengeance but I'll admit no one was close to him in terms of greatness for the most part of '94-01. Gretzky was even more dominant in his prime.

I think that's the point exactly.. During his career, there was NOBODY who compared to 99, so his detractors can't really even convince themselves that their own heroes compared. As such, they resort to making broad and insulting remarks about Gretzky. The guys in the smoking area often hated the class president, too, even if he was the nicest kind of guy.

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07-26-2005, 10:46 PM
  #5
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I am convinced it is jealousy pure and simple. What really gets me is when the Gretz-Lemieux debate keeps cropping up and the Lemieux supporters say "if only he had not had the injuries, illness, etc. he would have more points, goals, etc. Well, he did have the injuries, illness, etc. so it's never going to be. The arguments always center around the "ifs" which drive me crazy. Heck, if Gretz had played in Detroit or maybe Colorado as examples in his final years he would have over 3,000 points and 900 goals and more Stanley Cups or if he had not be sold to LA in '88, who knows how many more cups he would have had. It boils down to envy of the guy who brought hockey on his back as it's ambassador to the states in '88- what else can you say. Just ignore it- reality and facts speak for themselves.

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07-26-2005, 10:51 PM
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I think most of the bashing comes from jealosy. I've never been a Gretzky fan for a number of reasons, a couple of which are just personal issues, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for the guy. People always seem to bash the ones on top of anything. The Yankees, Jeff Gordon, now it's starting with Tiger Woods. How many people bash the ones higher up at work? I always wanted to skate just 1 shift in the NHL and have it be against Gretzky just so I could take a run at him because I didn't like the way that he played. I was a Midget and Junior during his hay day and I had grown up playing tough defensive hockey like the Broad Street Bullies and I liked intimidating guys and knocking the crap out of them. Then along comes this guy who skates and shoots and scores and passes and completely changes the game that I love. I couldn't stand the guy for that. In hind site now I have grown to respect the guy and be thankful for what he did for the game. The change he made needed to be made and he grew the game more in 10 years than everyone put together did in 50 years. If anyone likes the way the NHL is today or the fact that the NHL is even still around, they owe that to Gretzky
Maybe the Gretzky bashers have issues like I did and can't let go?? Maybe they didn't like how he played??? I would venture to guess however that if all the Gretzky bashers had a chance to trade places with The Great One, I'm guessing that most would jump at the chance.
Those who can.... do.....and those who can't.....bash those who can!!!

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07-26-2005, 10:55 PM
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I think a lot of it's jealousy. I think a lot of it is the dislike that all greats receive. Every sport has their greats, and every one of those greats has their detractors. Jordan in basketball. Montana in football. Ruth in baseball. Nicklaus in golf. I don't care if fans don't Gretzky, that's their opinion. My grandfathers went to war so that we'd have the right to an opinion. What bugs me is when they let hatred/envy cloud their opinions, and don't give credit where credit is due, and bring up petty, pathetic arguments to "back up" their claims.

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07-27-2005, 12:47 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by God Bless Canada
I don't care if fans don't Gretzky,
I agree GBC, but that statement just cracked me up.

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07-27-2005, 01:13 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bring Back Bucky
I think that's the point exactly.. During his career, there was NOBODY who compared to 99, so his detractors can't really even convince themselves that their own heroes compared. As such, they resort to making broad and insulting remarks about Gretzky. The guys in the smoking area often hated the class president, too, even if he was the nicest kind of guy.
Which begs the question, did Bucky smoke and/or run for office ? You know, I never warmed to Gretzky,the guy. Seems like a good guy,carried himself with class and has continued that, wears his country on his sleeve no matter where he happens to live. Yeah, you can dissect his life and find fault, but until my cupboard gets cleaned up.... I prefer certain types I guess, players who you look at and wonder how they got there. On the 70's Habs, Lambert and Tremblay were my favorites though I'd be an idiot to not know that Lafleur, the Big 3 and Dryden stirred that drink. I find it hard to warm to the elite guys because their personalities are so IMG laundered that they tend to get bland. I always kind of resented Jordan who as great as he was, seemed just as interested in being the greatest shoe salesman. Still though, you look at what a guy did and to denigrate it simply makes you look petty. The Lemieux/Gretz arguements are great, as were the Richard/Howe ones. Someone had to set the standard though.Argue Bossy against Lafleur, great. It's not provable though. Enjoy the comparison,enjoy the memory, anything more than that.............. and we seem like celeb stalkers. I like reading Ogo's analysis of historical stats because I like to see how it compares to my own system which involves mainly remembering what I thought when I saw him. I don't always buy his [or anyone's] arguements as concrete because careers are so circumstantial. To denigrate a guy because the arguements not going your way seems kind of petty though.

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07-27-2005, 03:02 PM
  #10
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People hate greatness.

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07-27-2005, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcphee
Which begs the question, did Bucky smoke and/or run for office ? .

As you may have guessed mcphee, I did both.. Took me seventeen years to stop once I started...

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07-27-2005, 03:17 PM
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Anybody who doesn't have Gretz at at least 4th overall on their all-time lists quite simply doesn't know the game, or is a very angry human being.

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07-27-2005, 03:22 PM
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anyone ever read the book "Ender's Game"?

if you haven't i won't try to explain it, but it involves the same principle. gretzky was a phenom who, from day one in the NHL after the merger, was atop the league. he did things that no one could ever do because they simply lacked the instincts, the hockey sense, and the talent to do them. when people dream of playing professional sports, they dream of being THE guy, the one who brings the cup home and single handedly carries his team on his back. when they see a guy like gretzky dominate the way he does, it just makes that dream seem even more impossible, and so they resent them.

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07-27-2005, 03:46 PM
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Better question, why do so many people get irked when someone disagrees with them? Not everyone thinks Gretzky is the greatest player ever for many reasons. People have differing opinions, which doesn't make them ignorant/stupid/childish. For instance, my favorite
player is Steve Yzerman. Anyone who wants to disparge him, go nuts. I'll argue with you, but as long as you don't say something totally riduculous(one poster on another board continually suggested he's been an albatross to his team for the past 21 years) then I'll leave it be....your opinion is your own. As far as Gretzky goes, some of us feel he was severly over protected for one thing....
Was Gretzky a great player? Yes. Greatest of all time? In my books, no.

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07-27-2005, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi
Better question, why do so many people get irked when someone disagrees with them? Not everyone thinks Gretzky is the greatest player ever for many reasons. People have differing opinions, which doesn't make them ignorant/stupid/childish. For instance, my favorite
player is Steve Yzerman. Anyone who wants to disparge him, go nuts. I'll argue with you, but as long as you don't say something totally riduculous(one poster on another board continually suggested he's been an albatross to his team for the past 21 years) then I'll leave it be....your opinion is your own. As far as Gretzky goes, some of us feel he was severly over protected for one thing....
Was Gretzky a great player? Yes. Greatest of all time? In my books, no.

I don't think this is the behavior Big Phil is questioning. Gretzky takes some abuse here that's as silly as your Yzerman example..

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07-27-2005, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi
Better question, why do so many people get irked when someone disagrees with them? Not everyone thinks Gretzky is the greatest player ever for many reasons. People have differing opinions, which doesn't make them ignorant/stupid/childish. For instance, my favorite
player is Steve Yzerman. Anyone who wants to disparge him, go nuts. I'll argue with you, but as long as you don't say something totally riduculous(one poster on another board continually suggested he's been an albatross to his team for the past 21 years) then I'll leave it be....your opinion is your own. As far as Gretzky goes, some of us feel he was severly over protected for one thing....
Was Gretzky a great player? Yes. Greatest of all time? In my books, no.
Its not getting irked when someone doesnt like him, its more or less these ignorant guys who say he wasnt all that great. First off the guy that says Yzerman is an albatross to his team is nuts, the guy won three Cups and the Conn Smythe in '98.

Anyways just out of curiousity if Gretzky isnt the best off all time in your books then who is? Just curious. It really should be only 2 or 3 guys that you mention other than that you'd sound a bit like a Homer. I wouldnt argue with Orr, and even Howe some could say he was better, and even Lemieux might be a little bit of a stretch but I'd still except that. All I'm saying is that I hope its one of those guys, tell me who is it?

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07-27-2005, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil
Its not getting irked when someone doesnt like him, its more or less these ignorant guys who say he wasnt all that great. First off the guy that says Yzerman is an albatross to his team is nuts, the guy won three Cups and the Conn Smythe in '98.

Anyways just out of curiousity if Gretzky isnt the best off all time in your books then who is? Just curious. It really should be only 2 or 3 guys that you mention other than that you'd sound a bit like a Homer. I wouldnt argue with Orr, and even Howe some could say he was better, and even Lemieux might be a little bit of a stretch but I'd still except that. All I'm saying is that I hope its one of those guys, tell me who is it?

Yzerman, of course. More correctly, Yzerman is the best that I've seen, in my opionion(I can't judge Orr or Howe, I never saw them). Some of you(read all) will flame me or laugh me off the board, but that is my opinion(Call me homerific). Why?

Yzerman didn't have the most goals or most points(Which we all agree is integral to hockey) but he's got the most 'try' of anyone I've every had the priveledge of witnessing. He changed his game(from scoring forward to defensive forward)to benefit his team. As anyone will point out, being surrounded by Hall of Famers didn't hurt. (Well, didn't hurt Gretzky either.) Gretzky or Lemieux may be the more talented, but I think Yzerman jumped through more hoops.... I could go on and on. Also see 2002 playoffs. Anyone but Yzerman gets that injury, they pack it in.

Okay what am I trying to say...its not just what your given, its how you use it. Yeah. Flame away.

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07-27-2005, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi
He changed his game(from scoring forward to defensive forward)to benefit his team.
I've heard this disputed, I wasn't watching hockey when Stevie Y was coming up, but I've read that many people considered him quite a complete player coming out of Junior and that his time in Peterborough (where he didn't really score prolifically) was where he really learned the defensive side of the game.

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07-27-2005, 05:22 PM
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Russians like him. It seems Gretzky's grandfather, Anthony, emigrated from Russia with his brother in 1917. Gretzky is third generation russian immigrant. Really his parents and grand parents escaped Russian revolution. Now his village is in Belorussia, which became a country only in 1991. Before that land was always Russia or Brest-Lithuanian russian Duchy.

Notables immigrants to America from that part of Russia. Charles Bronsnan, Isaak Azimov and of course Gretzky's folks.

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07-27-2005, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi
Yzerman, of course. More correctly, Yzerman is the best that I've seen, in my opionion(I can't judge Orr or Howe, I never saw them). Some of you(read all) will flame me or laugh me off the board, but that is my opinion(Call me homerific). Why?

Yzerman didn't have the most goals or most points(Which we all agree is integral to hockey) but he's got the most 'try' of anyone I've every had the priveledge of witnessing. He changed his game(from scoring forward to defensive forward)to benefit his team. As anyone will point out, being surrounded by Hall of Famers didn't hurt. (Well, didn't hurt Gretzky either.) Gretzky or Lemieux may be the more talented, but I think Yzerman jumped through more hoops.... I could go on and on. Also see 2002 playoffs. Anyone but Yzerman gets that injury, they pack it in.

Okay what am I trying to say...its not just what your given, its how you use it. Yeah. Flame away.
Yzerman > Gretzky?

Let me guess, Red Wings fan? Yes, we will call you homerific on that one. Yzerman is a great player, Hall of Famer for certain, but at no point in his career was he EVER the best player in the league. Never won a Pearson, never won a Hart. Tough to put much credence behind a 'best ever' nod when he was never the best for even a single season.

Now, I am a Wings fan as well and love Yzerman. Put to put him ahead of Wayne, Mario, Howe, Orr and possible a half dozen more is just being irrational. Yzerman was no better than the 3rd best player in the NHL during any point of his career. That isn't a knock on him, he just happened to share the league with 2 of the 3 best players of all time.

EDIT: Yzerman did win one Pearson. Still a far cry from the trophy cases displayed by Orr, Howe, Wayne and Mario.

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07-27-2005, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
Now, I am a Wings fan as well and love Yzerman. Put to put him ahead of Wayne, Mario, Howe, Orr and possible a half dozen more is just being irrational. Yzerman was no better than the 3rd best player in the NHL during any point of his career. That isn't a knock on him, he just happened to share the league with 2 of the 3 best players of all time.
Well, front points alone, people go with Gretzky.Which works to a point.I mean, obviously scoring a wackload of goals and racking up assists is hard to argue with. However, I say there are more intangibles. Seriously, whats the highest anyone's put a goalie on the list of "all time greats"? The next highest? Whats more important, scoring goals or preventing them? Hard to say....

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07-27-2005, 06:26 PM
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kruezer
I've heard this disputed, I wasn't watching hockey when Stevie Y was coming up, but I've read that many people considered him quite a complete player coming out of Junior and that his time in Peterborough (where he didn't really score prolifically) was where he really learned the defensive side of the game.
Through a good part of the 80s (first part of his career), Yzerman had the rap of being an offensive star who was somewhat selfish and not a complete player. (Not unlike Modano.) He evolved his game, became a leader, and the Wings went on to becoming a superb team.

***

Regarding Gretzky: It's silly. I once thought Wayne was a weak-kneed wimp, overrated, a one-dimensional pond hockey player....Of course, I was a teenager at the time, and a devout NYI fan forced to watch Gretzky carve up every record and threaten my team seemingly every spring. I subsequent grew up (somewhat) and learned to appreciate greatness.

When kids disrespect the greatnesss and herculean accomplishments of #99, I pass it off to immaturity and lack of knowledge. (For example, when a clown casually suggests that Crosby will be another #99, or better yet, "he won't be Mario or Wayne, just a Sakic or Forsberg." Sure. Easy as done. )

But when a 30-something adult rips the #99, I recognize someone with potential issues. I myself do not consider Wayne the greatest hockey player in my lifetime; I rank Robert Orr and Mario ahead of him. But to rip the guy in any way whatsoever is not disrespectful to the individual. It's disrespectful to the sport of hockey. (May sound corny but it's true.)

But hey, as said prior, there are a lot of folks who get off on hating.


Last edited by Trottier: 07-27-2005 at 06:33 PM.
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07-27-2005, 06:39 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi
Well, front points alone, people go with Gretzky.Which works to a point.I mean, obviously scoring a wackload of goals and racking up assists is hard to argue with. However, I say there are more intangibles. Seriously, whats the highest anyone's put a goalie on the list of "all time greats"? The next highest? Whats more important, scoring goals or preventing them? Hard to say....
If we are going to talk 'greats', lets start with players whom their peers and the media recognized as The Best: Hart and Pearson winners. Heck, throw in the Conn Smyth as well. Goalies win those just as skaters do. Has nothing to do with points scored and everything to do with being identified as the best player in the league.

Yzerman: 2
Gretzky: 16

Since you mentioned goalies, I would take Patrick Roy (3 'best' awards) and Hasek (4 'best' awards) over Yzerman without hesitation.

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07-27-2005, 06:41 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi
Yzerman, of course. More correctly, Yzerman is the best that I've seen, in my opionion(I can't judge Orr or Howe, I never saw them). Some of you(read all) will flame me or laugh me off the board, but that is my opinion(Call me homerific). Why?

Yzerman didn't have the most goals or most points(Which we all agree is integral to hockey) but he's got the most 'try' of anyone I've every had the priveledge of witnessing. He changed his game(from scoring forward to defensive forward)to benefit his team. As anyone will point out, being surrounded by Hall of Famers didn't hurt. (Well, didn't hurt Gretzky either.) Gretzky or Lemieux may be the more talented, but I think Yzerman jumped through more hoops.... I could go on and on. Also see 2002 playoffs. Anyone but Yzerman gets that injury, they pack it in.

Okay what am I trying to say...its not just what your given, its how you use it. Yeah. Flame away.
We get irked because it's always the same unthruthful trash used to bash Gretzky.

He didn't fight, he didn't play defense, he didn't try etc. It gets tiring, especially when the only truth to that is the fighting.

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07-27-2005, 07:07 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMoses
We get irked because it's always the same unthruthful trash used to bash Gretzky.

He didn't fight, he didn't play defense, he didn't try etc. It gets tiring, especially when the only truth to that is the fighting.
i think everybody knows he didn't fight. He is not the only one.
He couldn't be called a defensive forward. I'm positive he tried, it'd be scary if he scored that many goals without trying.However, I don't think you'd argue that he experienced an unusually low level of physical contanct for his first decade of playing though(Some argue because he had enforcer goons to beat people down, some argue pure skill....perhaps some of both?) Frankly, I think not getting checked a lot really helped his numbers, and that would probably be my bone of contention as to how much 'greater' than everyone else people say he is. I'm not going to argue about it, I'm just saying.

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