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Gretzky: Greatest ambassador of all-time for any sport?

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12-29-2005, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz
Tiger Woods. He has done more to popularize the game of golf than anyone has done for another sport since Babe Ruth. And he has done it not only through his play, but through his philanthropy. He's transformed a overwhelmingly white elitist sport and helped to make it accessible to virtually anyone.
Yes, country club fees are at a record all time low. Now anyone can play the sport .

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12-30-2005, 09:07 AM
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While Mr. Gretzky is a fine human being, devoted family man and hockey player of the first order, he's no Jean Beliveau.

Beliveau is one of the very few pro athletes I'd ever hold up as a role model for youth, most of 'em being no better than you or I.

For over 50 years Mr. Beliveau has been in the public eye and I have yet to hear of a single incident where he was less than gracious to anyone crossing his path. His name conjures up such words as dignity, decency, commitment, dedication, leadership, sacrifice, skill, grace and class.

I wander onto a few sites devoted to autograph hunting and am well aware how difficult it is to get some guys to sign.

Like many of the games immortals, Beliveau still receives hundreds of autograph requests weekly and answers each and every one of them himself. If you write him a letter, he'll read it.

Unlike many of his peers who refuse to sign or will only scribble their names at events where folks have to pay an admission fee Beliveau doesn't charge for his autograph. He seems to think that it was the fans who allowed him to be a success in life and be able to afford a comfortable retirement and that taking a few seconds to send off an autograph or speak to an admirer is a small price to pay for the privileges that hockey has afforded him.

A lotta guys visit hospitals when the cameras are rolling. Beliveau does it regularly without publicity or thinking that it is any big deal. Banquets, tournaments - you name it he's done it and continues to do so, particularly when a charity is involved.

I could go on for quite some time but I'd not get any of the important stuff that I have on my "to do list" done.

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12-30-2005, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by NobodyBeatsTheWiz
I was referring to the fact that you bring in facts that have nothing to do with the argument, i.e. the dictionary definition of an ambassador and Tiger's participation in the Pheonix Open. You didn't address a single point I made and even helped my argument by saying that he was the reason you started to play golf.

I see what youre saying about him falling off the face of the Earth, I mean, he fell to *GASP* #2 in the world. Jeez, he's an a**hole.

I wasn't meaning to help your argument. Only stating that just because someone is popular doesn't make them an ambassador. IE> George W. Bush (he may be quite popular, but by no means would anyone refer to him as an ambassador).
Tiger doesn't give a crap about anyone but tiger. Gretzky cares about the game of hockey and portrays that in his image. Maybe you can shed some light for me and tell me what Tiger does for the game of golf. Other than just bringing a popular face to the media. Is he a nice guy? Autograph signer? ETC.
I will say i like Tiger alot but wouldn't classify him as an ambassador of the game. That distinction would have to go to Arnie Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to name a couple.

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12-30-2005, 11:55 AM
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Nothing against Tiger, but even with him in there Golf is still about as fun to watch as paint dry. There all of the sudden isnt going to be a bunch of potential NFL quarterbacks turning down football just so they can golf. Yes he's unique, and when you think of Tiger you think of Golf right away but I've always felt that Tiger is very robotic in a lot of ways. Even his wedding was very private. That's okay, I understand he wants his privacy but I always feel like you never really know what Tiger is about. Gretkzy's '88 wedding was the closest thing to a royal wedding Canada has ever had. It seems like you know more about Gretzky. You know his wife's name, his kids name his parents names and that isnt uncommon either. Geez my mom even knows who Walter Gretzky is.

Tiger has done a lot for golf and if it was a bigger more popualr sport then he'd be up there, but it isnt. Its just now starting to be a sport that more than middled aged men can play.............. and even then.

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