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Who are your favorite All-Time Sports Stars?

Discussion in 'Sports Talk' started by johnsteed, Oct 1, 2006.

    Oct 1, 2006
  1. johnsteed

    johnsteed Ueber Meister

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    Hello fellow forum members (although it seems that only 1 or 2 actually explore this sector of "Casinomeister" lore on rare occasion)! :)


    I'd love to know who are your favorite sport stars? Past or present. Dead or alive. Good guy and evil 'A'-hole. Also, why do you like them? They don't have to be good either. Heck, take Manon Rheaum for all I care, or even a Bob Uecker.


    So to kick-things-off...


    My "Top-10" favorite Sports Stars


    1.A

    Michael Jordan​



    Quotes:

    "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."


    "My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength."


    "I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win."



    Perfect blend of offense and defense. A TV superstar. He could knock-off "Seinfeld" for top spot in the "Nielson Ratings", and that's when "Seinfeld" was at it's peak! :notworthy It's impossible for any of today's superstars to outdo Jordan. Impossible. He made himself. LeBron's story is not as compelling, it's fed-to-us by Stern and the media. Jordan's fire is/was unmatched. His gift was playing basketball, even if he loves gold and baseball more. GOD touched him and made him the perfect basketball specimen. He gave Jordan:


    - Determination/Will/Killer Instincts/Competitiveness (with a switch left "ON")
    - Speed
    - Strength
    - Vision/Mind/Spirit
    - Grace and Explosion


    He's as close to being Superman (sorry SHAQ) as we're ever going to see.



    1.AA

    Barry Lamar Bonds​





    Quotes:

    "And all it takes is to shun one reporter because maybe you have to go home or have some other responsibility or whatever. That can spark a fire throughout the rest of the season."


    "I'm not afraid to be lonely at the top."


    "Those boos really motivate me to make something happen."


    I should expect death threats after putting Bonds here...


    When the world hates something, I need to know... why? When the world overrates something, I become suspicious and need to find out... why?


    Barry Bonds is probably a jerk, but I don't really care. There are tons of jerks in the world. TONS!!! I can be a jerk at times, and some of the people I love dearly can be as well. We accept them though, because we know them on another level. The world - despite reality TV - will never really know what goes on with Bonds. All we know is that he's a BIG FAT jerk who's been turned into America's #1 villain, probably equal to terrorist leaders, Darth Vader when he went sour, rogue countries leaders, maybe he's ahead of them... I no longer know. :confused:


    In all likelihood, the man took steroids. So to many, his numbers mean absolutely nothing. Fine. He's a big fat *.


    But I say, you can sweep it under a rug because it's ugly to you, but it is what it is. Forgetting about all the allegations, setting aside the countless jerk memoirs, Bonds is still the greatest baseball player of his generation.


    You may hate him, you may be sick of him, but his at-bats are still more exciting than anything you're going to see in your lifetime. Ryan Howard's close, Pujols is close, Frank Thomas was once close, ditto McGwire, yet they never really were ever close.


    Bonds was always ahead of the pack. He could (and at times still can) play the whole game. If he had a weak throwing arm, he more than made up for it with smarts, a quick-release, great position, and unmatched reads. Left-Fielders don't win Gold Gloves. Bonds has won 8 of them.


    The press had a quiet rule, to never allow any player to win more than 3 MVPs, no matter how great they may have been. Mantle, Berra, Musial, Foxx, DiMaggio, Campanella, and Schmidt had won 3 each. For the most part, they're darlings of the media. The media and the fans of baseball loved them. The media and the fans for the most part, generally dislike/hate Bonds. He won 7 MVPs, and many feel that he should have won in '91 and again in '00. :confused:


    There are presently 6 members of the 300/300 club. Mays, Bobby Bonds (father), Dawson, Barry, Steve Finley and Reggie Sanders (both new). There's only one member of the 400/400 club... Barry Bonds. There's only one member of the 500/500 club... Barry Bonds. Bonds was a great base-stealer, having converted close to 79% of his opportunities. He still gets the odd one now, on bad legs, and he very rarely gets caught.


    You can take any player in the history of baseball, match their stats up against Bonds, even the likes of Ruth, Aaron, Wagner, Mantle, Cobb, Williams, or a Mays, and not one has more all-around balance in every statistical category. If Ruth and Williams had greater OPS numbers (on-base + slugging percentages), Bonds trumps them in speed and defense categories. If Mays was a greater defensive player and likely the greatest defensive player ever, Bonds trumps him at the plate... and not slightly. Even little numbers like grounding into double-plays, base-on-balls (a.k.a. walks) versus strike-outs (a.k.a. K's), secondary averages (walks, hit-by-pitches, sacrifice flies), power-speed, zone-ratings, Bonds comes up with A+'s everywhere. The other greats have the occasional B's or C's, but not Bonds.


    Bonds is great alone on his ability to block-things-out. The media may hate that, but it's a gift. Any other player in sports would have retired from their sport at a fraction of the scrutiny that he's gone through. Even if he's guilty on all charges, how in God's name does he get through the day and face the world?


    Where people see a flawed character, I take him for who he is. A moody person who's the greatest baseball player I'm ever going to see. For the life of me, I can't see how running with the angry mob yelling obscenities at an individual can somehow purify one's soul. I guess book-burnings never go out of style. :cool:



    2.
    Rick Barry


    Quote:

    People who don't know me have opinions about me. That's the part that's very hurtful. Because how do you form an opinion about somebody if you've never met them or spent any time with them? So it's all based upon hearsay or things that they've read.



    One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, perhaps even the greatest. Like another Bay Area "jerk", he's entertaining as hell. Arrogant? Yes. Confident? Absolutely. Sensational? No question.


    Rick Barry is an opinionated man, and while some disregarded him for being a know-it-all, he's very knowledgeable. It's unfortunate that he can't be slightly more reserved at times, because he'd make a great teacher if he'd have a little more patience. In the last 50-or-so years, I can't think of 1 single player who got more out of a so-so to win-it-all (Warriors '75). Great determination, fire, and dedication to being the best he could be.



    3.
    Dale Hawerchuk​





    Here's an esoteric one for all of you (or the 2 or 3 of you who'll maybe someday read this). I happen to think that he may very well be one of the most underrated players in the last 30-odd-years. A great two-way player, who never really got an recognition for playing that type of a game. Loaded with a great offensive skill-set, he was probably the 2nd best player in the NHL in the mid-80s (not that anyone notice), but his career and the team he played for (the now defunct "WINNIPEG JETS") coincided with Gretzky and the great OILERS teams of the '80s. Hawerchuk was caught between the Trottier/Stastny/Dionne era, lumped together with Dennis Savard and Mark Messier, and was still at his peak when Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman were just getting started... all the while Gretzky was playing. All great centers, and I'm forgetting about a bunch of others at that time who were almost as good as all of the players I've just mentioned.


    Hawerchuk was basically a 40-goal/100-point player for the better part of his career, and he had accumulated over 1,400 points/500 goals in his career that ended a bit-too-soon because of back-woes (33-years old). A well respected player throughout his career, he was better than people realized at the time, and in the context of his era, he always has been.



    4.
    John McEnroe​





    Quote:

    "Now I get docked 10 to 20 per cent (of my appearance fee) if I don't yell at some people and break at least one racquet."


    The greatest quote and the best interview in the history of sports (with the exceptions of Rickey Henderson and possibly Yogi Berra). He probably had the greatest hands the sport has ever seen. Maybe one of the smartest, in terms of court awareness. And despite his constant arguing with officials, he knew what he was doing when he was getting into it with them. That may have cost him some wins along the way, but he certainly made the game more entertaining. Jimmy Connors didn't hurt either.


    Funny that he also spent some time in the "Bay Area"! :D Unlike Charles Barkley, he speaks his mind AND he has valid points. He's not talking-out-of-his-ass, although some might think so.



    5.
    Rickey Henderson​





    Quote:

    "Lou Brock was a great base stealer but today I am the greatest."


    He's probably playing AA-ball somewhere as I'm writing this. He's 48-years old now, and his legs are probably still better than 95% of the players in baseball today. If he could still hit... (sigh)... :(


    My favorite all-time Henderson moment has to be the day he declared himself being the greatest, when he surpassed Lou Brock as the All-Time career stolen-base leader. He stated, "but today... I am the greatest... eatest... eatest... est... est...". Brock was sitting in the stands that day, when Henderson made that wonderful speech. Rickey is also famous for referring to himself as "Rickey". He's often cited as the first athlete to have constantly done so, although I'm not so sure about that one. Dave Parker springs to mind, or a bunch of those "We-Are-Family" Pirates of the '70s!


    Although not often considered to be a great hitter, he was. He was a tremendous hitter, with the gift of getting on-base any way he could, and using his smarts on the bags.



    6.
    Steve Yzerman​



    Well, he just retired this past off-season, even though the guy still looks like he's in his 20s. He's got those Brad Pitt genes I guess.


    Probably similar to Dale Hawerchuk in many ways, underrated throughout the earlier part of his career, but played much longer than Hawerchuk so his career numbers are more productive. Fine two way player who always seemed to be this close to being traded.


    He learned how to become a great two-way player, especially when Federov came along in '90. Awesome 1-2 punch down the middle throughout the '90s, similar to Sakic/Forsberg. A great leader-by-example, he was very dedicated to the game, and very loyal to the team that drafted him. I don't think you could want anything more from your team leader/franchise player.



    7.
    Chipper Jones/Frank Thomas/Roberto Alomar/Jeff Kent​



    I have to get them on this list.


    They're all about the same to me.


    Jones for being a Southern-type of guy, hitting as great as he usually does, putting together a HOF career... albeit without being a MONSTER name. He did win an MVP though, and he surely deserved it. He does everything well, except defensively. Although it's rumored that he's played much better at 3rd the past two seasons, than he had his first go-around there years ago. A solid quote, candid, very respectful to the game and one of the many faces of a great BRAVES dynasty. Andrew Jones may finish his career with more HRs, but Chipper is the more dangerous hitter. The "Hooters" debacle certainly hurt him for a time there...


    Frank Thomas always seems physically finished, but he keeps storming back. He's certainly having a terrific season. Thomas wasn't the greatest player of the '90s, that title goes to Bonds, but he was on par with Bonds as a hitter back then. Well, Thomas was certainly the best AL hitter of the '90s, beating out Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, Juan Gonzalez, and Ken Griffey Jr.


    I always had him pegged as the guy who would one day break Hank Aaron's mark of 755. Well, he hasn't quite reached 500 yet, and although he'll reach that early next year, anything approaching 700 is probably out of the question now. Regardless, he's been a monster at the plate whenever he's completely healthy, and it looks like he's got a lot of life left in him. He's a HOFer, and would have been even had he retired back in '01.


    Robert Alomar was a 5-tool player. Speed, power, fielding, arm, glove, smarts, whatever tool was needed he had it. It's unfortunate that his carrer took a MONSTER nose dive back in '02 after going to the METS, because at the end of the '01 campaign, there was no question that he was going to reach 3,000 hits. The question was could he make a legitimate run at 4,000. I know that THAT seems outrageous now, but if you look at him stats up to that point - and he was still coming off a peak-performance season - and you factor that in with his then age (only 33 at the time), it wasn't out of the question. Regardless, he was big on those BLUE JAY clubs, ditto the Orioles, and again with Cleveland where he really should have been the MVP in '99; if not in '01. Great glove, and though he's sometimes considered to be overrated, I really don't think that can be true.


    Jeff Kent was actually a teammate of Alomar's for a brief stint back with the BLUE JAYS. A solid fielder - not spectacular... but better than fans suggest - he has really turned-up his game over the past 10-years, still going strong. Back then, already at the age of 28, who could have predicted that Jeff Kent would become the All-Time leader in HF for a 2nd baseman. If he can muster enough power and health to stay in the game for aonther couple of years (productive ones), I think he could be an eventual HOFer. Remember, he does own an MVP award (2000), and he looks like Glenn Davis!



    8.
    Dominik Hasek​



    He was the most dominant hockey player throughout the '90s in the NHL. Jagr, Forsberg, Sakic, Lemieux, Federov, Chelios, Lidstrom, Brodeur, Roy, and a host of others were all spectacular, and were all pretty close at different times, but Hasek was the only reason Buffalo had a decent team. I can think of at least 10 other NHL netminders throughout the game's history who've had longer more productive careers. But he REALLY peaked in the mid/late '90s. I've never seen a greater goalie, as I had with Hasek at that time. I would imagine that Ken Dryden at his peak was similar. I would assume that Grant Fuhr at his accrobatic best was just as good (ignoring his career GAA). I know that Roy and Brodeur were great for a long time, and either one can claim the top stop as the greatest goaltender who's ever lived. I would think that Terry Sawchuk is RIGHT there as well, and may still be the considered the greatest. Brodeur will certainly own most records by the time he's done, and he's still only 34, and he should be going for many more years to come (scary thought).


    Regardless of all of that, Hasek is the by far the greatest I've ever seen with my own eyes, and the most exciting. The only goalies that have been as exciting would have been Fuhr at his peak, Mike Vernon in spurts, Andy Moog in spurts, Billy Smith without a doubt, Ron Hextall because you never knew what the hell he was going to do next (which is GREAT), and maybe even a soon to be underrated Ed Belfour (who actually may have been the next best goalie throughout the '90s after Hasek). You never know what Hasek will do next, but it'll sure to be entertaining!!!



    9.
    Andre Agassi​



    Quote:

    "I got a hundred bucks says my baby beats Pete's baby. I just think genetics are in my favour."


    In some ways, I love him more than I do McEnroe. Agassi's story is one of the most compelling to me, in all of pro sports. He was an overrated "good-looking" tennis-playing advertisement, that seemed to be no better than what Kournikova would eventually be exposed to becoming. He was certainly on that path, at least a third into his entire career. The 2nd part of his career, we saw his brilliance and desire, although he would go back-and-forth with staying at-the-top of his game. He pushed himself hard for 9 months, and then he'd slack-off for another year. He did that throughout the mid-90s.


    But, he showed that he was good enough to be the best in those brief spurts, knocking-off Sampras periodically. And then after the Brook Shields years, he seemed to finally get it. He worked his ass off, completely dedicated himself to the game, and was the most dominant player in the game for the span of at least a couple of years (and right there in the top-3 for a number of years). He managed to win in all 4 Grand Slam events over the years, and he played for a long time. I wondered how many titles he could have won had he had that same fire and dedication throughout his career. Although he's right there in the discussion of the game's greatest players, he could have been the outright winner.


    He was the most exciting player in the game in the '90s (men's circuit), andcareer even up unanothertil this year. He made himself into a better man, and the world took notice.



    10.
    Martina Havratilova​



    Quote:

    "I came to live in a country I love; some people label me a defector. I have loved men and women in my life; I've been labeled "the bisexual defector" in print. Want to know another secret? I'm even ambidextrous. I don't like labels. Just call me Martina."




    Many will argue with me on this one, but Martina is the greatest tennis player of All-Time, and I'm even going to go one further and say that she's the greatest male or female tennis player period. She did so much for the game, for eons, and she's still playing in case you hadn't noticed. Maybe the greatest serve and volley player. Maybe the smartest. She was easy to root against, although in retrospect, aside from the name, she never really did anything to provoke such hate. She seemed EVIL, but really... she never was.


    ***


    Well, there you have it. I can make a "Top-100/200/500/1,000", but that would eat up a lot of cyberspace! I look forward to reading your replies... that is... if anyone actually reads this post.


    Steed

    ***
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
    1 person likes this.
  2. Oct 2, 2006
  3. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    "H"avritilova ?!? Lol

    I only know 4 from your list JS :) If I published my list, you'd probably only know Lance Armstrong :D
     
  4. Oct 2, 2006
  5. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
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    Pel has to be on the list.
     
  6. Oct 2, 2006
  7. 1819

    1819 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    retired athlete
    Location:
    ny,nj,fla
    myself. lol. actually thats not a joke. i made my living s a pro athlete for 4 years. wasnt exactly a household name and nowhere near superstar status but i did ok. my hero's are all the people that you never see on t.v. or in the papers. i had some wonderful trainers, equipment guys, p.r. people and overall general staffers. some of those people have remained my close friends and no pro sporting event would be possible without those folks. by the way i played against hawerchuk and he was fantastic...
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Oct 2, 2006
  9. johnsteed

    johnsteed Ueber Meister

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    ***

    Edit

    10.
    Martina Navratilova​



    Simmo!




    Ooops... :oops: I think I need to hire an editor, and pronto!


    Side Note: I REALLY DO need to hire an editor... and yes, pronto!


    Actually Simmo!, I'd love to read your list, even if I don't recognize anyone on that list. I'm sure there are a few people I forgot about who could actually bump off a couple people that I included on the list. Oh well... only a Top-10.


    GrandMaster




    I can't really say that I'm a fan of his, so I wouldn't dare include him on my list of favorites. If we're talking about his being one of the greatest players of All-Time, he's right there at the top. But... these are my favorites, not who I think are the best (although most of these players would qualify amongst the greatest of their respective sport's arenas).


    If I'm doing a "Top-10 Greatest Pro-Sports List", off the top-of-my head, it would probably look like this...

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Pelé
    3. Babe Ruth
    4. Wayne Gretzky
    5. Barry Bonds
    6. Jim Thorpe
    7. Mohammad Ali
    8. Jim Brown
    9. Willie Mays
    10. Martina Navratilova

    an extended list (not exactly accurate... but these people are all right there)...

    11. Tiger Woods (depends if you consider him a sports star or not)
    12. Bobby Orr
    13. Joe Montana
    14. Bill Russell
    15. Jerry Rice
    16. George Best
    17. Roger Federer
    18. Pete Sampras
    19. Lance Armstrong
    20. Carl Lewis

    and more...

    21. George Best
    22. Ted Williams
    23. Jesse Owens
    24. Babe Didrikson
    25. Joe Lewis
    26. Magic Johnson
    27. Larry Bird
    28. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    29. Jack Nicklaus
    30. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    31. Nadia Comaneci
    32. Ty Cobb
    33. Honus Wagner
    34. Gordie Howe
    35. Mark Messier
    36. Red Grange
    37. Rocky Marciano
    38. Hank Aaron
    39. Micky Mantle
    40. Jesse Owens
    41. Don Bradman
    42. Rod Laver
    43. Michael Schumacher
    44. Franz Beckenbauer
    45. Richard Petty
    46. Maradona
    47. Zidane
    48. Wilt Chamberlain
    49. Florence Griffith Joyner
    50. Sachin Tendulkar


    I would have to expect that most would quickly disagree with my putting Bonds as high as he is on the list, but I can't ignore his achievements and his overall numbers. Even prior to Bonds "steroids" era, his all-around numbers and how balanced they were in every big/small statistical category, I can't ignore his greatness. Most of this is off the top of my head, and I'm sure one could make compelling enough arguments as to who should be ranked higher (and those who were left off the list). I tried to include as many sports as I could, and there certainly is a North American bias happening (as one would expect). But, IF I were REALLY North American biased, I would have excluded sports stars in soccer (minus Pelé of course), cricket, formula racing, and a few others...


    1819




    Boy, I'd love to know who you are! ;) I was a die-hard NHL fan up until the game was slowed-to-a-crawl with all of that abysmal trapping set in place throughout the better part of the past 12 years (minus this past season). Thank you expansion! :mad:


    There were many variables that prevented Hawerchuk from being greater than he was.

    a) his smoking (ditto Trottier and countless other NHL stars of that time)

    b) being in Winnipeg (gulp!)

    c) not keeping someone like Dave Babych around in his prime (perhaps only you'd know about what the hell I'm talking about)

    d) not getting Teemu Selanne in a JETS uniform earlier than they had... it may have been a match made in heaven and could have re-sparkled his relationship with the JETS and the media

    e) although he was surrounded with some pretty good players, he never had his Kurri/Bossy/Goulet/Anderson or even a Larmer as his primary goal-scorer... he did have Paul Maclean who had great hands but that surely wasn't enough

    f) he could never get out of his own division in the playoffs (until he played with the Flyers in his final season)

    g) Jamie McCoun for his flattening him when he was at his peak offensively, AND when the JETS were putting the finishing touches on a strong FLAMES team... only to go on with the greatest JETS team/line-up sans their #1 option... and this was a team that had 6 30-goal scorers on it (and another couple 20-goal scorers as well), and they were strong at every position... (grrr!!!) :(


    Steed

    ***
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2006
  10. Oct 3, 2006
  11. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Web Dev.
    Location:
    England
    Ok well, I'm not really into having "heroes" but here are the sports people I most admire:

    1. Lance Armstrong. To fight back from cancer and win 7 Tour De France titles is incredible. And to watch the man in action is awe-inspiring. He may not engender the public to him off the bike, but on it he was unbeatable.

    2. David Beckham. Even you Americans have probably heard of him. Aside from being a fantastic footballer, and perhaps arguably not the sharpest pencil in the case, the way he fought off the criticism of his sending off against Argentina in 1998 was admirable.

    3. Ronaldinho. Yes Péle was the "Master", but I still don't think I've seen a more technically gifted footballer in all mty time. Not only that but wears a constant smile like he enjoys every minute of what he does.

    4. Pelé. Nuff Said.

    5. Tiger Woods. I didn't get to see many of the legends before him as I wasn't into golf at the time, but you have to admire this guy's ability. He's changed the landscape of golf and is probably responsible for more changes to course layouts than anyone.

    6. Ian Wright. As an Arsenal fan, a legend as was...

    7. Dennis Bergkamp. The silkiest footballer to grace Highbury!

    8. Thierry Henry. I'm on a roll here, no apologies. And still has more in the locker.

    9. Lochsong. Okay, so Lochsong was a horse, but in the mid-90's in his short Group 1 career, he was simply amazing to watch. Frankie Dettori used to ride him. Welll, not so much ride him as sit on him. The horse knew what to do and left everyone else standing.

    10. Mark Spitz. My first Olympic memory. 7 golds I think it was. Awesome.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Oct 3, 2006
  13. johnsteed

    johnsteed Ueber Meister

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    Great list "Simmo!"! :notworthy

    I appreciate your taking the take time do this. I actually know 9 of those 10 names, with "Lochsong" being the lone exception. I'm not into horse-racing, but I would suspect some day I may be.


    I happen to think that Lance Armstrong is just as great off of the bike, as he is on it. I love his quotes, and he seems to be very passionate about many things. He'll forever have a great career as a legendary motivational speaker. Actually, I wish he'd keep racing... he'd still be winning! :)


    Steed

    ***
     
  14. Oct 3, 2006
  15. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    do i gots to have a collage degree to apply for the position?
     
  16. Oct 3, 2006
  17. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    awesome list, Steed.

    my list:

    1. John Starks: guard who in his heyday tandemed with Patrick Ewing in New York. Starks made it to the NBA the hard way (is there an easy way?) via the CBA. He had a sweet three point shot and seemed to will himself and his team to a level far beyond his skills.

    2. O.J. Simpson (ok...i want people to read my list so I'll put O.J. up at number 2.) apparently there is no rule that you can't put a sociopathic freak on your list as Steed included Frank Thomas and Rickey Henderson. every list should have at least one "alleged" murderer. The Juice was so awesome while playing for the otherwise unremarkable Buffalo Bills. Despite his obvious character flaws (would have made a good republican representative) I'd rather hand the ball off to O.J. than even Barry Sanders or (don't smite me down for saying this, god) Walter Payton.

    3. Gertrude Ederle......i like my women well oiled and I greatly respect anyone who swims the channel to leave France. (Gertrude was the first woman to swim the English Channel) There was a storm during her crossing so actually she wound up swimming an extra 14 miles.

    4. Rex Hudler......aka Wonderdog......this guy is a riot to listen to in short bursts since he's usually a 33 record running at 78 speed. I only wish Rex had played on one of the teams I liked as he was so much fun to watch. He is probably the only modern player that sprinted even when he bounced one right back to the pitcher. He's a broadcaster now with the Angels.

    5. Keith Magnuson......defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks......this guy was my the favorite of most of the kids in my neighborhood. he always led the Hawks out onto the ice and he came out full-thottle.....he was a spark plug and he got into a lot of fights (most of which he lost) so he then took boxing lessons so he could hold his own on the ice. unfortunately, he died a few years back in true hockey-star fashion (car crash in Toronto...his buddy was charged for driving while impaired or something like that)

    6. Dennis Rodman......ok........who cares if Jordan is 1,000 times better, Rodman needs some props now that his Golden Palace ads will probably disapear. Jordan stopped being a superstar for me when he started schlepping his own cologne.

    7. Jimmy Connors.....I must admit I rooted for McEnroe back in the day, but McEnroe has pushed himself in front of the camera so often in recent years that I now loathe the guy. Connors was relentless with the deep groundstrokes and I love that he's now working with Roddick.

    8. Danica Patrick.......i hate auto racing, but this chick is so friggin hoooottttt!!!!!!!.....i do think she'll wind up winning a lot of races but I hope breathing all those fumes won't affect her ability to have my baby.

    9. Billy Williams.....my favorite Cub slugger as a kid. in our backyard games, most kids would announce his name as they stepped up to the plate.

    10. Albert Haynesworth----criminal thug--Tennessee Titans.....i only put him on my list to get back at Steed for including Frank Thomas and Roberto Alomar....two classless thugs that i loathe!

    7.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2006
    1 person likes this.
  18. Oct 5, 2006
  19. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    oh great....now Frank Thomas is having the series of his lifetime just to reinforce steed's list and make me look like a donkey
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2006
  20. Oct 5, 2006
  21. 1819

    1819 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    retired athlete
    Location:
    ny,nj,fla
    my serious top 5.... jordan, ali, bo jackson, gretzky, 5 is a tie jim brown & lawrence taylor. except for bo the other guys completly changed the way their sport was played. bo was the purest most gifted athlete ive ever seen. yea deon played baseball and football but he sucked at baseball and was slightly overrated as a football player. bo had pure talent and excelled at all levels, even track. you can tell i was a scholarship athlete in college, my god i cant spell!
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Oct 5, 2006
  23. johnsteed

    johnsteed Ueber Meister

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    ***

    Thanks for your responses guys! :)


    1819



    ... and I'm still dying to know how you are, to have gone up against "Ducky" Hawerchuk! I MUST know!!! :confused:


    I've gone back-and-forth on this one for some time "1819", and since you really know hockey (and believe that you REALLY do), would you consider Gretzky to be greater than Mario Lemieux? Or even more than Bobby Orr?

    When factoring in records and Championships, I suppose that the title should go to Gretzky as the game's greatest player. I don't have a problem with that. But as far as I'm concerned, I don't think he was any more gifted than Lemieux or even perhaps Orr. I've touched upon this in another thread here, but Lemieux had every gift that Gretzky had, except for health, having been born 4-years after "The Great One", and partially because he came after, not being perceived as likable. Not that Gretzky was an open-book (most hockey players aren't when compared to the other BIG sports), but Lemieux in presence seemed to give off more arrogance.


    If Gretzky was a better passer - which I'm not convinced he was - Lemieux was the more gifted goal-scorer, despite records indicating otherwise. If Gretzky was more explosive in his prime - which again I'm not convinced he was because Lemieux's speed was more deceptive - Lemieux was the master at slowing down the game to a crawl. Then again, Gretzky was the master at working behind the net (very innovative indeed). Lemieux on the other hand had the greater reach. Both could break-down the plays before they even unfolded. They were both chess players on the ice, and it was a shame that the game had been reduced to "PONDS" being just as powerful as "QUEENS" for the better part of the last 15-years.


    I honestly believe that had Lemieux played the majority of his career in the offensive-minded '80s as opposed to the defensive-trapped '90s. his numbers would be far greater than what he finished-up with. The well being of his health may have played-out differently as well, but to Gretzky's defense, staying healthy was a part of his overall greatness.


    Orr was a greater innovator. He did everything well, why adding-on a new stack of never-before-seen dimensions. Paul Coffey may have been equally talented in the offensive-end, but Orr it could be said, also played like Brad Park defensively. He did everything! I'm not sure that Lemieux or Gretzky played the whole rink with as much intelligence. If you're looking at plus/minus, well, those centers had the opposition on their heals, and they were just too damned-special offensively.


    I've read countless times - from the experts - that within the hockey ranks, as great as Gretzky was especially during the early-'90s, Bryan Trottier was more respected because he played the whole game. I know that sounds a bit ridiculous now, but he was the top player when Gretzky came into the league, and he still was despite not being anywhere near Gretzky offensively, even though he was a great offensive player in his prime. Like Hawerchuk, he smoked too damn much!


    I'd also like to make a plug for the player I happen to feel was the most naturally-gifted goal-scorer in the history of the NHL... Mike Bossy. He's become underrated over time, and his career was only 10-years in length. He wasn't defensive-minded, and he wasn't tough, but what great hands. Had he been healthier, and had he played with Lemieux and Jagr in that slow-down-the-game-to-crawl half-court game, which works well with his game, he'd have scored a 1,000 goals. Different eras, it'll never happen, but... :p


    ***


    tennis_balls



    Got-heart-like-John-Starks...

    - Beastie Boys


    I admire your pick here "tennis_balls", but I think you've read too many "Starks-used-to-bag-groceries" articles, because there's absolutely no way he ever had "a sweet three point shot." I'm guessing that you were one of John Edwards, Dave Parker, or Willy Stargell most prized clients throughout the '90s. This is my favorite line from you, and I'm going to give you 5-reputation points based on unindented comedy for this quote... "and seemed to will himself and his team to a level far beyond his skills."


    Now, I don't have a problem with that part of the quote. But combining that statement with his having "a sweet three point shot" leads me to believe that you were watching too much of the O.J. Simpson trial as opposed to watching Game 7 of the '94 NBA Finals. Starks willed some great teams out of contention, with that atrocious 3-point shooting. Even ignoring that game, his lifetime career 3-point shooting mark was set at .340. He barely converted over 33% of his shots behind the arc. He sucked at 3-point shooting, IF compared to the great 3-point specialists. And as a shooter, which he wasn't, he only converted 41% of his shots from the field.


    He was a half-court dunker. He DID have heart. He used to play Jordan very well, bumping him like no one else had before. He was a great find for Riley, as was extremely gifted thug Anthony Mason. I can totally understand why you'd like him, because I was a big KNICKS fan at that time.


    cont...




    Moahaha, I again applaud you for putting a "sociopathic freak" on your "All-Time" list.


    Frank Thomas and Rickey are GIANT egotistical clowns, but hardly "sociopathic". You could say though that your selecting O.J. where you did, matches my having Bonds where he is. Anywhere outside of the Bay Area, Bonds has become the new Hitler... or the new O.J.!


    Something always bothered me about the O.J. ordeal. It was the trophy burning/smashing they held. Nevermind all the wrong that he very likely got away with, seeing everyday citizens foaming at the mouth getting unequivocal pleasure from destroying a part of the man's legacy is sick to me. It's like those people that MUST kick someone when they're down, and running with the mob-mentality. Get a life, you sick bastards!


    cont...




    I see what you're saying here... but all of the non-Pete Rose players that do this NEED to do this because their main hope of sticking around and masking their awful stats is to win over the media and fans alike with those "hustle-plays". Erstad - aside from one glorious fluke-season (2000) - is like that as well. Get your uniform dirty, and put on that yeoman face every time you take an at-bat, makes you "Dirty Harry". It's all cosmetic as far as I'm concerned. Bonds used to get bashed for not acknowledging balls that were home runs for the other team, keeping his hands on his knees, staring at home plate while manning left-field instead of the ball that was zipping over his head. Was he wrong for not chasing down the ball all the way to the wall, even though he KNEW that the ball was gone? Was he wrong for not sprinting when the play was already dead?




    Great defensive player. He made himself into a household name. Although the further we get away from that point-in-time, fewer and fewer will recall that at least in N.A., his name was just as big as Jordan's in '96-98. Not based on his game, but for all of his antics on-and-off the court. Still, I think he SHOULD be in the HOF someday. He doesn't get enough credit for the game in which he played.


    cont...





    Oddly, I picture you as being a cross between "Billy Bob" and "McEnroe". Funny thing too - which is the opposite effect of what McEnroe has had on you - I wasn't so crazy about you at first, and you're growing on me. :D You're getting lots of "Air-Time" here these days.


    cont...





    Now I'm beginning to suspect that you're one of "Mike&Mike In The Morning" over on ESPN radio. Hmmm.... :what:


    cont...





    Cool pick. It's too bad he didn't reach 3,000 hits. Underrated player, although he DID make it into Cooperstown (as he should have) and Ron Santo didn't. :confused:


    cont...





    I'm not saying that Thomas or Alomar are great human beings - few are - but aren't there easily 1,000 other sports stars who should be considered "THUGS" before these guys ever enter the discussion of "THUGS"? Alomar really only ever did one thing wrong in his relatively long career, he spat in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck. What is rarely ever mentioned though, is what happened after the entire spitting debacle.

    Throughout the following season (1997) Alomar and Hirschbeck did their best to avoid one another. When Hirschbeck worked a game at second base with Alomar, he stood on the shortstop side to avoid standing near Alomar. The hostility and friction continued to brew far into the 1998 season as well. By that time Alomar was playing second base for the Cleveland Indians.

    A friend of Hirschbeck's, John Efta was in charge of the umpire's room at Cleveland's Jacobs Field. Wanting to break the tension between himself and Alomar, Hirschbeck asked Efta about Alomar. Efta commented, "Roberto is one of the two nicest people I've ever met. And you're the other one." It was enough to prompt Hirschbeck to contact Alomar.

    They went to dinner, talked things out and made peace.

    Since then Hirschbeck and Alomar have become close friends. The focal point of their friendship is Hirschbeck's other son, Michael, who also suffers from ALD. Hirschbeck and his wife have started a foundation to find a cure for this degenerative genetic disease that causes inflammation of the brain and afflicts 1,000 people each year in the USA. And do you know what? Roberto Alomar is one of the foundation's biggest fundraisers.

    At one charity event Alomar sold his jersey along with that of his brother's, Sandy, who was catcher for the Indians, for $6,600. In fact Alomar recruited the entire Cleveland Indians team as helpers for his fundraisers.

    Michael Hirschbeck has been an honorary batboy for the Indians and guess who his favorite player is. It's Roberto Alomar (Quoted in Men of Integrity, Sept-Oct 2002, pp. 1-2; from Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz in Stories We Heard About Love, J. Countryman, 2000).

    Although they practiced avoidance for far too long, Hirschbeck did seek to make peace. But it was his friend, John Efta, who encouraged him to seek peace. Efta helped them see the possibilities for peace. As Jesus bids us he went to Alomar. Together, they received a new lease on life. They found a mutual purpose that benefits many in need. That's cross-blood.



    Alomar is wrong for doing what he did, but he has never done much wrong aside from this episode.


    Frank Thomas on the other-hand, left Chicago on bad terms. I'm thinking that your Chicago roots play a part in your decision here. Fair enough. Thomas has been a GIANT ego over the years, not easy for the media nor his teammates to deal with. He even went through a messy divorce not-so-long-ago. But... this is typical of most star athletes.


    Steve Garvey is considered a "great guy", yet behind that wonderful persona, he cheated with everyone (think: Shawn Kemp), his teammates generally didn't care for him because he was too much about his being greater than he actually was, and he wasn't actually that great of a hitter (just to add something).


    Getting back to Thomas, most of those who've questioned him, publicly assaulted him, aren't exactly solid/great people either. You give me a quote from someone that worked with him, and they'll likely have just as much dirt under their fingers as well.


    Steed

    ***
     
    1 person likes this.
  24. Oct 5, 2006
  25. 1819

    1819 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    retired athlete
    Location:
    ny,nj,fla
    rather not say who i am on an open board as my 1819 screenname is the same on many boards with different topics. steroids being one of them, and we know how popular that subject is right now. anyway i was in the league from 85 to 89, up and down, nhl-ahl-ihl. then a few years bouncin around different minor league teams before i hung them up. wayne was the best player i ever went against hands down. i was a centerman so we would go head to head. only cause he was double shiftin, not cause i was first line, mind you. its a shame about mike b's back. he was a true goal scorer and might have set some goal scoring records.(overall). the reason i say wayne is he made everyone else around him dangerous. pass or shoot, you never knew. plus he had his own security force. i remember being plastered by dave cemenko a few times when i got too close. lol. dont know about orr. hard to compare from generation to generation. anyway, good thread. it really is not possible to name the greatest athletes since each sport is so different. michal jordan really stands out for me. he was fun as hell to watch and is also a very nice human being. class act all the way around. peace....
     
    1 person likes this.
  26. Oct 5, 2006
  27. johnsteed

    johnsteed Ueber Meister

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    Well "1819",


    You don't have to say who you are, but I'm still going to guess. :what: Doing a wee bit of research, I cut down the field to about 13 people.

    Here are the names that seemed to fit your profile best:

    • Max Middendort
    • Billy O'Dwyer
    • Chris Cichocki
    • Perry Anderson
    • George McPhee
    • Dale Henry
    • Dan Frawley
    • Steve Dykstra (perhaps related to Lenny?)
    • Lane Lambert
    • Jeff Sharples
    • Ron Handy
    • Paul Guay
    • Steve Rooney



    If I had to guess - my first choice would be the guy who was once traded for Paul Holmgren. In high school, you had scored 18 goals and added 19 assists... hence 1819... You shall remain nameless.


    If I had a second guess, you'd be the man who's currently coaching a new AHL club. You were once the head coach and GM of an ECHL team.


    And my third guess is you're the guy who once played for the Winnipeg Jets, though you were originally drafted by the Montreal Canadians. You'll be historically remembered - unfairly - as the guy who was traded for the draft pick of the player who would eventually hold the record (still) for most career wins. You probably played Hawerchuk in scrimmage a great number of times, so you would know full-well how good he truly was. But... it's just a guess.


    Steed

    ***
     
  28. Oct 5, 2006
  29. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Jordan is Starks' biatch!

    "Starks was at the center of one of the most famous plays in Knicks history. During the 1993 playoffs series against the Chicago Bulls. Starks was in the right corner of the court being closely guarded by B.J. Armstrong. Patrick Ewing came to set a screen for Starks, who faked to the left like he was going to use the pick and then fiercely drove baseline and dunked over Michael Jordan and Horace Grant. In that same series with the Bulls, John was noted for his defense while guarding Jordan."

    I'll guarantee that's the only instance of a player under 6'7" dunking on Jordan. Another interesting anecdote I read today was that when Starks first tried out for the Knicks, he tried to impress by throwing one down over Ewing. Patrick threw him down and broke Starks' arm. The arm took a long time to heal so the Knicks were forced to hang onto Starks for the season.

    Here we have a guy who while not a point guard, still ran much of the offense. He ran most of the fast breaks and he had to guard the opposing teams best players. Still, Starks shot a higher percentage in 3 pointers than Steve Kerr in the playoffs.

    Ya see, Steed. You just have got to step away from that silly stat book. It will lie to ya every time.

    Oh yeah, Gretzky. Forgot about that guy. I guess he could play? Put him at #1 and move everyone else down one spot on my list.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2006
  30. Oct 6, 2006
  31. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    i stand corrected on Alomar. i guess I just wrote him off after that incident and never heard about the subsequent good deeds.

    as for Thomas...."thug" may not be the right label. maybe i'll go with perennial, whining jerk. my favorite FT moment is when he was asked about Jackie Robinson and he didn't know who Jackie was. Then when he did learn after the interview, he did a spin-job and tried to blame the reporter rather than apologize.

    and of course Jordan is god, but I'm still gonna rip on him cause he's such a Nike tool and it's such a gut-punch to see an all-time hero athlete schlepping cologne on the Oprah show.
     
    1 person likes this.
  32. Oct 6, 2006
  33. 1819

    1819 Dormant account

    Occupation:
    retired athlete
    Location:
    ny,nj,fla
    thats some good homework but none of the above. god, max middendorf. that dude never made the big time but he had one of the hardest shots i ever saw.
     
  34. Oct 6, 2006
  35. Simmo!

    Simmo! Moderator Staff Member

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    Doesn't need an sportsman to do that TB :D
     
  36. Oct 6, 2006
  37. johnsteed

    johnsteed Ueber Meister

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    tennis_balls





    Hmmm, I happen to think it's the other way around. NIKE is Jordan's tool! He has his own shoe line, and has for many years, and will continue to have for many years. Actually, as much as Jordan meant to the NBA, he may have triple the power with NIKE. He didn't make the NBA, nor did he ever make NIKE, but he sure made them in 2 HUGE global icons! NIKE works for him, not the other way around. I'm sure if you talked to Philip Knight, he knows where his "bread-is-buttered".


    As far as "Oprah"! I can write a book about what's completely WRONG about that show, and the woman-behind the woman-behind the woman (sort of a "SWINGERS" reference there... sorta'). I'm embarrassed that Jordan is buddies with her, and I'm like one of the few Tom Cruise fans remaining on EARTH (and can't speak for the life-forms from other planets though). If she's SUCH a good buddy of his, couldn't she have edited-out that whole sofa ordeal? And talk about an overrated clip! Is it even THAT bad, well it's bad, but is it bad enough to kill a person's career. I mean, forced-or-not, it "seemed" that he was REALLY jacked-up to be with his new girl. Isn't that good? Cheesy? Yes. Enough to destroy 25-years of one's legacy? Hardly. My mother turned on him recently based on that! He may be "crazy" or whatever... but it's still Tom!





    I guess I see Thomas as a flake, and I'm entertained by it. Aside from Bonds, I can't think of a more imposing batter over the past 30-some-odd-years than Mr. Thomas. It's not just that's he's a fantastic hitter, it's that he's so naturally HUGE, and he covers all of the home plate. Frank Howard is similar to Thomas, and he's scary also. Someone like Albert Pujols, is in his own league as well... although I don't see Pujols as being any better than Thomas was when he was a GOD at the plate throughout the '90s. When you factor-in the hitting era now compared to then (specifically the early '90s), and things like park factors, it's pretty much a wash.


    As far as the Alomar thing, you're not alone in your disliking of Alomar. Aside from that episode, he's been a pretty solid citizen (as far as I know). If I look back to the time of the incident, I think people really turned-on-him quickly. And I think that sort of thing happens, with someone like Alomar. He had a really clean sheet prior to that incident, and I think when "good" people do something wrong, it's more devastating as compared to someone who's constantly doing "bad" things. If it were Albert Belle spitting at the umpire, it would somehow be expected based on his character up to that point.


    Although he likely did steroids, Rafael Palmeiro is similar in some ways to the whole Alomar debacle. Here's a guy who steadily over the years became "Mr. Underrated" (which he ACTUALLY became "Mr. Overrated" because of that... funny how that works), hit a bunch of homers, was probably the most unlikely type of hitter to reach and surpass 500 HR, reached a bunch of goals, standards of excellence needed to get into Cooperstown.


    Palmeiro always had a clean bill, and the fans loved him over the year because of it. He was a "quality" person, a family man, he had the most aesthetically perfect stroke in years, blah-blah-blah the media keeps hammering-out this sort of stuff, ect. Then he finally reaches 3,000 hits, he's one of the most beloved ball players in years. Then something like 2 weeks later, after it's revealed that he failed a drug-test, he's quickly one of the most hated players in all of baseball. He's a cheat, and he's become EVIL! The very fans that stood-up and cheered, had quickly turned on him and wanted him and all of his numbers to be banished from the game.


    I'm not saying the man is right or wrong, but the media can sure change things up pretty quickly. So when I hear how GREAT of a person Albert Pujols is, how squeaky clean the man is, he's only human, and within a few years time, they'll turn on him also. Why? He's been pumped-up too much, that there's bound to be some major backlash.


    Another couple of Oriole examples (and I'm not a fan of that team, although I appreciate Barry Levinson's movies that generally take place in that very city), would be Cal Ripken Jr. and Eddie Murray. Junior is probably the most overrated pro-sports player... EVER! Make no mistake, he was one of the greatest shortstops to have played the game. He had a solid arm, he was a more-than-capable defensive fielder, and he was a solid hitter (not great though) for many years. He had a "clean" wrap.


    Eddie Murray on the other hand, was constantly being labeled the reason the Orioles weren't doing as well as they should have. He was the fall-guy for a good number of years. He was Foxsports/TSN Ken Rosenthal's #1 target for many years, when he was trying to make a name for himself. Mission accomplished! :notworthy It was said that Murray was difficult with the media, and that was reason enough to label him a "cancer". What total crap!


    First off, as far as I know, Murray has never been considered a bad teammate. Perhaps he's not all warm and fuzzy with the media, but is that expected from a man who's quite reserved? He was a far more accomplished hitter than Ripken Jr. ever was, he was truly always one of the most valuable players in the league for many years, even if he wasn't always on the radar like Ripken Jr. was.


    Secondly, Rikpen Jr. was also difficult at times, arrogant, selfish, and stubborn. I'm sure he was a great teammate, and he certainly "looks" and "carries" the part of being one of the games greatest ambassadors, but that's in large part what the media tells you. Like Bonds, he doesn't sleep in the same hotel with his teammates (like that matters when you're in your '40s?). Like Bonds, he hated doing interviews, and would rarely do them. When it came to his consecutive streak, it's often said that he put himself above the team. No manager would ever dare to not pencil him into the starting line-up (they'd probably be fired), so it was all on him. Finally, people love dumping on A-Rod for being phony, and not real enough. Well, his greatest hero was none other than Cal Ripken Jr. And if you look closely enough, at the mannerisms, they're identical in posture and in execution. Funny how that works for one person, and not the other who's actually a far greater player!


    I don't hate Ripken (mind you... I don't care for him either), and I'm not the biggest A-Rod supporter either. But one person gets labeled all of these great things, and someone else has to play the heel. You may elect to believe it if you wish, but I take EVERYTHING the media says with a grain-of-salt. Their jobs are on the line...


    Steed

    ***
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2006
  38. Oct 8, 2006
  39. Cynthialc

    Cynthialc Dormant account

    Occupation:
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    Location:
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    Pete Rose?

    Baseballs HIT KING!
    Cincinnati Baseball "Bet on It"
     

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