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Old 05-17-2009, 12:59 PM    (permalink
Ravens1991
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Originally Posted by kwilk103 View Post
dan gable....
I disagree, I think





Cael Sanderson and John Smith are bigger of American wrestlers. I think Cael and Gable sort of fall into the same boat, they could have had better international success if they didnt stop there career after 1 gold medal.



but when it comes to international wrestling no one comes close to



Aleksander Karelin

He is arguably the best pure athlete ever, including some NFL stars of today. His records are possibly the greatest in all sports as well.

He was undefeated for 12 years in wrestling, and didnt have a point scored on him for 8 or 9 years as well
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:01 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by TimDris View Post
for team sports Wayne Gretzky was the most dominant athlete.


IDK, cause I think Wilt Chamberlain should be right up there for that title. He was just in a league of his own when he was playing. Only player with 4,000 pts in a season, most points in a game, most rebounds in a game, most consecutive shots made in a game. He freaking averaged 50.4 pts in a season. For his career, he averaged 30.1 ppg and 22.9 rpg. He caused rules to be changed.

In regards to your statement, I just don't think it is so clear cut.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:56 PM    (permalink
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try tackling this monster

Not even the best rugby player of his generation in my opinion. For players that i've seen plenty of i'd take an, in his prime Brian O'Driscoll over him anyday. Then there's the legend that is Gareth Edwards, slightly before our time but.

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Old 05-17-2009, 11:05 PM    (permalink
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Any love for Steve Prefontaine? Short career, yes, with no Olympic medals either but he was definitely a star. First real Nike athlete (I think), a contributing reason for Americans starting to jog again, SI cover (rare for a distance runner) and continues to inspire athletes today.

Maybe it's too niche.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:52 PM    (permalink
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May not be as big as some, but this man is an American icon. Dale Earnhardt was loved by millions and millions across the country. It is too bad that he has passed on.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:57 PM    (permalink
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Manny Pacquiao is able to stop the intense political civil war in the Phillippines with his boxing.
I saw a story about Pacquiao on how everything in the Philippines completely shuts down when he is fighting. Now that is some ******* star power. A whole nation revolves around one man, damn.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:00 AM    (permalink
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If we're talking in terms of fame then it's easy. Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, and Tiger Woods take the cake. I know those answers sound American, but it seems that people all over know those guys. You'd have to be in some kind of hibernation to not be aware of them.

If we're talking my personal favorite athletes, then my top 5 is:

1. Larry Allen
2. Emmitt Smith
3. Anderson Silva
4. Michael Jordan
5. Jack Johnson(quite possibly the athlete with the biggest balls in American history)
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:03 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Ravens1991 View Post
I disagree, I think





Cael Sanderson and John Smith are bigger of American wrestlers. I think Cael and Gable sort of fall into the same boat, they could have had better international success if they didnt stop there career after 1 gold medal.



but when it comes to international wrestling no one comes close to



Aleksander Karelin

He is arguably the best pure athlete ever, including some NFL stars of today. His records are possibly the greatest in all sports as well.

He was undefeated for 12 years in wrestling, and didnt have a point scored on him for 8 or 9 years as well
Sanderson has such a humongous feat by going undefeated, and Karelin always baffles me when I hear about his streak. I don't know much about wrestling, but anyone can tell that what he did was unhuman. I think he was something the Soviets cooked up in a lab. haha
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Old 05-18-2009, 01:46 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by TimDris View Post
for team sports Wayne Gretzky was the most dominant athlete.



I've heard from a bunch of former pros that the way he saw the ice was just absurd. they said he was 3 steps ahead of everyone else on the ice.

fun fact if you take away all of his career goals, he is still the all time NHL leader in points. he has more assists than people have combined goals and assists. crazy
I think I speak for all people who have never heard that before when I say:

What the ****
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Old 05-18-2009, 02:43 AM    (permalink
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This is a great topic, there are a couple of ways to look at it though.

Do you look at it from within the sport and thus make it into a "greatest player" topic or do you look at who is bigger than the sport, so those guys that people know the sport because of.

I'm going to go with something along the lines of the 2nd option and show it from my sheltered view over here in Australia and name the guys that are "bigger than their sports"

1. Michael Jordan - Had kids who didn't even like basketball wanting to "Be like Mike".
2. David Beckham - Put it this way, his wife is the only spice girl still talked about and she is only talked about because she is his wife.
3. Muhammed Ali - People who weren't alive when he boxed know he boxed. May actually be the biggest on this list.
4. Mike Tyson - Is a close 2nd to Ali, when people think of boxing he is 1b to Ali.
5. Tiger Woods - Everyone knows who he is.
6. John McEnroe - Is quiet comfortably the biggest tennis star. Aggassi is a very distant 2nd.
7. Sachin Tendulkar - Biggest star in world cricket. Bradman was the best, Lara was better, but Sachin is the biggest.
8. Diego Maradona/Pele - Can't really seperate the two best players ever, Maradona is probably more famous or more well known, but everyone knows who Pele is also.
9. Yao Ming - Is by far the biggest star currently in the NBA, although may be better known as that huge chinese dude.
10. Anna Kournikova - By far the biggest female athlete in the world and probably actually tennis' 2nd or 3rd biggest star.

That would be my top 10 I think. Rather fluid in that the top 5 could be put in any order but I certainly feel a drop off after them. Just to let it known, Babe Ruth would be baseball, Dan Marino would be NFL and the Mighty Ducks would be Hockey, if I twisted arms until I found someone who knew Hockey would probably be a Gretzky but would take some searching.

I would think Carl Lewis takes the boat for olympics. Michael Schumacher and Nigel Mansell also deserve mentions if you consider motor sports to be sports as such.
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:05 AM    (permalink
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oh wow David Beckham
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Old 05-18-2009, 03:17 AM    (permalink
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:06 AM    (permalink
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2. David Beckham - Put it this way, his wife is the only spice girl still talked about and she is only talked about because she is his wife.
You think David Beckham is the biggest soccer star of all time. ARE YOU ******* SERIOUS?! Really? Spice Girl wife who gets some fame because of him? Really? That's your reasoning "we know who his wife is, so he MUST be famous". For crying out loud Beckham's fame isn't even related to his soccer playing anymore, and hasn't been for years. He's a good-looking dude. Beckham in his absolute prime couldn't sniff the all-time greats. Hell he wasn't even the best player in the world in his prime, that honor belongs to Zidane.
What exactly defines a SPORTS star? Not all the fringework. Beckham today is more a celebrity than he is a soccer player. Teams take him because of marketing considerations. He was a great player back in the day when he played for Manchester Utd. and Real Madrid, but I seriously doubt that even his fanclub would agree to the completely insane statement that beckham is the greatest soccer star.
I'll excuse you for being North American.

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8. Diego Maradona/Pele - Can't really seperate the two best players ever, Maradona is probably more famous or more well known, but everyone knows who Pele is also.
again, no. Pele was the greatest. After him, and I do mean AFTER, there's Cruijff and Maradona. Maradona's fame, again, may be greater than Pele's, but that's more due to his fall from grace.

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10. Anna Kournikova - By far the biggest female athlete in the world and probably actually tennis' 2nd or 3rd biggest star.
Kournikova? Really? She wasn't even known to be great tennis player, she wasn't even really really good. She didn't win jacksquat during her career. Her fame comes from having a pretty face and a good body. She's poster material, that's it. She didn't even win a major tournament for crying out loud.
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:43 AM    (permalink
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You think David Beckham is the biggest soccer star of all time. ARE YOU ******* SERIOUS?! Really? Spice Girl wife who gets some fame because of him? Really? That's your reasoning "we know who his wife is, so he MUST be famous". For crying out loud Beckham's fame isn't even related to his soccer playing anymore, and hasn't been for years. He's a good-looking dude. Beckham in his absolute prime couldn't sniff the all-time greats. Hell he wasn't even the best player in the world in his prime, that honor belongs to Zidane.
What exactly defines a SPORTS star? Not all the fringework. Beckham today is more a celebrity than he is a soccer player. Teams take him because of marketing considerations. He was a great player back in the day when he played for Manchester Utd. and Real Madrid, but I seriously doubt that even his fanclub would agree to the completely insane statement that beckham is the greatest soccer star.
I'll excuse you for being North American.



again, no. Pele was the greatest. After him, and I do mean AFTER, there's Cruijff and Maradona. Maradona's fame, again, may be greater than Pele's, but that's more due to his fall from grace.



Kournikova? Really? She wasn't even known to be great tennis player, she wasn't even really really good. She didn't win jacksquat during her career. Her fame comes from having a pretty face and a good body. She's poster material, that's it. She didn't even win a major tournament for crying out loud.
I think he's strictly talking about most famous, and i think you can easily make a case for Beckham and Kournikova from that angle. And thankyou for mentioning Johan Cruijff, complete genius that everyone should know about.

And he's Australian...
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:43 AM    (permalink
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that David Beckham even got mentioned in this thread in seriousness makes me a really really sad panda.

even if its about the most famous guys, u cant name Beckham. he is maybe the most famous guy in the US. But guys like Ronaldo (the Brazilian), Ronaldinho, Kaka and those guys are more famous than Beckham. Seriously the Ronaldo love in 2000-2002 was ridiculous
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Old 05-18-2009, 05:53 AM    (permalink
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that David Beckham even got mentioned in this thread in seriousness makes me a really really sad panda.

even if its about the most famous guys, u cant name Beckham. he is maybe the most famous guy in the US. But guys like Ronaldo (the Brazilian), Ronaldinho, Kaka and those guys are more famous than Beckham. Seriously the Ronaldo love in 2000-2002 was ridiculous
Just think of it this way, ask 10 people, from all different demographic backgrounds, from all around the world to name a footballer. I'd say most would name David Beckham. Not saying it's right, but it's probably the truth
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:08 AM    (permalink
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as an english person commenting on american sports from when i was younger
football - for me it was walter payton
basketball - jordan
baseball - ruth

and the rest
football - pele
tennis - federer
golf - tiger woods
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:33 AM    (permalink
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Maradona is a better footballer player then Pele, btw. It's not even as close as people are making it out to be. Pele may be more well known to you Americans but on pure talent, Maradona was better and as a result, the best player to have played the game.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:04 AM    (permalink
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Joe Louis.

I started thinking "who was the first true worldwide sporting superstar" and Louis is who I thought of, at least in the Western world. (I don't know if Australia counts as part of that or not, maybe some of you Aussies can tell me if Louis made any impact there.) Boxing was much more of an international sport at that time, and in the very politicized 1930's, Louis' fights with Schmeling were very significant.

If you don't count Louis as truly international though, you have to say Ali is hands down the biggest sporting star ever. From his peak in the early 70's up until maybe the last ten years, Ali could go anywhere in the world and people would know him, from a bar in Atlanta to a village in Kenya to a market in the Philippines. No other person perhaps in history could say that.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:10 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by 7-11 View Post
I think he's strictly talking about most famous, and i think you can easily make a case for Beckham and Kournikova from that angle. And thankyou for mentioning Johan Cruijff, complete genius that everyone should know about.

And he's Australian...
Even in the realm of it's own stupidity that post was silly. David Beckham is a celebrity who just so happens to play football, not a football celebrity. Do you really think that people can name more than 1 team he played for? No. They all say "REAL MADRID OMGZZZ" and that's the end of it. There's a reason Beckham went to the MLS you know, because it's where dying football stars go to collect their final big paycheck (no offense to the MLS, but it's true).
Kournikova? She's a model, not a tennis player. She half-assed around a few centercourts way back when, but since then her main claim to fame has been the fact she looks hot in a bikini.
The thing Kournikova and Beckham have in common is that their fame is the result of good looks and a mediahype, not merits. With Beckham being the only one of the two to actually win something in his sport every now and again.

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Maradona is a better footballer player then Pele, btw. It's not even as close as people are making it out to be. Pele may be more well known to you Americans but on pure talent, Maradona was better and as a result, the best player to have played the game.
That's how you see it. I'm European by the way, so don't act like I don't know my stuff. Pure talent important, but in the end it's what you do with it. Pele had the talent and the production, while Maradona may have been the most talented player ever, but his personal demons really took their toll on him. And be honest, does it really matter who is the greatest of all time?

The way I see it Maradona, Pele, Cruijff, Garrincha, Zidane and maye even Ronaldo in his prime were all insanely good and much like with American Football it's hard to pinpoint who was the GOAT. It depends on preference more than anything.
Even with that short list, I'm snubbing a few: Platini, Beckenbauer, Schmeichel (yeah, a goalie, but he practically won the Euro '92 with Denmark all by himself)... the list of fantastic players goes on and on. Saying one is definately better than the other is tough, but I suppose you could make a case for Maradona as much as I or anyone else could make a case for any of the other guys I just mentioned. It's how it goes I suppose.
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Last edited by Addict : 05-18-2009 at 07:14 AM. Reason: I screwed up the quote thing
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:15 AM    (permalink
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I would naturally assume most people associate Beckham with Man United. After all, that is where he became one of the best right sided players of all time and a phenomenal set piece player.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:19 AM    (permalink
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I would naturally assume most people associate Beckham with Man United. After all, that is where he became one of the best right sided players of all time and a phenomenal set piece player.
yeah most who actually know beckham's play think Man U, but the two places where he's most respected (that's the US and the Far East) remember him for the hair antics with Real and the huge transfer deals to Madrid and LA. He was a phenomenal player with Man Utd, but he didn't transform from player to celeb until he came to spain and eventually the US. I'll always remember him in a Manchester United uni, when he was still amazing to watch.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:43 AM    (permalink
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yeah most who actually know beckham's play think Man U, but the two places where he's most respected (that's the US and the Far East) remember him for the hair antics with Real and the huge transfer deals to Madrid and LA. He was a phenomenal player with Man Utd, but he didn't transform from player to celeb until he came to spain and eventually the US. I'll always remember him in a Manchester United uni, when he was still amazing to watch.
Me too. I remember him sinking an amazing free kick from like a million yards against Spurs one day. Was very upsetting.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:01 AM    (permalink
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that David Beckham even got mentioned in this thread in seriousness makes me a really really sad panda.

even if its about the most famous guys, u cant name Beckham. he is maybe the most famous guy in the US. But guys like Ronaldo (the Brazilian), Ronaldinho, Kaka and those guys are more famous than Beckham. Seriously the Ronaldo love in 2000-2002 was ridiculous
Someone said that Maradonna is more well known, and I said that if you asked people in America about a footballer, they would probably answer Beckham. Unless they were older, then they would probably answer Beckham.

The only people in America who know who Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka are actually watch football. It's sad...I tried to talk to my cousin about the sport, and he said he didn't understand it and had no interest in watching it. Just doesn't catch on here for the most part.

EDIT: Never said who my number one footballer was. Think I'll go different and pick Zidane.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:33 AM    (permalink
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Maradona is a better footballer player then Pele, btw. It's not even as close as people are making it out to be. Pele may be more well known to you Americans but on pure talent, Maradona was better and as a result, the best player to have played the game.
That's how you see it. I'm European by the way, so don't act like I don't know my stuff. Pure talent important, but in the end it's what you do with it. Pele had the talent and the production, while Maradona may have been the most talented player ever, but his personal demons really took their toll on him. And be honest, does it really matter who is the greatest of all time?
My post wasn't meant to be condescending and I apologise if it came out that way. Bottom line is, Maradona was more talented then Pele which in my opinion, makes him better then Pele. If you want to make the arguement that it comes down to production and use of talent, which btw, is a concept that I hate, the word 'production' in a sporting sense really annoys me, then Maradona is once again, better then Pele. He did everything Pele did for his country in a much less talented team, he won everything in his own countries league like Pele but most tellingly, unlike Pele who played out his career at Santos, he traveled to Europe and conquered the Spanish and Italian leagues. This shows an immense versatility and adaptability to his game that Pele never showcased, instead playing almost within himself at a place he felt comfortable at. I mean, Maradona went to Napoli and turned them into champions! This isn't meant to be knocking of Pele and he is, of course, one of the greatest players to have ever played the game but in terms of pure talent, his success in his career and the adulation he recieved from not only his peers but from the fans and press, there is no one better then Maradona.
EDIT: and yes, it does matter who's the best. Just ask Maradona.

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The way I see it Maradona, Pele, Cruijff, Garrincha, Zidane and maye even Ronaldo in his prime were all insanely good and much like with American Football it's hard to pinpoint who was the GOAT. It depends on preference more than anything.
Even with that short list, I'm snubbing a few: Platini, Beckenbauer, Schmeichel (yeah, a goalie, but he practically won the Euro '92 with Denmark all by himself)... the list of fantastic players goes on and on. Saying one is definately better than the other is tough, but I suppose you could make a case for Maradona as much as I or anyone else could make a case for any of the other guys I just mentioned. It's how it goes I suppose.
True, the scale of football and how widespread the game is, having international tournaments since the 1920's means that there are going to be huge amounts of players over different eras who could claim to be the greatest player of all time, even your list ommitts some great names such as Puskas and Eusebio, which show just how many players there are that could be worthy of the tittle. However, the fact that Maradona claimed over half of the votes in a poll to decide the best footballer of the century that was voted for by players and fans, had his goal voted the best in the history of the world cup and has caused his country to be the first ever in the history of football to ask FIFA, the sports governing body, to retire his shirt, show, in my opinion, quite unequivocally, that Maradona was the greatest player to have ever played the game.
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