Greatest Ever Sportsman?

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Moderator: Jon O'Neill

Greatest Ever Sportsman/woman?

Poll ended at Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:40 pm

Diego Maradona
0
No votes
Pele
2
3%
Alfredo Di Stefano
1
2%
Georgi Kinkladze
2
3%
Johann Cruyff
1
2%
Roger Federer
5
8%
Pete Sampras
0
No votes
Bjorn Borg
0
No votes
Rod Laver
1
2%
Martina Navratilova
1
2%
Steffi Graf
1
2%
Gary Sobers
0
No votes
Brian Lara
0
No votes
WG Grace
1
2%
Don Bradman
5
8%
Lance Armstrong
3
5%
Nadia Comaneci
0
No votes
Muhammed Ali
7
11%
Sugar Ray Robinson
0
No votes
Tiger Woods
3
5%
Jack Nicklaus
0
No votes
Ben Hogan
0
No votes
Joe DiMaggio
0
No votes
Usain Bolt
7
11%
Michael Johnson
1
2%
Jesse Owens
0
No votes
Carl Lewis
1
2%
Michael Jordan
0
No votes
Michael Phelps
1
2%
Mark Spitz
0
No votes
Juan Manguel Fangio
0
No votes
Michael Schumacher
1
2%
Steve Davis
0
No votes
Stephen Hendry
1
2%
Ronnie O'Sullivan
1
2%
Phil Taylor
4
7%
Wayne Gretsky
0
No votes
Mark McGuire
0
No votes
Tony McCoy
0
No votes
Babe Ruth
1
2%
Haille Gebreselassie
1
2%
Steve Redgrave
2
3%
Ed Moses
1
2%
Jim Brown
1
2%
Craig Beevers
5
8%
 
Total votes: 61

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Matthew Green
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Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matthew Green » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:40 pm

In reponse to the outrageous claim that Phil Taylor holds this title (no guesses for who proposed that idea) I had to make a poll.

Personally I believe sports should include some athletic component as well as skill, intelligence and mental strength. There is an arguement that darts and snooker are not sports in the true sense because they don't involve much athletic ability. You could say that someone like Stephen Lee might have done better if he were trimmer and I think Phil Taylor once said that losing a bit of weight helped him play better, but we have also seen Shaun Murphy and Andy Fordham ( :shock: ) crowned as World Champions in these games/sports. So for me, Taylor and Ronnie are two of the most skilled individuals in modern history but not 'sportsmen'.

Please suggest others for me to add as I'm not great on some sports. Oh and don't take it too seriously now...
Last edited by Matthew Green on Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:53 pm

Matthew Green wrote:In reponse to the outrageous claim that Phil Taylor holds this title (no guesses for who proposed that idea) I had to make a poll.

Personally I believe sports should include some athletic component as well as skill, intelligence and mental strength. There is an arguement that darts and snooker are not sports in the true sense because they don't involve much athletic ability. You could say that someone like Stephen Lee might have done better if he were trimmer and I think Phil Taylor once said that losing a bit of weight helped him play better, but we have also seen Shaun Murphy and Andy Fordham ( :shock: ) crowned as World Champions in these games/sports. So for me, Taylor and Ronnie are two of the most skilled individuals in modern history but not 'sportsmen'.

Please suggest others for me to add as I'm not great on some sports. Oh and don't take it too seriously now...
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Charlie Reams » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:57 pm

Snooker definitely has an element of strength.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by David Roe » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:01 pm

I used two main criteria - that the person should have been the undisputed best at his game for at least 10 years, and that it needs to be a game where running around is part of it. (Otherwise I'd be putting a case for John Solomon, croquet, which is my game.) So that means Grace, Laver, Ruth. Bradman and Moses would have been there if allowed 5 votes, Moses suffering because of my prejudice for ball games. Ali sixth.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:06 pm

You're talking shit, Green. Darts is a recognised sport now whether you like it or not. That makes Taylor a sportsman. Have you ever tried playing darts for 5 hours straight, actually aiming at each target and being relatively successful? No? Well your arm hurts, as do your legs (having to stand rock solid with pressure on your front leg during throw) so physical exertion is there. Just because it doesn't involve running doesn't mean that darts isn't a sport.

Your poll has so many names but to leave out Taylor is a joke.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:08 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:You're talking shit, Green. Darts is a recognised sport now whether you like it or not. That makes Taylor a sportsman. Have you ever tried playing darts for 5 hours straight, actually aiming at each target and being relatively successful? No? Well your arm hurts, as do your legs (having to stand rock solid with pressure on your front leg during throw) so physical exertion is there. Just because it doesn't involve running doesn't mean that darts isn't a sport.

Your poll has so many names but to leave out Taylor is a joke.
He is there.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:11 pm

The only sports that I do not like are the ones that solely rely on judges (gymnastics, diving, synchronized swimming and the like)
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:11 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
He is there.
The rest of my post holds though. I even checked through it twice and still couldn't find him. That just shows that there are far too many people available for nominations.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:14 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:
Marc Meakin wrote:
He is there.
The rest of my post holds though. I even checked through it twice and still couldn't find him. That just shows that there are far too many people available for nominations.
Maybe if it was in alphabetical order it would have helped.
Although I do not think the list is nearly long enough
I think it might have been easier to choose sportsman of this century (Usain Bolt by a country mile)
Last edited by Marc Meakin on Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Charlie Reams » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:16 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:That just shows that there are far too many people available for nominations.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matthew Green » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:17 pm

Pleasant debate:

'Personally I believe...'
'There is an argument...'
'So for me...'

Aggressive arrogance:

'You're talking shit'
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Lesley Hines » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:20 pm

You're talking shit, Green.
:lol:

(That was practically a written invitation for that ;) )
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matthew Green » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:21 pm

Oh and I have played darts and enjoy it. A lot.

I was just questioning whether it can be considered a sport. Watching Ted Hankey dripping with sweat after about 15 minutes of standing up is a bit different from watching Roger Federer walk off court on a boiling hot day after destroying Andy Roddick 3-0 in the Wimbledon Final (2005) and give an interview straight away without appearing out of breath or showing any sign of perspiration.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:25 pm

Matthew Green wrote:Pleasant debate:

'Personally I believe...'
'There is an argument...'
'So for me...'

Aggressive arrogance:

'You're talking shit'
Did I say I wanted a pleasant debate? I get so fed up with people that dismiss darts as a game played by fat beer-drinking males who don't do any sport in their lives at all.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Edwin Mead » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:28 pm

No wrestlers in the list?? Hulk Hogan would get my vote.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Ian Fitzpatrick » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:34 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote: Have you ever tried playing darts for 5 hours straight, actually aiming at each target and being relatively successful? No? Well your arm hurts, as do your legs (having to stand rock solid with pressure on your front leg during throw) so physical exertion is there.
Sounds like beer drinking to me. Definitely not a sport by any stretch of the imagination.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matthew Green » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:37 pm

That's fair enough but please give some good reason why it should be considered a 'sport' rather than a 'game'.

Yes it has high levels of skill but very little athleticism. If this qualifies it as a sport then why not Jenga, knitting, juggling and table magic? Plenty of skill involved in these if you wish to take it seriously.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:37 pm

Edwin Mead wrote:No wrestlers in the list?? Hulk Hogan would get my vote.
Now you are joking (although I do appreciate, at least, they are physically fit)
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:39 pm

Matthew Green wrote:That's fair enough but please give some good reason why it should be considered a 'sport' rather than a 'game'.

Yes it has high levels of skill but very little athleticism. If this qualifies it as a sport then why not Jenga, knitting, juggling and table magic? Plenty of skill involved in these if you wish to take it seriously.
Archery and pistol shooting are considered a sport and they have similarities to darts.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Lesley Hines » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:41 pm

It's one of our favourite recurring debates as to who could be considered the most talented sportsman: Steve Backley or Phil "The Power" Taylor. I'd call Mr Taylor on the basis that he so repeatedly with astonishing accuracy throws a projectile over a fair distance, and is still so much better than everyone else in his field.

The problem with darts (and pool, and snooker to a lesser extent) is that because people can play them in a pub they often fail to appreciate exactly the level of talent, skill, determination, commitment and practice that are required to succeed at the top. I meet a lot of people who think they can play pool (8-ball) because "once I potted all the balls". My hb plays at a level where it's expected to clear up every time you come to the table, or at least come very close it. There's a huge difference.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:50 pm

Lesley Hines wrote:It's one of our favourite recurring debates as to who could be considered the most talented sportsman: Steve Backley or Phil "The Power" Taylor. I'd call Mr Taylor on the basis that he so repeatedly with astonishing accuracy throws a projectile over a fair distance, and is still so much better than everyone else in his field.
And has been world champion 14 times...and counting!

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by David Williams » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:50 pm

David Roe wrote:I used two main criteria - that the person should have been the undisputed best at his game for at least 10 years, and that it needs to be a game where running around is part of it. (Otherwise I'd be putting a case for John Solomon, croquet, which is my game.) So that means Grace, Laver, Ruth. Bradman and Moses would have been there if allowed 5 votes, Moses suffering because of my prejudice for ball games. Ali sixth.
One more criterion for me would be that your sport is widely played throughout the world. I've seen it suggested that if 1% of Africans had access to a boat, Steven Redgrave would never have made an Olympic final. So out with Grace, Ruth and Bradman. Laver didn't have to worry too much about anyone who wasn't white and didn't speak English. Moses had the strength to part seas and lift stone tablets, and the stamina to keep running for forty years, but hurdles is only for people who can't quite run fast enough or jump high enough.

I wouldn't go for Bolt over several other athletes (Carl Lewis, for one), but at least you can be pretty confident there is no-one in the world who even has the capability to be faster than him.

If the definition of a sport is wide enough to include the likes of darts, I vote for Kasparov.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Phil Makepeace » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:55 pm

Loving the inclusion of Kinkladze. Not loving the exclusion of Daley Thompson and Miguel Indurain. But I'll always go for Michael Johnson, primarily for this. I believe that without Johnson, there'd be no Bolt. The guy showed what was possible - to shave 0.34 seconds off the 200m WR was extraordinary.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Richard Brittain » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:59 pm

There are two very obvious choices which have been left out.

Sami Hyypia, and Lee Bowyer.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Andy Wilson » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:06 pm

What about this guy? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Woosnam

As well as winning wimbledon doubles titles and captaining the England football team, he once got a maximum break in snooker and beat Charlie Chaplin at table tennis using a butter knife!

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by JimBentley » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:21 pm

How about Jackie Joyner-Kersee? For a while, she was so far ahead of her heptathlon rivals that it was a bit silly and her world record from nearly twenty years ago has never been remotely challenged since. She was also best in the world at the long jump for a good while, and must've been in the top ten for 100m hurdles and 200m at the same time, all while remaining good enough at such diverse disciplines as high jump, javelin and shot put to retain her heptathlon domination. Amazing.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Oliver Garner » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:24 pm

JimBentley wrote:How about Jackie Joyner-Kersee? For a while, she was so far ahead of her heptathlon rivals that it was a bit silly and her world record from nearly twenty years ago has never been remotely challenged since. She was also best in the world at the long jump for a good while, and must've been in the top ten for 100m hurdles and 200m at the same time, all while remaining good enough at such diverse disciplines as high jump, javelin and shot put to retain her heptathlon domination. Amazing.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Ian Fitzpatrick » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Oliver Garner wrote:
JimBentley wrote:How about Jackie Joyner-Kersee? For a while, she was so far ahead of her heptathlon rivals that it was a bit silly and her world record from nearly twenty years ago has never been remotely challenged since. She was also best in the world at the long jump for a good while, and must've been in the top ten for 100m hurdles and 200m at the same time, all while remaining good enough at such diverse disciplines as high jump, javelin and shot put to retain her heptathlon domination. Amazing.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Michael Wallace » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:32 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:You're talking shit, Green. Darts is a recognised sport now whether you like it or not.
Who decides whether something is or isn't a sport?

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Ian Fitzpatrick » Fri Dec 11, 2009 6:33 pm

Michael Wallace wrote:
Kirk Bevins wrote:You're talking shit, Green. Darts is a recognised sport now whether you like it or not.
Who decides whether something is or isn't a sport?
It seems Kirk does :lol:
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matthew Green » Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:03 pm

Kirk has decided its a sport seemingly based on nothing but personal bias, even though nobody has actually been critical of darts in any way.

If its based on the skill level, why isn't table magic a sport?

If its based on mental ability, why aren't chess, scrabble or coundown considered sports?

If it's based on levels of practise and determination, why isn't sitting a University degree a sport?

If it's based on the fact that you have to be reasonably active for a few hours at a time and have moderately sore arms afterwards then why isn't working in an Indonesian sweatshop a sport?

If it's based on the fact that you can win awards, why isn't acting a sport?

Answer: none of these things are sports because they don't contain any levels of athleticism. Surely that is the difference between a 'game' and a 'sport'?

Darts is a brilliant game, one of the best things on TV IMO, and Phil taylor is one of the most skillful individuals I have seen in any discipline. But I don't think he's a sportsman and I don't see any good argument to suggest otherwise.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:19 pm

David Williams wrote:I wouldn't go for Bolt over several other athletes (Carl Lewis, for one), but at least you can be pretty confident there is no-one in the world who even has the capability to be faster than him.
I've always thought of Carl Lewis as a bit overrated. Obviously he was great and everything, but when it comes to being the greatest, someone like Michael Johnson was far more dominant than him. At the sprints, he was at the top for a long time, but he was generally at the top without really being that much above the others. He didn't ever destroy the world record at 100m. He sort of edged it down to 9.86 in 1991. And speaking of 1991, that was the year when someone else took the long jump world record from Bob Beamon. He was great because he was at the top for so long, but he didn't move the boundaries.

As for Bolt, if he continues like this, you could probably call him the greatest ever track athlete after not very long, but as for no-one in the world having the capability to be faster, I'd have to disagree. Think of all the millions of people in Africa (and other places) who simply haven't or won't go into athletics.
JimBentley wrote:How about Jackie Joyner-Kersee? For a while, she was so far ahead of her heptathlon rivals that it was a bit silly and her world record from nearly twenty years ago has never been remotely challenged since. She was also best in the world at the long jump for a good while, and must've been in the top ten for 100m hurdles and 200m at the same time, all while remaining good enough at such diverse disciplines as high jump, javelin and shot put to retain her heptathlon domination. Amazing.
I generally wouldn't rate these multiple discipline athletes as great because I tend to think that they are there because they've failed at single discipline events. Jack of all trades, master of none. And also, it's always an arbitrary hotch-potch of events so it could be someone else if it was defined slightly differently.

Obviously Joyner-Kersee was a single discipline athelete as well so that stands her in better stead, but I don't think she was a massive great at these and would still be relying on her reputation from the heptathlon.

Then there's the obvious consideration that she wasn't as good as men anyway! (And that the long jump is for failed sprinters - the triple jump being for failed long jumpers) I'm not entirely joking either - would a white sprinter that could run 100m in 9.7s be a consideration for greatest? Being a woman or being white are just two different handicaps. Why does one get separated off and have its own greats? And how can any human be a great sprinter when many other animals would trounce them?

Basically, I'm generally happy to talk about greatest track and field athletes, but when something is basically a pure physical ability, you can't compare it to other sports where skill is involved. If you are in doubt, think whether an animal or a brute force machine could beat a human at the event. As far as I might ever try to answer the question of the thread, I would never say someone where the aforemnetioned applies.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:27 pm

Matthew Green wrote:Kirk has decided its a sport seemingly based on nothing but personal bias
Err no I haven't.

Scroll down to 3rd June 2005:
http://www.dartswdf.com/aa_darts/newsarchjune2005.htm

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by David Roe » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:39 pm

David Williams wrote:One more criterion for me would be that your sport is widely played throughout the world. I've seen it suggested that if 1% of Africans had access to a boat, Steven Redgrave would never have made an Olympic final. So out with Grace, Ruth and Bradman. Laver didn't have to worry too much about anyone who wasn't white and didn't speak English. Moses had the strength to part seas and lift stone tablets, and the stamina to keep running for forty years, but hurdles is only for people who can't quite run fast enough or jump high enough.
Fair point in its way, but then if you only include sports that all the world plays, are you left with anything but athletics and football? And possibly not even football, given the almost total lack of interest in China and India?

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:12 pm

David Roe wrote:
David Williams wrote:One more criterion for me would be that your sport is widely played throughout the world. I've seen it suggested that if 1% of Africans had access to a boat, Steven Redgrave would never have made an Olympic final. So out with Grace, Ruth and Bradman. Laver didn't have to worry too much about anyone who wasn't white and didn't speak English. Moses had the strength to part seas and lift stone tablets, and the stamina to keep running for forty years, but hurdles is only for people who can't quite run fast enough or jump high enough.
Fair point in its way, but then if you only include sports that all the world plays, are you left with anything but athletics and football? And possibly not even football, given the almost total lack of interest in China and India?
I was thinking about this as well. It's difficult to decide how far you should go with this.

Also, with people debating about what a sport is, why not just forget that question and ask the less-asked more general question of: who is the best at what they do in the world? Meaningless question? If so, you have to wonder if the same applies to this thread.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by David Williams » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:17 pm

David Roe wrote:Fair point in its way, but then if you only include sports that all the world plays, are you left with anything but athletics and football? And possibly not even football, given the almost total lack of interest in China and India?
You've reminded me of something I saw ages ago. Someone (in America I think) had analysed individual and collective performances in many sports mathematically in an attempt to identify the greatest sportsman - probably the one who was the greatest outlier* in the statistical distribution. If they were doing it properly they surely would have had to make allowance in some way for the number of participants. And although I can't remember the methodology I do remember that there was a clear winner - Don Bradman.

*Note real life usage of a Countdown favourite.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Charlie Reams » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:30 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:Some stuff
Just for my own interest, is there anything you do like?

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:49 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:Some stuff
Just for my own interest, is there anything you do like?
Yes.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Liam Tiernan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:29 am

Ali. Hands down.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Lesley Hines » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:56 am

Liam Tiernan wrote:Ali. Hands down.
Sorry, but I think that "hands down" for Ali would definitely have affected his status on this thread :lol:
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Clive Brooker » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:22 am

Liam Tiernan wrote:Ali. Hands down.
I confess that I don't understand why Ali features so highly in polls like this. I was a young teenager at the time of the "Rumble in the Jungle" so I certainly remember the glory days.

According to Wikipedia, Ali is "generally considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time by boxing commentators and historians", which I wouldn't argue with. That surely isn't enough to be the greatest sportsman of all time based on sporting achievement alone. He also failed to retire gracefully, so that his final years in competition have to be quietly excused.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Liam Tiernan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:47 pm

Lesley Hines wrote:
Liam Tiernan wrote:Ali. Hands down.
Sorry, but I think that "hands down" for Ali would definitely have affected his status on this thread :lol:
I thought people would get that. I was referring to Ali's trick of taunting opponents by dropping his guard and inviting them to try to knock him out.
Standing tall, at 6-ft, 3-in (1.91 m), Clay had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. Rather than the normal style of carrying the hands high to defend the face, he instead relied on foot speed and quickness to avoid punches and carried his hands low. (Wikipedia)
Last edited by Liam Tiernan on Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Liam Tiernan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:57 pm

Clive Brooker wrote:
Liam Tiernan wrote:Ali. Hands down.
I confess that I don't understand why Ali features so highly in polls like this. I was a young teenager at the time of the "Rumble in the Jungle" so I certainly remember the glory days.

According to Wikipedia, Ali is "generally considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time by boxing commentators and historians", which I wouldn't argue with. That surely isn't enough to be the greatest sportsman of all time based on sporting achievement alone. He also failed to retire gracefully, so that his final years in competition have to be quietly excused.
Don't forget that Ali was stripped of his title and suspended from boxing for 4 years (peak years) for refusing to be drafted into the army,one of the most outrageous examples of political interference in sport of all time.If not for that, I think this poll would be a foregone conclusion.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by James Doohan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:13 pm

IMO

Athletics, Cycling = Drug cheats, these sports have zero credibility

Darts - I practice every day, captain of my team, but its not a sport, as much as I love the game it is exactly that, a game. Those at the top of darts pushing it as a sport have an agenda of getting darts into the Olympics in the aim of bringing it to a larger audience outside of Britain and to lesser extent Europe and thus more marketing opportunities

Also not sports - Snooker, Bowling of any kind, Pool, Golf, Archery, etc

Greatest Sportsman - No such thing, sports are too varied to compare someone for example from football to someone from rugby, sportsmen could only be declared the greatest if there was only one sport,only then could we begin to measure how great those people are/were

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matt Morrison » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:01 pm

Liam Tiernan wrote:I was referring to Ali's trick of taunting opponents by dropping his guard and inviting them to try to knock him out.
Standing tall, at 6-ft, 3-in (1.91 m), Clay had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. Rather than the normal style of carrying the hands high to defend the face, he instead relied on foot speed and quickness to avoid punches and carried his hands low. (Wikipedia)
Pah. Poor man's Anderson Silva.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Liam Tiernan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:
Liam Tiernan wrote:I was referring to Ali's trick of taunting opponents by dropping his guard and inviting them to try to knock him out.
Standing tall, at 6-ft, 3-in (1.91 m), Clay had a highly unorthodox style for a heavyweight boxer. Rather than the normal style of carrying the hands high to defend the face, he instead relied on foot speed and quickness to avoid punches and carried his hands low. (Wikipedia)
Pah. Poor man's Anderson Silva.

Who?
Anderson Silva has had two professional boxing bouts. On May 22, 1998 Silva took on, the then 10-2, Osmar Luiz Teixeira and lost by second round TKO. He stepped back into the boxing ring in August 2005 to face Julio Cesar De Jesus. De Jesus had never boxed before as a professional and Silva won by KO in round two.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Kirk Bevins » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:46 pm

james doohan wrote: Greatest Sportsman - No such thing, sports are too varied to compare someone for example from football to someone from rugby, sportsmen could only be declared the greatest if there was only one sport,only then could we begin to measure how great those people are/were
I disagree. Assuming you accept darts as a sport (which it is) then you can compare the best sportsman in their respective field to the rest of the field. In darts Phil Taylor is so far ahead of everyone else it's ridiculous. He recently beat Scott Waites in the Grand Slam final 16-2. Ridiculous. He has hit several 9 dart finishes on TV now and is 14 times world champion. With other sportsman is so far ahead of the rest of the pack and has won the world championship numerous times?

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Charlie Reams » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:50 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:With other sportsman is so far ahead of the rest of the pack and has won the world championship numerous times?
Just to play devil's advocate, could it be the standard of other darts players is pretty low?

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by James Doohan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:54 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:
Assuming you accept darts as a sport
james doohan wrote:IMO

Darts - I practice every day, captain of my team, but its not a sport, as much as I love the game it is exactly that, a game.
Phil Taylor is unbelievable and one day soon he'll have a three dart average of over 120 in major TV event, but its still a game, take the blinkers off mate

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by James Doohan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:56 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
Kirk Bevins wrote:With other sportsman is so far ahead of the rest of the pack and has won the world championship numerous times?
Just to play devil's advocate, could it be the standard of other darts players is pretty low?
No, Phil Taylor is just so damn good

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Eoin Monaghan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:43 pm

Haille Gebreselassie wins it easily for me, then Muhammad Ali and then Usain Bolt, because he can set a world record yet only do 4/5 of a proper race!

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by JimBentley » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:20 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:In darts Phil Taylor is so far ahead of everyone else it's ridiculous. He recently beat Scott Waites in the Grand Slam final 16-2. Ridiculous.
Yeah, but Scott Waites is in the BDO and Taylor is in the PDC. The quality gap between the BDO and PDC is now so wide that I'd back any of the top eight players in the PDC to defeat Waites in similar fashion. OK, it doesn't negate your point about Taylor's dominance, but it's not really a very convincing example to use to illustrate it.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Paul Howe » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:48 pm

Darts is a fairly new sport (first world championship in 1978?). The levels of professionalism and dedication taken for granted in more established sports have only recently emerged in darts. Instances of Tayloresque domination are surely more common in the formative stages of any sport. In most sports it's impossible to win 14 world titles as you need to be in top physical condition, and the most prestigious events are held less than annually. There are only two major darts nations (UK and Holland).

Leaving aside the borderline nature of darts as a sport, the above is enough for me to dismiss the idea that Phil Taylor is anywhere near to being the greatest sportsperson of all time.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by David Williams » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:50 pm

Kirk Bevins wrote:Assuming you accept darts as a sport (which it is) then you can compare the best sportsman in their respective field to the rest of the field. In darts Phil Taylor is so far ahead of everyone else it's ridiculous. He recently beat Scott Waites in the Grand Slam final 16-2. Ridiculous. He has hit several 9 dart finishes on TV now and is 14 times world champion. With other sportsman is so far ahead of the rest of the pack and has won the world championship numerous times?
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matthew Green » Sat Dec 12, 2009 5:19 pm

Roger Federer has dominated men's tennis this decade as impressively as anyone could be expected to. He has won 15 slams (ludicrous), been in 20+ consecutive grand-slam semi's (utterly ludicrous), been in most finals since 2003 and attended the last 40+ grand slams which is frankly unimaginable given the intensity he plays at.

When you take into account the fact that there are professional tennis academies all over the world that are incredibly serious and it makes his achievements staggering. Plus he has been competing against Nadal, Hewitt, Roddick, Murray, Safin, Djokovic, Sampras, Ivanisevic, Henman, Phillipoussis, Tsonga, Nalbandian, Del Potro and many other players who are all either Slam winners or potential slam winners- so you can't exactly question the competition.

Not to mention the fact that he is a likeable guy, speaks 5 languages fluently, has had spells without a coach and never gets involved in controversy. For a lot of people these are important attributes.

Phil Taylor just can't compare to this. Didn't he once try and put Kevin Painter off by farting? That's not exactly what you look for in a great sportsman is it? And even if we did consider darts a sport, that would make snooker a sport, and watching O'Sullivan make century breaks with his left hand dwarfs anything I've seen Phil taylor do.
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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Matt Morrison » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:02 pm

Liam Tiernan wrote:
Matt Morrison wrote:
Liam Tiernan wrote:Ali
Pah. Poor man's Anderson Silva.
Anderson Silva has had two professional boxing bouts. On May 22, 1998 Silva took on, the then 10-2, Osmar Luiz Teixeira and lost by second round TKO. He stepped back into the boxing ring in August 2005 to face Julio Cesar De Jesus. De Jesus had never boxed before as a professional and Silva won by KO in round two.
Don't be annoying and take me seriously. That's not even slightly appropriate. Boxing isn't a sport, it's a game.

Mentioning Silva's boxing record as if it somehow disproves how good he is in a proper fighting sport is like saying Usain Bolt is a shit runner because sometimes when he's competing in three-legged races he falls over, or that O'Sullivan is shit at snooker because he's not yet proved himself at those silly little miniature snooker games they sell as 'executive stress relief toys'.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Charlie Reams » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:29 pm

Matt Morrison wrote: Don't be annoying and take me seriously. That's not even slightly appropriate. Boxing isn't a sport, it's a game.

Mentioning Silva's boxing record as if it somehow disproves how good he is in a proper fighting sport is like saying Usain Bolt is a shit runner because sometimes when he's competing in three-legged races he falls over, or that O'Sullivan is shit at snooker because he's not yet proved himself at those silly little miniature snooker games they sell as 'executive stress relief toys'.
Hahaha. Amazing.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:57 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:Mentioning Silva's boxing record as if it somehow disproves how good he is in a proper fighting sport is like saying Usain Bolt is a shit runner because sometimes when he's competing in three-legged races he falls over, or that O'Sullivan is shit at snooker because he's not yet proved himself at those silly little miniature snooker games they sell as 'executive stress relief toys'.
Just checked out your Wikipedia link. Middleweight champion - so he's effectively top novice.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by Liam Tiernan » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:04 pm

Matt Morrison wrote:Don't be annoying and take me seriously. That's not even slightly appropriate. Boxing isn't a sport, it's a game.
Ufc is not a sport. It's a gimmick. End of.

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Re: Greatest Ever Sportsman?

Post by AndyB2007 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:15 pm

Liam Tiernan wrote:
Matt Morrison wrote:Don't be annoying and take me seriously. That's not even slightly appropriate. Boxing isn't a sport, it's a game.
Ufc is not a sport. It's a gimmick. End of.
In addition to UFC, you have the likes of Cage Rage, our British equivalent (now the Ultimate Challenge UK following the demise of Cage Rage).

Is vocal gymnastics a sport? If it was, Mariah Carey would win the gold every time.

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