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The GOATs of Sport


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1 minute ago, Johnoco said:

To be totally fair, he didn't disgrace himself but was obviously outclassed.

I used to work on the demolition and a few blokes knew him(Hard blokes themselves) They reckoned he was hard as nails.

A decade for heavyweights that just were a class down from frazer Norton et al....

Joe Bugner a similar level.

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7 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I notice you left out¬†handball! ūüėČ

He didn't! It's there in black and white - Maradona. ūüėú

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This is the thing about eras . Personally i think  theres at least a debate about Warne being the greatest cricketer . And of course Money Mayweather would say hes the greatest

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11 minutes ago, SSoutherner said:

Road racing - Joey Dunlop

Track - Valentino Rossi/Giacomo Agostini (too far apart in time to really compare like with like as the sport changed so much 

Special commendation for John Surtees, who was a world champion on two wheels and four.

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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8 hours ago, Gerrumonside ref said:

I agree with many of the ones we’ve had already (and some of the counter opinions too!)

Baseball has an interesting debate on it’s all time greatest player due to the colour barrier being accounted for.  Due to that, it’s generally accepted that white players were playing in a less competitive era with segregation in baseball and thus a stats based assessment can’t be used in pure terms to compare different eras.  In fact many baseball pundits/historians tend to put a slight asterisk against some of that games legendary names.

Even accepting that, Babe Ruth’s performances generally tend to see him at number one almost Bradman style by the numbers.  With Willie Mays undoubtedly number 2 as the all round greatest baseball player who could do everything (hitting, fielding, catching, base stealing etc) at an unbelievably high level for a very long period of time.

 

I've a soft spot for Ted Williams as being the greatest hitter of all time and I'd have Greg Maddux as the greatest pitcher.

Willie Mays will just have to make do with having The Catch.

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Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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25 minutes ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

I've had a good think and I'm going with Stephen Hendry for snooker but closely followed by Steve Davis. As with other sports, quite hard to compare players from different periods but I can make a case for both of them and why it isn't Ronnie O'Sullivan. 

No u can't. Fastest ever 147 tad over 5 mins. Multiple world champ. Can play both hands.........

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10 minutes ago, Mumby Magic said:

No u can't. Fastest ever 147 tad over 5 mins. Multiple world champ. Can play both hands.........

...but a woefully poor knowledge of bonkers French prog rock bands. :kolobok_wink:

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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2 hours ago, stimpo-and-kat said:

Bodybuilding- Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Coleman.

 

strongman -Zydrunas Saviskas

Although Pudzianowski won 5 titles I’d agree Big Z is ahead of him in the rankings overall 

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18 hours ago, GUBRATS said:

The boxing one is difficult 

Ali , just incredible 

Tyson ,brutal 

Plenty of other heavyweights 

But , the conundrum is weighting 

So it really is undoable 

Tyson is an interesting one about what it means to be GOAT. Does it mean the best to ever play the sport or does it represent the greatest someone has achieved in the sport?

Some people would argue that Tyson at his peak was unbeatable. This would suggest he was the GOAT to box, however if you take his career in the wider picture he can't be considered. As Teddy Atlas said, he's never won a fight in his life. 

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3 hours ago, DavidM said:

This is the thing about eras . Personally i think  theres at least a debate about Warne being the greatest cricketer . And of course Money Mayweather would say hes the greatest

To play devil's advocate, Ali lost a number of times while Mayweather never did.

Ali is benefited greatly by his story and how well known his fights were. Barring a catastrophe, Tyson Fury will be higher up on the all time list than he probably should be because of the way his career has gone. 

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2 hours ago, SSoutherner said:

Road racing - Joey Dunlop

Track - Valentino Rossi/Giacomo Agostini (too far apart in time to really compare like with like as the sport changed so much 

Can't really argue about Joey, did it over a number of years but  DJ (David Jessop) could have challenged his records but for the Road Racers Achilles heel, Death, Hutchy might have been up there had he not destroyed his leg.

Vale takes the track one because Ago had by far the superior machinery, not much  competition and a much shorter GP season in his era but credit to him for racing the IOM when it was part of the championship. You might say Ago had Hailwood and Reid as rivals at times but the reliability of their bikes was poor in comparison to the MV which is strange to say of Italian bikes of that era.

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Gymnastics - Simone Biles. I've rarely seen a more dominant competitor in any sport.

Bowls - David Bryant. Multiple world and commonwealth titles, all while smoking a pipe.

Track Cycling - Chris Hoy maybe?

Decathlon -  Daley Thompson may not be the highest-scoring of all time, but he broke the world record four times, which is one more than any other competitor.

Fencing - Ferenc Marki. Not just a legend as a competitor, but as a coach as well.

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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11 minutes ago, DavidM said:

Errol Flynn

Nowhere near as good as Basil Rathbone, who really could sword-fight, but the movie required a happy ending.

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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19 minutes ago, Maximus Decimus said:

To play devil's advocate, Ali lost a number of times while Mayweather never did.

Ali is benefited greatly by his story and how well known his fights were. Barring a catastrophe, Tyson Fury will be higher up on the all time list than he probably should be because of the way his career has gone. 

Ali lost 5 times in his career, 3 of them in his last 4 fights. Prior to that it took a fighter of the calibre of Joe Frazier to take his unbeaten record, and that after missing 3 of his prime years. He also beat 2 fighters that were considered unbeatable and fought every great heavyweight that was around

As you say, you are playing devils advocate, so I'm sure you realise these things are subjective and cannot be based purely on statistics, after all Joe Calzaghe was unbeaten, as good as he was I don't think anyone would consider him the greatest of all time. Taken in context, Ali's record stands scrutiny against anyone's.

Having said all that, the Daily Telegraph has Ali at 4 with the GOAT being Mayweather

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/boxing-mma/the-ten-best-boxers-of-all-time-ranked-sees-surprise-rating-for-muhammad-ali/news-story/6b6bcb9613d3fd47a192f45551599f8f

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59 minutes ago, Mumby Magic said:

No u can't. Fastest ever 147 tad over 5 mins. Multiple world champ. Can play both hands.........

Hitting a 147 in 5 minutes 8 seconds isn't a massive factor in making someone the greatest player of all time, Ronnie O'Sullivan is definitely the greatest break builder of all time and probably the most attractive player to watch but there are many other factors to qualify a player as the greatest. He isn't the greatest safety player of all time, often comes unstuck if he gets bogged down in a safety battle, gets a little hot headed and tries to pot his way out of it which leads to mistakes, the greatest safety player ever is Hendry, O'Sullivan not even the greatest of the 21st century, that is Mark Selby. 

Yes he has won 6 World championships, so did Steve Davis, Hendry won 7, both those players won their titles over much shorter periods of time, completely dominating the 80s and 90s respectively, something Ronnie has never done, dominated a particular period in history. Ronnie doesn't even stand out in the 21st century as head and shoulders above any other player particularly with Higgins and Williams both just as good and sustaining their quality over just as long periods of time. Mark Williams winning the world championship the other year is the greatest thing to happen in recent snooker history, winning his 3rd championship such a long time after his last, the longest period between championships, after going through the things he did in his private life, after almost giving the game up.

In the period that Ronnie has supposedly dominated John Higgins has won 4 World championships and Mark Williams and Mark Selby have 3 each, no other players could break through and truly challenge Davis or Hendry in their respective eras. 

Steve Davis made the first official 147 in 1982, a time when the game was all about Conservative, cautious play, when players practiced safety play and didn't even particularly consider large breaks but Davis completely changed that mindset and Hendry took it to monumental levels a decade later. 

Davis won 28 ranking events and appeared in 41 finals in an era when there were just a handful of ranking events, winning them over a period of 14 years from 81 to 95, appearing in his last final in 2005. Those wins came from just 9 different ranking events. Hendry won 36 from 57 finals, the wins again coming from just 9 different ranking events. Some more events were starting to come in in the 90s but the tour was still pretty limited. Hendry's wins were between 87 and 2005. Ronnie has won 37 ranking events, with more to come no doubt but he has been playing in the era with far more events than ever before. This year there are 15 ranking events on the calender, keeping in mind that has been knocked down compared to recent years because of Covid. Ronnie's 37 wins come from 17 different tournaments. If there had been the same number of tournaments back in the 80s and 90s, Davis and Hendry could have won 60-70-80 ranking events no question, this is one reason why it is hard to compare eras. 

In terms of attitude and personality, Davis and Hendry are head and shoulders above Ronnie as well, both great ambassadors for their game, both speak so passionately about it and are so knowledgeable, I could listen to them speak about snooker for hours at a time, I do whenever there is a tournament on the BBC, not one bad word to say about snooker. Ronnie O'Sullivan has a horrible attitude towards the game, constantly having a go at venues, organisers and other players, almost every tournament he has something offensive to say about someone, his latest one being that none of the young players coming through are any good and they might as well give up the game cos they are rubbish and aren't gonna achieve anything, you know, the players that should be looking up to him and he should appreciate look up to him. But yeah, I guess they aren't that good, that's why players like 20 year old Yan Bingtao win the masters on their debut in the tournament, another amazing achievement to put up their with Williams' 3rd World title. Attitude and personality are certainly big factors in determining a GOAT, a player has to be the whole package. 

Also playing with both hands, literally what player can't in the modern day....?? I played eith both hands when I was on the amateur scene in the good old days. It really isn't anything special..... 

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6 hours ago, Johnoco said:

To be totally fair, he didn't disgrace himself but was obviously outclassed.

I used to work on the demolition and a few blokes knew him(Hard blokes themselves) They reckoned he was hard as nails.

Just to add, IIRC he injured himself while working as a scaffolder later in life and ended up walking with a stick. Can you imagine the purse he'd get today from a similar fight? He wouldn't have to be working on building sites I suspect.

They got him for This is Your Life just before the Ali fight.

Better safe than sorry.

"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

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