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Old 02-14-2013, 01:50 PM   #51 (permalink)
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I grew up playing soccer and at a high level, the lack of understandi g of the athleticism the game takes was never as shocking to me as how little people knew about just how physical a game it is

High level soccer is anything but a pansy sport as so many Americans believe it to be
I will be the first person to admit that Soccer is a true test of an athletes endurance. Not many people can run around non stop for an hour or so.

I will also be the first person to admit that is boring as hell. All it is is guys running around non stop for an hour or so.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:55 PM   #52 (permalink)
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I will be the first person to admit that Soccer is a true test of an athletes endurance. Not many people can run around non stop for an hour or so.

I will also be the first person to admit that is boring as hell. All it is is guys running around non stop for an hour or so.
Oh yea, the worst conditioned player on a soccer team would run circles around most players of other sports, it's a whole different level of conditioning, especially if you're a midfielder

I had a coach once who started every practice with 15 laps around the field
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:02 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Some of these responses are laughable. I am going to go with assuming the OP meant greatest player and not athlete.

Baseball: Ruth. It's not close. Name me another player who was one of the best hitters ever, but also an elite pitcher.
Football: Jerry Rice. His ability to change his style of play as his age limited his speed is amazing. His work ethic was unbelievable as well. Sorry Moss, you aren't close to Jerry.
Basketball: Ugh, Jordan.
Hockey: Gretzky. the dude is the leading scorer, but also has more assists than anyone else has points. That is pretty insane.
Golf: Jack Nicklaus
Wow I agree with every single one of these.

Having said that, when you consider how little talent Pete Rose had compared to all the greats with God-given talent, it's hard for me not to choose him as the greatest player (not athlete) of all time - not only the work ethic but the most WINS of any player in history - now that is who i want on my team.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:04 PM   #54 (permalink)
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I will be the first person to admit that Soccer is a true test of an athletes endurance. Not many people can run around non stop for an hour or so.

I will also be the first person to admit that is boring as hell. All it is is guys running around non stop for an hour or so.
Rugby players have the same, if not better endurance as soccer players. Same amount of running, then add in tackling.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:27 PM   #55 (permalink)
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I see a lot of people saying Babe Ruth for baseball, the OP asked for greatest athlete in each sport. When I see the word athlete, I think power, speed and agility. As I have never seen the Great Bambino play, he looks to lack in the speed and agility categories. If he asked for the best in the specific sport well the Sultan of Swat would most likely win, but the question was best athlete. For baseball, I would have to go with the likes of a Bo Jackson, Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr. Those are the guys I think of when I think athlete.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #56 (permalink)
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An athlete of today will surpass an athlete from yesteryear. Every sport has evolved to better, faster, higher or whatever outcome is desired.

Roger Bannister wouldn't even place today.
Discovery channel did a time lapse of 100m runners gold medal winners since the beginning of the competition. It shows how much they have evolved. 13 yr olds presently in competition would have easily beat out most gold medalists from the 60s in a 100m race.

Its unfair to compare out of decade when it comes to competition. Between enhancements in technology, training, medicine and rules, it makes it impossible to compare apples to apples
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:10 PM   #57 (permalink)
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For me, I have my own opinions about each sport, but the one that should be hands down is LeBron James. If you watch the NBA on a frequent enough basis, you will see what this guy can do. LeBron 6'8", 260 lbs. vs. Michael 6'6" 216 with Michael having a little better vertical, but LeBron greatly overmatching him in wingspan. The only way, in my opinion that Jordan can outmatch LeBron is by rings (which keep in mind takes a TEAM to achieve) and clutch shots. The former doesn't rely much on individual athletic ability, while the latter takes a little bit of luck as well. Plus, LeBron has one of the better clutch shooters of the new millennium beside him in Wade. Also, Michael was a great defender in his own right, but LeBron might be the best defender all-around in the NBA today. If we are talking straight athletic ability, RINGS DO NOT MATTER. So, without further ado, here is my listing (surprised some people haven't been mentioned yet):

Baseball: Mike Trout (He is young, but his all-around talent may very well be the best in the league)
Football: Bo Jackson (Guy played two sports and was a freak athlete)
Basketball: LeBron James
Hockey: Martin Brodeur (Giving this to a goalie as I think they have to be the most athletic on the ice)
Soccer (futbol): Pele (Never really saw him play, just going with what others are saying here)
Olympics: Don't pay too much attention to the Olympics, Phelps comes to mind, but wouldn't it have to be a multi-year winner of an bi/tri/decathlon?
Greatest Athlete of All Time: Jim Thorpe (Have seen multiple videos and documentaries on this guy)

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Old 02-14-2013, 04:37 PM   #58 (permalink)
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"LOL" as the kids say....at all the people putting Gretzky as the greatest athlete in hockey...

It's Martin Broduer or Bobby Orr....by a mile.
You must remember, though, Gretzky is probably the only hockey player they've ever heard of (except maybe Crosby. Surprised to not see him up here more).

Anyways, I put Bobby Orr, and I really don't think even Brodeur, Roy, or Hasek could compare. He changed the game in a way nobody else ever has, and was a better skater than anyone in league history (and if somebody says Datsyuk, Crosby, or anybody else is a better skater, I will punch them in the throat).

One could make a case for Marty. It wouldn't be very valid, but hey, it's worth a shot .
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:42 PM   #59 (permalink)
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You must remember, though, Gretzky is probably the only hockey player they've ever heard of (except maybe Crosby. Surprised to not see him up here more).
Anyways, I put Bobby Orr, and I really don't think even Brodeur, Roy, or Hasek could compare. He changed the game in a way nobody else ever has, and was a better skater than anyone in league history (and if somebody says Datsyuk, Crosby, or anybody else is a better skater, I will punch them in the throat).

One could make a case for Marty. It wouldn't be very valid, but hey, it's worth a shot .
Guilty.

Quite an interesting spin this thread took. My intention was for it to mean "player," but I guess your interpretation of "athlete" would not be wrong, either.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:44 PM   #60 (permalink)
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OP selected Cobb, Payton, Jordan, and Gretzky ... none of those would be considered the greatest ATHLETE of their sports.

As for your comments about Cobb, I actually put him as the second best baseball player of all-time - and much much lower if you were analyzing athletes only, so I don't get your point really.
Cobb was fast, strong, and had an arm, he was an AMAZING athlete.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:51 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Baseball: Babe Ruth
Football: Jerry Rice
Basketball: Michael Jordan (for now.....I think LeBron will retire as the GOAT)
Hockey: Bob Orr (there isn't another option.....)
Soccer (futbol): Lionel Messi
Olympics: Michael Phelps
Greatest Athlete of All Time (transcending all sports): Dave Winfield
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:53 PM   #62 (permalink)
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The more I think about it, I would be hard pressed to say there was a better athlete in baseball than Rickey Henderson (yes, Bo Jackson, but longevity counts to a degree imo).
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:01 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Baseball: Josh Gibson ( Shocked nobody has said him yet dies at age 35, God only knows how good he would have been if he did not die of brain cancer.)
Football: Jim Brown
Basketball: Michael Jordan , soon to be Lebron
Hockey: Bob Orr
Soccer (futbol): Pele
Olympics: Michael Phelps
Greatest Athlete of All Time (transcending all sports): Bo Jackson
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #64 (permalink)
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The more I think about it, I would be hard pressed to say there was a better athlete in baseball than Rickey Henderson (yes, Bo Jackson, but longevity counts to a degree imo).
Jackie Robinson
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:24 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Baseball: Hank Aaron/Jackie Robinson
Football: Tom Brady
Basketball: Michael Jordan/Lebron will be there soon.
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky
Fùtbol: Lionel Messi
Golf: Tiger Woods
Olympics: Usain Bolt
Greatest All Around Athlete: Bo Jackson
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:49 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Baseball: Ty Cobb (My fav is Canseco with 40/40 club lol)
Football: Bo Jackson / Jerry Rice
Basketball: Kobe / MJ
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky / Bobby Orr
Fùtbol: Lionel Messi / ronaldinho
Golf: Tiger Woods
Olympics: Jesse Owens or a Ethiopian Marathon runner
Greatest All Around Athlete: Jim Thorpe / Craig Alexander (Triathalonist)
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:53 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Such a shame. Hockey is the greatest sport in the world. Faster than basketball and football with more contact and legal fighting and way less commercial breaks than any other sport. You'd think Americans would be all over it.

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You must remember, though, Gretzky is probably the only hockey player they've ever heard of (except maybe Crosby. Surprised to not see him up here more).

Anyways, I put Bobby Orr, and I really don't think even Brodeur, Roy, or Hasek could compare. He changed the game in a way nobody else ever has, and was a better skater than anyone in league history (and if somebody says Datsyuk, Crosby, or anybody else is a better skater, I will punch them in the throat).

One could make a case for Marty. It wouldn't be very valid, but hey, it's worth a shot .
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:54 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Here is someone who doesn't belong in the discussion, but it would have been very interesting to see where his career could have gone had he played his sport his whole life

Kenny Lofton

He was a basketball player who in college got convinced to try baseball because of his just pure athletic ability, and even at that he barely played any college baseball but was still drafted on athletic talent alone. He was a PG on one of Arizona's final four teams back in the day before he picked up baseball.

He played in a total of 5 baseball games and had just one at bat, yet was still drafted in the 17th round. I can't imagine how much better of a player he would have been if he took up the sport as a kid, and he was a boarder line HOFer after all
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:27 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Not sure if he was mentioned yet, but what about Charlie Ward? Heisman trophy winner and solid NBA point guard for a number of years.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:39 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Baseball: Babe Ruth
Football: Jim Brown
Basketball: Michael Jordan
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky
Soccer (futbol): Messi
Olympics: Mark Spitz


Also so disappointed in the lack of respect for soccer. It is the WORLD's most popular game. The athleticism it takes for soccer is so much more than football.
Like Tosh said, that's because most of the world is poor. You need so little equipment so everyone can play it.

His words, not mine, but I will say I don't like soccer at all.
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:11 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Also so disappointed in the lack of respect for soccer. It is the WORLD's most popular game. The athleticism it takes for soccer is so much more than football.
As someone that follows both sports very closely, I think this statement is grossly generalized and highly inaccurate.

Both sports take supreme athleticism, just in different departments - "so much more than football" is definitely not the case at all. Maybe "so much more" cardiovascular athleticism, but let's ask Frank Gore, AP, Michael Turner, or any other 30+ carry a game back if they think it would be harder on their body, or require more "athleticism" for them to prance around a pitch untouched for 90 minutes.

The only time Soccer players spend on the ground, is when they take their dives from a little cleat to the knee. It isn't even CLOSE to a full contact sport, let alone a sport like Football or Hockey, or hell even Basketball. The amount of physical conditioning, strength training, and pure raw athleticism needed to play professional football I would say is beyond comparable to futbol. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:57 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Baseball: Willie Mays/ Babe Ruth
Football: Tom Brady
Basketball: Jordan
Hockey: Wayne Gretzky / Bobby Orr
Fùtbol: Lionel Messi /Pele
Golf: Tiger Woods
Olympics: Micheal Phelps
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:00 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Baseball: Ted Williams
Football: Joe Montana (I don't watch a ton of football but 4 rings)
Basketball: Bill Russell
Hockey: Mario Lemieux
Soccer: Klinsman?
Olympics: Jesse Owens
Boxing: Mike Tyson
Wrestling: Bret Hart
Auto Racing: Dale Earnhart
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:07 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #75 (permalink)
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