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Ironslave's top 10 greatest athletes ever

Ironslave

Ironslave

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Inspired by Line's thread on movies, I thought I'd start this. It would be great if a bunch of other people got involved and made a list of their own as well. It's only 10 athletes, so it shouldn't be nearly as time consuming as Line's 100.


Who would be your top 10 athletes to have ever lived? The way you do the list is subjective, for example, someone like Bo Jackson could make the list because he was a dominant athlete in many sports, or you could just go with an athlete who dominated one sport (ie, Michael Jordan). Other things to consider are their impact on the sporting and world in general, ability to change/transcend the game, name value, etc etc.

Here are a list of names taken from ESPN's top 100.

Edit: These names are North American athletes from the 20th century. For further clarification, this means athletes from Canada, the United States and Mexico, who participated in sport from the January 1, 1900 and January 1, 2000.

clear?

Alphabetical
Aaron, Hank
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Ali, Muhammad
Andretti, Mario
Arcaro, Eddie
Armstrong, Henry
Baugh, Sammy
Baylor, Elgin
Beamon, Bob
Bird, Larry
Blair, Bonnie
Blanda, George
Brown, Jim
Budge, Don
Butkus, Dick
Chamberlain, Wilt
Citation (horse)
Clemente, Roberto
Cobb, Ty
Connors, Jimmy
Cousy, Bob
Dempsey, Jack
Didrikson, Babe
DiMaggio, Joe
Erving, Julius
Evert, Chris
Foyt, A.J.
Gehrig, Lou
Gibson, Althea
Gibson, Bob
Gibson, Josh
Graham, Otto
Grange, Red
Gretzky, Wayne
Heiden, Eric
Hogan, Ben
Hornsby, Rogers
Howe, Gordie
Hull, Bobby
Hutson, Don
Jackson, Bo
Johnson, Jack
Johnson, Magic
Johnson, Michael
Johnson, Rafer
Johnson, Walter
Jones, Bobby
Jordan, Michael
Joyner-Kersee, Jackie
King, Billie Jean
Koufax, Sandy
Lemieux, Mario
Lewis, Carl
Louganis, Greg
Louis, Joe
Man O' War
Mantle, Mickey
Marciano, Rocky
Marino, Dan
Mathias, Bob
Mays, Willie
Montana, Joe
Moses, Edwin
Musial, Stan
Namath, Joe
Navratilova, Martina
Nicklaus, Jack
Oerter, Al
Orr, Bobby
Owens, Jesse
Paige, Satchel
Palmer, Arnold
Payton, Walter
Petty, Richard
Rice, Jerry
Richard, Maurice
Robertson, Oscar
Robinson, Jackie
Robinson, Sugar Ray
Rose, Pete
Rudolph, Wilma
Ruth, Babe
Russell, Bill
Sampras, Pete
Sanders, Barry
Sanders, Deion
Sayers, Gale
Secretariat
Shoemaker, Willie
Simpson, O.J.
Snead, Sam
Spitz, Mark
Taylor, Lawrence
Thorpe, Jim
Tilden, Bill
Unitas, Johnny
Wagner, Honus
West, Jerry
Willimas, Ted
Young, Cy


The results!

10 - Eddie Merckx

9 Pele

8 Muhammad Ali

7 Michael Jordan

6 Babe Ruth

5 Babe Zaharias

4 Jim Thorpe

3 Wayne Gretzky

2 Jim Brown

1 Tiger Woods
 
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SerbMarko

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few people come to mind really quickly..

Michael Jordan
Tiger Woods
Joe Montana
Barry Sanders
Barry Bonds

ill name more later on..
 
Ironslave

Ironslave

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few people come to mind really quickly..

Michael Jordan
Tiger Woods
Joe Montana
Barry Sanders
Barry Bonds

ill name more later on..


Back off, get your own sandwich (thread) :angrydude:

:xyxthumbs:
 
Braaq

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few people come to mind really quickly..

Michael Jordan
Tiger Woods
Joe Montana
Barry Sanders
Barry Bonds

ill name more later on..

Great list.. but what about Emmit Smith, Michael Johnson, Steve Nash :D? Those are just a few more that came to mind on top of yours
 
Arcane1129

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Do you consider bodybuilders to be athletes?
 
Ironslave

Ironslave

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Do you consider bodybuilders to be athletes?

Hmm, this is a topic in itself. I guess you could consider a bodybuilder to be an athlete, but it's a debate. There won't be any bodybuilders on this list though.
 
Beefcake

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Expect a varried list?
 
Duality

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easy answer.. no.


and curt schilling's fat ass is? and the term "athlete" is thrown around pretty losely when it comes to golfers as well. i don't think bodybuilders are any less athletes than these two groups.

gotta put allen iverson, tom brady, and randy moss on there. and we all know adrian peterson is gonna be on that list in a year, two tops
 
Ironslave

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and curt schilling's fat ass is? and the term "athlete" is thrown around pretty losely when it comes to golfers as well. i don't think bodybuilders are any less athletes than these two groups.

gotta put allen iverson, tom brady, and randy moss on there. and we all know adrian peterson is gonna be on that list in a year, two tops

:confused::confused:

Um, none of those athletes you mentioned are even close to being on the list.
 
P

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Do you consider bodybuilders to be athletes?

"Athlete" means a physically active individual training for or participating in an amateur, educational or professional athletic organization or any other association that sponsors athletic programs or events in the State.



 
Mygeeto

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"Athlete" means a physically active individual training for or participating in an amateur, educational or professional athletic organization or any other association that sponsors athletic programs or events in the State.


which makes it inevidable that bodybuilders and strongmen, olympic weight lifters and such should be on the list as well.


would we expect to see Lance Armstrong on the list as well?
 
Arcane1129

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How about strongmen then, considering the actual competition is not subjective and requires strength, speed, and skill?
 
P

Pain

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If pro wrestlers are considered athletes then bodybuilders are athletes too.
 
Ironslave

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which makes it inevidable that bodybuilders and strongmen, olympic weight lifters and such should be on the list as well.

They could be, but it's going to be difficult to make a case for any athletes in these categories, especially when you consider the impact they had in both their sport and society as a whole, which I have as a category.

would we expect to see Lance Armstrong on the list as well?

Nope, he got consideration, but didn't quite make it. :gaygay: He wasn't even the best in his sport, that title is reserved for... .


25i850j-1.jpg


Sorry Lance, but Eddie Merckx is the greatest cyclist of all time. Lance's 7 Tour de France's after his battle with cancer is indeed legendary, but his record doesn't match Merckx's. He basically did it all, 5 Tour de France wins, 69,70, 71, 72, 74, and could have gotten a few more. In the 1975 Tour de France, a spectator attacked him during the race because he was going to break the record of Jacques Anquetil for most tour wins. Later during the same tour, he fell and fractured his jaw and couldn't eat solid food! He still finished second. (He also skipped the 1973 race)

Even more remarkable, was that in 1969, he was in a crash that gave him a concussion, fractured vertebrae and twisted pelvis which was said to have changed the way he rode and left him "never the same". Still, that year he won the yellow jersey, the King of the Mountains jersey, the green jersey and all three time trials. Probably regarded as the greatest performance of all time (to give an example, Armstrong has never one a green or mountain jersey). He also set the record for 10k, 20k, and Hour records during the SAME ride. This is insane, it's like a runner winning the 800M, 1600M, and Marathon all in the same day in the olympics.

Despite this, he dominated like nobody ever has, or probably ever will. His record for the "big 3" tours was

# 5× Tours de France, 34 stage wins
# 5× Giro d'Italia, 24 stage wins
# 1× Vuelta a España, 6 stage wins

Other notable wins/records:

3x world championships
1x world amateur championship
54 wins in one season :eek:
Most career victories by a professional cyclist: 525

In keeping in line with cultural impact, he was voted the 2nd Greatest Belgian who has ever lived.
 
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Nice thread.

Can't believe no one has mentioned "The Greatest" Muhammed Ali himself. Maybe a cliche but it's a cliche for a reason.
 
Ironslave

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Nice thread.

Can't believe no one has mentioned "The Greatest" Muhammed Ali himself. Maybe a cliche but it's a cliche for a reason.

He's on the list, but he's not my #1.
 
Braaq

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I know that one runner from Oregon, I can't remember his name, that died but is still considered one of the best american runner of all time. He has to be on your list right?
 

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