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At the top of their game (let the debate begin...)

Iron Chef

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So I started thinking about how in professional sports there are always a few truly exceptional individuals who tend to stand out from the rest of the pack so to speak. Those individuals who through dedication to their art, sheer innate talent, unearthly training regimens, etc. etc. have risen above the rest to dominate their sport single-handedly.

They have become living legends, benchmarks from which all other competitors are weighed and measured against. Mind you, i'm not talking about current "flavor's of the month" (who's hot atm) but rather those unique athletes who have consistently proven time and again they are at the apex of their sport. That being said... who are your picks and for what sports? Here are my choices:

Basketball:
1) Michael Jordan (in his prime: 'nuff said!)
2) Julius Erving (The Doctor is in the house...)

Baseball:
I don't follow this sport so I can't make any selections.

Football:
Same as baseball...

Hockey:
1) Wayne Gretzky ("The Great One")
2) Gordie Howe ("Mr. Hockey")

Golf:
1) Tiger Woods (the man is a fountain of talent whose only real competition is himself on a bad day...)
2) Jack Nicklaus ("The Golden Bear" in his prime)

Tour de France:
1) Lance Armstrong (the man is a machine...)

Tennis: (perhaps the most difficult category for me to select from)

Men:
1) Pete Sampras tied with Ivan Lendl (in their primes respectively)
2) Boris Becker (in his prime: = power coupled with speed)

Women:
1) Steffi Graf (in her prime, one of the most dominant women's players of all-time imho)
2) Martina Navritolova (throughout her career-she's that good)

Boxing: (another tough category to call)
1) Joe Louis tied with Muhammed Ali (Cassisus Clay)
2) George Foreman tied with Rocky Marciano (in their primes respectively)

Sumo:
1) Asashoryu (He IS the future of Sumo, power+speed+technique=total package)
2) Akebono: (In his prime, he was a formidable powerhouse and very dominating in the ring)
3) Takanohana

WSOP (World Series of Poker):
1) Johnny Chan (The Master... consistently ranked as one of the world's best players for many years)

Surfing:
1) Buzzy Trent (Serious old-skool here... He is quoted for saying "You don't go hunting elephant with a BB gun. If you're going to hunt big waves, take a big gun.") Makaha and the North Shore, Waikiki, Waimaea, Tijuana, Malibu... he did it all.

I'm sure there are plenty of other sports/athletes out there also worth mentioning. Let's hear your selections! :cool:
 

DoctorP

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Basketball:
1) Michael Jordan (in his prime: 'nuff said!)
2) Julius Erving (The Doctor is in the house...)

Baseball:
I don't follow this sport so I can't make any selections.

Football:
Same as baseball...

Hockey:
1) Wayne Gretzky ("The Great One")
2) Gordie Howe ("Mr. Hockey")

Golf:
1) Tiger Woods (the man is a fountain of talent whose only real competition is himself on a bad day...)
2) Jack Nicklaus ("The Golden Bear" in his prime)

Tour de France:
1) Lance Armstrong (the man is a machine...)

Tennis: (perhaps the most difficult category for me to select from)

Men:
1) Pete Sampras tied with Ivan Lendl (in their primes respectively)
2) Boris Becker (in his prime: = power coupled with speed)

Women:
1) Steffi Graf (in her prime, one of the most dominant women's players of all-time imho)
2) Martina Navritolova (throughout her career-she's that good)

Boxing: (another tough category to call)
1) Joe Louis tied with Muhammed Ali (Cassisus Clay)
2) George Foreman tied with Rocky Marciano (in their primes respectively)

Nice list...You'll get no argument from me on most of your entries. I'd have to debate on basketball though...Maybe Bird? Jabbar?, Chamberlain? West? There are so many!

Baseball? 1. Roger Clemens (overall the best player of all time!) IMHO
2. Hank Aaron
3. Nolan Ryan
It's hard to pick between hitters/fielders and pitchers....I may come back later and make a list by position.

Football: (QB's only) 1. Brett Farve
2. Peyton Manning

(Running Backs) 1. Barry Sanders
2. Walter Payton

(Receivers) 1. Jerry Rice
2. Lynn Swann

(Defensive players) 1. Lawrence Taylor
2. Ronnie Lott
3. Ed Jones
4. Reggie White
5. Ray Lewis

More to come later on that one too

Women's Tennis? Martina is on top all the way!
 
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Davey

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football-soccer: 1. Pele
2. Johan Cruijff

cycling: Lance amstrong, great guy, to bad about the Lequipe.( what ever the name of the magazine is..)

K1: Ernesto Hoost

F1: SENNA

Golf: Tiger woods, male
WIE, female

Basketball: Jordan , ofcourse

Swimming: Ian Torphe

Tennis: woman.. still coming up: Michaela Krajicek (16 years young, and already in top 80)
Male: agasi
 

nhannah

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Boxing: Sugar Ray Robinson

K1: Peter "Mr. K1" Aerts/Ernest Hoost(very tough one to call)
 

Mike Cash

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If you're going to include poker as a sport, I think it is only fair we get bowling and Nascar in the list somewhere.
 

DoctorP

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Dutch Baka said:
Golf: Tiger woods, male
WIE, female


How can you call Wie the best? She just turned pro last week! I admit that she is good, but I would think that if you looked at history you would have to either list Sorenstam, Lopez, or Didrickson before you could ever list Wie! She still has a lot to prove.
 

Davey

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CC1 said:
How can you call Wie the best? She just turned pro last week! I admit that she is good, but I would think that if you looked at history you would have to either list Sorenstam, Lopez, or Didrickson before you could ever list Wie! She still has a lot to prove.

yeah, i know,, but i didnt wanted to leave a woman out of it... and WIE is the only one i know from Golf, and i know she is a great talent!!!!!!! sorry just didnt wanted to let the woman look bad ☝
 

Flashjeff

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Well, I'm glad someone mentioned Annika Sorenstam before I did. Golf isn't a sport I follow with any great passion, if any at all, but even a knucklehead like me knows that Annika is the best woman golfer in the world today. Michelle Wie on the other hand is all sizzle but no steak. As far as I know, she hasn't even won a tournament and was disqualified from her first pro outing last when some weasel reporter from Sports Illustrated ratted her out via telephone on some arcane rules violation. Sheesh!

:eek:
 

Reiku

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All time.

And just to get this out of the way--

Martial Arts: Bruce Lee
 

Hideki_Matsui_Beast

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Let's see then

Baseball: Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens

Basketball: Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlin, Jerry West, Julius Irving, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal

Football: Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Lawrence Taylor, Jerry Rice, Barry Sanders

Hockey: Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Patrick Roy

Golf: Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Bobby Jones

Anything else is out of my area of expertise.
 

hamutha

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uhmm...

basketball : Julius Irving, "Magic" Johnson, Larry Bird, Jordan (Feel the "air" >_<), Maxi Bogues (short player "tall" skills)

Football : Pele, Eric Cantona the "bad boy"

Skateboarding : Tony Hawk... with the "900º"

Tennis : Samprass, Agassi, Anna K (i think i like this one not because her skills hehe)
 

Davey

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CC1 said:
How can you call Wie the best? She just turned pro last week! I admit that she is good, but I would think that if you looked at history you would have to either list Sorenstam, Lopez, or Didrickson before you could ever list Wie! She still has a lot to prove.


She sure is good

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/wireStory?id=1926128&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
INCHEON, South Korea May 5, 2006 (AP)ツ― Michelle Wie made her first cut in a professional men's tournament Friday after shooting a 3-under-par 69 in the Asian Tour's SK Telecom Open
The Hawiian-born teenager becomes the second woman to make the cut at a men's tournament in South Korea; LPGA star Se Ri Pak finished tied for 10th in the lower-tier KPGA Tour SBS Pro-Golf Championship in 2003.
No woman has made the cut on the PGA Tour since Babe Zaharias at the 1945 Tucson Open.

Growing and growing🙂
 

Hideki_Matsui_Beast

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She is VERY talented. I think she'll be on the PGA Tour one day, if she wants to be. With her distance off the tee, she could definitely contend if the rest of her game comes around.
 

DoctorP

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She has still yet to prove herself on the LPGA tour, I think she should work on that before trying to crossover.
 
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