Most important athlete of all-time?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by jedione12, May 10, 2005.

  1. rolfdevinci

    rolfdevinci New Member

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    Geesh.......don`t know his name?

    It was a dude who cycled past me while I was sitting in my car back in 1985. Yup...he was riding one of those new fangled fat tired bikes we now call mountain bikes. I was overweight, depressed with low self esteem. I decided at that point I was gonna start cycling again.

    20 years later I`m still cycling, more than ever, and loving every moment of it.

    Thanks Dude!

    My point....the most important athlete is the one who inspires you to live an active, healthy life.
     


  2. ausgirl

    ausgirl New Member

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    I shouldn't really bag the poms, but how does that 1 world title compensate for the rest of your country's sporting screw-ups?!

    Let's see their sporting achievements:
    Number of years since a pom won Wimbledon or any Grand Slam? Too many to count.
    Number of years since the poms won the Ashes? Countless.
    Years since the poms won a cricket world cup? Ages.
    Years since the poms won Davis Cup? Has that ever happened?
    Amount of times poms won America's cup? 0, but 1 each for Aus & NZ.
    Pom swimming world titles that weren't won as a result of Aus & US being disqualified? Almost never.
    Pom cyclists in the Pro Tour? A lot less than any other country.

    The list could go on forever. Enjoy your country's one little victory, because they are few and far between.
     
  3. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Yikes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This thread could be hotting up now Ausgirl (LOL !)
     
  4. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Bloody arrogant upstarts! What are you going to do with us. First us
    Yanks now the Aussies.
     
  5. Long Rider

    Long Rider New Member

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    Nice sentiment - ride on! (20 years? That's fabulous.)
     
  6. ausgirl

    ausgirl New Member

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    The sporting rivalry between the Aussies and the Poms is a long-standing one. If they would just return to us the real Ashes trophy that is rightfully ours, then things would be mostly settled between us. Until then, they deserve all the bagging they get.
     
  7. mitosis

    mitosis New Member

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    You probably don't want to here this but Armstrong is unknown outside the US unless you are a cyclist. And there's just a few billion people outside the US. :)

    I'm not putting him up as a contender (for most important athlete of all time) but Donald Bradman, who was a standout among cricketers, is probably better know around the world than Armstrong or anyone who plays baseball.


    Pele would go close. He is known around the world because he played (and excelled) at the world game and was easily the best ever. ;)

    BTW, who is Robinson?
     
  8. Wolfzazi

    Wolfzazi New Member

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    Definetely Terry Fox for his incredible ability and tremendous increase in awareness for cancer. 42km a day acorss the country and he helped raise up to date hundreds and hundreds of millions towards cancer research. Right next up next to him is Lance. They both lost something though, Lance lost a testicle from cancer and Terry a leg from it, but they both came back from it and did the unthinkable. Truely inspirational, i can't wait until they now make a movie about Lance.
     
  9. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Yep, they're in Lords.

    Let's see if the english people here will respond.

    I've got to say, I admire your country and it's sporting achievements.
    Your people are great competitors.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Agreed.
    Spot on Mitosis.

    Just to expand the point for our friend, House.
    South Africa, Pakistan, Australia, England, India, West Indies, Sri Lanka,
    Zimbadwe are all test playing cricket nations.
    Throw in practically every other country that was part of the British Empire
    and you'll have a huge population who follow that game of cricket.

    Don Bradman is the greatest cricketer ever : on population spread alone,
    the man is would more widely known given the worldwide following of cricket.

    The fact is that American sports essentially are American based (American football).
    Baseball has some international interest but it's minute compared to soccer,
    cricket, rugby.
    Michael Jordan is essentially meaningless to a lot of non-Americans.
    This might put Armstrong's notoriety in to context on a worldwide stage.

    Thank the British empire for the popularity of soccer,
    cricket, rugby.
     
  11. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Actually baseball is much more popular than cricket in Latin America, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Canada as well as many other countries. These countries account for quite a large percentage of the worlds population. Therefore I would argue that baseball is as popular or more popular worldwide than is cricket. I would also wager that there are as many or more people worldwide that know of Jackie Robinson as there are people who know of Bradman. I had never heard of Bradman prior to this thread.

    Some of you guys seem to automatically discount anything that originated in the USA as strictly an American phenomenon. This is simply not true in the case of baseball. Sometimes there seems to be a distinct anti-American sentiment on this forum.

    Our "football" on the other hand is definitely a North American sport. It's supposedly gaining some popularity in other countries but it has a long way to go. I have to say that we should have called it by some other name, since practically every other country knows football as what we (for some unknown reason) call soccer. And "football" describes the sport much better since the foot is used to move the ball. But whatever!

    No offense intended but I watched part of a cricket tournament here once and it was... not very exciting. In fact watching the grass grow rivaled the excitment of the match IMO. Granted I don't know the sport and it's difficult to enjoy a sport that you don't understand. As I recall one specatator explained to me that in one match, which already seemed to have gone on all day, one of the "teams" (or clubs or whatever you guys call them) had technically already won because, by the rules, it was impossible for the other "team" to win. But they were playing out the match anyway. Is this actually possible? This didn't make sense to me.
     
  12. House

    House Banned

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    So you don't consider raising well over $40m (add all the other money LAF has raised beyond the Live strong bracelets) to fight cancer "important?" As I said previously it depends on your definition of "important." Apparently the two of you consider being well known important, while I consider what you have done for the world.
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Fair points, Meehs.
    I think the point that I was trying to highlight is the sports that spread through the British Empire, like cricket, soccer and rugby have a vast geographical and demographical spread and following in the world.

    If you take India with a population of 1 billion people, cricket is literally a religion there.
    I kid you not.
    The children in the street, every street, have a bat and ball and are playing cricket.
    Ditto Pakistan.

    Cricket is a complex game and I agree with you, unless you know the rules and know what's going on, it can be pretty boring but that doesn't mitigate the fact that literally billions follow the game of cricket (all former British Empire countries).

    As regards your episode at your cricket match - yeah this could well be the case that a game already won by a team is still played out to the finish.

    Finally, I certainly wasn;t trying to be anti-American when I made my earlier post.
    If my earlier post caused offence, I am sorry, that wasn't my intention.

    I would love to see Baseball covered more over in this side of the world but there doesn't seem to be a media outlet here that will cover Baseball.
    I try to follow the sport from here (which is very difficult).
    I haven't enough knowledge of American football to follow the game.

    But if I could get baseball coverage over here, I'd watch it.
     
  14. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    The question of what "important" means, is the salient point.

    I commend Lance Armstrong for raising funds - it's great.
     
  15. Long Rider

    Long Rider New Member

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    Right on, House! I admire all great athletes, but like I said in an earlier post - this question seems to be viewed by many as a popularity contest. Not disparaging anyone's views as to what is "important" is good, but I like to see a reason for why a particular athlete IS important outside of the competitive arena. Like this cricket guy who boosted Australia or Lance with his cancer foundation (I myself was drawn to a fund raising event in March and raised $1,150 from myself, family and friends - Lance was having an impact cause I am the only rider in the bunch.) Also, athletes who have advanced race relations and broken down those walls have been huge in terms of impact and in my view should be considered "important" a la Ali, Robinson, & Owens.

    I'd like to know more about soccer icon Pele. Wait! I mean football star. He was huge in the world, came here and probably advanced soccer in the USA a great deal. For all you non-Americans out there, we now have a popular term here to describe mothers who have kids involved in the sport - they're generically called "Soccer Moms" and they usually drive a mini-van or SUV (sport utility vehicle.)

    Cricket is probably a terrific sport, if only I understood the terminology, rules, techniques, etc. I've been to England and seen it on TV at night and then in the next morning the same game, even inning, is going on. Is this a sadistic endurance sport? (For the viewers it certainly appears so.) How long can a bunch of nattily dressed guys stand around while 1 or 2 or 3? get to throw a ball at a target they hit once in a million tries and another guy wacks that ball in no particular direction and then trots to and fro. How can it take days(!) to determine the better team? OK - I must be one of those rush-rush Americans without the patience to observe a proper 3 day match.

    Have fun everyone!
     
  16. House

    House Banned

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    "...but..."

    That seems to be the next thing you want to say. Obviously you think "important" means popularity. It's ok to just come out and say it, you don't have to dance around it. Nobody is going to think you are a bad person.
     
  17. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I took a couple of my Polish friend to a college football games once. They seemed a little bored with the games I think due to not understanding the rules.
    They were more interested in the Pom-Pom girls and the Cheerleaders.
    "Cheerleaders! "GOD bless America"!
     
  18. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Cricket is a complex sport.
    There are test matches (lasting 5 days) and one day matches (lasting one day).

    The rules of the game are complex and very very detailed and to be honest
    it would take hours to explain it to you and to explain the terminology of the phrases used in the game of cricket.

    However, if you think the current brand of cricket lasting 5 days is boring, you'd have been really bored when the used to play timeless matches (which could go on for days on end) years ago.
     
  19. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    I understand your point Limerickman. I didn't mean to point to you personally or any other individual poster as being "anti-American", in fact I should've chosen my words more carefully. It's just more of a "feeling" I get reading through some of the threads sometimes. Anyway, no big deal and more importantly; no I was not at all offended by your post.

    I know that cricket is extremely popular in some places. And I'm pretty sure "football" (soccer) is unrivaled in it's worlwide popularity. This cricket tournament that I was referring to is an anual event that takes place at the National Sports Center, which is near where I work. It draws in a huge number of fans, most all of whom have moved to the USA from other countries where cricket is very popular. I had driven by several times over the years while the tournament was going on and saw these men playing some odd sport in these fancy, clean, white uniforms and thought "that must be cricket". One year I was driving by and decided to stop and check it out. I didn't mean to bash the sport. It's just I had no idea what was happening and found it to be boring. The spectators who knew what was going on seemed to be really enjoying it and were very friendly and eager to try to explain "their" sport to me.

    I have taken guests from other countries to baseball games on a few occasions and I found that they had similar reactions as I did to cricket. They didn't understand and found it quite boring I'm afraid. I think baseball is a bit simpler sport than cricket and I was able to explain the basics of the game. But even in a sport as simple as baseball there are various rules and subtleties that can't be easily explained in one game. One of my best friends is from Toulouse, France and he's a big "football" (soccer) fan. Before he moved to the USA I took him to a couple of baseball games and he really didn't enjoy it/didn't get it. Now that he has been here for about 8 years, he's a HUGE baseball fan. So I'm sure that with both sports it's probably just a matter of becoming familiar with the game.

    I imagine finding good baseball coverage in Ireland is probably similar to trying to find good cycling coverage here in the USA. We have a bit of coverage now, thanks to Armstrong's popularity. I only hope it continues after he retires!
     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Understood.

    I think getting cycling coverage in the USA is far easier to get than trying to get baseball coverage is here.
    Let me tell you.

    A couple of years back, there was a big push by, I assume, the American Football powers over in the USA to generate interest in the sport here.
    It was around the time of the William "The Refrigerator" Perry and the Chicago
    whatits.
    The interest lasted here for about a year and then died.
    I am just trying to remember the players names, was it Elway, or was it Marino ?
    I can't remember to their names to be honest.
    Interest faded anyhow.
     
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