Most important athlete of all-time?

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

  1. Long Rider

    Long Rider New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am impressed that you can mention names like Elway, Marino, etc. They were 2 of the very best to play quarterback - that's the guy that gets the ball to start most plays and who usually throws it to or hands it to another teammate. He's the leader of the offense. William "The Fridge" Perry played for the Chicago Bears in the mid-1980s and scored a touch down (not his normal role, he was just so darned big he could not be stopped on the 1 yard (meter) run he did) in the Super Bowl ('85?) they won. I am from Chicago and that team, with quarterback Jim McMahon, running back Walter Payton (one of the very best), and a terrific defense was one of the best teams ever. They lost only one game all year long which very rarely happens. Enough about American "football". Now for the important stuff: if I ever come to Ireland you must take me to a cricket match (one day version, please) or to a pub to watch one on the telly and slam down a pint or three. Cheers! LongRider
     


  2. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    yeah, it was 1985 (20 yrs ago !).
    Budweiser wear launching their European brand in this side of the world and
    the NFL decided to use this opportunity to spread the word.
    John Elway and Dan Marino were the names as you you correctly state.
    There was a big push to get people interested in the game at around that time in Britain and Ireland.
    Chicago Bears beat the Miami Dolphins if I recall that Superbowl in 1985, correctly.

    As regards Cricket, you're gonna laugh after my telling you how popular it is.
    Cricket isn't a popular game here in Ireland !
    A lot of it has to do with cricket being viewed as a british game and being elitest.
    It has an image problem here and thus never gained widespread support.

    But you're more than welcome to visit, I'll bring you to a pub and we can watch an American football match !
     
  3. meehs

    meehs New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with your being impressed with Limerickman's knowledge of sports that are unpopular in Ireland. I couldn't name even one top cricketer!

    I remember the NFL's attempt to increase the popularity of American football using William "The Refrigerator" Perry. One of their many feeble attempts at increasing the popularity of the sport I'm afraid! :eek:
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    Just trying to think of any other names from American Football that might be know here (which might give you some idea of how little is actually known).
    Was there a guy called Emmet Smith ?
    Dan Marino's name I do know.
    John Elway as well.
    That is my entire knowledge of US Footballers !
    And these people are probably long since retired !

    Have you guys ever heard of David Beckham ?
    Diego Maradona ?
    Jonny Wilkinson ?
     
  5. Long Rider

    Long Rider New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2004
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think Beckham is a tabloid cover star isn't he? Actually didn't he leave some powerhouse team Manchester United and go to a non-British club? Is he like the best player now? I kept seeing a title for something - a movie? - "Bend it like Beckham" some months ago. Could he work in steel construction?

    Let's see - Maradona, she's a blond, sexy singer - Material Girl, Like a Virgin (she's certainly not that!), etc. were her big 80s hits (yeah, I'm stuck there with the Bears who defeated the NE Patriots actually 46-10 in that Stuper Bowl, but the Miami Dolphins are a team and the Patriots with an entirely new team at this time, of course, have won 3 of the last 4 Super Bowls if I am not mistaken - they have a great coach, terrific, headsmart QB and a lot of team chemistry.)

    Yes, there was, and still is an Emmitt Smith. He may play one more year but the guy now holds the all time rushing record and is one of the very best. "Rushing" means getting the ball from the QB and trying to run as far as possible before 300lb. (136kg) guys tackle him, or to the "end zone" with the ball to score 6 points and he was very good at it. But, the guy who was probably better, and had he a better team in front of him would hold that all time rushing record was Barry Sanders. Even without the support of a great team, he probably would have surpassed Smith had he (Sanders) not retired early. The moves and runs he had were phenominal and electrifying.

    Now comes Wilkerson. He founded a razor blade manufacturing company, The Wilkerson Sword Blade Company if I'm not mistaken.

    How'd I do? Yeah yeah... LAME, I know. What's an ill-informed American to do? I think I get the BBC on my Television - could that cure me? Don't answer that you guys, I am ashamed enough already.

    Ride well!
     
  6. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    Not a bad guess, LR.

    David Beckham did play soccer for Man Utd but has since played for Real Madrid
    in Spain.
    He's also married to Victoria "Spice Girl" Beckham : a girl who couldn't sing and is famous for looking like a stick insect.

    Luke warm on Maradona. He's a former Argentinian soccer player and regarded as possibly the greatest soccer player ever.
    I can't say for definite that he ever entered the Top 40 with a song however.
    Mrs Guy Ritchie is a better singer but I doubt she could play soccer as well as
    Diego.

    Jonny Wilkinson : shares his surname with a razor blad manufacturer of the same name, as you say, but JW is an England rugby player who looks too young to shave but is a superb rugby player.

    Good effort though, LR.
     
  7. meehs

    meehs New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    0
    Beckham has become a pop icon as much as a football star so I definitely know who he is. I also know about Maradona from my French friend that I talked about previously. Never heard of Wilkinson though. Sorry!
     
  8. jcueto

    jcueto New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Too narow list. You can include:
    Michael Jordan
    Mark Spitz

    Jose
     
  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,607
    Likes Received:
    341
    As long as we are name dropping,anyone remember 1976 and Bruce Jenner.
    Jean Claude Killy 1968.
     
  10. baj32161

    baj32161 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    2
    Well I would simply assume that if he is asking us in this forum, then he means important to US...and that would be US in THIS forum.

    BTW....Muhammad Ali

    Lance Armstrong...to those who answered Lance....why?
     
  11. House

    House Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    850
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are asking why Lance, then I ask you have you read the answers in this thread? It's rather obvious why people say Lance.
     
  12. baj32161

    baj32161 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    2
    While I do agree that LA is one of the most important athletes of our age. I don't think his overall importance (in a global sense) can match that of, say Ali or Pele...I just don't see him having the same social relevance. I am a huge fan of LA so before you flame me...I was just ssking why you would choose him. I have read many of the answers, however I guess my idea of important differs from many of the posters in this thread.
     
  13. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    I think the word - important - is the sticking point here.

    What is the definition of important ?

    Is it - increasing the awareness of the sport on a worldwide stage ?
    Is it - improving the overall standard within the sport at a given time ?
    Is it - cpaturing the imagination of people who do not necessarily follow a given
    sport ?

    I think the combination of all of the above, predicated my selection of
    Donald Bradman as the most important athlete.

    I'd put Merckx, Diego Maradona, Muhammed Ali, Pele, Rod Laver, Roger Bannister (first 4 minute mile), Fangio as the most important/influential athletes as well.

    They all improved recognition of their given sports, worldwide.
    They all increased the performance levels across their given sports.
    They're all household names across disparate geographical and demographic
    strata. (ie they're known to people who don't follow their respective sports).
    They all participated in their respective sports which are recognised and participated in and followed, by huge worldwide fandom.
     
  14. House

    House Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Messages:
    850
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not flaming you, I was merely asking. There is a certain group that would say something like you said simply because they dislike Lance (such as the post above which lists criteria that Lance meets, but he won't include him). I think anyone who has raised the amount of money to fight a worldwide disease and increased awareness of it is very socialy relavent. I am a soccer coach and marvel at Pele, but he had little social relevence beyond soccer. I don't see how someone who has raised well over $40m for one of the worst diseases in the world does not have global social relevance.
     
  15. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Messages:
    10,607
    Likes Received:
    341
    House, I deeply respect Lance and his contribution to society but if we are to get into social impact I will enter the names Schewitzer,Curie and Guttenberg for starters.
     
  16. mitosis

    mitosis New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    0
    The point is, LA has only done this in the US. There is an enormous amount of the world that isn't the US.

    Pele was entertaining player on the field and a dynamic personality off it. That, and the fact that football (what most of the world calls football) is played in every country in the world (in many it is like a religion) would put him way ahead of LA as far as world importance goes because of the positive effect he has had on billions around the world.

    How, because every kid in every third world country would know of him and dream that they could be a Pele too. You only have to look at the skills of kids kicking rolled up banana leaves around every little African village to see that.

    Nothing against LA, but he is not widely enough known to be in the competition of most impotant athlete of all time. :)
     
  17. steve

    steve Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2001
    Messages:
    5,271
    Likes Received:
    214
    done!!!!!!
     
  18. mitosis

    mitosis New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,539
    Likes Received:
    0
    See my post (78). Michael Jordan and Mark Spitz have the same problem as Lance. Great sportsmen but not well known outside their country and their sport. ;)
     
  19. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    I think Mark Spitz deserves to be in the list.
    He did bring swimming to a new level and I well recall rooting for him as a youngster in Munich in 1972.
    It was a fantastic performance.

    Michael Jordan's name doesn't resonate with me as strongly, I've got to say.
    But that's just me.
    I know of his popularity in the USA.
    But I think Spitz name resonates more strongly.
    Just my view.
     
  20. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    16,130
    Likes Received:
    115
    I'd like to see Fanny Blanckers-Koen in the list.
    Who's she ?
    Only the most successful female track and field athlete ever.
    This lady won 4 gold medals in the London 1948 Olympic games.
    She was voted the most successful female athlete ever.

    Koen, from Holland, was a fulltime mother and missed out on the prime of her career due to WWII.
    Her achievement at London at the age of 30 and a mother of two small children
    makes her a very important athlete, in my estimation.

    http://www.olympic.org/uk/athletes/heroes/bio_uk.asp?PAR_I_ID=79842

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/athletics/3427741.stm
     
Loading...
Loading...