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Old 07-26-2009, 06:22 PM   #256
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i would have to put it as a two man race between federer and tiger for the best today...

of all time? i dunno... jim thorpe.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:26 PM   #257
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North Americans will nominate Wayne Gretzky 'cause he apparently had some ridiculous statistical record and dominance in his sport of ice hockey, as obscure that sport is to anyone outside of that continent. I really don't know anything about the sport though.
what in the name of wayne gretzky are you talking about?

a) mexicans don't watch hockey
b) the NHL gets very low ratings in the united states
c) canadians love that shit
d) try telling someone in eastern europe that hockey is an obscure park that nobody outside of north america cares about.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:33 PM   #258
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i'd also like to add that i consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about all sorts of sports... sure, i like basketball and baseball and football the most, because of where i was born... but i respect the greatness of those who are at the top of their game in more international type sports... tennis, futbol/soccer..heck, even f1 and the likes.

on that, i have never heard of this sir bardman before entering this thread. frankly i thought he played for the denver nuggets, or perhaps was a former fan of the chicago cubs. i am sure i am not alone in this. unless you come from a country where cricket is big, you've never heard of the cat.

he did not transcend his sport and his culture. you have all heard of jordan and ali. i think that negates bardman, as great at hitting a wicked googly as he may have been.
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #259
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a distinct lake of AFL in your sig dan
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:25 PM   #260
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I was going to put the tigers because of a family connection, but I wouldn't have been able to name any players!
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Old 07-26-2009, 07:26 PM   #261
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i'd also like to add that i consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable about all sorts of sports... sure, i like basketball and baseball and football the most, because of where i was born... but i respect the greatness of those who are at the top of their game in more international type sports... tennis, futbol/soccer..heck, even f1 and the likes.

on that, i have never heard of this sir bardman before entering this thread. frankly i thought he played for the denver nuggets, or perhaps was a former fan of the chicago cubs. i am sure i am not alone in this. unless you come from a country where cricket is big, you've never heard of the cat.

he did not transcend his sport and his culture. you have all heard of jordan and ali. i think that negates bardman, as great at hitting a wicked googly as he may have been.
Cricket is one of the most played sports in the world. To consider yourself knowledgable on sports in general and not have heard of Don Bradman is very strange. A man who is considered a god in India, who have over 1/7 of the world's population.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:03 PM   #262
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yes, well, considering as india has 1/7th of the world's population, that thus would explain that the sport is so "widely played and known" yet i have no idea who the heck it is.

in fact, i can not name one single cricket, um, player.

i can name many soccer players, tennis players, golfers, race car drivers, boxers, ice skaters, skiiers, competitive food eaters... but i can not name a single cricket dude. not one. and i have no clue who dave birdman is.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:25 PM   #263
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Actually, Bradman's cultural significance in Australia contemporarily is at least on par with the contemporary significance of Jordan in the US of A. And the Indians view Bradman and his legened as Godlike.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:30 PM   #264
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Originally Posted by dan_smee View Post
Cricket is one of the most played sports in the world. To consider yourself knowledgable on sports in general and not have heard of Don Bradman is very strange. A man who is considered a god in India, who have over 1/7 of the world's population.
I'm gonna roll with Headache on the Dan Brandan issue. I believe from what you guys say he is the best Cricket batter ever, but your argument about cricket being the most popular sort in India with its huge population and Bransan being a Vishnu like God there falls flat, cause he is not a transcendant figure world wide. If the population argument is valid, then the answer to this thread would be Zhuang Zedong or Forrest Gump, great ping pong players and Chinese national treasues, there's more folks in China than India.
I've never heard of Branlon untiol this thread and I'd venture a large percentage of those in the countries where cricket is not played have not heard of him either.
I mean, look at this map... World map of major cricket playing nations, Full Members and Associate Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) ...your argument is rather presumptuous based on the vast areas of the world where cricket is not played.
Obviously Hand Egg as you folks like to call it is pretty much a US sport, but the Super Bowl is televised to a huge percentage of the world...I've never seen the Grand Jiminy, or whatever India's cricket championship is called listed on TV and haven't ever read a blurb about it in a newspaper during my lifetime (and I'm likely older than most of you).
This brings me back to Ali, boxing is known throughout almost the entire world, and during Ali's career, heavyweight boxing was at its pinnacle, his most famous fights took place in Manila and Kinshasa, his appeal was worldwide. As I said before, if ESPN and the internet had existed in his time as they do now, he'd have been bigger than Bono, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bugs Bunny, Roseanne Barr, Josef Stalin and Peter Garrett rolled into one. I think Pele might be the only other possibility, and again the whole pre-internet/ESPN thing handicaps him against the Jordans/Gretzkys/Maradonas of recent time.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:44 PM   #265
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I admit that cricket is a minor sport in terms of scope and global participation levels (from some accounts it's appeal in India is even grossly exaggerated and the Poms are very apathetic these days (excpet Madforit!), it's declining in Australia, the associate countries don't really care that much, and South Africa overwhelmingly prefer Soccer (sport of the black population - it's popularity was/is often oversighted due to how black people weren't human beings during Apartheid, while cricket and rugby were white British sports), but again we still can't ignore the fact that Bradman, statistically, was roughly twice as good as all batsmen to precede and succeed him. 99.94! His closest rival was Pollock who had about 60 and he only played 20-odd tests so his average was probably exaggerated by the occassional 'not out' he might have had.

And just following on from cultural significance, he was an idol during the Depression here in Australia. People went not to the cricket, but to see Bradman do what he did. He was a beacon of hope and positivity amongst the gloom of depression in Australia.

And here's something interesting to ponder, no idea how it was developed because i am anti-maths...:

Quote:
Writer and scientist Charles Davis came up with the 'athlete sport statistic standard deviation', which he used to compile The Best of the Best. His top five, in reverse order, were:

5) Michael Jordan 3.4

4) Jack Nicklaus 3.5

3) Ty Cobb 3.6

2) Pele 3.7

1) Don Bradman 4.4


from: Will Buckley: Ali? Laver? Best? No, the Williams sisters | Sport | The Observer
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:55 PM   #266
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I just think that it all boils down to your own definitions and criteria. If we're talking global recognition along with achievements, then it likely cannot be Bradman. If global recognition or having the sport played as widely as others is not a factor, then Bradman is as good a candidate as any other.

While I am not 100% in concert with Headache's choices of words, I will agree with him in that I am a life long fan of sport, both current and historically, and I'd never heard of Bradman before this thread.....hence my asking so many questions. I got fascinated with the dude for 48 hours or so. And since I'd never heard of him it makes it hard for me to accept that he's #1 if we're using global recognition as part of the formula.

If forced to choose, applying global recognition and whatnot, I lean towards Pele.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:07 PM   #267
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I'm gonna roll with Headache on the Dan Brandan issue. I believe from what you guys say he is the best Cricket batter ever, but your argument about cricket being the most popular sort in India with its huge population and Bransan being a Vishnu like God there falls flat, cause he is not a transcendant figure world wide. If the population argument is valid, then the answer to this thread would be Zhuang Zedong or Forrest Gump, great ping pong players and Chinese national treasues, there's more folks in China than India.
I've never heard of Branlon untiol this thread and I'd venture a large percentage of those in the countries where cricket is not played have not heard of him either.
I mean, look at this map... World map of major cricket playing nations, Full Members and Associate Members of the International Cricket Council (ICC) ...your argument is rather presumptuous based on the vast areas of the world where cricket is not played.
Obviously Hand Egg as you folks like to call it is pretty much a US sport, but the Super Bowl is televised to a huge percentage of the world...I've never seen the Grand Jiminy, or whatever India's cricket championship is called listed on TV and haven't ever read a blurb about it in a newspaper during my lifetime (and I'm likely older than most of you).
This brings me back to Ali, boxing is known throughout almost the entire world, and during Ali's career, heavyweight boxing was at its pinnacle, his most famous fights took place in Manila and Kinshasa, his appeal was worldwide. As I said before, if ESPN and the internet had existed in his time as they do now, he'd have been bigger than Bono, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bugs Bunny, Roseanne Barr, Josef Stalin and Peter Garrett rolled into one. I think Pele might be the only other possibility, and again the whole pre-internet/ESPN thing handicaps him against the Jordans/Gretzkys/Maradonas of recent time.
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I just think that it all boils down to your own definitions and criteria. If we're talking global recognition along with achievements, then it likely cannot be Bradman. If global recognition or having the sport played as widely as others is not a factor, then Bradman is as good a candidate as any other.

While I am not 100% in concert with Headache's choices of words, I will agree with him in that I am a life long fan of sport, both current and historically, and I'd never heard of Bradman before this thread.....hence my asking so many questions. I got fascinated with the dude for 48 hours or so. And since I'd never heard of him it makes it hard for me to accept that he's #1 if we're using global recognition as part of the formula.

If forced to choose, applying global recognition and whatnot, I lean towards Pele.
Those arguements fall flat because it is only trhe US that doesn't know.

You can't disqualify someone just because he isn't known in the US. Like we have been saying - GLOBAL recognition, and I think that only serves the purpose of validifying the sport, rather than the individual. Cricket is played extensively on every continent (probably even antarctica!). Therefore global. Yes, even the US have a side that went to a world cup. I follow baseball reasonably, but I know nothing of the history of the game. Neither does most of the developed world, but that doesn't disqualify them or their acheivments.

I come back to the same arguement every time: To do this constructively and make it valid, for a player to be included in the discussion:

- Their sport must be global
- There must be a quantifiable individuality component in the sport (IE individual statistics or at least some measure that separates individual acheivments from the team)
- Greatness must be standardised: IE comparitively look at their acheivements in relation to others in their field.

I don't think anyone should be disqualified because some people here have never heard of them. Most people in the world know about Jordan through Nike rather than his basketball acheivments, as in most countries access to the NBA is highly limited (especially before the internet). That doesn't diminish his acheivements though. In the end, if Americans haven't heard of Bradman, that doesn't figure into the arguement: 1/23rd of the world's population not knowing doesn't equate.

I propose that we look ateach continent/general area, draw a best athlete from there and narrow the discussion to be more focussed. Probably look at the areas of North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Sub-Continent/Asia and Oceania.

I would put forward from each of these areas:

NA - Tiger Woods
SA - Pele
Africa - Haile Gebrselassie
Europe - Roger Federer
SC/Asia - ??
Oceania - Don Bradman

Woods - Still at the peak of his powers, the most dominant golfer of all time, staggering win/competitions played ratio

Pele - Widely regarded as the most skillful and greatest footballer of all time

Gebrselassie - 26 world records ranging from 2000 metres to Marathon distances. The greatest runner ever.

Federer - Same boat as Woods - surely we will never see anyone as powerful and dominant and consistant again.

Bradman - The single most dominant sportsman of all time. No-one has ever put such a gap between the best in a sport and second best statistically.

Bradman and Gebrselassie are probably above the pack.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:24 PM   #268
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The question mark over Pele for me is that he is not outright and undoubtedly the greatest footballer of all time. Zidane, Maradona, Cruyff are all tight with him up the top, and what about defensive footballers, who are less required to be spectacular, like a Yashin or a Beckenbauer, who are renowned for being ever-so-reliable in their roles.

With Bradman, I don't think I've ever come across any cricket fan or expert who doubts or questions his superiority. It's just fact. He is the greatest cricketer, and Murali, Gilchrist, Sobers, Warney and McGrath, as superb as they all were, still aren't given anywhere near the same level of regard as Bradman recieves. It's extraordinary.

And with Federer, there is always gonna be a question mark over his superiority if he can't beat Nadal. That suggest anything but dominance.

I don't know enough about Golf to say anything about Woods.
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:24 PM   #269
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And since I'd never heard of him it makes it hard for me to accept that he's #1
I think that is a very key point. No-one here will accept someone as being the greatest if they don't know about them. NSW has endeavoured to learn about someone he doesn't know about, and I would encourage others to do this with an open mind, as his feats are quite simply the most dominate in any sport ever
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Old 07-26-2009, 11:37 PM   #270
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The question mark over Pele for me is that he is not outright and undoubtedly the greatest footballer of all time. Zidane, Maradona, Cruyff are all tight with him up the top, and what about defensive footballers, who are less required to be spectacular, like a Yashin or a Beckenbauer, who are renowned for being ever-so-reliable in their roles.

With Bradman, I don't think I've ever come across any cricket fan or expert who doubts or questions his superiority. It's just fact. He is the greatest cricketer, and Murali, Gilchrist, Sobers, Warney and McGrath, as superb as they all were, still aren't given anywhere near the same level of regard as Bradman recieves. It's extraordinary.

And with Federer, there is always gonna be a question mark over his superiority if he can't beat Nadal. That suggest anything but dominance.

I don't know enough about Golf to say anything about Woods.
Agree re Pele, but football has to be recognised, as it truely is 'the world game'.

Woods for his dominance of an era where golf is at its most popular, Niklaus is an obvious choice, but I think woods consistency and the fact that he does it in the modern era of golf are astounding.

Federer and Nadal - it is a unique situation in the history of any sport. Argueably the two most talented players ever battling it out. Federer has been at the pinnacle for years, and Nadal is too young to know if he has the staying power to challenge. Laver, Sampras and Agassi are the only other three you could talk about in the same sentence, but none compare.

In 1932 when the Australian cricket side toured Canada and the US, Bradman met up with Babe Ruth in New York. Ruth took him onto the field at Yankee stadium after a game (where Bradman impressed him with his knowledge of Baseball, a game he'd only ever read about in newspapers, recognisng double-plays etc). One of the Yankees pitchers sent ball after ball at Bradman from the mound, and ball after ball disappeared over the fence. Ruth was shocked at Bradman's hitting abilities, and has been quoted saying "Thank God he wasn't born here, because no-one would know my name if he played baseball"

Baseball statisticians have looked at his cricket record, made comparisons between the two games and came up with a baseball batting average at a conservative estimate of his abilities: they came up with .396 over a career. Considering that Ty Cobb's record is .367, coming from statisticians involved in baseball, that is a hell of an endorsement.
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