tiger? meh.

i hate espn.com.  they stash good content under the pay-to-read insider section, the ads are too big and too plentiful, and they (like ESPN the network and, well, tara reid) can\’t seem to get tom brady\’s c*ck out of their collective mouth. 

that said, they\’ve got the best sports website out there. 

one of the cooler features is the sports nation poll, the results of which are now available in a cool state-by-state, color-coded results pop-up.  it\’s actually pretty nifty.  err.  i mean, it rawks.

the current question caught my curiosity:  \”Is Tiger Woods the greatest individual athlete of all time?\”  without giving it much thought, i selected \”yes,\” clicked submit, and expected to see– if not an overwhelming majority– at least a 50-50 split.  as of right now, it\’s 70-30 No. 

really?  i understand that he may be fairly overrated right now, given his recent dramatic successes.  but who would you put above him?  floyd bannister?  jesse owens?  carl lewis?  or are people thinking of the success of certain \”team\” athletes, like jim thorpe or bo jackson or michael jordan?  maybe.  but i think that it\’s not a fair comparison.  as talented as jordan was, he had a decent supporting cast for most of his career to float him on off nights– both physically and mentally.  (well, save for luc longley, but let\’s not get picky.)  tiger and other individual athletes can rely only on themselves; and, in my book, he\’s the best.  even if i am in the minority.







5 responses to “tiger? meh.”

  1. alex Avatar

    I agree with you about most team sports athletes. If winning is the criteria, it’s been widely written that one of the ways Jordan learned to win was by letting his team do the work, and then turning it on in key spots at the end of quarters, and the end of games. However, does that diminish his overall talent level? He was, there is very little doubt, the best player in the NBA for that era, if not ever.

    But so then what about Barry Sanders? I like the Bo Jackson reference also. Those guys were damn damn good and supremely talented athletes. What about Mike Vick? Are we talking about insane athletic talent? He’s kind of got that.

    I think it’s a rotten question, unqualified. If you’re going to say greatest athlete, you almost have to either let it be every athlete ever, or break it into team and individual sports. And if you do the latter, I’m sorry, but it’s still not Tiger, although I’ll give you credit for having the right answer in your arguments.

    It’s Jim Thorpe.

    Read Olbermann/Patrick’s book on SportsCenter and I think they either cover this exact topic, or they come close. KO’s section on Thorpe is right on the money. I won’t say that Tigger won’t eventually be the best ever, but right now he’s not even the best in his own sport. Right now it’s still the Bear. If Tiger stays healthy, when he passes Jack then we can talk greatest ever. If his career gets shortened by injury, then maybe he’ll creep up the current list. But let’s hope not, I think he does have potential to be the greatest ever.

    By the way, greatest Team Athlete? It might be Lou Gehrig. Then again, that might just be the case of typhoid that I’ve got talking…

  2. wadE Avatar

    First you have to take the leap of faith that golf is a sport. 😉
    Ok, let’s assume that it is. There isn’t a single golfer alive or dead that I would consider the greatest athlete. I’d agree with Alex in that from what I’ve read and heard, it would be Jim Thorpe. More recently I would argue Dave Winfield. But today we don’t have a system set up where athletes play multiple sports and can showcase their athleticism. Unlike the early part of the centure, our best athletes don’t participate in the Olympics, nor do they participate in events like the Decathalon which measures athleticism about as good as any sport/event. About as close as we’ve gotten today is Bo, Jordan, and Deion.
    On a side note: if we start putting Tiger up there as “greatest athlete” what about Lance? He dominated in a way that may never be duplicated. In any sport.

  3. anderswa Avatar

    SG seems to agree with my similarly-named colleague from ‘tonka:

    “One national writer declared Tiger the greatest athlete of all time,’ which is an interesting theory given that he doesn’t run or jump, someone carries his bag, fans aren’t allowed to make noise or snap pictures while he’s playing — and he still loses to guys who cower at the sight of a treadmill. He may throw a baseball like Ray Kinsella’s dad, for all we know.”

    i guess i was considering tiger’s seeming mastery of the mental aspect of golf to put him above others. but that really doesn’t have a lot to do with athleticism at its root. and it’s a good point about lance.

  4. alex Avatar

    Yeah but the thing about Lance is. . . he dominated one race a year. Yes, it’s really quite impressive, I’m not saying it isn’t, but does that elevate it above feats in other sports?

  5. anderswa Avatar

    yes, but it did garner him this, if only briefly:


    /nothing to sneeze at

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