Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Great American Hero

Gangsta D:

Is Lance Armstrong the greatest American athlete of all time?
No. He may be the greatest endurance athlete of all time,
but I can't put him above Jim Thorpe, a guy who dominated
what 3-4 sports in his prime. Can't put him above Jordan.
Endurance is one thing, but having your talent and
intelligence to dominate a sport where you can't control
all the variables counts for more. I might not be able
to put him above Carl Lewis, or maybe it's a tie.
He gets clowned, rightfully so, but what he did in track and
field for ten years is pretty astonishing.
So what's the verdict?
Da Realist:

there is a difference in being a great player and
being a great athlete. being a great player in an
american sport requires athleticism, but also a great
deal of skill. rip hamilton is the best conditioned
in the nba, but is he the best player? i think not.

being a great athlete may take skill, but it is mostly
a physical thing. what can your body accomplish?
when you're talking about riding a bike up to 30 mph,
riding up and down steep mountains for 2 weeks
straight, and most importantly, preparing yourself all
year to do just those things and do it better than
anyone has ever done it 7 years running....THAT'S AN

i'm extremely impressed by what lance has done. i do
think he is the best athlete in our generation. but i
say this mindful of the idea that it's hard to make a
comparison with other sports.
Gangsta D:

Let me be argumentative...just for the sake of
being argumentative. Would a person who dominates
super marathons, let's say for seven years in a row,
be considered a great athlete. Super marathons are
sometimes 40-50 miles. What about dominant tri-athletes?
There really is no right or wrong answer, but perspective
will shade opinion. I think he's a great athlete,
and the strength and endurance he has is extroardinary.
But he peddles. Hate to reduce it to it's simplistic
terms, but he peddles really fast. In terms of pure
athletic achievment, I don't know if I can say he's
the best of our generation...
Da Realist:

he peddles?  that's like saying kobe bryant runs,
jumps and flicks his wrist.

the tour de france is a GRUELING event. 2 weeks up
and down mountains racing against the best (yes,
diallo) ATHLETES in the world, traveling up to 30 mph!
and think about the preparation it takes to be able
to push your body like that. there is no offseason.

lance may not be the best athlete, but PLAYERS like
joe montana, michael jordan and wayne gretsky are not
even in the discussion. you would have to suggest
tri-athletes or distance runners or rock climbers or
something like that.

You guys sound like Sports Reporters yesterday. Jason
Whitlock got clowned for diminishing Lance's
accomplishments. I think what Lance did was
extraordinary. However, who besides the avid biking
fans and the sports media care about his accomplishment??
You think the casual fan is sitting around discussing
how impressive Lance's streak is. Puhlease, it's as
appealing to them TV shows on the UPN.....

For example, this morning, what was the first topic
of discussion among everyone. No not Lance's brilliant
win but about Hustle and Flow. Think about it
Gangsta D:

So do race car drivers belong in the category. 
They have to have incredible strength and
endurance to drive a two ton machine at speeds
almost reaching nearly 200 mph for four
hours. They drive 500 miles an event every week for
9 months. I'm not downing his athleticism. It's an
inspirational story, he is without question the best
ever in his sport, and I would pass out after
about 10 miles, but I just don't buy the superlatives.
Da Realist:

in race car driving, the CAR is going the work.

and yeah, i saw sports reporters yesterday. i don't
disagree with jason, but this discussion is about
athleticism, not popularity. if we're going to talk
about the most popular "athletes", then give me
michael jordan or muhammad ali. but if we're strictly
talking athletic prowess, i'll take lance.

diallo, ride a bike.

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