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Michael Phelps-Greatest Athlete of All Time?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Deeper_Background, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Jim Brown

    They changed the friggin rules of Lax because of him.

    Didn't he letter in basketball as well at the 'Cuse?

    Oh, who is playing against on defense in swimming?

    Let's just throw Petty and Woods into the arguement as well if you want to add a stinking swimmer.
  2. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Phelps isn't the greatest athlete, but he is an exceptional one. And after the next Olympics he will be regarded as the greatest swimmer ever, if he isn't already.
  3. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    So the winner of the Olympic decathlon isn't a great athlete because nobody played defense?
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    You are bringing up something here that could jack the thread, but...

    If it does not have a ball, a scoreboard, a time clock or someone preventing you from doing your doing the goal of the game, I think it belongs in a different category of sports.

    When the Olympics started, the events (running, throwing, wrestling, swimming) were all activities that would make you valuable to an army. You know why it's called a marathon, right? These are all sports that are in their own classification. They are sports that are off shoots of everyday life in past times.

    Then you have individual sports where you are trying to do something against another person (tennis, NASCAR, horse racing), but you do not have teammates.

    Finally, you have team sports like baseball, football, basketball, rugby, etc... where you are playing against a team. I think your greatest athletes come from this group because when they do something remarkable, they are not doing it just against a clock or one other person, but they are doing it against 3-4-5 or more athletes poised and positioned to stop them. I think this is much more breathtaking than one guy swimming .017 seconds faster than another guy.

    Just my two cents.
  5. IU90

    IU90 Member

    This is bullshit on multiple levels.

    First, since when does the age of a sport define its legitimacy? Jousting and lions consuming Christians also preceded baseball and basketball as spectator sports, does that make them "more of a sport"?

    Second, I'm quite certain running is "older" than swimming. There's a reason humans have legs and lungs instead of fins and gills. We're naturally meant to be land creatures.

    Third, how do you think primitive man killed that food needed for survival? He certainly didn't swim it to death. Instead, he had to either HIT it with a stick, club, or fist; RUN it down and CATCH the little critter; or THROW or SHOOT a spear, rock or arrow at it.

    Primitive man could survive without swimming skills far easier than he could without some semblance of running ability and eye-hand coordination.
  6. Deeper_Background

    Deeper_Background Active Member

    He still looked like he could kick some ass at the Finals.
  7. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    Perhaps if Phelps swam with a stick...
  8. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    Only when he's aroused
  9. Captain_Kirk

    Captain_Kirk Well-Known Member

    that's got to slow your time down, though.

    Oh, and one more for consideration for greatest athlete, all time division: Babe Didrikson Zaharias
  10. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    I'd say running and jumping trump swimming as the Ur sports.

    And Jesse Owens, who once, in only 45 minutes, ran and jumped his way to three world records and tied a fourth, trumps any of Michael Phelps' single-day accomplishments.
  11. Baltimoreguy

    Baltimoreguy Member

    I brought this up during the World Championships:


    So Phelps already has six Olympic golds; if he wins another six or seven in 2008, will that give him more than anyone else in history? Of course it's virtually impossible to make the case for anyone as the single greatest athlete ever. But Phelps (with something like 5 world records at the most recent World Championships) has a much more legit place in the conversation that most people in this thread are allowing.

    I'm always fascinated by sport-specific phenoms; what if Phelps' mom had signed him up for lacrosse instead of swimming? What if Bob Bowman hadn't happened to be the neighborhood swim coach at that time? It's amazing to me that a kid who turned out to be nature's perfect swimmer happened into the best possible environment for nurturing his talent.
  12. Baltimoreguy

    Baltimoreguy Member

    Men's Journal - gayest cover of all time?

    (Not that there's anything wrong with that)
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