Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete ever


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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:37 am

marknhj wrote:As I've mentioned before, the most "athletic" female I've ever encountered is my friend who was on the USA figure skating team in ice dance. For all around "athletic" ability, she was a step above any track & field athlete I've been around.

Would you mind elaborating or linking your previous post about her?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby 18.99s » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:49 am

jazzcyclist wrote:Neither wrestiling nor MMA require the hand-eye coordination and stamina that boxing does, especially back in the days when they were still fighting 15 rounds.


If you want to talk about "back in the day", don't forget that MMA used to have fights with no time limits and/or very long rounds, and fighters doing 3 or 4 fights in a single night.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:52 am

j-a-m wrote:And then of course MMA fighters are even better athletes, because they combine the different skills.

I wouldn't say that. From the limited amount I've seen of it (it's most akin to watching a gruesome multi-car crash), 'viciousness' seems to be a prime ingredient. In one match one guy was clearly a better athlete and fighter, but the other guy was, what I would call, under other circumstances, a Sadistic Psychopath. The SP, after taking BRUTAL punishment for most of the match, finally got a hold of the other guy's arm and was wrenching it out of its socket, no skill involved at all, just a praeternatural desire to inflict pain. The ref stopped the contest and declared him the winner (sic) :shock:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby user4 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:04 am

Marlow wrote:
j-a-m wrote:And then of course MMA fighters are even better athletes, because they combine the different skills.

I wouldn't say that. From the limited amount I've seen of it (it's most akin to watching a gruesome multi-car crash), 'viciousness' seems to be a prime ingredient. In one match one guy was clearly a better athlete and fighter, but the other guy was, what I would call, under other circumstances, a Sadistic Psychopath. The SP, after taking BRUTAL punishment for most of the match, finally got a hold of the other guy's arm and was wrenching it out of its socket, no skill involved at all, just a praeternatural desire to inflict pain. The ref stopped the contest and declared him the winner (sic) :shock:


You are much too bold in exposing your ignorance of the fighting arts.

Simple man to man fighting is one of the 3 or 4 most pure athletic tests there is. Mental toughness, an extreme expression of what makes NFL football so appealing, is one of the bare components of sport. And so it will ever be.
Last edited by user4 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby 18.99s » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:06 am

Marlow wrote:The SP, after taking BRUTAL punishment for most of the match, finally got a hold of the other guy's arm and was wrenching it out of its socket, no skill involved at all, just a praeternatural desire to inflict pain. The ref stopped the contest and declared him the winner (sic) :shock:

That "wrenching his arm out its socket" took a ton of skill to get into position and execute the hold in a manner that would be inescapable by somebody with the strength and experience of his opponent. That move probably was practiced hundreds of times in training.

In a professional MMA fight, what looks like random brawling to the untrained eye is really a series of heavily practiced techniques. (There are exceptions, like Mark Hunt's "atomic butt drop" and some of the antics by Kazushi Sakuraba which must have been made up on the spot.)
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby user4 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:11 am

jazzcyclist wrote:Neither wrestiling nor MMA require the hand-eye coordination and stamina that boxing does, especially back in the days when they were still fighting 15 rounds.


The 15 round fight is a very recent invention (of the early 20th century). Most boxing matches of the 19th and first decade of the 20th were much longer and allowed for more standing grappling and pushing that tremendously taxed the athletes stamina. The boxing world actually became more brutal with the reduction to 15 rounds and the refs enforcing much more discipline in keeping/restraining the athletes from clinching. Once the 20+ round fight was history and the clinching and grappling removed the athletes and trainers began to focus much more of their training/strategy on knock out blows to the head.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby gh » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:59 am

I dislocated my elbow a few years back (falling out of a tree; don't ask), and while at the Nationals with my arm in a sling I was sitting poolside with a USOC medico. He was very familiar with my problem because he said that dislocating the elbow was a classic judo move. I assume he knew of what he spoke.

(he made it sound relatively "ordinary," but I ended up having to have an ulnar nerve transfer a year later)
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Pego » Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:43 am

gh wrote:I dislocated my elbow a few years back (falling out of a tree; don't ask), and while at the Nationals with my arm in a sling I was sitting poolside with a USOC medico. He was very familiar with my problem because he said that dislocating the elbow was a classic judo move. I assume he knew of what he spoke.

(he made it sound relatively "ordinary," but I ended up having to have an ulnar nerve transfer a year later)


Any loss of hand function?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby fortyacresandamule » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:01 pm

If athleticism is about, strength, power, endurance, body coordination etc.The only sport I know that truly defines all that is soccer.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:29 pm

Most soccer players have very little upper body strength and average or less hand-eye coordination. having said that, they do hit your other criteria quite well
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby gh » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:30 pm

Pego wrote:
gh wrote:I dislocated my elbow a few years back (falling out of a tree; don't ask), and while at the Nationals with my arm in a sling I was sitting poolside with a USOC medico. He was very familiar with my problem because he said that dislocating the elbow was a classic judo move. I assume he knew of what he spoke.

(he made it sound relatively "ordinary," but I ended up having to have an ulnar nerve transfer a year later)


Any loss of hand function?


I had to switch hands, but it feels so much better that way! :twisted:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:51 pm

18.99s wrote:That "wrenching his arm out its socket" took a ton of skill to get into position and execute the hold in a manner that would be inescapable by somebody with the strength and experience of his opponent. That move probably was practiced hundreds of times in training.

Excuse me, I can barely read that, what with the BS Meter going off so loudly in my ear! :D
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby aaronk » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:07 pm

"Sports Science to determine the real greatest athlete ever"

Huh!!

And the winner is.......

Marvin Frankenstein III of Transylvania!!

Coached by his "father", Dr Baron Von Frankenstein.

Dad calls his son "a self-made" man!!

:lol:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby cullman » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:31 pm

Are they going to do blood analysis and drug testing on the candidates? Just asking.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby fortyacresandamule » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:14 pm

Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Vielleicht » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:47 pm

j-a-m wrote:Glad to see you've become a fan of combat sports ... even though I'd say that wrestlers are better athletes than boxers. And then of course MMA fighters are even better athletes, because they combine the different skills.


And perhaps water polo - there's lots of struggling involved as well as immense coordination in the water
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby gh » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:15 pm

i had no idea that grabbing balls was a measure of athleticism!
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby 18.99s » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:33 am

Marlow wrote:
18.99s wrote:That "wrenching his arm out its socket" took a ton of skill to get into position and execute the hold in a manner that would be inescapable by somebody with the strength and experience of his opponent. That move probably was practiced hundreds of times in training.

Excuse me, I can barely read that, what with the BS Meter going off so loudly in my ear! :D


There's not a word of BS in what I wrote. There's a method to what looks like madness in MMA; that "random" rolling on the ground is really a series of attempts to get in position to apply or counteract an extensively practiced fight-ending hold like a rear naked choke, guillotine choke, triangle choke, keylock, or armbar.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:06 am

18.99s wrote:There's not a word of BS in what I wrote.

From what I read about MMA/UFC many matches are won or lost on 'fluke' attacks, not unlike when a boxer's jab suddenly hits just the right point and dazes the fighter enough to subsequently knock him out.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:03 am

fortyacresandamule wrote:Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.

They shouldn't. Or if they do, at least they should have zero chance of winning.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:07 am

fortyacresandamule wrote:Do golfers qualify as athletes? For if they do, we might as well called ball room dancers athletes also.

The fact that women can't compete with men tells me that there is some athleticism involved in golf, though John Daley proved that you don't have to be in shape. Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:10 am

user4 wrote:Most boxing matches of the 19th and first decade of the 20th were much longer and allowed for more standing grappling and pushing that tremendously taxed the athletes stamina.

Exactly; and in today's MMA you frequently hear commentators and interviewed fighters talk about the wrestling/grappling part being the one that requires more stamina than the boxing/kickboxing part.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:12 am

18.99s wrote:There's not a word of BS in what I wrote. There's a method to what looks like madness in MMA; that "random" rolling on the ground is really a series of attempts to get in position to apply or counteract an extensively practiced fight-ending hold like a rear naked choke, guillotine choke, triangle choke, keylock, or armbar.

That's correct. 18.99s knows what he or she is talking about, Marlow doesn't. Simple as that.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:15 am

dbirds wrote:Most soccer players have very little upper body strength and average or less hand-eye coordination. having said that, they do hit your other criteria quite well

Good point; the criteria to determine the best overall athlete should apply both to lower body and upper body strength/muscular endurance/etc.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:36 am

j-a-m wrote:That's correct. 18.99s knows what he or she is talking about, Marlow doesn't. Simple as that.

Actually, the correct distinction is that 1899 has a vested interest in the sport being perceived as 'legitimate' whereas I don't and don't even think it deserves the appellation 'sport' (though I agree that it is a very athletic endeavor). Brutal beat-downs (which is exactly what it is) has no place in our consciousness any more. Even the NFL realizes it has to get control of itself.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:13 am

jazzcyclist wrote:Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.

Including hand-eye coordination as one of the many criteria to determine the best athlete is fine with me. What we should also include then is auditory reaction time, which is something sprinters are particularly good at.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:26 am

jazzcyclist wrote:Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.

The golf ball is not moving. Try hitting a 103mph fastball or a big-league curve.
Or hitting a 4.3 wide-receiver, covered by a 4.3 DB, on a deep crossing pattern.
Or pulling up at the top of a key with a defender in your face, and hitting a jumper, nuttin but net!
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:54 am

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.

The golf ball is not moving. Try hitting a 103mph fastball or a big-league curve.
Or hitting a 4.3 wide-receiver, covered by a 4.3 DB, on a deep crossing pattern.
Or pulling up at the top of a key with a defender in your face, and hitting a jumper, nuttin but net!

All of those things are a lot easier to do and done with a lot more frequency than hole-in-ones on par-3 holes on the PGA Tour.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby lonewolf » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:17 pm

True, but those things are deliberate... has anyone ever made a hole-in-one on purpose?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:29 pm

lonewolf wrote:True, but those things are deliberate... has anyone ever made a hole-in-one on purpose?

I'm not a golfer but I thought all pro golfers aimed for hole-in-ones on par-3's, since they are usually short holes with few hazards. Perhaps bambam can weigh in.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:17 pm

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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:47 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:I'm not a golfer but I thought all pro golfers aimed for hole-in-ones on par-3's, since they are usually short holes with few hazards. Perhaps bambam can weigh in.

You didn't watch the Ryder Cup. Only desperate golfers (coming from behind) go for the pin on Sunday when the pin placement is on a precarious piece of real estate. Better somewhere on the dance floor than blasting out of the trap or fishing your ball out of the water. Discretion is often the better part of valor.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Vielleicht » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:21 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Also, I can't think of another sport that places as a high a premium on hand-eye coordination as golf does.

Table tennis!
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:34 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:I'm not a golfer but I thought all pro golfers aimed for hole-in-ones on par-3's, since they are usually short holes with few hazards. Perhaps bambam can weigh in.

You didn't watch the Ryder Cup. Only desperate golfers (coming from behind) go for the pin on Sunday when the pin placement is on a precarious piece of real estate. Better somewhere on the dance floor than blasting out of the trap or fishing your ball out of the water. Discretion is often the better part of valor.

No I didn't watch the Ryder Cup. How many par-3's are located on what you would call precarious pieces of real estate that demand caution? Based on a cursory glance of the map, on three of the course's four par-3's (holes 2, 13 and 17), the water hazard is right before the hole, so erring on the short side is not an option, and the fourth par-3 (hole 8) seems fairly wide open based on my layman's opinion. Here's the link:

http://www.rydercup.com/usa/course/tour/1
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby cullman » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:43 pm

dbirds wrote:1. Carl Lewis - has to be there

He won't be getting too many votes if they show the clip of him throwing out the first pitch at Safeco Field in 2003. :oops:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Pego » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:26 am

As a young neurologist, I had a good fortune to sit once in an informal chat with Sir John Eccles, perhaps the greatest neurophysiologist of the 20th century. To him, the greatest example of coordination was Henry Aaron. I still think it is a coloratura soprano :wink: .
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:40 am

Pego wrote:To him, the greatest example of coordination was Henry Aaron.


In 1934 Lou Gehrig had 579 at-bats. He batted .363 with 49 home runs and only 31 strike-outs.
Think about it.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:07 am

I would go with Ted Williams on this.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:14 am

Conor Dary wrote:I would go with Ted Williams on this.

And Rod Carew always seemed to get wood on the ball.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby dbirds » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:16 am

Here's what John Brenkus said on SportsChat today about the greatest athlete project:

Each week for the next 16 weeks, 5 athletes from each of these categories will be chosen: football, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, boxing, combat, soccer, track and field, Olympics, endurance, auto racing, action sports and then two special categories: game changers and multisport athletes.

The public will vote on one each until 16 athletes remain then they will be matched head to head until there is a winner.

The metrics used to determine this are: Strength, power, speed, quickness, reaction time, endurance, durability, in addition to weighing in on an athlete's resume, clutch performances and the overall difficulty of their sport. Each athlete will be scored in each category, not only against their peers (the other athletes they played with during their era) but also against every athlete who has ever played the sport (position).

He said, the data for these come, "Through historical biomechanical studies and video analysis. We have a very effective way of coming up with very accurate numbers even for athletes we haven't had in our lab. We devised a ranking metric that allows us to put an athlete's ability in a historical context."

Regarding the distinction between greatest player and greatest athlete, John said, "There have been a lot of lists that have determined the greatest player. But being an athlete is a different analysis. We are not discounting how great of a player an athlete was, but we're factoring in different aspects, for example, we will look at strength, power, speed, quickness, reaction time, endurance, durability, in addition to weighing in on an athlete's resume, clutch performances and the overall difficulty of their sport. We feel this is a comprehensive metric that covers every aspect of being a great athlete."

He also indicated women are included and his team has been working on it for 6 years; he acknowledged Lebron James is one of the 5 finalists in basketball and he implied that Jim Brown and Wilt Chamberlain would be included as well. On the initial podcast, the host listed Jackie Robinson, Billie Jean King, Jesse Owens, Mia Hamm and Wilma Rudolph as example of the "game changers" category. I am not sure if these are examples or the exact finalists chosen although I am leaning towards the latter. He encouraged the fans to vote and he added, "We are comfortable with the five athletes we've nominated in each sport. I'm not worried about the popularity contest, because having a lasting impact on the public is part of being the best athlete. Each athlete should be a part of the discussion. I think you'll like the candidates, but if you don't, write in your own."

Here's the full chat: http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/ ... ce-brenkus
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