Footnote Athletes


A place for the discussion of all things not closely related to the sport and its competitive side. (as always, locked for the duration of major international championship)

Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Per Andersen » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:53 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
Per Andersen wrote:Sprints - John Carlos. ITA happened so no Carlos-Borzov in "71 and '72.


It is hard to imagine anyone less of footnote than Carlos or as mentioned Campanella.

What is this thread about? The premise, as I understand, is about athletes who because of some misfortune, injury, or in most cases dying, never had a chance to show their early promise. Carlos had his chance: The 1968 Olympics and did relatively well, plus all of the other races he ran.

Carlos fits the bill. Social reasons. His career was unfulfilled in my opinion. He was on top of his game in 1969-70. So he turned to Football after the 1970 season. He was about 25. One more season and he could have met Borzov.

BTW Lew Hoad sure as hell was no footnote.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby gh » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:37 am

bijanc wrote:Baseball: Herb Score, Tony Conigliaro, Ray Fosse, Wayne Simpson, Lyman Bostock
Pro Football: Greg Cook, David Overstreet, Ernie Davis, Joe Delaney, Darryl Stingley
Basketball: Sherm White, Ed Warner, Roger Brown, Lenny Bias
T & F: Skeets Nehemiah, Steve Williams, Mary Decker, Ana Fidelia Quirot


Yikes! somehow my original response to this ended up on a banned thread.

Re Conigliaro, coincidentally, he was the answer to a trivia question on local baseball radio this afternoon. "Who hit the most home runs as a teenager?"
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby jhc68 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:13 am

Yeah I wondered if you had begun banning yourself!?!
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby KDFINE » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:48 am

Lindy McDaniel's younger brother Von. I think he won 15 games in his first or second season and did nothing after that, having arm toubles. Whoever it was that mentioned Karl Spooner was spot on. He was in double digits for strikeouts in his first two major league shutout wins,and then ran into arm trouble. I still have my all black Karl Spooner model Nokona baseball mitt.
Another genuine footnote athlete was Lowell Perry. I think he was NFL rookie of the year in '56 or so, broke his pelvis, and never played again. He played end for the Steelers and then I think may have moved into the front office.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby cullman » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:30 pm

Another player blacklisted by the NBA for failing to report a bribe attempt was St. John's two time All-American Tony Jackson.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/sport ... .html?_r=0

Roy Emerson is almost a footnote...even with his 12 Singles Grand Slam Titles from 1961-7.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:42 pm

cullman wrote:Another player blacklisted by the NBA for failing to report a bribe attempt was St. John's Tony Jackson.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/sport ... .html?_r=0

Roy Emerson is almost a footnote...even with his 12 Singles Grand Slam Titles from 1961-7.


If you are talking about a popularity contest, yea I guess Roy Emerson is a footnote.

I see this thread is becoming the endless nonsense I thought would happen. Some athletes are better remembered, for various reasons, than others. But really who cares? And it is infinite.

However, there are some interesting tales of athletes, such as Ken Hubbs and Lillian Board who were on the beginning of their careers and died or had a tragic accident. Sort of the James Deans of their sport. Or they did one extraordinary thing out of a rather mediocre career, such as MIke Donald who in 1990, twice, led by 2 strokes with 3 holes to go in the US Open and ended up losing the title. And it wasn't long til he was off the Tour altogether.

There are a lot of interesting names that I am sure people could come up with that I haven't heard of. Those are the real footnote people. Not some guy who won 12 GS titles, and no one cares about anymore.

Another way to look at is something like an article I read in The Economist years ago.
The article was about the type of person who would warrant an Obit in a newspaper, such as The Times but not a full biography. It was a fascinating article, with one example being
a Cambridge U. fellow, who if I remember right, bowled only one ball of first class cricket in his career and he got the great Don Bradman out on it.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby bambam » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:29 pm

Conor Dary wrote:It was a fascinating article, with one example being
a Cambridge U. fellow, who if I remember right, bowled only one ball of first class cricket in his career and he got the great Don Bradman out on it.


Like Archie "Moonlight" Graham
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby bijanc » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:48 pm

Mack Lee Hill.
Jim "Yazoo" Smith
Les "Sugar" Cain
Roy Foster (1970 Sporting News AL R.O.Y.)
Salvador Sanchez
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Bruce Kritzler » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:50 pm

Conor Dary wrote:I was in the building when top gymnast Gary Morava broke his neck on a mini-tramp at Southern Illinois. Unlike Brian Sternberg, in a similar accident, Morava didn't survive.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 19,5817279


And parents still buy trampolines for their backyards?
Last edited by Bruce Kritzler on Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:15 pm

bambam wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:It was a fascinating article, with one example being
a Cambridge U. fellow, who if I remember right, bowled only one ball of first class cricket in his career and he got the great Don Bradman out on it.


Like Archie "Moonlight" Graham


Or more recently....

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Gre ... aseball%29
Last edited by Conor Dary on Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby bambam » Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Bruce Kritzler wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:I was in the building when top gymnast Gary Morava broke his neck on a mini-tramp at Southern Illinois. Unlike Brian Sternberg, in a similar accident, Morava didn't survive.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 19,5817279


And parents still by trampolines for their backyards?


As an orthopaedic resident I treated three different people who were rendered quadriplegic from trampoline accidents. Absolutely, I think they should be banned. Hell, New Yorks bans large soft drinks, but we allow trampolines??? Yeah, that makes sense.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby 26mi235 » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:34 pm

DrJay wrote:Basketball-Sam Bowie. Fought injury far more often than healthy.

Alan Webb will eventually be on this list.


Bill Walton -- he hit 21 of 22 (22 of 23?) shots in the NCAA Finals, great college center, but fragile in his still very good NBA career.


He was not a footnote by any means, but think if Koufax had not had problems with his arm (problems that now would have been more easily addressed, and of course, he was throwing 300+ innings a year).
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby cullman » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:27 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
cullman wrote:Another player blacklisted by the NBA for failing to report a bribe attempt was St. John's Tony Jackson.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/02/sport ... .html?_r=0

Roy Emerson is almost a footnote...even with his 12 Singles Grand Slam Titles from 1961-7.


If you are talking about a popularity contest, yea I guess Roy Emerson is a footnote...

I said almost. :) Emmo was dominant in the mid-60s but is considered a footnote by many historians because most of his GS singles wins were during a period when Gonzales, Laver and Rosewall were barnstorming on the pro circuit.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby cullman » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:46 pm

Speaking of a "cup of coffee" in the big leagues...anybody hear of Larry Kwong? Kwong played one shift for the New York Rangers in 1948 and may go from footnote to Hall Of Fame. He later became a star playing against Jean Beliveau and Jacques Plante in the Quebec Senior League.

Link: Larry Kwongs Shift For Rangers in 1947-8 Broke A Barrier - NY Times
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Powell » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:52 am

bambam wrote:As an orthopaedic resident I treated three different people who were rendered quadriplegic from trampoline accidents. Absolutely, I think they should be banned. Hell, New Yorks bans large soft drinks, but we allow trampolines??? Yeah, that makes sense.


By that logic, aren't you shocked they haven't banned motorcycles (or cars, for that matter)?
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Pego » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:04 am

bambam wrote:
Bruce Kritzler wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:I was in the building when top gymnast Gary Morava broke his neck on a mini-tramp at Southern Illinois. Unlike Brian Sternberg, in a similar accident, Morava didn't survive.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 19,5817279


And parents still by trampolines for their backyards?


As an orthopaedic resident I treated three different people who were rendered quadriplegic from trampoline accidents. Absolutely, I think they should be banned. Hell, New Yorks bans large soft drinks, but we allow trampolines??? Yeah, that makes sense.


By the same logic, water-skiing should be banned, too. In the seventies-eighties, I would provide ER services to neuro trauma. Every season, we had several broken necks from water-skiing. What about young kids on four-wheelers? Each one a disaster waiting to happen.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby gh » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:24 am

cullman wrote:Speaking of a "cup of coffee" in the big leagues...anybody hear of Larry Kwong? ...


My mother knew him! She was also born in Vernon (5 years before him).
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:55 am

DrJay wrote:Basketball-Sam Bowie. Fought injury far more often than healthy.

Alan Webb will eventually be on this list.


Sam Bowie is the ultimate footnote! And the answer to the ultimate trivia question: Who was picked in the draft just before Michael Jordan. Chicago will be eternally grateful for the TrailBlazers selection.

AW on the other hand is a mixed bag. I would say yes, if he only broke Ryun's HS record and then was gone, sort of like Tim Danielson (a true footnote athlete, who is making a comeback, in the footnote lore: murderers who broke 4 minutes, are there any others?). But he did break the AR in the mile and did compete for a while. And if you were writing a book about American Milers he would have his own chapter. So I think no.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:04 am

cullman wrote:
I said almost. :) Emmo was dominant in the mid-60s but is considered a footnote by many historians because most of his GS singles wins were during a period when Gonzales, Laver and Rosewall were barnstorming on the pro circuit.


Okay, I sort of buy that. :)

The sixties for Tennis was weird. With the Pros and non-pros. I was just learning to play then, taking lessons from Jay Kramer, a nephew of Jack Kramer.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:53 am

Another footnote guy is a friend of mine, Tom Sullivan. Ryun broke his high school mile record of 4:03.5. Tom also broke Eliott's WJR 1500 and Ryun broke Tom's which is nice company. Sullivan by the way did go on to a decent running career at Villanova, but he never did break 4 minutes.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby kuha » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:10 am

A curious problem--defining "footnote" athletes. For me, someone like Tommy Fulton is a true footnote athlete, not an Olympic medalist and consistent competitor like John Carlos. Wes Santee doesn't qualify either, as he had at least 4 "normal" years as a competitor--in an era when that often represented a full career.

A quote I came across years ago and have always really liked has some relevance here. These are the words of a 1950s literary critic (F. W. Dupee), describing an interesting but obscure writer: "a wonder, a precious anomaly, at once great and small, easy to forget but delightful to remember."

I like that sentiment a lot.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby TN1965 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:21 am

Henry Rono and Daniel Komen.

Rono was a victim of two Olympic boycotts. Komen was probably as talented as Geb, but did not have the focus or discipline.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby kuha » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:25 am

TN1965 wrote:Henry Rono and Daniel Komen.

Rono was a victim of two Olympic boycotts. Komen was probably as talented as Geb, but did not have the focus or discipline.


Really? If so, I have no clue what the concept of "footnote athletes" actually is. These guys were giants who simply didn't win Olympic medals. That category, in itself, hasn't anything to do with being a "footnote."
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:31 am

TN1965 wrote:Henry Rono and Daniel Komen.

Rono was a victim of two Olympic boycotts. Komen was probably as talented as Geb, but did not have the focus or discipline.


Come on. Give me a break. Rono and Komen? Okay, they didn't run in Olympics. Big deal and so what? Sure they didn't have terrible long careers, especially Komen, but 7:20 is a footnote? Also 12:39 and the WC 5000 champ in 1997. So he didn't have a career like Geb. Who does?

And Rono, with 3 NCAA CC titles, 4 WRs in the magnificent 1978? Plus another 3 years later. A giant of his time. Almost like calling Ulysses S. Grant a footnote in the Civil War.

I am starting to wonder if anyone really knows what a footnote is.

If you want a footnote Kenyan I would go with someone like Simeon Kigen.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby TN1965 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:32 pm

If Vines, Hoad and Campanella qualify as "footnotes" then certainly so do Rono and Komen.

Okay, a "real" footnote. Brien Taylor in baseball. I remember this guy making the local news headline, as I was living in NC when he was drafted.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:57 pm

TN1965 wrote:If Vines, Hoad and Campanella qualify as "footnotes" then certainly so do Rono and Komen.

Okay, a "real" footnote. Brien Taylor in baseball. I remember this guy making the local news headline, as I was living in NC when he was drafted.


I have no idea who Vines or Hoad are. But yes, Campanella is definitely NOT a footnote.

http://www.amazon.com/Campy-The-Two-Liv ... +capanella
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby TN1965 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:29 pm

Conor Dary wrote: I have no idea who Vines or Hoad are. But yes, Campanella is definitely NOT a footnote.

http://www.amazon.com/Campy-The-Two-Liv ... +capanella


If you have no idea who Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad are, then that really proves bambam's point that they are "footnote" athletes. :wink:
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:35 pm

TN1965 wrote:
Conor Dary wrote: I have no idea who Vines or Hoad are. But yes, Campanella is definitely NOT a footnote.

http://www.amazon.com/Campy-The-Two-Liv ... +capanella


If you have no idea who Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad are, then that really proves bambam's point that they are "footnote" athletes. :wink:


Yes, if I the All Powerful Wizard of Sport Knowledge don't know who they are then they are footnotes...

Actually I use to follow baseball a lot, back in the 60's when Wrigley Field would have crowds of 800 and wouldn't open the Upper Deck on weekdays. Not much anymore.

PS. Brien Taylor. I had to look him up. Now there is a real footnote guy. Perfect example of what we want here.....

PPS. I read the whole wiki article. What a knucklehead. Sounds like he is on his way to do a Danielson-type comeback in the footnote category.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby bambam » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:16 pm

TN1965 wrote:
Conor Dary wrote: I have no idea who Vines or Hoad are. But yes, Campanella is definitely NOT a footnote.

http://www.amazon.com/Campy-The-Two-Liv ... +capanella


If you have no idea who Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad are, then that really proves bambam's point that they are "footnote" athletes. :wink:


I think that is my point - they have to be known primarily to the true cognoscenti in their sports, and not to the general public or basic sports fans. I don't think Rono qualifies, given his feats of the 4 world records in 1978(?)
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:50 pm

bambam wrote:
TN1965 wrote:
Conor Dary wrote: I have no idea who Vines or Hoad are. But yes, Campanella is definitely NOT a footnote.

http://www.amazon.com/Campy-The-Two-Liv ... +capanella


If you have no idea who Ellsworth Vines and Lew Hoad are, then that really proves bambam's point that they are "footnote" athletes. :wink:


I think that is my point - they have to be known primarily to the true cognoscenti in their sports, and not to the general public or basic sports fans. I don't think Rono qualifies, given his feats of the 4 world records in 1978(?)


That is a rather vague definition. So vague that it is meaningless. By that definition Paavo Nurmi is a footnote. I think I would be hard pressed to find many basic sport fans or the general public know who he is anymore. Or Derek Ibbotson or even Herb Elliot for that matter.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby kuha » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:34 pm

Conor Dary wrote:That is a rather vague definition. So vague that it is meaningless. By that definition Paavo Nurmi is a footnote. I think I would be hard pressed to find many basic sport fans or the general public know who he is anymore. Or Derek Ibbotson or even Herb Elliot for that matter.



Yes. The genuinely interesting "footnotes" have nothing to do with what "the general public" knows or remembers. By that standard, the entire sport (minus Bannister, Fosbury, Lewis, and maybe Al Oerter) is relegated to a footnote.

Here's a definition for you: Real t&f footnotes are athletes that close followers the sport would have paid attention to and been impressed by at the time--but who then fell out of "the sport's" collective conversation/memory absolutely entirely or effectively so. And why did they fall out of our collective memories? They had talent; in many cases remarkable talent. But they aren't remembered because they did not have long careers and never won the right races (or enough of them). This is a matter of talent, luck, persistence, and sometimes pure happenstance. As noted above, I nominate Tommy Fulton as one (of many) perfect examples of this category.

But NO one of the stature of Santee, Rono, Komen, etc., is remotely in that category. These guys are in the "athletes who perhaps weren't as great as we might have expected, or who got shafted one way or another in the Olympics." But that's something else entirely, and a category we've dealt with in the past.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:01 pm

Deciding who is a footnote or not by what the public thinks is a rather self defeating prophesy.
It would be similar to showing family photos to perfect strangers and deciding which to keep by what they thought of your pictures.

As noted elsewhere the public doesn't know or care about track much anymore. To give an example, at our local Park District I run into Tom Sullivan often and have introduced him to quite a few people I know who I think might be interested in his track background. People in their 50's, 60's etc. who follow sports quite a bit. When they find out he once held the HS mile record at 4:03, they are usually pretty astonished. When I tell them Ryun broke his record most of them have a vague memory of the guy. And if I ever tell them Sullivan broke Elliot's WJR for 1500, well...you might have as well be talking to the moon. I have never had anyone remember who was.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Dutra5 » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:45 pm

DrJay wrote:Basketball-Sam Bowie. Fought injury far more often than healthy.

Alan Webb will eventually be on this list.


The American Record holder in the mile is a footnote or will be? :?:
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Per Andersen » Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:01 pm

Conor Dary wrote:


Yes, if I the All Powerful Wizard of Sport Knowledge don't know who they are then they are footnotes...


How about Bil Tilden and Duncan Edwards, heard of them? Just testing :D

But let's go with Ivo Van Damme.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby kuha » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:12 am

Per Andersen wrote:But let's go with Ivo Van Damme.


A double Olympic silver medalist who has a major meet named after him? I think not. :lol:
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:34 am

Per Andersen wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:


Yes, if I the All Powerful Wizard of Sport Knowledge don't know who they are then they are footnotes...


How about Bil Tilden and Duncan Edwards, heard of them? Just testing :D

But let's go with Ivo Van Damme.


Edwards has been mentioned twice already.

And IVD? As kuha noted, I don't think so. What not Pre? :roll:
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby br » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:28 am

How about Tony Waldrop?

http://bringbackthemile.com/news/detail ... _his_story

In the mid-1970s, American middle-distance runner Tony Waldrop was lighting the track on fire. As a University of North Carolina senior, Waldrop set the world record for the indoor Mile, running a blazing 3:55.0 on February 17, 1974 in San Diego. Earlier that same year, he became the first man to break 4 minutes at the fabled Wanamaker Mile (3:59.7), and later in the year, Waldrop also set the still standing Penn Relays Mile record in 3:53.2, also his personal record (right, courtesy Track & Field News). In 1975, after staying at UNC as an assistant coach, Waldrop won a gold medal at the Pan American Games in the 1500m metric Mile event. However, as the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal approached, Waldrop, who used to wear a “Run for Fun” t-shirt at his post-race press conferences, abruptly retired, saying that he had met his goals as a runner. He subsequently went on to earn his PhD in physiology. Waldrop is currently the provost at the University of Central Florida. Bring Back the Mile’s Duncan Larkin spoke with Waldrop about his Mile career and the Mile.

And this from Runner's World...

http://www.runnersworld.com/college-run ... ny-waldrop

As a University of North Carolina senior in 1974, Tony Waldrop went on a run of a lifetime, posting nine consecutive sub-4:00 miles, setting an indoor world record (3:55.0) that would stand as the collegiate record until 2009 (when Oklahoma State freshman German Fernandez finally surpassed his mark with a technically superior 3:55.02 automatic clocking), and scorching the Penn Relays mile with a record 3:53.2.

Much has been made of how Waldrop, now Dr. Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at UNC, "pulled a Herb Elliott" and, a year later, was out of the sport for good. I tracked him down to find how he became a world-beater as an undergrad.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby kuha » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:04 am

Waldrop was definitely a name that I had on my immediate "short list." His name is basically not mentioned at all these days.
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby TN1965 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:49 am

Elena Mukhinia (broke her neck two weeks before Moscow Olympics).

Olga Mosteponova (the only gymnast in history to score 40/40, except it was not at Olympics or World Championships).

Diane Durham (should have been the top American gymnast in 1984).

Dmitry Bilozerchev (could have been the GOAT if not for an automobile accident).
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Re: Footnote Athletes

Postby no one » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:00 pm

Rick Dempsey ... ?
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