Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete ever


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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Lord_Zanus » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:12 am

In general its true that the simplest test of athletic ability is the ability to adapt and fit in no matter the sport or task. So it would probably surprise you to know just how goofy and uncoordinated some of the best players in a specific sport are when they're placed outside of it. Those guys who can run an amazing route, but shoot a basketball like a 12 year old girl. The hurdler who glides through the race but catches a baseball as if its made of radioactive sewage. I've played with, grew up with or simply seen a lot of former professional athletes and I would have to say, that you would surprised. Im surprised Randy Moss didnt get a mention?

Anyhow, i'll use myself as an example. At my best I had a 46" vertical, ran a NFL timed 4.17 in the 40, triple jumped 46' the 1st time trying it. Ran a 4:40something in the mile. Been able to flip rather easily since the 3rd grade, no Ryan Lochte but i've been able to competently swim since 5th grade. Never met a db who could cover me, and never met a reciever who I couldnt cover. Volleyball was pretty easy, but I never enjoyed it. Uncle had a tennis fetish for a while and I realized then that if I could afford the lessons I might be pretty decent at it. For some reason I didnt play soccer much if ever. I hate baseball to this day so whatever I could have done there is pointless to me lol. Point being there was never a time where I felt out of place or that I couldnt develop by simply being more involved in the sport/activity.

But guess what, one of my friends growing up was probably equal if not a better athlete than me. In high school he was 6'4", ran 13.8 in the 110's, if not for an awful coach would have jumped well over 7' in the hj(6'10 five times). Was a 23' long jumper(same bad coach), could have been the most effective reciever if not for the jump coach also being the wide recievers coach as well...He never let either of us play, so my friend quit. I believe he also played baseball as well as gymnastics....

So im interested to see how this test will be done with people who no longer play or exist...
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:09 am

Lord_Zanus wrote:ran a NFL timed 4.17 in the 40

Attestation required! :wink:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:40 am

Lord_Zanus wrote:Anyhow, i'll use myself as an example. At my best I had a 46" vertical, ran a NFL timed 4.17 in the 40

Come on man! :lol:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby repmujhgih » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:58 am

Lord Zanus must be Deion "Prime Time" Sanders according to this list...

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Fastest_time_in_40_yd_in_NFL
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:34 am

repmujhgih wrote:Lord Zanus must be Deion "Prime Time" Sanders according to this list...
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Fastest_time_in_40_yd_in_NFL

Cool list. If I had to bet, the fastest people to ever run 40y would be

Darrell Green
Herb Washington
Bo Jackson
Deion Sanders
Napolean Kaufman
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby user4 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks Lord Zanus. your honesty has inspired me so I will also mention that as a youth I ran a 4.3 40 and never met a NCAA D1or NFL dB that I could not blow by while I was wearing steel toe shoes after a hard day on the work site. The reason I say this is that the real amazing thing was that I could never get more than a few shots below the 76 par at the Augusta National course nor could I hit better than .360 off of MLB pitchers, and things could get uglier for me when facing a Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson. This is kind of shocking I know, but that is just how freaky nature can be.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Lord_Zanus » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:04 pm

I would assume that the skepticism is based on the idea that you guys put any stock into "nfl timed" 40's in the first place. I've coached track for over a decade and have always thought 40's were b.s. Which is why I said "NFL 40"....So if anyone thinks I was bragging or boasting, understand that I know 4.17 isnt "real". That day I ran five 40's and the average was 4.39....None of which, even if they were 4.6 would have been legit in my opinion unless they were FAT. Keep this in mind when you assume i'm just throwing out numbers or just flat out lying. The vertical for example is as real as my chest hair. Not everyone who resembles an athlete is playing professional sports. Or even wants to for that matter.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:21 pm

Lord_Zanus wrote:I've . . . always thought 40's were b.s.

Some are; some aren't. :wink:
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:29 pm

Marlow wrote:
repmujhgih wrote:Lord Zanus must be Deion "Prime Time" Sanders according to this list...
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Fastest_time_in_40_yd_in_NFL

Cool list. If I had to bet, the fastest people to ever run 40y would be

Darrell Green
Herb Washington
Bo Jackson
Deion Sanders
Napolean Kaufman

I doubt very seriously that Bo Jackson is in the top ten since his 100 PR was only 10.44, and I'm pretty sure that Trindon Holliday, Jacoby Ford and Jeff Demps are on it.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:38 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:I doubt very seriously that Bo Jackson is in the top ten since his 100 PR was only 10.44

??!!
40y = 36m, a very different distance than the 100m. Ask Herb or Houston or any other jet-starter would couldn't reach or sustain a high top-end speed. We are JUST talking about great 'accelerators' in the 40. I'm pretty sure that Barry Sanders couldn't run a great 100, but did anyone have a better 1st and 2nd gear?
Last edited by Marlow on Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:40 pm

Marlow wrote:
Lord_Zanus wrote:I've . . . always thought 40's were b.s.

Some are; some aren't. :wink:

The 40's run at the NFL combine using the current SAT timing system are a pretty good measuring stick for comparing runners from one year to another. I don't much stock in times run at any other place. The thing to remember is that Chris Johnson ran his 4.24 at the same place, using the same timing system, on the same running surface and the same clock operator as was used when Jacoby Ford ran his 4.28 and when Trindon Holliday ran his 4.34.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC0R1Paj0tA
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:52 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:I doubt very seriously that Bo Jackson is in the top ten since his 100 PR was only 10.44

??!!
40y = 36m, a very different distance than the 100m. Ask Herb or Houston or any other jet-starter would couldn't reach or sustain a high top-end speed. We are JUST talking about great 'accelerators' in the 40.

I'm fully aware of the fact many explosive sprinters who excel indoors, lack the top end to be competitive outdoors and vice versa. However his 55m PR is only 6.18 according to the Auburn media guide. You do the math and keep in mind that at the NFL combine you don't have starting blocks and you run on field turf instead of Mondo.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:57 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:his 55m PR is only 6.18 - You do the math and keep in mind that at the NFL combine you don't have starting blocks and you run on field turf instead of Mondo.

The math tells me that he was an SEC football player who dabbled in the 60 on pure athletic ability. Not unlike Deion Sanders and Herschel Walker and myriad others.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:23 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:his 55m PR is only 6.18 - You do the math and keep in mind that at the NFL combine you don't have starting blocks and you run on field turf instead of Mondo.

The math tells me that he was an SEC football player who dabbled in the 60 on pure athletic ability. Not unlike Deion Sanders and Herschel Walker and myriad others.

Also not unlike John Capel (6.48 @60), Leonard Scott (6.46 @60), Jeff Demps (6.52 @60), Trindon Holliday (6.54 @60)and Jacoby Ford (6.51 @60), all football players who managed to run very fast indoor times two months after football season and 10.0x in the outdoor season while dabbling in track like Jackson.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby user4 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:47 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:his 55m PR is only 6.18 - You do the math and keep in mind that at the NFL combine you don't have starting blocks and you run on field turf instead of Mondo.

The math tells me that he was an SEC football player who dabbled in the 60 on pure athletic ability. Not unlike Deion Sanders and Herschel Walker and myriad others.

Also not unlike John Capel (6.48 @60), Leonard Scott (6.46 @60), Jeff Demps (6.52 @60), Trindon Holliday (6.54 @60)and Jacoby Ford (6.51 @60), all football players who managed to run very fast indoor times two months after football season and 10.0x in the outdoor season while dabbling in track like Jackson.


Very well said, but I would put Walker in the later category: fully an elite sprinter. Im still amazed that no NFL team could find a place for Scott.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:01 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Also not unlike John Capel (6.48 @60), Leonard Scott (6.46 @60), Jeff Demps (6.52 @60), Trindon Holliday (6.54 @60)and Jacoby Ford (6.51 @60), all football players who managed to run very fast indoor times two months after football season and 10.0x in the outdoor season while dabbling in track like Jackson.

All those you cite took track very seriously and trained for it. Deion Sanders could have smoked all of them, but he and Bo and Herschel just ran track as an after-thought to football.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:03 pm

Marlow wrote:Deion Sanders could have smoked all of them.

You don't know that. There's a big difference between 10.26 (Deion's PR) and sub-10, so it's just idle specualtion and conjecture to say that Deion would have run faster than the guys I listed who also chose football over track when they left college, just like Deion and Bo did, although Scott and Capel were forced to return to track after they couldn't cut it in pro football. What I will concede is that Bo and Deion were splitting their time three ways (football, baseball and track) and not just two ways (football and track). If Deion had run 10.0x while in college, I would concede sub-10 ability, but I won't concede it based on a 10.26 PR.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Lord_Zanus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:19 am

Marlow wrote:
Lord_Zanus wrote:I've . . . always thought 40's were b.s.

Some are; some aren't. :wink:


In the sense that they arent FAT, they all are. And this isnt even saying that the runner needs to reqct to a gun. It could be something as simple as breaking a beam which starts the clcok and breaking another to stop it.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Lord_Zanus » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:41 am

jazzcyclist wrote:
Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:I doubt very seriously that Bo Jackson is in the top ten since his 100 PR was only 10.44

??!!
40y = 36m, a very different distance than the 100m. Ask Herb or Houston or any other jet-starter would couldn't reach or sustain a high top-end speed. We are JUST talking about great 'accelerators' in the 40.

I'm fully aware of the fact many explosive sprinters who excel indoors, lack the top end to be competitive outdoors and vice versa. However his 55m PR is only 6.18 according to the Auburn media guide. You do the math and keep in mind that at the NFL combine you don't have starting blocks and you run on field turf instead of Mondo.


I coached a guy who had prs of 6.1 & 6.58 and during a workout that same year I secretly timed him in the 40 enroute to a 50 or 60. During the actual rep I hand timed the run at 4.2x. But I then went home and clocked it on the computer using dartfish and got 4.54. In terms of the 100m he's faster than Chris Johnson and Bo Jackson but slower than Trindon Holiday. So in one sense you have a point in that he may not be in the top ten, but you would have to also consider the inconsistancy in timing from athlete to athlete. Especially when it comes to a distance so shirt.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:58 am

Lord_Zanus wrote:
Marlow wrote:
Lord_Zanus wrote:I've . . . always thought 40's were b.s.

Some are; some aren't. :wink:


In the sense that they arent FAT, they all are. And this isnt even saying that the runner needs to reqct to a gun. It could be something as simple as breaking a beam which starts the clcok and breaking another to stop it.

At the NFL Combine, they only stop the clock electronically, but they also use the same starter (Mark Gorscak) year after year to start the clock. Anyone who's watch him knows that he's pretty consistent when it comes to disallowing rolling starts and all the other shenigans that players might try to get away with.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:45 am

jazzcyclist wrote:At the NFL Combine, they only stop the clock electronically, but they also use the same starter (Mark Gorscak) year after year to start the clock. Anyone who's watch him knows that he's pretty consistent when it comes to disallowing rolling starts and all the other shenigans that players might try to get away with.

Really?! I thought the clock starts automatically when their hand leaves the electronic starting pad. If not, I don't care HOW good he is; he is human and therefore subject to variances.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby gh » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:14 pm

j-a-m 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.

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.


Are sprinters really "particularly good" at reaction time? Good sprinters have lots of fast-twitch fibers, but that's not what transmits nerve impulses, and I've never heard there was any link between the two.

Indeed, there was a study in the early '70s by the Soviets, who ran reaction-time tests on all their "sportsmen," as they liked to call them. Of all the sports, guess which one's performers as a group tested best? Would you believe.... wait for it.... chess players! Seriously.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:23 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:At the NFL Combine, they only stop the clock electronically, but they also use the same starter (Mark Gorscak) year after year to start the clock. Anyone who's watch him knows that he's pretty consistent when it comes to disallowing rolling starts and all the other shenigans that players might try to get away with.

Really?! I thought the clock starts automatically when their hand leaves the electronic starting pad. If not, I don't care HOW good he is; he is human and therefore subject to variances.

Watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC0R1Paj0tA
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Dave » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:39 pm

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


As a former pro golfer I will say that I think ball room dancers actually have to have a much greater degree of athletic skill than golfers. We just had to become automatons. Dancers are pretty athletic in many cases. There was a book in the 70s called The Ultimate Athlete and the author concluded he did not know who the ultimate athlete was, but he bet he/she was a dancer.


In the mid to late 60's Sports Illustrated had an American male ballet dancer on the cover. They proclaimed him to be the best athelete in the world. Not sure if anyone can provide a point to that.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:10 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC0R1Paj0tA

OK, sonuvagun, I did not know that. And it makes no sense, but they can do as they wish. His human error (I don't care how good he is) induces several hundredths of a second error into every time. It really IS time (pun!) for the NFL to go to track FAT.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:17 pm

Marlow wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC0R1Paj0tA

OK, sonuvagun, I did not know that. And it makes no sense, but they can do as they wish. His human error (I don't care how good he is) induces several hundredths of a second error into every time. It really IS time (pun!) for the NFL to go to track FAT.

The NFL has considered going to FAT but there's a lot of pushback because they know the times will be slower. My suggestion would be for them ween the scouts and players off of SAT times by publishing duplicate sets of times (SAT and FAT) for a few years until people have a sense of what the difference is, and then after three or four years, switch to FAT cold turkey.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby cullman » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:05 pm

Dave wrote:In the mid to late 60's Sports Illustrated had an American male ballet dancer on the cover. They proclaimed him to be the best athelete in the world. Not sure if anyone can provide a point to that.

SI did an article on New York City Ballet's Edward Villella. Villella was a boxer and baseball player in college and married former Canadian Figure skating champ, Linda Carbonetto.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby j-a-m » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:43 pm

gh wrote:Are sprinters really "particularly good" at reaction time? Good sprinters have lots of fast-twitch fibers, but that's not what transmits nerve impulses, and I've never heard there was any link between the two.

Correct, all I meant to say is that they are good at it because they specifically train for it. Part of becoming a great sprinter is learning how to have a good start, and that includes improving one's auditory reaction time.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Vielleicht » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:59 pm

j-a-m wrote:
gh wrote:Are sprinters really "particularly good" at reaction time? Good sprinters have lots of fast-twitch fibers, but that's not what transmits nerve impulses, and I've never heard there was any link between the two.

Correct, all I meant to say is that they are good at it because they specifically train for it. Part of becoming a great sprinter is learning how to have a good start, and that includes improving one's auditory reaction time.

I remember reading that even ace F1 racers actually don't have übermensch reaction time as is opposed to what people believe, and I would find it very doubtful that sprinters excel the average humans in the raw reaction section, though they certainly do much much better that non-athletes to get the first movement executed - so it's all semantics about how reaction is defined?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Dave » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:20 pm

cullman wrote:
Dave wrote:In the mid to late 60's Sports Illustrated had an American male ballet dancer on the cover. They proclaimed him to be the best athelete in the world. Not sure if anyone can provide a point to that.

SI did an article on New York City Ballet's Edward Villella. Villella was a boxer and baseball player in college and married former Canadian Figure skating champ, Linda Carbonetto.


That was who I was trying to remember. I wonder if their kids became athletes or dancers.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Vielleicht » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:19 am

j-a-m wrote:
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.

Anyone has an idea about how much endurance NFL players have?
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby KDFINE » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:05 am

Yeah, but soccer players have better foot to eye coordination. I doubt that top flight soccer players are lacking in upper body strength, just look at the likes up Didier Drogba and Sol Campbell. I suspect that most soccer players probably could hold their own in pull-ups with participants in other sports.
The idea that "Sports Science" is going to determine the greatest athlete ever on the basis of whatever means that intend to is ludicrous anyway.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:29 am

Vielleicht wrote:
j-a-m wrote:
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.

Anyone has an idea about how much endurance NFL players have?


Not much.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby user4 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:45 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


Kyle Rote, a reasonably talented soccer player, did win the Superstars competition a few times. Just saying. What this back and forth points to for me again and again, one name, Thorpe!
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:44 am

Vielleicht wrote:
j-a-m wrote:
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.

Anyone has an idea about how much endurance NFL players have?

Defensive backs can probably run a little. By the nature of what they do, they have to be able to. When Bill Arnsparger was the coach at LSU, they concluded their practices with wind sprints, but defensive backs had to typically run at least twice as much as everybody else, and it was common for the other players to see the defensive backs still running after they had showered and were on their way home.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Marlow » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:32 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Anyone has an idea about how much endurance NFL players have?

NFL pre-season camps are no picnic, that's for sure. They go into the season VERY fit. Once the season starts, the regulars get game-fit, which is a specialized kind of fitness, which mere mortals would find insanely difficult to reach, like NBA regulars who can go up and down the court with enormous aerobic AND non-aerobic fitness. As mentioned, Pro soccer midfielders are ridiculous in their ability to sprint, jog, walk, sprint, jog, walk for 90+ minutes.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:55 pm

Whatever defense has to face Oregon this bowl season will spend a good portion of December running their asses off, and you can take that to the bank.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Dave » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:09 pm

jazzcyclist wrote:Whatever defense has to face Oregon this bowl season will spend a good portion of December running their asses off, and you can take that to the bank.


The have scored 70 points so far this afternoon.
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:02 pm

Dave wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Whatever defense has to face Oregon this bowl season will spend a good portion of December running their asses off, and you can take that to the bank.


The have scored 70 points so far this afternoon.


I was thinking about the Ducks as an exception to the fitness rule....On to USC!

And Florida is down by 10 with 7 minutes to go....
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Re: Sports Science to determine the real greatest athete eve

Postby jazzcyclist » Sat Oct 27, 2012 3:30 pm

Conor Dary wrote:
Dave wrote:
jazzcyclist wrote:Whatever defense has to face Oregon this bowl season will spend a good portion of December running their asses off, and you can take that to the bank.


The have scored 70 points so far this afternoon.


I was thinking about the Ducks as an exception to the fitness rule....On to USC!

And Florida is down by 10 with 7 minutes to go....

Actually they're down by 8. Final score:

Georgia 17 - Florida 9

By the way Florida beat LSU 14-6, and who can forget LSU's 9-6 OT win over Alabama last year. How is Oregon going to react when they get in a dogfight like this? What are they going to do when they have to face a defense that has the athletes to make a football field seem as small as a basketball court?
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