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EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

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  • EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

    It seems the U.S. has lost much of its appreciation of track and field, both for homebred athletes, and for those abroad such as Prerec,Sotomayor, Bubka and Guevara. No more summer meets on network t.v., no track stars on the Wheaties box (Jenner, Mathias, Bragg), and no Dream Mile coverage in ESPN the Magazine or "Sports Illustrated". This minimal coverage and fandom probably effects the regard track stars are held in,as witnessed by ESPN's list of the Top 50 North American athletes of the last century. I imagine sports journalists cast these votes. I particularly note that Carl Lewis garnered only the 12th most votes,Kersee was out of the Top 20 at #23,no U.S. decathletes were named among the top 50,and Jim Thorpe was # 7. Edwin Moses did not star in as many events as Thorpe, Lewis, Owens, Zaharias (# 10)or Kersee, but do you think his lengthy dominance merits a finish higher than 47th?

    Sure, these things are subjective, and fame and impact (Ruth over Thorpe, no Rafer)were taken into account. But if impact counts, why Jackie Robinson,a stellar long jumper, great halfback, conference basketball scoring leader, and baseball All-Star at a position he learned at 28,out of the top 10 at number 15? Will track ever come back?

    Bijan

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Babe Ruth
    3. Muhammad Ali
    4. Jim Brown
    5. Wayne Gretzky
    6. Jesse Owens
    7. Jim Thorpe
    8. Willie Mays
    9. Jack Nicklaus
    10. Babe Didrikson
    11. Joe Louis
    12. Carl Lewis
    13. Wilt Chamberlain
    14. Hank Aaron
    15. Jackie Robinson
    16. Ted Williams
    17. Magic Johnson
    18. Bill Russell
    19. Martina Navratilova
    20. Ty Cobb
    21. Gordie Howe
    22. Joe DiMaggio
    23. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    24. Sugar Ray Robinson
    25. Joe Montana
    26. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    27. Jerry Rice
    28. Red Grange
    29. Arnold Palmer
    30. Larry Bird
    31. Bobby Orr
    32. Johnny Unitas
    33. Mark Spitz
    34. Lou Gehrig
    35. Secretariat
    36. Oscar Robertson
    37. Mickey Mantle
    38. Ben Hogan
    39. Walter Payton
    40. Lawrence Taylor
    41. Wilma Rudolph
    42. Sandy Koufax
    43. Julius Erving
    44. Bobby Jones
    45. Bill Tilden
    46. Eric Heiden
    47. Edwin Moses
    48. Pete Sampras
    49. O.J. Simpson
    50. Chris Evert

  • #2
    Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

    There are 3 track athletes in the top 10. What are you complaining about?

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    • #3
      EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

      It was more an observation, and an invitation to dialogue than a complaint. There are precious few track fans about to ask their reaction to such a list. My main questions were regarding people's reactions to Lewis at # 12 and Kersee at #23, but there were others. It's about fun, and not in the spirit you took it in.

      Bijan

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

        "It's about fun, and not in the spirit you took it in."

        Sorry if I misunderstood your intent. Sounded like you were listing all the stuff you didn't like and I wondered if you noticed that track athletes made up a decent chunk of the top 10.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

          These things are meaningless, because there is no rhyme or reason to them. If it's just US, why are Canadians there? If the Canadians count, perhaps more of them would qualify. Is it just people? Is Secretariat the only non-human that belongs there then? Perhaps Rin-Tin-Tin should be mentioned with all the greats of the film.
          "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
          by Thomas Henry Huxley

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

            Ahem Al Oerter? 4 olympic titles and he doesn't make the list?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

              >These things are meaningless, because there is no
              >rhyme or reason to them. If it's just US, why are
              >Canadians there? If the Canadians count, perhaps
              >more of them would qualify. Is it just people? Is
              >Secretariat the only non-human that belongs there
              >then? Perhaps Rin-Tin-Tin should be mentioned
              >with all the greats of the film.

              At least there are no race car drivers. But you would think at least one cyclist would make it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

                These things are totally biased. They reflect the culture and biases towards certain sports in the country. Sorry but Jordan wasn't a more dominant athelete then Gretzky(look up the record books) or Ruth. Ps Thorpe would get more credit for football then track because his football career went till he was nearly 40 years old.

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                • #9
                  Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

                  "Thorpe would get more credit for football then track because his football career went till he was nearly 40 years old."

                  That's an interesting observation, and probably true when applied to those who voted. I think his legend stems, arguably, from his Olympic feats, in a wider sense.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

                    Its not T&F related but how do you have a list of the top 50 athletes of the 20th century and not have Dan Gabel (Wrestling) on the list?

                    The entire Soviet Union spent 4 years looking for someone who could beat him and then in the Olympics they didn't have anyone who could even score a point off of him and he had a very badly messed up knee. He won the Olympics injured and without giving up a point. His fitness level was beyond most people comprehension.

                    Also the ommision of Al Orter is also absurd.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: EPSN Top 50, and how T & F stars rated

                      "Also the ommision of Al Orter is also absurd."

                      That is for sure.

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