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  • GOATness

    The topic of what it takes to be the GOAT is floating around on several threads right now. It deserves it's own.

    For me being the GOAT means putting up big numbers AND winning the big competitions AND showing longevity. Additional credit comes from spanning multiple events. Winning big competitions under duress is also worth extra credit. I imagine we all weight numbers, competitions, and longevity a little differently making for fun arguments.

    Given that I have to put Carl Lewis first as track GOAT. Bolt has the Big numbers down, one big meet under his belt, but needs to hang around for a while to be the GOAT. Al Oerter ranks high for me as does Edwin Moses. Bob Beamon and Bob Hayes do not.

    As far as olympic GOATs go Eric Heiden didn't hang around too long but he did win EVERY speed skating race. Phelps has numbers and is getting there on longevity. I think if he comes back in 2012 and gets another handful he's gotta be on the list.

    NEXT...

  • #2
    Time to dump the term GOAT. Completely over-used and non-determinant.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kurt Francis
      Time to dump the term GOAT. Completely over-used and non-determinant.
      May I suggest 'SHEEP'; Super Historical Enthused Entertaing Performer.
      Bolt is the SHEEPest of all time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Phelps is on the list...maybe not #1 but he's on the list. He's competed in 3 games...set his 1st wr in '01...7 years ago and has won 14 career golds.

        Also, can't penalize Hayes too much...hardly anyone competed in more than 1 or 2 games back in those days.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: GOATness

          Originally posted by mj
          The topic of what it takes to be the GOAT is floating around on several threads right now. It deserves it's own.

          For me being the GOAT means putting up big numbers AND winning the big competitions AND showing longevity. Additional credit comes from spanning multiple events. Winning big competitions under duress is also worth extra credit. I imagine we all weight numbers, competitions, and longevity a little differently making for fun arguments.

          Given that I have to put Carl Lewis first as track GOAT. Bolt has the Big numbers down, one big meet under his belt, but needs to hang around for a while to be the GOAT. Al Oerter ranks high for me as does Edwin Moses. Bob Beamon and Bob Hayes do not.

          As far as olympic GOATs go Eric Heiden didn't hang around too long but he did win EVERY speed skating race. Phelps has numbers and is getting there on longevity. I think if he comes back in 2012 and gets another handful he's gotta be on the list.

          NEXT...
          Heiden competed in two Winter Olympics - 1976 and 1980, although he was only 18 in 1976. He was World Champion in 1977-79, World Sprint Champion in 1977-80, World Junior Champion in 1976-77. In an era in which there was no money to be made from Olympic sports in this country, that was an eternity at the absolute highest level of the sport.

          Comment


          • #6
            I largely agree with mj's original post. Longevity, however, is a point that
            I would value less strongly. Being a Boltish number one for three or four
            seasons in a row, and then retiring, would be entirely acceptable for a
            sprint-GOAT from my POV. Having a career like Ottey's, OTOH, does not
            compensate for lack of golds---in particular, who knows how long her
            competitors would have been around, had they been motivated to stay in the
            game? (E.g. a discus-GOAT would need more time than a sprint-GOAT; however,
            not more relative to other discus throwers, just relative to sprinters.)

            Carl Lewis had longevity, and that is certainly a part of his greatness.
            However, do we need to consider longevity a separate factor? No---we can just
            count his golds. Whether he won 4, 2, 2, 1 golds in his respective Olympics,
            or 4, 4, 1, 0 does not really matter. In both cases, he has nine golds in the
            same set of events. (Nine golds in a different set of events would be valued
            differently.)

            Comment


            • #7
              GOATness

              Lewis one four golds at L.A. in a boycotted Games. He most likely would have won them had there been no boycott but we'll never know. He finished 2nd in the 200 in '88 where some said he choked to a flash-in-the-pan DeLoach. He didn't make the sprint squads for the '92 or '96 Games and won his fourth LJ medal with Powell and Pedrosa not up to par. He's not he greatest in my opinion.
              A distinction needs to made - pre professional and professional.

              Comment


              • #8
                Who in the hell is better than Carl? Sure, he didn't make the sprints in 92 or 96 but who else has made them for 3 straight Olympics coming from the US? He also made the Olympics in 1980 but was boycotted out. Yes, it does mean something to win a gold in 4 straight Olympics - especially an athletic event like the long jump. He was cost 2 more relay medals by a dropped baton and a stupid coach. You can argue someone is better in a specific event but NO ONE is better career wise!

                bambam - great poitns about Heiden - his accomplishments are always forgotten. If you argue, he had the best Olympics ever, it would be hard to argue a bettter one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by parkerrclay
                  ...but who else has made them for 3 straight Olympics coming from the US?
                  Michael Johnson, albeit in two individual events sandwiched between two relay-only appearances.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EPelle
                    Originally posted by parkerrclay
                    ...but who else has made them for 3 straight Olympics coming from the US?
                    Michael Johnson, albeit in two individual events sandwiched between two relay-only appearances.
                    I'm confused. MJ ran the 200m (and 4x4) in 1992, the 200/400 in 1996, and the 400/4x4 in 2000. Where are the relay-only appearances?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Finals. No confusion required.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: GOATness

                        Originally posted by Bauchwalzer
                        Lewis one four golds at L.A. in a boycotted Games. He most likely would have won them had there been no boycott but we'll never know.
                        who do you propose was a threat in any of his 3 events who wasn't there ?

                        as for deloach - he beat him in 19.75 to 19.79 - with those times, it's hard to say he choked as deloach equalled non-altitude wr - if he'd won in 20.1 to 20.2, then that sounds like a choke

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: GOATness

                          Originally posted by Bauchwalzer
                          Lewis one four golds at L.A. in a boycotted Games. He most likely would have won them had there been no boycott but we'll never know. He finished 2nd in the 200 in '88 where some said he choked to a flash-in-the-pan DeLoach. He didn't make the sprint squads for the '92 or '96 Games and won his fourth LJ medal with Powell and Pedrosa not up to par. He's not he greatest in my opinion.
                          A distinction needs to made - pre professional and professional.
                          Everyone is entitled to his own opinion; however, you might want to consider
                          what would have happened if a top-shape CL had been transported in a time
                          machine to this years games (modern tracks, but no benefits from training
                          improvements): Gold in the long jump, silver in the 200m, probably silver in
                          the 100m, and at least a silver in the 4x100m (assuming no dropped batons or
                          similar). In 2004 he might, on the outside, have repeated his four golds.
                          This with twenty years of progress to compete with...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            also, i never thought that ben johnson fiasco was ideal prep for 200

                            unlike 4y before or bolt today, he was cheated out of glory of crossing line 1st ( emotional letdown even if you are awarded gold ) & had to deal with endless questions about the situation whilst preparing for 200

                            you want to prepare quietly & diligently in those few days, not being hounded by journos who wanted more "ben" stories

                            in a way, i reckon ben did still cheat him out of a gold

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: GOATness

                              Originally posted by eldrick

                              who do you propose was a threat in any of his 3 events who wasn't there ?

                              as for deloach - he beat him in 19.75 to 19.79 - with those times, it's hard to say he choked as deloach equalled non-altitude wr - if he'd won in 20.1 to 20.2, then that sounds like a choke
                              Carl just ran out of gas. It was much easier in LA. In Seoul he took all six of his LJs, the day before the 200 final. And of course as you pointed out, all the emotional stuff after the 100.

                              Comment

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