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Look At This News Guys.

angiel
08-22-2006, 07:48 PM
Tiger isn't best golfer, or top athlete, yet




(August 22, 2006) — No one was more swept up by Tiger Woods' easy victory Sunday in the PGA Championship than ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski, who already has crowned Tiger as the "all-time," "greatest individual athlete in American sports" and rates him on the top shelf with the greatest athletes in team sports, too.

I'm a huge fan of Tiger and enjoy watching him dominate his competition while making history, but it is much too early to hail him as the No. 1 all-time U.S. golfer, let alone the best male athlete.

Here are my rankings of ESPN.com's 20 nominees for the best-ever male athlete in American sports:

Jim Brown (arguably the best athlete in two sports: football and lacrosse), Jim Thorpe (landslide pick for the top athlete of the first half of the 20th century), Jesse Owens, Babe Ruth (a great pitcher before he dwarfed hitters like no one else ever has —including Barry Bonds), Michael Jordan (easily the best basketball player), Jack Nicklaus, Willie Mays, Wayne Gretzky (easily the best hockey player), Wilt Chamberlain (the best basketball big man and a top-notch volleyball player and track man), Magic Johnson, Muhammad Ali (might be No. 1 in terms of impact, but I'd rank him behind others as a boxer), Carl Lewis, Joe Montana (best at the most important position in the NFL), Tiger Woods (lots of time to catch Nicklaus but he still has work to do), Ted Williams, Jerry Rice, Pete Sampras, Lance Armstrong, Larry Bird and Hank Aaron.

Surprising omissions from the ESPN.com ballot include Barry Bonds (not that I object), Roger Clemens, Bob Mathias, Rafer Johnson, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Bo Jackson. One way for Woods to close the gap on Nicklaus and climb the list would be to take charge and lead the United States to a victory in next month's Ryder Cup. Woods has a modest 7-11-2 record in four Ryder Cups. Nicklaus was 17-8-3 in six Ryder Cups.

angiel
08-22-2006, 07:51 PM
Woods not greatest athlete ever ... yet

Tiger is history’s most talented golfer and most dominant athlete of his generation, but Ali remains king

By Peter Schmuck - The Baltimore Sun

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Tiger Woods is the most talented golfer of all time. I don’t think there is much doubt about that anymore.

He might be the most dominating professional athlete of his generation, which is saying quite a bit when you consider that Michael Jordan was still at the peak of his career when Tiger burst into the American consciousness.

But I have to take issue with my good friend and ESPN.com columnist Gene Wojciechowski for his column Sunday rating Tiger as the greatest individual athlete of all time.

I guess we’re going to end up arguing semantics here. Tiger clearly is one of the most dominant individual sports superstars in history — and I’ll be the first to admit that he has brought a whole new level of athleticism to the PGA Tour — but it’s still tough for me to view golfers on the same physical plane as, say, boxers, track and field athletes and pro tennis players.

Tiger is playing so well right now that it’s almost hard to imagine him losing another tournament, but if he is the greatest “athlete” of all time, how do you explain him ever losing to a guy who looks like John Daly?

I haven’t done the research, but I’m willing to bet that Pete Sampras never lost a tennis match to a guy who weighed 280 pounds and smoked three packs a day. Golf is a game of tremendous skill, discipline and concentration. I might even concede that it is the most difficult individual sport to master, but Tiger isn’t where he is because he can do more pushups than Sergio Garcia.

This is in no way an attempt to discount Woods’ accomplishments or the work he puts in to be an imposing physical presence on the golf course. I’m not saying that golfers are not athletes. Far from it. I am saying that you can play on the PGA Tour without possessing world-class athleticism, but you can’t win Wimbledon or set a dozen world swimming records without being a world-class athlete.

The reason why there’s a rush to anoint Tiger is because he is more than an otherworldly golfer. He is a social phenomenon and a worldwide sensation, and he deserves every accolade that comes his way while he rewrites the history of golf. But I submit that Muhammed Ali was a better athlete who also took his sport to a new level and will endure as a much more dynamic historical figure.

What this debate comes down to, as I mentioned earlier, is semantics. Woods has ascended to a rare altitude because he embodies a unique combination of skill, athleticism and cultural significance. In that regard, he almost rises to the level of Ali among the most important figures in the history of sport.

If that particular combination of qualities is what we now use to determine who is the greatest “athlete” of all time, then I suppose you can make the case that Tiger is in the ballpark. If it is just the level of domination over a particular sport — without regard to the current popularity of the athlete or the marketability of the sport in question — then this coronation might be a bit premature.

angiel
08-22-2006, 07:56 PM
Woods among greatest athletes ever, but not quite No. 1


Originally published Aug 22, 2006

Peter Schmuck



Tiger Woods is the most talented golfer of all time. I don't think there is much doubt about that anymore.

He might be the most dominating professional athlete of his generation, which is saying quite a bit when you consider that Michael Jordan was still at the peak of his career when Tiger burst into the American consciousness.

But I have to take issue with my good friend and ESPN.com columnist Gene Wojciechowski for his column Sunday rating Tiger as the greatest individual athlete of all time.

I guess we're going to end up arguing semantics here. Tiger clearly is one of the most dominant individual sports superstars in history - and I'll be the first to admit that he has brought a whole new level of athleticism to the PGA Tour - but it's still tough for me to view golfers on the same physical plane as, say, boxers, track and field athletes and pro tennis players.

Tiger is playing so well right now that it's almost hard to imagine his losing another tournament, but if he is the greatest "athlete" of all time, how do you explain him ever losing to a guy who looks like John Daly?

I haven't done the research, but I'm willing to bet that Pete Sampras never lost a tennis match to a guy who weighed 280 pounds and smoked three packs a day. Golf is a game of tremendous skill, discipline and concentration. I might even concede that it is the most difficult individual sport to master, but Tiger isn't where he is because he can do more pushups than Sergio Garcia.

This is in no way an attempt to discount Woods' accomplishments or the work he puts in to be an imposing physical presence on the golf course. I'm not saying that golfers are not athletes. Far from it. I am saying that you can play on the PGA Tour without possessing world-class athleticism, but you can't win Wimbledon or set a dozen world swimming records without being a world-class athlete.

The reason there's a rush to anoint Tiger is because he is more than an otherworldly golfer. He is a social phenomenon and a worldwide sensation, and he deserves every accolade that comes his way while he rewrites the history of golf. But I submit that Muhammad Ali was a better athlete who also took his sport to a new level and will endure as a much more dynamic historical figure.

It's easy to look at Woods' success through the prism of recency and lose perspective. Jack Nicklaus, the yardstick by which everyone measures Tiger, was never suspected of being the greatest individual athlete of all time, and many of his greatest records still stand. Woods is well on pace to eclipse all of them, but it might be wise to wait until he does before jumping him ahead of Ali or Jim Thorpe or even Sampras or Michael Phelps.

Michael Phelps? I know that you're shaking your head and wondering how I could place our local swimming superstar in the same paragraph as Woods.

Well, if you strip away all the extraneous variables that make Tiger the most popular and bankable individual athlete in the world, you're left with two guys who are dominating their respective sports. The only difference - unless you're making the argument that golf is more of a sport than swimming - is that Phelps already holds almost all the relevant records in his sport and we're just assuming that Woods will eventually own all the important records in golf.

What this debate comes down to, as I mentioned earlier, is semantics. Woods has ascended to a rare altitude because he embodies a unique combination of skill, athleticism and cultural significance. In that regard, he almost rises to the level of Ali among the most important figures in the history of sport.

If that particular combination of qualities is what we now use to determine who is the greatest "athlete" of all time, then I suppose you can make the case that Tiger is in the ballpark. If it is just the level of domination over a particular sport - without regard to the current popularity of the athlete or the marketability of the sport in question - then this coronation might be a bit premature.



peter.schmuck@baltsun.com.
"The Peter Schmuck Show" airs on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays.

Copyright © 2006, The Baltimore Sun | Get Sun home delivery

angiel
08-22-2006, 07:59 PM
Posted on Tue, Aug. 22, 2006

DOMINANCE BY THE NUMBERS

But how does Woods stack up against some of the best in sports history? Does his star shine as bright as say, Pete Sampras or Lance Armstrong? What about Jack Nicklaus or Wayne Gretzky?

12: TIGER WOODS

Won 12 majors by the age of 30, second all-time to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18, is 12-0 with at least a share of the lead headed into the final round of a major and has 51 career victories, tied for sixth all-time.

7: LANCE ARMSTRONG

Came back from testicular cancer to become the first seven-time winner of the Tour de France, winning them all in a row.

9: WAYNE GRETZKY

''The Great One'' was a nine-time NHL MVP, won four Stanley Cup titles, was MVP of the playoffs twice and earned the scoring title 10 times. Gretzky held 61 records when he retired, including most goals (92), assists (163) and points (215) in a season. He's also hockey's all-time leading scorer with 2,857 -- more than 1,000 more than the next-closest player.

14: PETE SAMPRAS

Sampras holds the record for most Grand Slam titles with 14 and finished atop the world rankings a record six straight years. He won Wimbledon a record seven times and the U.S. Open five times.

18: JACK NICKLAUS

The ''Golden Bear'' is the gold standard in golf, the winner of 18 major championships and 73 career titles, second-most all-time. He also was runner-up in majors an astonishing 19 times.

angiel
08-22-2006, 08:04 PM
Updated: Aug. 20, 2006, 9:55 PM ET

Woods is greatest individual athlete ever

By Gene Wojciechowski
ESPN.com
Archive

MEDINAH, Ill. -- You should probably sit down for this one. That's because I'm about to offend anybody and everybody who thinks golfers rank below rhythmic gymnasts, bowlers and tractor-pull drivers on the sports food chain.


Tiger Woods is the greatest individual athlete of our time. OK, of all time.

There, I said it and it feels right, especially after Woods just left Medinah Country Club with what seems like his millionth major championship. Once again, he left divot marks on the rest of the field and bruise marks on the record books.

Nobody kisses more silver than this guy. On Sunday, Woods was busy romancing the Wanamaker Trophy, which is what you get after winning the PGA Championship. It was his third makeout session with the trophy, having won the thing in 1999, 2000 and now 2006. If it happens again, they'll have to get a hotel room.

But this isn't about golf anymore. Woods doesn't have anybody within a par-5 of him on tour. I thought Phil Mickelson was good enough to challenge Woods, but he isn't. Not now. Maybe not ever.

Woods has escaped golf's gravitational pull and moved into a planetary system that includes your one-namers (Pele, Babe, Jack), your initialers (MJ), your nicknamers (The Great One, The Greatest), your oldies (Jim Thorpe, Willie Mays, Joe Louis), your Olympians (Mark Spitz, Carl Lewis), your netters (Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras), your others (Lance Armstrong). I know I'm forgetting someone, but it doesn't matter. Woods is better.


There comes a time when golf greatness morphs into something beyond recognition, something so singular that you have difficulty explaining it. It defies comparison, context and reason.

Can you explain Woods? I can't. I'm not even sure Woods fully understands the ripple effect of his achievements. All I know is that there has never been anyone like him. You tell your children about him, and maybe, if they stick around long enough, they tell theirs.

This was Woods' 12th majors victory. He moved past Walter Hagen, who was no slouch, and to within six car lengths of Jack Nicklaus and the Golden Bear-mobile. Woods could pass Nicklaus and those 18 championships within two years. Crazy? You tell him.

"When you first come out on Tour you just hope to win one," said Woods.

Hope isn't part of the equation these days. Woods doesn't need it. Maybe when he turned pro in 1996, but not now.

Nicklaus is the lone remaining mortal challenge left for Woods -- and Nicklaus doesn't even play on tour anymore. At age 30, Woods is already chasing and catching legends. Hagen on Sunday ... Nicklaus in 2008, 2009, or 2010. His career is now about numbers and legacies.

The truth is he has neutered, for lack of a better word, his peers. They aren't the challenge; history is. Woods has won four of the last eight majors. He owns the lowest 72-hole scores in relation to par in the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and is tied for the PGA record. He's missed the cut exactly four times in his career. Jeez, how many times can you rub your eyes in disbelief.

"I mean, we all smirk and laugh when he says he's got his 'B' game, but that's better than most of our 'A' games," said Shaun Micheel, who won the 2003 PGA. "He's just that good."

Micheel finished second Sunday. He shot 13-under for the tournament, which would have won the last four PGAs. Woods still beat him by five strokes.

Woods entered Sunday's round with one of those streaks that doesn't seem possible: 11-0 when he begins the final round of a major with at least a share of the lead. But he was never truly challenged by anyone on the leaderboard and the streak now stands at 12-0.

"It will happen eventually," said Sergio Garcia of a possible Woods Sunday falter. "It's going to happen. I mean, he's not going to be 68 years old and in the final round of a major and tied for the lead and he wins."

Are you sure? If Mick Jagger can still play gigs with the Stones when he's in his 60s, why can't Tiger still be sinking putts in majors when he's pushing 70? After all, he's in better shape.

Early Sunday evening, with the Wanamaker Trophy within easy hugging distance, Woods talked about his friendship with Michael Jordan. They recently played golf in Orlando and afterward, Jordan knocked down shots in the club's indoor basketball court.

"MJ's still MJ," said Woods.

But Jordan is no Woods. Nobody is.

Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Arguably. With Woods, there is no debate. Only injury stands between Woods and any record worth owning.

Woods is an athlete, not just a mope with a golf swing. You can build a condo development across his shoulders. His waist looks like a size 4.

His intensity and focus would translate into any sport. He doesn't trash talk like Jordan did, but he doesn't have to. The way the ball comes off his club face simply sounds different.

What great athletic trait doesn't he possess? Take your time. I can wait.

Woods performs better when the world is lined up six-deep around the fairway. Pressure? He eats it with a glass of Chianti and some fava beans.

You take Jordan or Gretzky, Ali or Babe Ruth, the Say Hey Kid or Martina. I'll take Woods. I'll take him because of what he's done and what he's yet to do.

Scary, isn't it? He isn't finished winning. Not even close.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.

Mimi
08-25-2006, 07:30 AM
i also think tiger is not the best yet, he could be, but better say this after he broke the 18 all time best grand slams records :devil:

the_natural
08-27-2006, 12:01 PM
I hope he does,for me when i cheer for him its like Cheering for pete, because he Pete and MJ were the dominators of their generation breaking the big records and they were around at the same time (except that u can play golf at 40 and over).

angiel
08-27-2006, 06:10 PM
I hope he does,for me when i cheer for him its like Cheering for pete, because he Pete and MJ were the dominators of their generation breaking the big records and they were around at the same time (except that u can play golf at 40 and over).


Hi guys, I think Pete would have do well if he did pick up a golf club. :D :) :angel: