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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Winston’Salem
    Quote Originally Posted by brevity View Post
    Drive his car, or drive a golf ball?

    DBR has always tried to discuss the concept of athleticism as if a consensus could be achieved, when everyone has their own definition. I read the title question and thought of gymnastics before clicking and reading the thread.

    The decathlon hypothetical is more interesting because it forces pro team athletes (who have years of training in specialized skills) to be tested on more general athletic ability. Who struggles outside of their wheelhouse the least?

    I’m starting to appreciate two-sport athletes even more.
    No doubt as to that last sentence. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were no frickin’ joke. A notch above Tony Romo, I must admit.
    "Amazing what a minute can do."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Derm
    They might have quick feet and be strong but a significant percentage of NFL linemen appear to be clinically obese and can't run 100 yards. Among team sports I imagine the average soccer/hockey/basketball player is in the best shape. Absent metrics I'd vote for the freakish combo of size/speed/strength of the average NBA player.

    Of course The Superstars did not bear this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj_sciOA74o
    Last edited by jimmymax; 01-03-2021 at 09:27 PM.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by brevity View Post
    Drive his car, or drive a golf ball?

    DBR has always tried to discuss the concept of athleticism as if a consensus could be achieved, when everyone has their own definition. I read the title question and thought of gymnastics before clicking and reading the thread.

    The decathlon hypothetical is more interesting because it forces pro team athletes (who have years of training in specialized skills) to be tested on more general athletic ability. Who struggles outside of their wheelhouse the least?

    Iím starting to appreciate two-sport athletes even more.



    So, you're in the Daly golf and drinking camp?

  4. #24
    I'm going to go with cross fitters...anyone ever seen the Cross Fit Games? That stuff is INSANE!

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Tripping William View Post
    No doubt as to that last sentence. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were no frickiní joke. A notch above Tony Romo, I must admit.
    What? No mention of Dick Groat?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    I've never participated but I want to add water polo to the consideration set - ridiculous swimming ability and endurance ability is required, strength to throw it fast/far, and it can get really physical.

    And heaven forbid the horses start getting tired (I kid).

    I always consider the best athletes to be those who are very good at certain sport(s) and can pick up another sport they haven't played before and excel at it. When I went to summer camp as a kid we would play Team Handball, which is popular in Europe. Lots of running, throwing, passing, shooting. No one played it outside of camp so we were all theoretically beginners, but the kids who were usually the best were those who one would have guessed were the best "athletes" anyway.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    ...I want to add water polo to the consideration set - ridiculous swimming ability and endurance ability is required, strength to throw it fast/far, and it can get really physical...
    Ding ding ding, we had a spirited discussion about water polo yesterday. It's got to be the most endurance demanding sport. As to skill set, it's baseball along with golf. That's the summation from the weezie Dinner Table Symposium.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Mike Tyson is certainly one of the top athletes of my lifetime. High level boxers are serious athletes.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Thomasville, NC
    Football.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    Didn't Daly once drive directly from a Hooters parking lot?
    I went to a round at the US Open at Pinehurst and John was smoking a cigarette on the putting green. And this was the real tournament on Sunday, not a practice round.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilwin View Post
    Football.
    Obviously the question posed has no final answer, but the athletes that impress me most are those with size/strength AND amazing agility/speed. I watch a lot of sports, and nothing seems to amaze me more than a 330lb defensive lineman turning on the jets to chase down a running back at full speed. Are you kidding me?? I just saw it in a game over the weekend and my jaws dropped... how does a dude THAT size create a burst of speed to move all of that weight at top speed? Of course the other person that comes to mind in this categorgy is Zion. To be that heavy and strong and have the ability to float through the air like a feather should not be humanly possible.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cabbagetown, Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by PackMan97 View Post
    I'm going to go with cross fitters...anyone ever seen the Cross Fit Games? That stuff is INSANE!
    Interesting point. The best male CrossFitter athletes tend to be on the shorter side (5'6" - 5'8") which would cause some issues if we go by the decathlon test.

    However, part of CrossFit is adaptability. I wouldn't leave the elite CrossFit athletes out of the conversation.
    Hard at work making beautiful things.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by dukebluesincebirth View Post
    Obviously the question posed has no final answer, but the athletes that impress me most are those with size/strength AND amazing agility/speed. I watch a lot of sports, and nothing seems to amaze me more than a 330lb defensive lineman turning on the jets to chase down a running back at full speed. Are you kidding me?? I just saw it in a game over the weekend and my jaws dropped... how does a dude THAT size create a burst of speed to move all of that weight at top speed? Of course the other person that comes to mind in this categorgy is Zion. To be that heavy and strong and have the ability to float through the air like a feather should not be humanly possible.
    And then the 330-pound lineman goes over to the sideline and gets oxygen.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Hard for me to go with NFL players

    Several people have put NFL players pretty high on their lists. That's just not an easy one for me to agree with. I don't watch a whole lot of rugby but I do watch the World Championships every time they're held plus a few other matches.

    One of the thoughts that always pops into my head is that there are likely only a very few NFL players that could stay on the field in a rugby match. I'm not going to try and track it down right now, but I think it was Sports Illustrated a few years back that published a study showing that in an average complete NFL football game, there is only 11-12 minutes of game play activity. Other than that it's pretty much just standing around for two or three hours.

    I just can't see many pro football players having the endurance to compete in soccer, lacrosse, rugby or other similar sports.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    If you're looking primarily at endurance, almost certainly soccer. If you're looking primarily at strength, football (it isn't just the huge lineman, even the smaller guys tend to be absolutely jacked). If you're looking for a mix, it is probably basketball or football. People rag on football for stoppages, but just because play stops doesn't mean the players aren't capable of feats of endurance just because the sport is played in bursts, and it seems fair to point out that there are quite a few stoppages in basketball as well.

    I would probably go:

    1) American Football
    2) Basketball
    3) Soccer
    4) Hockey
    5) Most other team sports
    6) Baseball

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Ggallagher View Post
    Several people have put NFL players pretty high on their lists. That's just not an easy one for me to agree with. I don't watch a whole lot of rugby but I do watch the World Championships every time they're held plus a few other matches.

    One of the thoughts that always pops into my head is that there are likely only a very few NFL players that could stay on the field in a rugby match. I'm not going to try and track it down right now, but I think it was Sports Illustrated a few years back that published a study showing that in an average complete NFL football game, there is only 11-12 minutes of game play activity. Other than that it's pretty much just standing around for two or three hours.

    I just can't see many pro football players having the endurance to compete in soccer, lacrosse, rugby or other similar sports.
    I suspect plenty of NFL players engage in endurance training outside of games, I'm not sure why so many people are just ready to assume this (I mean it is probably true for the linemen, but might it also be true for i.e. goalkeepers in soccer).

  17. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Ggallagher View Post
    Several people have put NFL players pretty high on their lists. That's just not an easy one for me to agree with. I don't watch a whole lot of rugby but I do watch the World Championships every time they're held plus a few other matches.

    One of the thoughts that always pops into my head is that there are likely only a very few NFL players that could stay on the field in a rugby match. I'm not going to try and track it down right now, but I think it was Sports Illustrated a few years back that published a study showing that in an average complete NFL football game, there is only 11-12 minutes of game play activity. Other than that it's pretty much just standing around for two or three hours.

    I just can't see many pro football players having the endurance to compete in soccer, lacrosse, rugby or other similar sports.

    IDK about rugby (never watched it) but everytime I watch soccer I see them faking injuries and pretending to be hurt after the slightest touch. Yes they have endurance to jog up and down a field (some touch the ball more than others), but what would happen to their fragile bodies if they took a REAL hit from say, Jadaveon Clowney? That endurance might be null and void.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cabbagetown, Atlanta, GA
    Quote Originally Posted by Ggallagher View Post
    Several people have put NFL players pretty high on their lists. That's just not an easy one for me to agree with. I don't watch a whole lot of rugby but I do watch the World Championships every time they're held plus a few other matches.

    One of the thoughts that always pops into my head is that there are likely only a very few NFL players that could stay on the field in a rugby match. I'm not going to try and track it down right now, but I think it was Sports Illustrated a few years back that published a study showing that in an average complete NFL football game, there is only 11-12 minutes of game play activity. Other than that it's pretty much just standing around for two or three hours.

    I just can't see many pro football players having the endurance to compete in soccer, lacrosse, rugby or other similar sports.
    So... kind of like a decathalon.
    Hard at work making beautiful things.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    FWIW, in terms of distance traveled obviously soccer is the clear winner, but there isn't that much separation between basketball players and skill position players in football. Basketball players average a little over 2 miles per game, but not all of that is running (there is plenty of walking and jogging in basketball, worth mentioning that the 7 miles for soccer players isn't literally all running/jogging either although it is still impressive regardless). Wide receivers seem to average somewhere between 1-3 miles per game, which is at least comparable, and my understanding is that is just from actual routes run and doesn't count jogging on/off the field or back to the line of scrimmage which, if included would probably put them well head of the average basketball player and just a couple miles short of soccer players.

  20. #40
    Soccer and wrestling do tend to be very demanding, in terms of athletics.

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