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  1. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Apologies if I've missed it, but I would suggest that gymnasts need to be in the discussion if we're expanding beyond the "big 4" US sports. They are phenomenal athletes, albeit very short ones.
    In the 80's and 90's, Albuquerque had a really big gymnastic scene. Gold Cup Gymnastic Club sent 5 or 6 male athletes to the Olympics and they won several medals including a gold medal buy Trent Dimas. Anyway, Lance Ringnald came to visit my school right before the 1992 Olympics. A bunch of my friends would play basketball everyday for lunch and I asked him if he wanted to join us. Surprisingly, he did. He was not good but I'm sure the guy spent every minute of his life training for gymnastics so he had an excuse. I remember asking him if he could touch the rim. He said, "dude, those gymnastics moves use a lot of momentum and there are springs in the floor". He could not touch the rim. Nonetheless, yes, gymnast are incredible athletes.

    I guess as the person that started this thread I would use the following criteria:
    Running fast
    jumping
    strength
    endurance
    catching and throwing
    hand eye coordination
    general coordination

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I am in favor of a sport you can play carrying a beer. But I'm not sure I could in good conscience nominate it for the best athletes.
    Well, that just goes back to the problem with this thread title. How to define "best"? Like, coolest, for sure, frolf-ers are in the convo...

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington DC
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    I played several rounds of frisbee golf this summer while on vacation and it was pretty tough. Then about a month ago I randomly came across a pro frisbee golf championship on TV (yes, I need a life). It was actually quite impressive as they play on a course with a lot of trees and narrow pathways - the players all have their own set of frisbees and use different ones for long throws, short throws, etc.

    That being said, the skills required are definitely not transferable to many other sports. I would like to give a shoutout to ultimate frisbee. Probably not the best athletes out there, but it does involve speed, endurance, jumping ability, precision in throwing and catching the frisbee, etc.
    There has been a lot of ESPN "Ocho" style programming on this year, so I've seen frisbee golf, axe throwing, putt-putt, and cornhole championships (among other things like dodge-juggle, lawnmower racing, etc). Those guys are no joke! Frisbee golfers were bending throws through dense forests; and the axe and cornhole players literally never missed. Not going to say any of them deserve a spot in the best athlete conversation, but their skill level was extremely impressive.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I am in favor of a sport you can play carrying a beer. But I'm not sure I could in good conscience nominate it for the best athletes.
    Lesson learned from watching competitive frisbee golf - for some of the shorter throws, they sometimes use two hands and throw it like a soccer throw-in, rather than a traditional one-handed frisbee throw. So I guess that would require you to put your beer down. Not sure if that changes your feelings about frisbee golf.

  5. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    Lesson learned from watching competitive frisbee golf - for some of the shorter throws, they sometimes use two hands and throw it like a soccer throw-in, rather than a traditional one-handed frisbee throw. So I guess that would require you to put your beer down. Not sure if that changes your feelings about frisbee golf.
    Nah man. No two hand throws for me.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    My favorite thing about playing ultimate was the occasional hammer throw that didn't flatten out and instead barreled towards the recipient full speed like a buzzsaw.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Nah man. No two hand throws for me.
    If you’re not going to look good doing a thing why do it, ya know?

  8. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by bundabergdevil View Post
    If you’re not going to look good doing a thing why do it, ya know?
    Precisely. No one ever claimed I was a top athlete either. At least not in twenty plus years.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Albemarle, North Carolina
    Without reading through my gut answer would be basketball, hockey, and MMA. Racing, baseball and football all seem easy to eliminate and not even gonna consider golf.

  10. #90
    Ok, since there isn't an accepted definition of athleticism how about this idea - athleticism is defined as the physical traits that evolved for survival (not counting disease resistance and the like). Speed and strength evolved because it meant you could win, or at least survive, battles with other animals (including fellow humans). So define athleticism as those physical traits that allow you to win physical battles.

    Now the hypothetical challenge - you can have say 25 of the best football players, or 20 of the best basketball players, or 20 of the best soccer players, NHL, etc. Your 25 will go up against someone else's 25 man team in a battle in an enclosed 10 acre field (part open plain, part forested) and fight to the death or until they get complete surrender from all their opponents. Each participant has access to plenty of rocks (ranging from 1 to 5 lbs) and one three foot long stick, 2.5" in diameter, made out of a hardwood. This gives them primitive weapons like they would have had access to prehistorically. Note they aren't just weapons to attack, they are also weapons they have defend against. The battle goes on as long as necessary to ensure a win (sustenance is provided).

    For this battle you could pick any 25 NFL players, any 25 NBA players, any 25 soccer players, any 25 tennis pros, 25 gymnasts, 25 hockey player, etc. Which type of athletes would you pick? And what would be your team strategy?

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
    Ok, since there isn't an accepted definition of athleticism how about this idea - athleticism is defined as the physical traits that evolved for survival (not counting disease resistance and the like). Speed and strength evolved because it meant you could win, or at least survive, battles with other animals (including fellow humans). So define athleticism as those physical traits that allow you to win physical battles.

    Now the hypothetical challenge - you can have say 25 of the best football players, or 20 of the best basketball players, or 20 of the best soccer players, NHL, etc. Your 25 will go up against someone else's 25 man team in a battle in an enclosed 10 acre field (part open plain, part forested) and fight to the death or until they get complete surrender from all their opponents. Each participant has access to plenty of rocks (ranging from 1 to 5 lbs) and one three foot long stick, 2.5" in diameter, made out of a hardwood. This gives them primitive weapons like they would have had access to prehistorically. Note they aren't just weapons to attack, they are also weapons they have defend against. The battle goes on as long as necessary to ensure a win (sustenance is provided).

    For this battle you could pick any 25 NFL players, any 25 NBA players, any 25 soccer players, any 25 tennis pros, 25 gymnasts, 25 hockey player, etc. Which type of athletes would you pick? And what would be your team strategy?
    I like it. Football players.

  12. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
    Ok, since there isn't an accepted definition of athleticism how about this idea - athleticism is defined as the physical traits that evolved for survival (not counting disease resistance and the like). Speed and strength evolved because it meant you could win, or at least survive, battles with other animals (including fellow humans). So define athleticism as those physical traits that allow you to win physical battles.

    Now the hypothetical challenge - you can have say 25 of the best football players, or 20 of the best basketball players, or 20 of the best soccer players, NHL, etc. Your 25 will go up against someone else's 25 man team in a battle in an enclosed 10 acre field (part open plain, part forested) and fight to the death or until they get complete surrender from all their opponents. Each participant has access to plenty of rocks (ranging from 1 to 5 lbs) and one three foot long stick, 2.5" in diameter, made out of a hardwood. This gives them primitive weapons like they would have had access to prehistorically. Note they aren't just weapons to attack, they are also weapons they have defend against. The battle goes on as long as necessary to ensure a win (sustenance is provided).

    For this battle you could pick any 25 NFL players, any 25 NBA players, any 25 soccer players, any 25 tennis pros, 25 gymnasts, 25 hockey player, etc. Which type of athletes would you pick? And what would be your team strategy?
    Sounds like the Hunger Games scenario basically. Seems to me that shotputters and javelin throwers have the upper hand on the weaponry...

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Outside Philly
    Quote Originally Posted by nmduke2001 View Post
    In the 80's and 90's, Albuquerque had a really big gymnastic scene. Gold Cup Gymnastic Club sent 5 or 6 male athletes to the Olympics and they won several medals including a gold medal buy Trent Dimas. Anyway, Lance Ringnald came to visit my school right before the 1992 Olympics. A bunch of my friends would play basketball everyday for lunch and I asked him if he wanted to join us. Surprisingly, he did. He was not good but I'm sure the guy spent every minute of his life training for gymnastics so he had an excuse. I remember asking him if he could touch the rim. He said, "dude, those gymnastics moves use a lot of momentum and there are springs in the floor". He could not touch the rim. Nonetheless, yes, gymnast are incredible athletes.

    I guess as the person that started this thread I would use the following criteria:
    Running fast
    jumping
    strength
    endurance
    catching and throwing
    hand eye coordination
    general coordination
    How about climb fast, high, and without ropes? It's a slightly different question --- what is the best athletic feat ever --- but I think a strong answer to that is Alex Honnold's free solo ascent of El Capitan.

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Skydog View Post
    Ok, since there isn't an accepted definition of athleticism how about this idea - athleticism is defined as the physical traits that evolved for survival (not counting disease resistance and the like). Speed and strength evolved because it meant you could win, or at least survive, battles with other animals (including fellow humans). So define athleticism as those physical traits that allow you to win physical battles.

    Now the hypothetical challenge - you can have say 25 of the best football players, or 20 of the best basketball players, or 20 of the best soccer players, NHL, etc. Your 25 will go up against someone else's 25 man team in a battle in an enclosed 10 acre field (part open plain, part forested) and fight to the death or until they get complete surrender from all their opponents. Each participant has access to plenty of rocks (ranging from 1 to 5 lbs) and one three foot long stick, 2.5" in diameter, made out of a hardwood. This gives them primitive weapons like they would have had access to prehistorically. Note they aren't just weapons to attack, they are also weapons they have defend against. The battle goes on as long as necessary to ensure a win (sustenance is provided).

    For this battle you could pick any 25 NFL players, any 25 NBA players, any 25 soccer players, any 25 tennis pros, 25 gymnasts, 25 hockey player, etc. Which type of athletes would you pick? And what would be your team strategy?
    A curious but interesting concept. But change the rules and you likely change the answer. Why 10 acres? Why not one? Or 100? Or 1,000? Why not require a long march predatory to combat? Put a body of water in the equation. Or a dense forest that occupies all of the area. Is the field flat? What happens if you add some steep hills? Is it raining? Brutally hot? Frigidly cold?

    Any criteria we come up with for your hypothetical (I hope) death match will be arbitrary and will benefit some survival skills at the expense of other survival skills.

  15. #95
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    A curious but interesting concept. But change the rules and you likely change the answer. Why 10 acres? Why not one? Or 100? Or 1,000? Why not require a long march predatory to combat? Put a body of water in the equation. Or a dense forest that occupies all of the area. Is the field flat? What happens if you add some steep hills? Is it raining? Brutally hot? Frigidly cold?

    Any criteria we come up with for your hypothetical (I hope) death match will be arbitrary and will benefit some survival skills at the expense of other survival skills.
    And what if one group attacks using bananas? What would be the defense against that?

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    And what if one group attacks using bananas? What would be the defense against that?
    Monkeys. Lots and lots of monkeys. Deploy the monkeys!

  17. #97
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by camion View Post
    And what if one group attacks using bananas? What would be the defense against that?
    According to John Cleese, a pistol.

    (sorry, can't link the video from this computer).

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area
    Can we have water skis and sharks?

    -jk

  19. #99
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by -jk View Post
    Can we have water skis and sharks?

    -jk
    Clams on the half shell and roller skates?

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Chapel Hill
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    A curious but interesting concept. But change the rules and you likely change the answer. Why 10 acres? Why not one? Or 100? Or 1,000? Why not require a long march predatory to combat? Put a body of water in the equation. Or a dense forest that occupies all of the area. Is the field flat? What happens if you add some steep hills? Is it raining? Brutally hot? Frigidly cold?

    Any criteria we come up with for your hypothetical (I hope) death match will be arbitrary and will benefit some survival skills at the expense of other survival skills.
    Precisely. The same can be said for the question that is under consideration. Each sport is different, with different rules and different needs for skill sets. Define athleticism and the way you define it will determine the result. Is mental focus athleticism? Is discipline? Is competitive desire? Drive to succeed? Handling pressure? Thinking? Love of sport? If not, why not? High level athletic achievement in any sport is not possible without the foregoing qualities.

    There is no right answer to the question. All sports require athleticism but the refined skill sets and physical attributes required in say football are different from those required in baseball or tennis or hockey. We are thus comparing apples to oranges. Which is the best fruit?

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