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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:47 PM
Original message
Who Is Your Favorite Professional Athlete Of All-Time
Edited on Thu Jul-22-04 02:00 PM by Magic Rat
Either someone you grew up watching and fell in love with, or someone you just ultimately respect a great deal for their talents and physical abilities?

My favorite all-time athlete is the man that I consider to be the best pure shooter in NBA history and probably in all of professional basketball history.

The late, great, Drazen Petrovic of the New Jersey Nets and (earlier) the Portland Trailblazers.

Petrovic was the greatest 3-point shooter I ever saw, the greatest outside and mid-range shooter also. If he had an open shot, he never missed (actually I saw him miss an open shot twice, and I find it cool that i can actually remember both times - which should give you an idea of how rarely he missed open jumpers).

That guy got me into basketball. He was, and is, my sports hero.

Who's yours?
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Muhummad Ali!
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DenverDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Ditto.
Edited on Thu Jul-22-04 01:54 PM by DenverDem
It's "Muhammad", BTW.

I'm a big fan of Ben Hogan, who came back from what should have been a fatal head on car crash with a freaking bus, to rehab himself from crushed legs and multiple fractures to return to championship form, and he never resort to a golf cart.
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CO Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Especially When He Lit The Torch In Atlanta
A classic scene, with a classic man.
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VOX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. Lining up for Muhammad Ali. Showman, genius, counter-culture hero.
And a terrific athlete and humanitarian.

To quote The Greatest: "When I quit boxing, the game died."
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LowerManhattanite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
44. Ali. Plain and simple.
The very first things I remember reading in a paper as a child was coverage of his fights with "Big Cat" Williams, Ernie Terrell and George Chuvalo as well as the week to week coverage of his battle against the government insofar as his conscientious objector status.

He was also a family friend. He hired my dad's restaurant's chef (Lana Shabazz) away to become his personal chef. Feeling a little bad about it, the champ often had my family as wekend guests at his training camps in Deer Lake and Cherry Valley.

He was such an incredibly kind, funny and generous man who loved having a multitude of kids around.

He walked it like he talked it. Amazing man. Amazing.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. Arthur Ashe
Roberto Clemente
Jesse Owens
Mohammed Ali
Jackie Robinson
Wilma Rudolph
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Mr.Green93 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. Jesse Owens
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bjorn Borg
Man, he was tough to beat.
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mrboba1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
6. Ryne Sandberg
because the day in 1984 I was at Wrigley Field, he hit 2 HRs off of Bruce Sutter and beat those damned Redbirds!!!
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. I named my cat Ryno
When we watched the games on TV, she'd go nuts when Harry said Ryno this and Ryno that.... Where was that coming from? Here is my beautiful baby:

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Sticky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. Kurt Browning
Canada's 4 time world champ figure skater. I've met him several times, too! :-)

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Lavender Brown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Really?
I always thought he was cool. He used to skate to the music from Casablanca dressed up in a tux like Rick/Bogart. That was so cute!
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VelmaD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. You should see him...
in the shiny leather pants skating to "Brick House". Hubba hubba. :)
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Sticky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
30. He's a fantastic person too
I spent a lot of time at a children's hospital paliative care unit and Kurt came in to visit several times. He was an absolute gift to those kids. A few years later I saw him again at a medal presentation and he looked my way and said, "Hi Kate" I was shocked he remembered me! :-)
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Westegg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. A tie, I guess: Ali and Roberto Clemente...
Ali's talents were supreme, but it's Ali the MAN that I respect. I'm not otherwise a huge boxing fan for so many reasons. Clemente because he was my boyhood idol, growing up in Pittsburgh as I did. Grace, charisma, and so much talent, and a wonderful soul (though he was a complex man who was often misunderstood). In the end, he gave his life while trying to help others. I guess I was nine when he died---first time the death of another human ever hit home for me.
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Beware the Beast Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
31. Sadly, Clemente was before my time
Definitely as class act, though.
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Arbustosux Donating Member (769 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. Al Kaline
a guy with class
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. Secretariat

I would LOVE to see the footage of his win in the Belmont Stakes, 31 lengths ahead of the field. What a magnificent creature.
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HuckleB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
12. "Did you ever know that your my heeeeeer-oooooo!"
I dunno. Of all time? How can one not love the likes of Jim Thorpe, Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali, Roberto Clemente, Eddy Merckx and so many others for what they did in competition and away from competition? Yet, I never got to see any of them perform live, at least in their prime.

I grew up adoring Robin Yount for his all-around skills, though his politics now drive me nuts. Eric Heiden inspired me to train and exercise year-round, which got me into so many of the things I now love: cycling, hiking, nordic skiing, kayaking. Walter Payton was one of the few players to give me any interest in football as a spectator, with Brett Favre as his modern equivalent. I dunno, I love the plucky underdogs, like Thomas Voeckler in this year's TDF (or Tyler Hamilton last year), like the Florida Marlins in last year's World Series, like the Calgary Flames in this year's Stanley Cup. For me, that's why I waste my time on sport as a spectator. It's the corny story of hope and will that can be transferred to life in general, if one allows for a certain imagination, and doesn't imagination get us all through many a day?

Salud!
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. Bill Buckner
Edited on Thu Jul-22-04 02:04 PM by Jack_Dawson
Dude gets a bad rap. He is only remembered for that one play but he was a perennial all-star.
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mrboba1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. absolutely!
Yrs G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS BA
22 Seasons 2517 9397 1077 2715 498 49 174 1208 450 453 183 73 .289
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Magrittes Pipe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. Ali.
I'm a baseball fan, but my baseball list would be as long as my arm.
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
15. John Unitas
Old Hightops was a classy guy who never forgot where he came from...
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argyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Johnny U is my pick also.
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OneBlueSky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. Jackie Robinson . . . followed closely by . . .
Edited on Thu Jul-22-04 02:22 PM by OneBlueSky
Sandy Koufax and Larry Bird . . .

on edit: oops . . . almost forgot to mention Ali . . . and completing my top five would probably be John Havlicek . . .
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Catshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
20. Walter Payton
RIP Sweetness.
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tcfrogs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
22. Greg Maddux
Edited on Thu Jul-22-04 02:20 PM by tcfrogs
And he's only about 5 years older than me, I just totally respect & admire his talent.
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frylock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:39 PM
Response to Original message
24. earvin magic johnson..
followed closely by Tony Gwynn. I'll never forget the day Petro was killed. That guy had so much potential.
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ceile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
25. Hakeem Olajuwon
Or maybe Warren Moon
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bushisanidiot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
27. Tie: Mark McGwire and Steffi Graf
After watching McGwire hit a towering homerun into the upper deck one day at Busch stadium, I screamed to him that I wanted to have his baby.. and I'm a LESBIAN!! ;)

What can I say about Steffi. Just love her.. that's all :)
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
28. Joe Hancock. n/t
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Cybergata Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
29. Billy Jean King & Arthur Ashe Were Inspirational
...and, I've adored Andre Agassi & Bjorn Borg. I also have a major crush on James Blake. Oh yes, Wilt Chamberlain.


:hippie:
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Mayberry Machiavelli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. Magic Johnson, without a doubt. Taught me to love the game of
basketball.
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
33. Archie Manning
Grew up during his glory days at Ole Miss.
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Burma Jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
34. As a Kid, it was Sonny Jurgensen, now, Lance Armstrong
Holy Cow, Armstrong is like Secretariat, not in the same league......
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Kickin_Donkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
35. Willie Mays ...
Say Hey 660 ...
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
36. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Ali is and was truly "The Greatest".
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
37. Jim Brown
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ChoralScholar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
38. Gotta say Nolan Ryan
No one has even come close to touching him since he retired. And, seemingly, he is a good person also.
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Pendrench Donating Member (729 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
39. Eddie Murray
Before Eddie it was Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, and Ken Singleton.
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Blayde Starrfyre Donating Member (428 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
40. John Stockton
Without a doubt, the greatest athlete produced by the state of Washington. Far and away the NBA's greatest point guard. All time leader in steals and assists. Tremendous shooter. Almost never missed a game. And also, just a good guy. At a time when NBA players are trying to be rap stars, choking coaches, being primadonnas, and knocking up women in every city in America, he was just a nice, normal guy.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
41. Roberto Clemente. n/t
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NewHampshireDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
42. Emmett Smith
Because not only was he a great running back, but he was a class act as well. He was always the first one to offer an opposing player a pat on the back for a good hit or a hand up after he lowered his shoulder and knocked 'em on their asses.



And what kind of democrats are we? No one has mentioned Bill Bradley!

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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
43. Jim Thorpe
although of course I never saw him compete because it was in the early 20th Century. Olympics Gold Medalist, accomplished pro football player, track star, baseball player, Thorpe is one of the amazing stories of sports and the human spirit. The Sac & Fox Native American unfortunately had his Olympic Medals stripped away from him, in an age when playing a few weeks of semi-pro baseball was considered an extreme taboo. Muhammed Ali is a close 2nd for the same reasons. Both are great Americans and should be forever honored.
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KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
45. Sonny Jurgensen
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WindRavenX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
46. Derek Jeter and Lance Armstrong
My heros!
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PopSixSquish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-04 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
47. Willie Mays
BTW - Willie Mays was the on-deck batter when Bobby Thomson hit his famous pennant-winning home run, "The Shot Heard 'Round the World," on October 3, 1951

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