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  #51  
Old 09-18-2019, 09:20 AM
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As far as the radical religious are concerned, I image OJ doesn't hold a candle to Bruce Jenner:

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Originally Posted by consevapedia
Bruce Jenner (also known as Caitlyn Jenner per his own wishes, b. October 28, 1949) is an American athlete, reality show star, and homosexual and gender confusion "rights" activist.

He is a registered Republican but has issued criticisms of President Donald Trump for not kowtowing to the homosexual agenda. This was after Jenner supported and endorsed Trump after Ted Cruz dropped out of the 2016 Presidential race. Jenner also claims to be a Christian, despite living a gender-confused lifestyle.
On a side note, WTF is a "gender-confused lifestyle"?
  #52  
Old 09-18-2019, 12:02 PM
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Mark Gastineau, defensive end for the NY Jets:

Legal issues
In 1984, Gastineau was found guilty of assaulting a patron at Studio 54. He was sentenced to 90 hours of community service, teaching football to inmates at Rikers Island.

In 1991, Gastineau was arrested for picking up a package of amphetamine pills at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. He was sentenced to three years probation in 1993.

In September, 2000, Gastineau was sentenced to 18 months in jail after failing to complete an anger management course after hitting his second wife, Patricia.
  #53  
Old 09-19-2019, 08:30 AM
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Everyone was doping, yes. But the other doping cyclists didn't set out to destroy the lives of anyone who tried to expose them like Lance Armstrong did. He tried to ruin peoples' professional and personal lives to support his lies and cheating.
Good point; this was going beyond 'just doing what everyone else did'


I think I'm voting for Paterno if he counts. The guy who was supposed to be the shining example of the opposite of a 'win at all costs' mentality was in fact perfectly willing to pay the cost of kids being raped, in order to win. No deaths, but probably the next worst thing, and there were a lot more than two victims.
  #54  
Old 09-19-2019, 09:01 AM
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And, from what I recall, there was such a large gap in Lance's performance compared to LeMond's that it seems likely LeMond wasn't cheating when he accomplished everything he did.
LeMond was one of the earliest vocal doubters of Armstrong's accomplishments.
  #55  
Old 09-19-2019, 09:22 AM
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What about Mike Tyson? Convicted rapist and bit his opponents ears off in his “comeback”.
  #56  
Old 09-19-2019, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by russian heel View Post

Lenny Dykstra--- former near .400 baseball hitter...
Sorry, just a nitpick here: When did Lenny Dykstra nearly hit .400?

And I'll submit Mark Chmura. Though acquitted of raping a 17-year-old, he was drunk at a party with teenagers. His career plummeted thereafter.

Last edited by Harrington; 09-19-2019 at 02:12 PM.
  #57  
Old 09-19-2019, 02:32 PM
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LeMond was one of the earliest vocal doubters of Armstrong's accomplishments.
Indeed. And and I believe he faced a lot of blowback for it at the time.

There was a 30 for 30 about LeMond and his rivalry with French cyclist Bernard Hinault that i thought was fascinating.
  #58  
Old 09-19-2019, 02:39 PM
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Everyone loves Ben Johnson, the Canadian who wins the 1988 Olympic 100m final in a world record time!

*three days later*

We regret to inform you that Ben Johnson is a massive drug cheat.
  #59  
Old 09-19-2019, 02:46 PM
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When he was a champ, he was Canadian. Afterward, he was "a Jamaican immigrant".
  #60  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:05 PM
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Everyone loves Ben Johnson, the Canadian who wins the 1988 Olympic 100m final in a world record time!

*three days later*

We regret to inform you that Ben Johnson is a massive drug cheat.
And in between, Johnson famously said:

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A gold medal -- that's something no one can take away from you.
  #61  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:11 PM
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And in between, Johnson famously said:
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A gold medal -- that's something no one can take away from you.
That's actually kind of true. They didn't take the actual medal from him. Presumably, he still has it. But I guess someone can take it from him...robbery, for example.
  #62  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:19 PM
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I just saw Lance Armstrong in an ad for some supplement on YouTube. I'm gobsmacked. What the hell were they thinking? Then again, NBC had him on their Tour de France coverage.

Nobody ever asked OJ to drop by the broadcast booth for NFL games, so I'd probably rank Simpson's fall from grace as more substantial than Armstrong's. Folks forget how popular OJ was back in the day. A poll in 1976 ranked him the most admired celebrity by school-age boys AND girls, above folks like Neil Armstrong and Chris Evert. Yes, his fame was almost entirely within the US, but that's a mighty big market, and he was a mighty big star. By 1995, no one of any note wanted to be associated with him.
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  #63  
Old 09-19-2019, 03:32 PM
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What about Mike Tyson? Convicted rapist and bit his opponents ears off in his ďcomebackĒ.
But today, kinda popular with the "bro" set. His fall was drastic, but he hasn't hit bottom like OJ or Pistorius, or probably even Armstrong. The man even had an Adult Swim series in 2014. The type of people who would be most apt to like Tyson in the first place would also be the most likely to overlook his rape conviction.

Tyson has taken a circuitous route from mainstream idol to cult favorite.
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  #64  
Old 09-19-2019, 04:08 PM
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That's actually kind of true. They didn't take the actual medal from him. Presumably, he still has it. But I guess someone can take it from him...robbery, for example.
Take it they did:

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Just 24 hours later Johnson had failed a drugs test when traces of the banned steroid stanozolol were found in his urine. And after delegation arrived at his room. Johnson handed the medal back to the IOC, much to the consternation of his mother. One of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officials present described the scene as like a "wake."
  #65  
Old 09-19-2019, 05:15 PM
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Take it they did:
Wow. Thanks for the education. But could they have taken it from him legally, if challenged? The story says "Johnson handed the medal back to the IOC." implying he gave it back voluntarily.

Last edited by Harrington; 09-19-2019 at 05:18 PM.
  #66  
Old 09-19-2019, 06:13 PM
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But today, kinda popular with the "bro" set. His fall was drastic, but he hasn't hit bottom like OJ or Pistorius, or probably even Armstrong. The man even had an Adult Swim series in 2014. The type of people who would be most apt to like Tyson in the first place would also be the most likely to overlook his rape conviction.

Tyson has taken a circuitous route from mainstream idol to cult favorite.
Tyson had a one man show on Broadway. Heís been in movies. Heís doing much better than many boxing champs.
  #67  
Old 09-19-2019, 07:44 PM
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I don't know if Aaron Hernandez was the biggest fall, since he only played 3 seasons and lost the Super Bowl. But I certainly think he was the hardest fall. Six months after his Super Bowl appearance, he started a chain of events that ended with three murders (I know he was only convicted of one, but I think he committed all three or was so close to it that it made no real difference), a sentence of life without parole, and then suicide in prison, within a span of less than 5 years. He could have had two SB rings by now and instead he's a convicted murderer six feet under.
  #68  
Old 09-19-2019, 08:57 PM
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Top level chess players have a notorious reputation of being close to the edge, and a few have gone over it. The top example is Bobby Fisher, who lost his World Championship when he refused to defend it, became a recluse, then resurfaced 20 years later to play a non-sanctioned match; got himself in trouble with the U.S. government, publicly applauded the 9/11 attacks, and was a noted anti-Semite, among other personality flaws.

But Fisher isn't the only one. Wilhelm Steinmetz died in a mental hospital, penniless. Paul Morphy may have had a shoe fetish. Alexander Alekhine collaborated with the Nazis and was possibly murdered by a Soviet hit squad. Compared to them, Gary Kasparov's attempt to steal (actually buy) the presidency of the World Chess Federation is pretty mundane.
  #69  
Old 09-19-2019, 09:38 PM
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Top level chess players have a notorious reputation of being close to the edge, and a few have gone over it. The top example is Bobby Fisher, who lost his World Championship when he refused to defend it, became a recluse, then resurfaced 20 years later to play a non-sanctioned match; got himself in trouble with the U.S. government, publicly applauded the 9/11 attacks, and was a noted anti-Semite, among other personality flaws.

But Fisher isn't the only one. Wilhelm Steinmetz died in a mental hospital, penniless. Paul Morphy may have had a shoe fetish. Alexander Alekhine collaborated with the Nazis and was possibly murdered by a Soviet hit squad. Compared to them, Gary Kasparov's attempt to steal (actually buy) the presidency of the World Chess Federation is pretty mundane.
If we're going outside the realm of sports, (Fisher was not an athlete), there's Edgar Allan Poe.

Last edited by Harrington; 09-19-2019 at 09:40 PM.
  #70  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:17 PM
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Chess is kind of the opposite of athletics, so bringing up chess is very much off-topic.
  #71  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:35 AM
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Chess is kind of the opposite of athletics, so bringing up chess is very much off-topic.
Interesting. Sports Illustrated did cover chess back in the day, and we are in the Game Room.

I wouldn't put Morphy's shoe thing in with the other dramatic collapses of great chess minds. It is more odd that, like Fischer, Morphy dropped the game at such an early age (22, compared with Fischer's effective retirement at 32). It is understandable that he wanted to make his name as an attorney, but somewhat befuddling that he would not return to the game when his legal career tanked.
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  #72  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:24 AM
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Interesting. Sports Illustrated did cover chess back in the day, and we are in the Game Room.
The title states "athletes." Not even in the wildest chess proponent's wet dream would a chess player be considered an athlete. ESPN covered, I believe, the 1995 WCC, Kasparov vs. Anand. Still not athletes.

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  #73  
Old 09-20-2019, 01:37 AM
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Do we count Rosie Ruiz?
  #74  
Old 09-20-2019, 02:45 AM
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Chess is kind of the opposite of athletics, so bringing up chess is very much off-topic.
https://gamesmaven.io/chessdailynews...km6BCaFpeXOVw/
  #75  
Old 09-20-2019, 03:08 AM
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Chess players working out doesn't make them athletes, especially in the context of this thread, whose title states "athletes." If anyone who works out are athletes, I'm an athlete! The article even says "Because professional chess is sedentary."

Last edited by Harrington; 09-20-2019 at 03:10 AM.
  #76  
Old 09-20-2019, 03:20 AM
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Then there is this recent ESPN article: https://www.espn.co.uk/espn/story/_/...-playing-chess

I'm not sure I would call them athletes, myself (and we've debated this in The Game Room before) but I don't think it's so out there that it could be considered a hijack. It's not an easy distinction to make, believe me we have tried. Mainly a matter of personal preference.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 09-20-2019 at 03:21 AM.
  #77  
Old 09-20-2019, 03:47 AM
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...but I don't think it's so out there that it could be considered a hijack.
I do. And I'm sure the OP and this room's moderator would agree. The title makes it clear that the OP is talking about professional athletes. Bobby Fisher, or any chess player, who works out doesn't make them professional athletes. If anyone who does something active is an athlete, then we can start talking about the downfall of Bobby Flay and his grilling exploits, or anyone really, and this thread is meaningless. I'm quite sure that's not the intent of the OP. So much that I'm requesting this bullshit stop and the original intent of the OP be restored. If someone wants to discuss the possibility that accountants are athletes, open a thread in IMHO and stop hijacking this clearly titled thread.

Last edited by Harrington; 09-20-2019 at 03:50 AM.
  #78  
Old 09-20-2019, 04:09 AM
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A'aight. You know all the names you just mentioned? Losers. Not a single one of them holds a candle to my guy.

Alexandre Villaplane was a well-known footballer (or soccer player, if you prefer) during the 1920's and the early 1930's in France. He was even the captain of the French side during the World Cup in 1930.

He was accused of fixing matches, but that wasn't proven. Then he got into horse racing and finally ended up in prison for fixing races. That isn't the juicy bit, either.

Because then, when the Nazis invaded, he went and joined them. He joined the Carlingue, known as the French Gestapo, and started counter-insurgency operations against the Resistance. He was known as a particularly brutal bastard and killed a bunch of people, stealing anything he could get his hands on meanwhile. Even the actual Gestapo eventually jailed him.

After the war he was executed in 1944.

So there you go. Do you have anything more extreme than a literal Nazi War Criminal with at least 10 proven murders to his name? I don't think so.
  #79  
Old 09-20-2019, 04:40 AM
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Haven't seen Lawrence Taylor's name. Probably the best linebacker of his time. Throughout his career and since he's had trouble with alcohol, drugs, and avoiding underage prostitutes. Even though he's in the NFL HOF, he's now known more for his criminal exploits than his athletic accomplishments, and I believe is a lifetime registered sex offender.

Last edited by Harrington; 09-20-2019 at 04:43 AM.
  #80  
Old 09-20-2019, 04:48 AM
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Just to nitpick, when did Lenny get near .400? His career high was .325.
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Sorry, just a nitpick here: When did Lenny Dykstra nearly hit .400?
I just read your post and thought I was reading my own, until I realized my name isn't RickJay. Sorry.

I believe the closest anyone's gotten to .400 since Ted Williams was Tony Gwynn's .390 in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

Last edited by Harrington; 09-20-2019 at 04:52 AM.
  #81  
Old 09-20-2019, 08:39 AM
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I think it has to be a world name for it to count so OJ wasn't really widely known as anything other than an actor outside of the USA before his arrest and trial.
And cricket players aren't known for anything at all inside the USA. just saying if an all-time NFL great is too specific to the USA to meet notability criteria you are going to have a hard time including sports that have zero reach here either.
  #82  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:19 AM
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I just read your post and thought I was reading my own, until I realized my name isn't RickJay. Sorry.

I believe the closest anyone's gotten to .400 since Ted Williams was Tony Gwynn's .390 in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
Brett was the one that hit .390, back in 1980 (exactly halfway between now and Williams's .406, if anyone wants to feel old).

Gwynn hit .394 in 1994 ('94 in '94).
  #83  
Old 09-20-2019, 10:06 AM
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If coaches are eligible for consideration, Joe Paterno takes first prize. How many people get statues of them removed?
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I think I'm voting for Paterno if he counts.
Yeah. The guy was a Living Legend before the shit went down. Evoked fanatical devotion.

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A'aight. You know all the names you just mentioned? Losers. Not a single one of them holds a candle to my guy.

Alexandre Villaplane was a well-known footballer....


So there you go. Do you have anything more extreme than a literal Nazi War Criminal with at least 10 proven murders to his name? I don't think so.
Hard to argue with this!
  #84  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:47 AM
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I just read your post and thought I was reading my own, until I realized my name isn't RickJay. Sorry.

I believe the closest anyone's gotten to .400 since Ted Williams was Tony Gwynn's .390 in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
That's correct. The "near-.400" business about Dykstra comes from 1990, probably his best season, when he was hitting over .400 almost to midseason with the Phillies. Maybe because he was still a favorite of the New York press from his Mets days, there were a lot of "Can Lenny hit .400?" articles.
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  #85  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:17 PM
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Chess is kind of the opposite of athletics, so bringing up chess is very much off-topic.
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The title states "athletes." Not even in the wildest chess proponent's wet dream would a chess player be considered an athlete. ESPN covered, I believe, the 1995 WCC, Kasparov vs. Anand. Still not athletes.
Says people sitting at their keyboards.

Chess is a competition. The people I mentioned were world-famous, and they all had a fall from grace. In fact, unlike O.J. and some of the others cited, their (at least initial) fall from grace was directly related to their field of endeavor.

Anyone here have a problem with Joe Paterno (and Woody Hayes) being on the list? After all, they were coaches, not athletes.
  #86  
Old 09-20-2019, 12:37 PM
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Says people sitting at their keyboards.

Chess is a competition. The people I mentioned were world-famous, and they all had a fall from grace. In fact, unlike O.J. and some of the others cited, their (at least initial) fall from grace was directly related to their field of endeavor.

Anyone here have a problem with Joe Paterno (and Woody Hayes) being on the list? After all, they were coaches, not athletes.
Paterno and Hayes were famous as coaches, not athletes, so yes theyíre ineligible. If the thread was about the ďbiggest names in athleticsĒ that would be different, but itís not.

Again, chess is not an athletic endeavor so itís a total hijack. Otherwise weíre talking about famous actors, politicians, and so on. Poe was mentioned as a throw-away example too.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:49 PM
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Someone upthread mentioned Sammy Sosa, and he'd be near the top of my list in the Non-Criminal category.

He was damn near a national hero during the 1997 home run chase with McGwire, and his career stats would have made him a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer were it not for the taint of steroid use. (And it is just a taint -- unlike McGwire, Clemens, Bonds and others, he never tested positive nor was named by credible witnesses as a user.*)

Yet by 2004 his attitude got him traded out of Chicago, and he's managed to make himself more of a pariah as time passes, most recently and unforgivably comparing himself to Jesus in an interview designed to return him to the Cubs' good graces.

Like Bonds and Clemens, he'll never sniff the HOF, but those guys were never beloved. Sosa was once nearly as popular as Michael Jordan in these parts, but now he's barely a punchline.

*FWIW I think he did use steroids, and heavily, just based on the circumstantial and statistical evidence.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:56 PM
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I agree Lance Armstrong ranks high -- and deserves all the scorn the world can muster -- but I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Livestrong Foundation he helped found. It's still going strong (no pun intended) and has raised huge sums for cancer research and patient support.

It's impossible to calculate how much his unprecedented success (ill-gotten though it was) contributed to the impact of the foundation, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are lots of cancer survivors who still consider him a hero.
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  #89  
Old 09-21-2019, 06:34 AM
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And cricket players aren't known for anything at all inside the USA.
Why does that have any bearing on how famous someone is? Why would fame in the USA be a requirement?

There are dozens of football players and cricketers that would be instantly recognisable to hundreds of millions in dozens of countries and yet would barely get a flicker in the USA. And dozens of NFL players who would be mobbed in the USA and get nothing but a furrowed brow anywhere else in the world.
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Old 09-21-2019, 08:53 AM
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Why does that have any bearing on how famous someone is? Why would fame in the USA be a requirement?

There are dozens of football players and cricketers that would be instantly recognisable to hundreds of millions in dozens of countries and yet would barely get a flicker in the USA. And dozens of NFL players who would be mobbed in the USA and get nothing but a furrowed brow anywhere else in the world.
And thatís exactly what the point is. There arenít that many athletes recognized worldwide, honestly.

If you argue that an athlete in the US isnít that big of a deal if they arenít famous in every corner of the world, then offer up another example that isnít famous in every corner of the world, then youíre really just biased against American athletes. Which is silly on a message board frequented primarily by Americans.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:32 AM
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If you argue that an athlete in the US isnít that big of a deal if they arenít famous in every corner of the world, then offer up another example that isnít famous in every corner of the world,youíre really just biased against American athletes. Which is silly on a message board frequented primarily by Americans.
Seeing as the prime example I offered as an example was an American athlete then I don't think your accusation holds water.

For me, a figure well known across the 90% of the world but not in the USA counts as a more famous figure than someone only really well known in the USA. Even someone only really known across 50% of the world counts as more of a big deal to me than someone only really known in the USA.
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Old 09-21-2019, 09:52 AM
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Seeing as the prime example I offered as an example was an American athlete then I don't think your accusation holds water.

For me, a figure well known across the 90% of the world but not in the USA counts as a more famous figure than someone only really well known in the USA. Even someone only really known across 50% of the world counts as more of a big deal to me than someone only really known in the USA.
TBF, the biggest sport in China is basketball and in India cricket. Thats about 1/3 of the world where footballers, American nor Real, would be basically unknown. I know they are trying to push footie in China but basketball will always be king.
  #93  
Old 09-21-2019, 10:58 AM
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[Moderating]

I don't usually like to be the Hijack Police, but I've gotten multiple reports over this, and so in the interest of keeping the peace, I'm going to declare non-athletic competitors (like chess players) and coaches to be off-limits for this specific thread. If you wish to discuss them, I encourage starting a new thread for them.
  #94  
Old 09-21-2019, 11:53 AM
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I agree Lance Armstrong ranks high -- and deserves all the scorn the world can muster -- but I'm surprised no one's mentioned the Livestrong Foundation he helped found. It's still going strong (no pun intended) and has raised huge sums for cancer research and patient support.

It's impossible to calculate how much his unprecedented success (ill-gotten though it was) contributed to the impact of the foundation, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are lots of cancer survivors who still consider him a hero.
He also seems to be doing quite well with his clothing line and podcast.
  #95  
Old 09-21-2019, 12:32 PM
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asahi is online now
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Originally Posted by Loach View Post
Tyson had a one man show on Broadway. Heís been in movies. Heís doing much better than many boxing champs.
I think that some sports tolerate human frailty more than others. A boxer could probably commit manslaughter and still have a post-conviction career on television, provided he didn't kill a child. People assume fighters are thugs.

But have so much as an affair in golf or tennis and it's an entirely different story, especially if you're the wrong race.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:05 PM
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RE: Mike Tyson's little cartoon show

Norm McDonald Kills as Pidgeon.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:54 AM
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Is Pete Rose really that more well known than OJ internationally based on their sporting achievements? I'm not saying Pete shouldn't be mentioned, but OJ was a Heisman trophy winner, NFL Hall of Famer, and arguably one of the top 10 greatest NFL running backs of all time.
Neither were well known internationally.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
The others are remembered as "athletes who fell from grace. OJ is remembered as "he guy who got off on a double murder charge and later went to prison. And, oh year, he played football and acted in movies."

OJ is remembered first and foremost as a criminal. As he should be.
Agreed. And widely regarded as "he did did but had a good lawyer." I think that murder )proven or otherwise) is worse than anything else. OJ was primarily known outside the USA as an actor.

Second choice: Lance Armstrong. Losing seven first placings!

Boxing has a number of those who fell from grace and ended up as sad wrecks.
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Old 09-22-2019, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
The others are remembered as "athletes who fell from grace. OJ is remembered as "he guy who got off on a double murder charge and later went to prison. And, oh year, he played football and acted in movies."

OJ is remembered first and foremost as a criminal. As he should be.
Agreed. And widely regarded as "he did did but had a good lawyer." I think that murder )proven or otherwise) is worse than anything else. OJ was primarily known outside the USA as an actor.

In the same vein, Pistorius. I think he was reasonably well known worldwide, after all, he had novelty value.

Second choice: Lance Armstrong. Losing seven first placings!

Boxing has a number of those who fell from grace and ended up as sad wrecks.

As has already been pointed out, many sports such as football, soccer and cricket have a huge following in some countries and are just about unknown in others. generally speaking, the only ones who are known worldwide are Olympic athletes and boxers. Maybe also tennis starts?
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:58 PM
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Better nominees have been put forth, but nobody has yet mentioned Jon Jones. There was a day when he heard an old lady yelling for help because somebody had snatched her purse. He ran down the purse snatcher and put him in a submission hold until the police could arrive. Hours later he won (or defended, this is all from memory, so some details could be wrong) the UFC Light Heavyweight title belt. [ETA:] At the time he was considered one of the greatest EVER.

Fast forward a few years and he's pretty much out of the sport after having failed 2 drug tests.

Last edited by Rucksinator; 10-16-2019 at 11:00 PM.
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