View Poll Results: Do you like the Brady-Jordan-Kobe-Jeter mentality of win at all costs?
Yes 4 23.53%
No 13 76.47%
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  #1  
Old 05-22-2020, 01:23 PM
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Do you like the Brady-Jordan-Kobe-Jeter mentality?


All of these athletes are world champions. They won championships. They expect to be in championship series.

Tom Brady and Derek Jeter don't want watch Super Bowls and World Series if they and their teams are not in it.

It makes them sick.

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were win at all costs, ultracompetitive.

Do you like that mentality?
  #2  
Old 05-22-2020, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post

Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were win at all costs, ultracompetitive.
Aren't most professional athletes like this? Jordan and Bryant might just have more talent and played on better teams. The average second baseman on a thrid place team is probably also "win at all costs, ultra competitive" too. They're just not getting it done.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:36 PM
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Well, I'd temper "win at all costs" down to "win without cheating or being a dick about it", but yeah, I expect professional athletes to play for keeps.
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Old 05-22-2020, 01:43 PM
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Not to pick on Tom Brady (but why not?), going to Tampa Bay doesn't sound like someone who must win at all costs. It's highly doubtful he's going to win any more titles down there.

Hyping his own line of vitamins that supposedly boost immune function (in the middle of a pandemic) does sound like someone whose motto is "Sell at all costs".

I wonder if athletes who engage in sleazy activities like performance-enhancing drug-taking* are into ego-promotion and salary-boosting more than "win at all costs".

*not including the OP's examples among that group.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 05-22-2020 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
Not to pick on Tom Brady (but why not?), going to Tampa Bay doesn't sound like someone who must win at all costs. It's highly doubtful he's going to win any more titles down there.

Hyping his own line of vitamins that supposedly boost immune function (in the middle of a pandemic) does sound like someone whose motto is "Sell at all costs".

I wonder if athletes who engage in sleazy activities like performance-enhancing drug-taking* are into ego-promotion and salary-boosting more than "win at all costs".

*not including the OP's examples among that group.
He can change the Buccaneers culture just like how the Patriots Way was installed in 2000 under Belichick, Kraft, Brady and Weis.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:54 PM
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Many, many athletes have this mentality. The OP has simply listed 4 of the most successful in terms of team championships. I suppose Jordan and Brady can be separated from Jeter and Kobe, as the latter 2 were never the best players in their leagues, and in many seasons, not even on their own teams. Jordan, Kobe and Brady have certainly made public displays of their “intensity”, but I don’t think Jeter fits that profile.

But back to the OP’s question, I love that mentality for athletes on my favorite teams. Not so much for people that I regularly interact with in my life.
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Old 05-22-2020, 03:10 PM
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I believe the OP is a very superficial understanding of sports.
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Old 05-22-2020, 04:21 PM
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I imagine most athletes have this mentality. You don't even get anywhere close to the NBA, NFL etc. in the first place unless you already have a cutthroat alpha mentality. Such players are already the best of the best of the best.

The only difference is that guys like Kobe and Brady actually were in a position to show the world their mentality.
  #9  
Old 05-22-2020, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs View Post
He can change the Buccaneers culture just like how the Patriots Way was installed in 2000 under Belichick, Kraft, Brady and Weis.
By the time the Buccaneers "culture" is sufficiently changed, they'll have to wheel Brady onto the field.
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Old 05-22-2020, 06:10 PM
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Almost all professional athletes are competitive to an unusual extent. That's one of the reasons they're professional athletes. I don't believe any of the athletes named in the OP were at all unusual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yankees 1996 Champs
He can change the Buccaneers culture just like how the Patriots Way was installed in 2000 under Belichick, Kraft, Brady and Weis.
He's not bringing Bill Belichick with him, though, is he?
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Last edited by RickJay; 05-22-2020 at 06:11 PM.
  #11  
Old 05-22-2020, 06:50 PM
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Yes, it is a pretty common mentality, but some take it much further than others. For instance Schumacher and Senna both ran other people off the race course to win a championship. Most aren't risking their life when others play dirty, but auto racers are.

So, if you take that mentality too far, you're a scumbag in my book.
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:00 PM
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Are you sure you didn't mean to call it the Ruth-Mantle-DiMaggio-Gehrig-Jeter-Jeter-Jeter-Jeter-Pettite-Rivera-Posada-Steinbrenner-Torre-Pinstripes-Bronx-Subway mentality?
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Old 05-22-2020, 08:24 PM
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Are you sure you didn't mean to call it the Ruth-Mantle-DiMaggio-Gehrig-Jeter-Jeter-Jeter-Jeter-Pettite-Rivera-Posada-Steinbrenner-Torre-Pinstripes-Bronx-Subway mentality?
Well, the first 4 werenít on the Ď96 team. But Jeffrey Maier certainly had it!
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:48 PM
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I miss Grantland. Their Captain diaries did a great job of summing up Jeter's mindset and were quite funny.

To actually answer the OP. I think there are some guys that are more visibly intense but I think its mostly an act. Take Koby running off Shaq since he was tired of being #2 on the team. That isn't a winner who wants nothing but to win. On the other hand to keep in the Yankee family everyone remembers ARod's ball slap in 2004. That was a win as all costs move why isn't he on the list by Jeter.

I think everyone wants to win and some train harder (Cespedes) or study more (Manning) or cheat harder (Bonds) but they don't make the OPs list. I think the lazy pro athlete is much more rare then the guy who will do what it takes to win.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Oredigger77 View Post
I think everyone wants to win and some train harder (Cespedes) or study more (Manning) or cheat harder (Bonds) but they don't make the OPs list. I think the lazy pro athlete is much more rare then the guy who will do what it takes to win.
Of course, the lazy pro athlete is soon not a pro athlete. It's a self selecting group.

If you're lazy all along you will probably never make it anywhere near the pros. When I was 15 I had a teammate on my ballteam who was so talented it was stupid; he could hit a ball 450 feet, had speed, great arm, the works. But he had a terrible work ethic, and just didn't care enough, and never got past high school. I doubt he could have even made a second tier college team or stayed on the squad because the coaches wouldn't want a lazy player. It is really, really, really hard to keep up. The further you go, the less natural talent will push you through and the more you need to study the game. The seasons get longer and more taxing, the expectations higher.
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Old 05-23-2020, 06:42 AM
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When I was 15 I had a teammate on my ballteam who was so talented it was stupid; he could hit a ball 450 feet, had speed, great arm, the works. But he had a terrible work ethic, and just didn't care enough, and never got past high school. I doubt he could have even made a second tier college team or stayed on the squad because the coaches wouldn't want a lazy player. It is really, really, really hard to keep up. The further you go, the less natural talent will push you through and the more you need to study the game. The seasons get longer and more taxing, the expectations higher.
Was his name Joe Pepitone?

In his autobiography The Mick, Mantle spoke of Pepitone as being supremely talented--"a natural home run hitter"--who washed out because he didn't take the game seriously.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:45 AM
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Being driven to win is one thing, but with some of those guys, you get the sense they don't even enjoy the game they're playing, you know? And that's kind of sad.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:38 AM
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Being driven to win is one thing, but with some of those guys, you get the sense they don't even enjoy the game they're playing, you know? And that's kind of sad.
Agree, this is the flip Side of their success. There are many anecdotal stories of super-competitive athletes who are unable to handle losing in any competition they enter. This is one reason Iím looking forward to watching the Tiger-Manning vs. Phil-Brady charity golf match tomorrow.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:50 AM
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But back to the OPís question, I love that mentality for athletes on my favorite teams. Not so much for people that I regularly interact with in my life.
Exactly what I came to say. It also holds for CEOs of companies I'm invested in (with some modifications).
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:45 PM
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Being driven to win is one thing, but with some of those guys, you get the sense they don't even enjoy the game they're playing, you know? And that's kind of sad.
Jerry Rice mentioned this in his Hall of Fame induction speech. He lamented that he didn't allow himself to enjoy his career while his career was ongoing. The man was so ruthlessly focused on self-improvement and not slacking off that he didn't stop to smell the roses.
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:58 PM
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Well, the first 4 werenít on the Ď96 team. But Jeffrey Maier certainly had it!
Ironically, late last night, I turned on the NBC Sports channel; they were running Game 1 of the '96 Series, and I turned it on just a moment after the Jeter home run, when the Orioles were still arguing with the umpires over the call.
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Old 05-23-2020, 02:39 PM
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Agree, this is the flip Side of their success. There are many anecdotal stories of super-competitive athletes who are unable to handle losing in any competition they enter. This is one reason I’m looking forward to watching the Tiger-Manning vs. Phil-Brady charity golf match tomorrow.
Some of them handle it better than others.

There was a story about a long-retired Ty Cobb having a conversation with a catcher named Nig Clark, who told Cobb about a trick he had used to get runners called out at the plate when they were really safe. (I can't remember how it worked--I think it involved fooling the umpire about how many outs there were). When Clark admitted that he'd used it successfully against Cobb around ten times over the years, Cobb was enraged: "You cost me ten runs! Runs I earned!"

In contrast, Jack Dempsey (despite being so fiercely competitive they named a vicious-fighting fish after him) could be remarkably laid back in loss. At the bell ending the the 1927 rematch with Gene Tunney, Dempsey immediately shook hands amiably with Tunney. In his dressing room, of all people, was Dempsey's friend Ty Cobb, who was more upset at the loss than he was.

Dempsey also did a remarkable thing in the runup to that fight. When he heard that Al Capone (a Dempsey fan) was planning to rig things in his favor, Dempsey (politely) wrote Al, asking him not to. "Let the fight be decided in the spirit of true sportsmanship".

Given the choice of being second best and declared winner; and being best and declared loser; Cobb would have chosen the former, Dempsey the latter.

Last edited by F. U. Shakespeare; 05-23-2020 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:25 PM
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Given the choice of being second best and declared winner; and being best and declared loser; Cobb would have chosen the former, Dempsey the latter.
I don't think that your conclusion follows from your story.

If your story is accurate, Cobb was angry NOT because he had been bested, but because he had been cheated. He had been called out when he was really safe, based on the umpire somehow being deceived about what really happened. Cobb was not "second best" on the day; his abilities made him safe, but the cheating (or whatever) deprived him of the proper result. There is no evidence in this story to suggest that Cobb would not have accepted a fair and honest result based on ability.

Similarly, Dempsey's call to Capone does not demonstrate an acceptance of "being best and declared loser." After all, if he had lost the contest in a fair fight, he would not have been best, by definition. He simply wanted the results of the fight to reflect the merits of the two boxers, whichever one happened to be better on the day.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:36 PM
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I don't think that your conclusion follows from your story.

If your story is accurate, Cobb was angry NOT because he had been bested, but because he had been cheated. He had been called out when he was really safe, based on the umpire somehow being deceived about what really happened. Cobb was not "second best" on the day; his abilities made him safe, but the cheating (or whatever) deprived him of the proper result. There is no evidence in this story to suggest that Cobb would not have accepted a fair and honest result based on ability.

Similarly, Dempsey's call to Capone does not demonstrate an acceptance of "being best and declared loser." After all, if he had lost the contest in a fair fight, he would not have been best, by definition. He simply wanted the results of the fight to reflect the merits of the two boxers, whichever one happened to be better on the day.
Explain this picture. Cobb was well known for deliberately spiking opponents.
Fair play, my ass.
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Old 05-23-2020, 03:38 PM
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Explain this picture. Cobb was well known for deliberately spiking opponents.
Fair play, my ass.
That picture is completely irrelevant to my argument, which was based entirely on the story told in the previous post.

If you read my post, you'll see the words "I don't think that your conclusion follows from your story." You will not see the words: "Ty Cobb was a fair and lovable character in all of his baseball exploits."

Happy to help.
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Old 05-23-2020, 04:30 PM
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Not to pick on Tom Brady (but why not?), going to Tampa Bay doesn't sound like someone who must win at all costs. It's highly doubtful he's going to win any more titles down there.
He may not win any more championships. But he won in the sense that he got a better contract from the Buccaneers than he would have gotten from the Patriots. I'm sure Brady is just as competitive about the money he makes as he is about the games he wins.

As others have noted, Brady's not unique in this regard. I imagine pretty much every professional athlete has the same "win at all costs" mentality. If they don't, they wash out of professional sports. To play at that level, you need extraordinary drive along with extraordinary skills.
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Old 05-23-2020, 05:06 PM
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I wasn't thinking I'd be asked to provide cites about Cobb's propensity for cheating, which likely extended to fixing games (google 'Ty Cobb Dutch Leonard'). In other news, the pope is Catholic.

If Cobb had been a veritable boy scout like Christy Mathewson, I could see his piping up about being cheated (at least, for a little while--this was decades later).

In any event, my point was to enumerate the widely disparate personalities that extreme competitors (which the OP asked about) can display.

Last edited by F. U. Shakespeare; 05-23-2020 at 05:06 PM.
  #28  
Old 05-24-2020, 08:43 PM
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Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant were win at all costs, ultracompetitive.

Do you like that mentality?
I admire a drive to be the best and do your best, but I don't like the win-at-all-cost mentality because that tends towards ruthless, dodgy behavior if not all out cheating.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:54 PM
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He may not win any more championships. But he won in the sense that he got a better contract from the Buccaneers than he would have gotten from the Patriots. I'm sure Brady is just as competitive about the money he makes as he is about the games he wins.

I don't feel like that is fair to Brady. He often took lesser contracts with the Patriots so they'd have more money to field a more competitive team and he didn't make the Buccaneers negotiate a higher contract or engage in a bidding war.

That's not to say he isn't concerned with money rather that the real money is with his brand and he has a better chance to put up great numbers tossing to Evans, Godwin and now Gronkowski than what the Patriots put around him.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:17 AM
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I admire a drive to be the best and do your best, but I don't like the win-at-all-cost mentality because that tends towards ruthless, dodgy behavior if not all out cheating.
It would be really hard to be friends with a really driven person. I imagine that having close friends isn't really high on their priority lists, though.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:26 AM
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A list of anecdotes detailing MJ's legendary competitive nature: https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports...92bb44d590c962

I was trying to find a cute for the infamous story of him, 'cheating a college teammate's grandmother while playing Hearts,' and found the above blurb instead. It frankly sounds psychotic, but it helped him be the best ever, and we were all entertained by him, so I guess that makes it OK.

On Alessan's point, from family members who've competed in high-end D1 college football, they mentioned it stopped being fun and was more of a job at that level of competition. I'm sure they had fun in parts, but for them it was no longer a game. More how they were able to maintain a modest brief living as a college student-athlete.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:27 AM
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A list of anecdotes detailing MJ's legendary competitive nature: https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports...92bb44d590c962

I was trying to find a cute for the infamous story of him, 'cheating a college teammate's grandmother while playing Hearts,' and found the above blurb instead. It frankly sounds psychotic, but it helped him be the best ever, and we were all entertained by him, so I guess that makes it OK.

On Alessan's point, from family members who've competed in high-end D1 college football, they mentioned it stopped being fun and was more of a job at that level of competition. I'm sure they had fun in parts, but for them it was no longer a game. More how they were able to maintain a modest brief living as a college student-athlete.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:32 AM
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All of these athletes are world champions.
Strictly speaking, none of them are
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:36 PM
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I admire a drive to be the best and do your best, but I don't like the win-at-all-cost mentality because that tends towards ruthless, dodgy behavior if not all out cheating.
The OP forgot to cite Alex Rodriguez as one of those gotta-win mentality Yankees, as demonstrated by his PED use and a certain, um, dodgy postseason play.

As for Ty Cobb (described by one of his contemporaries as wanting to win "in the worst way"), there seems to have been a consensus that fielders who denied runners a clear path to a base were fair game whether it involved spiking or not. That Cobb was one of the players involved in fixing a couple of games (I think Tris Speaker was another) appears likely.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:17 PM
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As for Ty Cobb (described by one of his contemporaries as wanting to win "in the worst way"), there seems to have been a consensus that fielders who denied runners a clear path to a base were fair game whether it involved spiking or not. That Cobb was one of the players involved in fixing a couple of games (I think Tris Speaker was another) appears likely.
That contemporary is Jimmy Austin. He made that comment in the classic baseball oral history The Glory of Their Times.

Austin is the third baseman being spiked by Cobb in what's claimed to be the most famous baseball pic of all time (google it).
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:07 AM
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That contemporary is Jimmy Austin. He made that comment in the classic baseball oral history The Glory of Their Times.
My all-time favorite baseball book.
Quote:
Austin is the third baseman being spiked by Cobb in what's claimed to be the most famous baseball pic of all time (google it).
Cobb is not spiking him in that photo.*

Quoting Jimmy Austin in the book:

"Ty was fair enough on the bases, though. He nicked me a couple of times, but it was my fault. I don't blame him."

*It's a good action photo, despite the faux baseball added to the picture by an overzealous retoucher.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 05-26-2020 at 11:08 AM.
  #37  
Old 05-26-2020, 12:16 PM
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It would be really hard to be friends with a really driven person. I imagine that having close friends isn't really high on their priority lists, though.
Back when they were both till alive, NASCAR driver Neil bonnet was being interviewed, and he told a story about his best friend Dale Earnhardt. One day they were going to go down fishing, and they were going to ride quads. Dale suggested they race. So they did. Dale was so competitive that he ran Neil off the road into the trees (and won). How "win at all costs" do you have to be to run your supposed best friend off the road in a friendly race?

And worse yet, Neil told the story with reverence, as if he thought that as just normal behavior.

Well one of them is a seven-time champion with 76 wins, and the other is a no-time champion with 18 wins, so I guess ol' Ironhead would be happy with that comparison.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 05-26-2020 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:15 PM
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Some Early Wynn quotes:

"A pitcher has to look at the hitter as his mortal enemy."

When asked if he would throw at his mother on Mother's Day: "I would if she were crowding the plate."

Quotes about Early Wynn:

"I usually stick out my hand and hope he puts the ball in it. Except the one time I went out to take Early Wynn out. I stuck out my hand and he hit me right in the stomach with the ball." - Indians manager Al Lopez

"That s.o.b. is so mean he would $^#&ing knock you down in the dugout." - Mickey Mantle
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:58 PM
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Back when they were both till alive, NASCAR driver Neil bonnet was being interviewed, and he told a story about his best friend Dale Earnhardt. One day they were going to go down fishing, and they were going to ride quads. Dale suggested they race. So they did. Dale was so competitive that he ran Neil off the road into the trees (and won). How "win at all costs" do you have to be to run your supposed best friend off the road in a friendly race?

And worse yet, Neil told the story with reverence, as if he thought that as just normal behavior.

Well one of them is a seven-time champion with 76 wins, and the other is a no-time champion with 18 wins, so I guess ol' Ironhead would be happy with that comparison.
Yeah, Earnhardt is one that kind of sticks on me, even though I never liked him. I'd often felt that he was a dirty, nasty driver. The day he died, I shed no tears, because he'd spent his career either threatening to or actually putting people into the wall. But the wreck that killed him wasn't because he was being an especially dirty driver, he was blocking as best he could, but not doing anything crazy. However, his success kind of caught up with him that day, as he bunched a large group of cars behind him. It doesn't look like intentional contact, but one tap was all it took for him to go around and the tight group ensured he wouldn't have time to collect it. That's just part of high speed circle track races.

So, the reputation that led to him being "The Intimadator" didn't lead directly to his death. However, his death showed how cavalier that behavior was. The difference between you walking away and dying is simply the angle you hit the wall at. Any time you made an unsafe pass or block, you're potentially willing to kill someone (at worst, potentially a spectator) for position in a sport. A sport that no matter how much I love it can be accurately described as: driving in circles as fast as you can.

I mean, would you rather be Jacky Ickx, who walked to his car and carefully fastened his seat belts, had a competitor who crashed and died on the first lap and then went on to win the 1969 Le Mans race? Or would you rather be Stefan Bellof, who died and extinguished a very promising career trying to pass Ickx in a move that Derek Bell said was: "...a totally unnecessary accident. Bellof was incorrect, and I would say that to his parents. Nobody in his right mind would try to pass on what may be the most difficult corner in the world."

Again, in most sports, you might end someone's career with a dick move, but you're unlikely to kill them. When you make a dick move in racing, there might not be any more of that other guy, or there might not be any more you. There's already more than enough chances for that to happen, if you add more you're going to lose a lot of reputation.
  #40  
Old 05-26-2020, 11:43 PM
Just Asking Questions is offline
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Yeah, Earnhardt is one that kind of sticks on me, even though I never liked him. I'd often felt that he was a dirty, nasty driver.
He wrecked Terry Labonte on the final lap of one race, and even though Labonte won, they had to tow the car to the winner's circle.

Earnhardt would not just nudge people to pass, he'd plow them over. And NASCAR never did a thing. They had "Jordan rules" for ironhead, and I got sick of it pretty fast.

I wanted him to get his comeuppance one day, but I really didn't want out all at once. But I can live with it.
  #41  
Old 05-27-2020, 10:03 AM
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Back when they were both till alive, NASCAR driver Neil bonnet was being interviewed, and he told a story about his best friend Dale Earnhardt. One day they were going to go down fishing, and they were going to ride quads. Dale suggested they race. So they did. Dale was so competitive that he ran Neil off the road into the trees (and won). How "win at all costs" do you have to be to run your supposed best friend off the road in a friendly race?

And worse yet, Neil told the story with reverence, as if he thought that as just normal behavior.

Well one of them is a seven-time champion with 76 wins, and the other is a no-time champion with 18 wins, so I guess ol' Ironhead would be happy with that comparison.
I guess Bonnet's perspective is somewhat understandable since he was an elite driver himself, just a less accomplished one. To be one of 30-couple drivers to consistently line up for a major NASCAR race requires a way above average level of competitiveness, too.

I remember growing up how shocked I was at how competitive some of my peers were, at least relative to me. That was an eye-opening experience for me and greatly enhanced both my understanding of the world and my place in it.
  #42  
Old 05-27-2020, 05:14 PM
Little Nemo is online now
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Originally Posted by Disgruntled Penguin View Post
I don't feel like that is fair to Brady. He often took lesser contracts with the Patriots so they'd have more money to field a more competitive team and he didn't make the Buccaneers negotiate a higher contract or engage in a bidding war.
Does that include the money the Patriots paid Brady outside of his contract?

TB12 Sports Therapy Center is a private company that the New England Patriots paid large sums of money to for consultations. And the owner of TB12 was, of course, Tom Brady.

How much would you care to wager that the Patriots won't be doing business with TB12 next year?
  #43  
Old 05-27-2020, 05:32 PM
Little Nemo is online now
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I once read a book about professional sports that made an interesting point. Professional athletes rarely have the same kind of emotional connection to their team that the team's fans do.

Fans develop their love for a team over a lifetime, generally starting when they are children. People who are fans of the New England Patriots, for example, probably grew up in the Boston area and were part of Patriots fandom from childhood.

Tom Brady grew up on the other side of the country, in the San Francisco area. He played college football in Michigan. His association with the New England Patriots started when he was drafted by them in 2000.

I'm sure Brady likes the Patriots. But he's probably doesn't love the Patriots. He probably sees the New England Patriots as his employer, albeit a very good employer who's always treated him great. But there probably isn't the same emotional connection that fans of the team have. So he has no problem switching his allegiance to a new team and being as loyal to them as he was to the Patriots. (And no more loyal to them than he was to the Patriots.)

I'm not saying this as a knock on Brady or other professional athletes. But we should keep in mind that for most of them, this is just their job. And their devotion to their team is probably the same as the devotion you feel to your job.
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