Sports "Mount Rushmores" and (hopefully) the debates that follow

I’ll start off with a fairly easy, not obscure, non-debatable one:

NBA Coaches Mount Rushmore:
Red Auerbach
Phil Jackson
Greg Popovich
Pat Riley

I’ve always thought Jackson was a little overrated – his in-game strategies and rotations were always suspect IMHO (and I’ve watched him more than any coach besides Pat Riley) and Doc Rivers mopped the floor with him in the 2008 NBA Finals – but he got his stars to drink his Kool Aid and has the most championships. I’ve always thought Riley was underrated: he did more than just roll the balls out for the Showtime Lakers and he led average Knick teams a lot farther than most expected. But besides John Kundla (Minneapolis Lakers, i.e., ancient), no other NBA coaches have won more than two titles other than these listed.

I am hoping others will go a little farther out on the proverbial limb for their Mount Rushmores.

Epic Music Production Company Mount Rushmore:
Immediate Music
Two Steps from Hell
Position Music

Least confident in the last pick. Other contenders include X-Ray Dog, Really Slow Motion, Future World Music, Epic North Music, E.S. Posthumus; need to listen to more probably.

College Basketball Coaches

Bobby Knight
Mike Kryszewski
Dean Smith
John Wooden

Baseball’s Fireballers Mount Rushmore

Walter Johnson
Nolan Ryan
Bob Feller
Aroldis Chapman

There are certainly pitchers that threw harder than Walter Johnson, but he was the first to be revered for being a hard thrower.

An honorable mention should go to Steve Dalkowski, a flame thrower with a tragic story who didn’t make it out of the minor leagues due to injury after overcoming control problems.

"I Owe It All to My Pharmacist" MLB Mount Rushmore
Sammy Sosa
Brett Boone
Eric Gagne
Brady Anderson


"Well, at Least Some Credit Goes to My Pharmacist" MLB Mount Rushmore
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Jose Canseco
Alex Rodriguez

*Mark McGwire and Manny Ramirez lobbied to be among the faces of this Mount Rushmore, but were denied.

I think I’d take off either Knight or Smith, and put Pat Summitt on.

Thanks for this link - I’d heard the name but never the details.

Here are some:

Take of Phil “I didn’t even invent the triangle offense but I made up for it by winnig all my championships with 2 of the best 10 players in the League” Jackson and add Larry Brown.

Quarterbacks Mount Rushmore

Joe Montana
Dan Marino
Tom Brady
Johnny Unitas

Didn’t make the cut.

Roger Staubach
Peyton Manning
Otto Graham

The Beatles Mt Rushmore:

George Martin

NHL Players Mount Rushmore:
Mario Lemieux
Wayne Gretzky
Gordie Howe
Bobby Orr

What part of “Sports” did you not comprehend? :smack:

I think it’s impossible to pick just four quarterbacks from the NFL. Clearly Montana. Probably Tom Brady (though his resumé isn’t complete, yet). But Dan Marino, for all his passing production, didn’t lead his team to a championship. In that regard, John Elway was better. And there were quarterbacks before the 60s, at least one of whom should probably make the list, so that the faces cover all the time the NFL has been a passing league.

As for Unitas, I always preferred Starr. Who, I will point out, has many more championships. :wink:

F1 Mount Rushmore:

Juan Manuel Fangio - Should need no explanation, but his comeback drive on the Nurburgring in '57 would put him on here by itself. That he held 5 championships in the most deadly era of the sport clinches it.

Jim Clark - He won 1/3 of the F1 races he entered, and had the ability to win with an inferior machine. If he had not died in an F2 race, he would have almost certainly won more.

Jackie Stewart - He was not only fast, but smart and safe. He used his ample prestige to make racing far more safe than it ever had been.

Niki Lauda - So incredibly fast, and came back from one of the more horrific F1 crashes to race again, and win another championship.

Considered, but rejected because they appeared to put winning above the safety of others: Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost.

Thats hard to argue. Maurice Richard v Mario Lemieux might be my only challenge.

NHL Goaltenders Mt. Rushmore:
Terry Sawchuk
Patrick Roy
Martin Brodeur
Dan Dryden

I know some might be arguing for Dominek Hasek, but only one Cup???

Soccer, according to Americans:


Martial Arts Movies:

Bruce Lee
Jackie Chan
Chuck Norris
Steven Segal

All-Time Pro Wrestling:

Lou Thesz
Ed “Strangler” Lewis
Ric Flair
Hulk Hogan

Scary, bloodthirsty Pro Wrestlers:

The Original Sheik
Abdullah the Butcher
Bruiser Brody
Geroge “The Animal” Steele

NFL Head Coaches:


And yours is hard to argue, too. I love Hasek, and I’d argue that he made a team more competitive than they otherwise would be, even more than Roy. However, luck figures into it.* I’d also argue for Bernie Parent, but It’d be a hard decision to figure out who to replace.
*I’d argue hard for Jackie Ickx to be included on the F1 Rushmore. He’s possibly the best driver to ever sit in an open-wheeled car. But he did not have great luck in that league, and excelled in sports car racing instead.

I guess the same part that marshmallow and Russian Heel didn’t comprehend… ? :rolleyes:


Dick Butkus
Lawrence Taylor
Ray Nitschke
Ray Lewis

Ken Dryden.

This is actually not an easy one; Jacques Plante is as deserving of being here as Dryden or Sawchuk. Plante gets points for innovation a la Patrick Roy that Sawchuk doesn’t get. Dominik Hasek might have been the best I ever saw at the height of his powers, but if you put him on the list you have three goalies from the same time, which seems weird.

I don’t have a dog in the fight over those specific players, but (and it comes up in every GOAT thread) I think championships are a bad way to decide best player in a position.

You can have a goalie that stands on his head every game, but if the other 20 guys on the ice suck, you’re not going to have a championship team.

You can have the most accurate QB ever, but if all his receivers are butterfingers and his O-line is made of tissue paper, he’s going to look terrible (or you could be like my Atlanta Falcons this year, best offense in the league but we’re 7-4 because our defense blows).

You might have a basketball player that sinks 50 points a game, but if the other four guys stink, he can’t win the championship solo.

Baseball at least doesn’t suffer from this so much, because the statheads drill down into everything so much that it’s more about the numbers than the rings.