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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Top 10 Greatest All-Time Competitors in the History of Sports

   In watching Monday night's U.S.Open final, I was reminded yet again of the metronome of effort that is Rafael Nadal.
   He never ever never ever never gives up. On a match. On a set. On a game. On a point. On a shot.
   There was a time not long ago when we thought no one in tennis would break Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slams. Then came Roger Federer. And now arrives Rafa.
   One of the greatest competitors in the history of sports, I think Nadal will finish his career with more titles than any player before him. With last night's Open he now has 13. He needs five more to pass Federer. He's only 27 years old.
   You hear athletes talking about "the zone." It's that rarified air of singular focus where mind, body and spirit get so immersed in the moment that if you walked up and asked them for the time you'd get a quizzical look as to what day it was much less the exact time. Or perhaps you'd get a fist full of their intensity right in your distracted kisser.
   Nadal isn't the best player in the history of tennis. But - along with Jimmy Connors - he is the sport's fiercest competitor. He takes his tube of talent and potential, and painstakingly squeezes every ounce of performance from it.
   When elite skill morphs with relentless will, locally we get guys like Bill Bates and Nolan Ryan and J.J. Barea and Emmitt Smith. On a wider scope, you get Rafael Nadal and the rest of the greatest competitors in the history of sports ...

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11 comments:

  1. Hockey might not be high on your list, but you missed Mark Messier.

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    1. Yeah, I remember him playing with the Rangers. But I'm not about to pretend like I know enough to rank him. Thanks.

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  2. Don't know where he belongs, but how in the hell can you leave Roger Staubach off the list? Forget his holier than thou image, my lasting memory of Roger was late in a regular season loss to the Rams during the '75 season. He was tossed out of bounds late in the game and the Rams players were giving him an earful. Staubach jumped up and shouted "we'll see you fuckin' chokers in the playoffs!" Sure enough, the "dirty dozen" team killed the Rams at the coliseum in the playoffs. NEVER underestimate Captain America!!

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  3. IT WILL SOON GO DOWN THAT 105.3 THE FAN GOES DOWN AS THE GREATEST COMPETITOR TO THE TICKET!

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    1. Bravo, sir. Usually I get annoyed when The Fan vs. Ticket stuff appears on this site, but that was good.

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  4. 3 tennis players top 10 all time competitors? No Ali, Hagler or any top ten fighters. No hockey players, no Deacon Jones,Joe Greene, Joe Montana. What a gay ass list!




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    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8z7EOG8z_e0

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    2. 2 tennis players. Probably should read the list before criticizing the list. And, no, not Joe Montana.

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  5. List was good. Not everyone knows what a competitor is Richie but i like it.
    @Richie do you think the way Wawrinka was playing into the semis that he would of been a better match for Nadal??..Dont get me wrong I enjoy the Nadal vs Djoko any day. But Djoko had bad game and Wawrinka just had something this time around?

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    1. Nadal would've beaten anyone. Didn't matter.

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