Greatest Athletes

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Holden
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Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:20 pm

Hello! I have decided that I am going to aggregate lists of the greatest athletes in the world, across any sport, and I would hope to create a website about this in the future. Please leave advice/lists in this thread, that would be amazing, thank you!
Last edited by Holden on Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Cold Butterfly
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Re: Greatest Athletes of All-Time

Post by Cold Butterfly » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:35 pm

As a huge sports fan, especially when it comes to the NBA, I think this is a very interesting project. You might want to check out athletes lists from ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report for this.

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ValenN
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by ValenN » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:21 pm

Here's a good one to start:
https://watchmojo.com/video/id/11922

Best of luck!

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Henrik » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:22 pm

Interesting project! :happy-partydance:

I remember checking out a few such lists in the nineties, and there were enormous differences between lists from different countries, so I would try quite hard to find lists from all over the world. Good luck!
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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:33 pm

One of the things that I really feel I unfamiliar with are formulas. Any advice? Maybe an example for an easy win or loss formula?
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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:04 pm

Additionally, how do you find lists from other nations? Any tips for like filtering results?
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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:21 am

Okay, so, I have made an equation that I'm working with and that I think will do great. I've got a few lists entered, and many more set-up to be entered eventually. Then comes the true question: How in heck's name do I start a website?
"I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life."
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ValenN
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by ValenN » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:27 pm

Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:21 am
Okay, so, I have made an equation that I'm working with and that I think will do great. I've got a few lists entered, and many more set-up to be entered eventually. Then comes the true question: How in heck's name do I start a website?
I just used SquareSpace for mine, but it's probably better (and less expensive) to make your own by coding (if you know how to do that). Best of luck!

As far your equation is concerned, it seems that everyone has a different formula for aggregating all the lists together. I know Henrik uses logarithms in his calculations and the PlayThatGame guys use a database program, while I use a points system that rewards shows based on their rankings and list size. Don't be afraid to experiment and change some things around in the formula, I know I'm not completely satisfied with my methods yet.

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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:30 pm

ValenN wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:27 pm
Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:21 am
Okay, so, I have made an equation that I'm working with and that I think will do great. I've got a few lists entered, and many more set-up to be entered eventually. Then comes the true question: How in heck's name do I start a website?
I just used SquareSpace for mine, but it's probably better (and less expensive) to make your own by coding (if you know how to do that). Best of luck!

As far your equation is concerned, it seems that everyone has a different formula for aggregating all the lists together. I know Henrik uses logarithms in his calculations and the PlayThatGame guys use a database program, while I use a points system that rewards shows based on their rankings and list size. Don't be afraid to experiment and change some things around in the formula, I know I'm not completely satisfied with my methods yet.
I do not know how to code, but have you had a relatively positive experience with SquareSpace
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ValenN
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by ValenN » Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:27 am

Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:30 pm
ValenN wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:27 pm
Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:21 am
Okay, so, I have made an equation that I'm working with and that I think will do great. I've got a few lists entered, and many more set-up to be entered eventually. Then comes the true question: How in heck's name do I start a website?
I just used SquareSpace for mine, but it's probably better (and less expensive) to make your own by coding (if you know how to do that). Best of luck!

As far your equation is concerned, it seems that everyone has a different formula for aggregating all the lists together. I know Henrik uses logarithms in his calculations and the PlayThatGame guys use a database program, while I use a points system that rewards shows based on their rankings and list size. Don't be afraid to experiment and change some things around in the formula, I know I'm not completely satisfied with my methods yet.
I do not know how to code, but have you had a relatively positive experience with SquareSpace
My experience has been good, if a bit on the expensive side. There were a few features I had to buy from other sources which Squarespace didn't provide (like the tables and randomized pictures), and the creators of these extra features were wonderful in helping me out with a few problems I ran into. I would give it a try at least.

Also, if you still have access to your college e-mail, you can use that to get a huge discount.

Good luck!

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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:57 pm

ValenN wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:27 am
Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:30 pm
ValenN wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:27 pm


I just used SquareSpace for mine, but it's probably better (and less expensive) to make your own by coding (if you know how to do that). Best of luck!

As far your equation is concerned, it seems that everyone has a different formula for aggregating all the lists together. I know Henrik uses logarithms in his calculations and the PlayThatGame guys use a database program, while I use a points system that rewards shows based on their rankings and list size. Don't be afraid to experiment and change some things around in the formula, I know I'm not completely satisfied with my methods yet.
I do not know how to code, but have you had a relatively positive experience with SquareSpace
My experience has been good, if a bit on the expensive side. There were a few features I had to buy from other sources which Squarespace didn't provide (like the tables and randomized pictures), and the creators of these extra features were wonderful in helping me out with a few problems I ran into. I would give it a try at least.

Also, if you still have access to your college e-mail, you can use that to get a huge discount.

Good luck!
Out of curiosity, and sorry if I’m asking too many questions, but where specifically did you get the table feature.
"I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life."
Current Top 50 Albums: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

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ValenN
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by ValenN » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:12 am

Holden wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 8:57 pm
ValenN wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 2:27 am
Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:30 pm


I do not know how to code, but have you had a relatively positive experience with SquareSpace
My experience has been good, if a bit on the expensive side. There were a few features I had to buy from other sources which Squarespace didn't provide (like the tables and randomized pictures), and the creators of these extra features were wonderful in helping me out with a few problems I ran into. I would give it a try at least.

Also, if you still have access to your college e-mail, you can use that to get a huge discount.

Good luck!
Out of curiosity, and sorry if I’m asking too many questions, but where specifically did you get the table feature.
No worries, feel free to send me a private message if you have more questions too!

I got the table from here: https://www.squarewebsites.org/products ... able-block
If you have any questions about this feature, get in contact with michael@squarespacewebsites.com, he really helped me out!

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by bootsy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:27 am

Holden wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:20 pm
Hello! I have decided that I am going to aggregate lists of the greatest athletes in the world, across any sport, and I would hope to create a website about this in the future. Please leave advice/lists in this thread, that would be amazing, thank you!
Is this living athletes only?

Also I agree with Cold Butterfly in that ESPN, SI, Bleacher Report are good places to start. The Athletic if you have a subscription has some good lists and the Sports Reference sites have very good stats and lists if you need those.

Like this https://www.baseball-reference.com/bull ... rtsCentury

NBA's 50 greatest: https://www.basketball-reference.com/aw ... atest.html or SLAM Magazines 500 greatest: https://www.basketball-reference.com/aw ... atest.html
Last edited by bootsy on Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:36 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:47 am

bootsy wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:27 am
Holden wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:20 pm
Hello! I have decided that I am going to aggregate lists of the greatest athletes in the world, across any sport, and I would hope to create a website about this in the future. Please leave advice/lists in this thread, that would be amazing, thank you!
Is this living athletes only?

Also I agree with Cold Butterfly in that ESPN, SI, Bleacher Report are good places to start. The Athletic if you have a subscription has some good lists and the Sports Reference sites have very good stats and lists if you need those.

Like this https://www.baseball-reference.com/bull ... rtsCentury

NBA's 50 greatest: https://www.basketball-reference.com/aw ... atest.html or SLAM Magazines 500 greatest: https://www.basketball-reference.com/aw ... atest.html
Thank you, this looks incredibly helpful!
"I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life."
Current Top 50 Albums: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:37 pm

Hello! Nowhere near having enough lists to actually launch anything yet, but here is a little bit of a preview, after fifteen lists, and 702 athletes, here is the current top 100:
01 Michael Jordan
02 Pelé
03 Carl Lewis
04 Jesse Owens
05 Muhammad Ali
06 Jim Thorpe
07 Jim Brown
08 Wayne Gretzky
09 Nadia Comaneci
10 Michael Phelps
11 Bo Jackson
12 Babe Ruth
13 Deion Sanders
14 Diego Maradona
15 Paavo Nurmi
16 Babe Didrikson Zaharias
17 Larisa Latynina
18 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
19 Tiger Woods
20 Lebron James
21 Wilma Rudolph
22 Martina Navratilova
23 Jackie Robinson
24 Bobby Orr
25 Bob Beamon
26 Sergey Bubka
27 Usain Bolt
28 Eddy Merckx
29 Florence Griffith-Joyner
30 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
31 Johnny Weissmuller
32 Alexander Karelin
33 Mark Spitz
34 Johan Cruyff
35 Steffi Graf
36 Joe Montana
37 Wilt Chamberlain
38 Roger Federer
39 Cheryl Miller
40 Greg Louganis
41 Gordie Howe
42 Bjorn Borg
43 Sugar Ray Robinson
44 Pete Sampras
45 Willie Mays
46 Haile Gebrselassie
47 Michael Johnson
48 Al Oerter
49 Jerry Rice
50 Fanny Blankers-Koen
51 Ayrton Senna
52 Eric Heiden
53 Jack Nicklaus
54 Magic Johnson
55 Naim Suleymanoglu
56 Matt Biondi
57 Emil Zatopek
58 Bill Russell
59 Franz Beckenbauer
60 Steve Nash
61 Vitalj Sjtjerba
62 Abebe Bikila
63 Althea Gibson
64 Steve Redgrave
65 Lasse Viren
66 Serena Williams
67 Joe Louis
68 Jahangir Khan
69 Tom Brady
70 Ferenc Puskás
71 Aladar Gerevich
72 Teofilo Stevenson
73 Alfredo di Stefano
74 Aleksandr Karelin
75 Cindy Klassen
76 Ted Williams
77 Jean-Claude Killy
78 Sonja Henie
79 Dan Gable
80 Vera Caslavska
81 Dawn Frase
82 Anderson Silva
83 Alexei Nemov
84 Lionel Conacher
85 Björn Dählie
86 Joe DiMaggio
87 Ingemar Stenmark
88 Hank Aaron
89 Paul Elvström
90 Lawrence Taylor
91 Larry Bird
92 Bob Mathias
93 Lionel Messi
94 Kobe Bryant
95 Yasuhiro Yamashita
96 Donovan Bailey
97 Lester Piggott
98 Annika Sörenstam
99 Mario Lemieux
100 Vasily Alexeyev
"I wouldn't trade one stupid decision for another five years of life."
Current Top 50 Albums: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

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ValenN
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by ValenN » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:23 pm

Holden wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:37 pm
Hello! Nowhere near having enough lists to actually launch anything yet, but here is a little bit of a preview, after fifteen lists, and 702 athletes, here is the current top 100:
01 Michael Jordan
02 Pelé
03 Carl Lewis
04 Jesse Owens
05 Muhammad Ali
06 Jim Thorpe
07 Jim Brown
08 Wayne Gretzky
09 Nadia Comaneci
10 Michael Phelps
11 Bo Jackson
12 Babe Ruth
13 Deion Sanders
14 Diego Maradona
15 Paavo Nurmi
16 Babe Didrikson Zaharias
17 Larisa Latynina
18 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
19 Tiger Woods
20 Lebron James
21 Wilma Rudolph
22 Martina Navratilova
23 Jackie Robinson
24 Bobby Orr
25 Bob Beamon
26 Sergey Bubka
27 Usain Bolt
28 Eddy Merckx
29 Florence Griffith-Joyner
30 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
31 Johnny Weissmuller
32 Alexander Karelin
33 Mark Spitz
34 Johan Cruyff
35 Steffi Graf
36 Joe Montana
37 Wilt Chamberlain
38 Roger Federer
39 Cheryl Miller
40 Greg Louganis
41 Gordie Howe
42 Bjorn Borg
43 Sugar Ray Robinson
44 Pete Sampras
45 Willie Mays
46 Haile Gebrselassie
47 Michael Johnson
48 Al Oerter
49 Jerry Rice
50 Fanny Blankers-Koen
51 Ayrton Senna
52 Eric Heiden
53 Jack Nicklaus
54 Magic Johnson
55 Naim Suleymanoglu
56 Matt Biondi
57 Emil Zatopek
58 Bill Russell
59 Franz Beckenbauer
60 Steve Nash
61 Vitalj Sjtjerba
62 Abebe Bikila
63 Althea Gibson
64 Steve Redgrave
65 Lasse Viren
66 Serena Williams
67 Joe Louis
68 Jahangir Khan
69 Tom Brady
70 Ferenc Puskás
71 Aladar Gerevich
72 Teofilo Stevenson
73 Alfredo di Stefano
74 Aleksandr Karelin
75 Cindy Klassen
76 Ted Williams
77 Jean-Claude Killy
78 Sonja Henie
79 Dan Gable
80 Vera Caslavska
81 Dawn Frase
82 Anderson Silva
83 Alexei Nemov
84 Lionel Conacher
85 Björn Dählie
86 Joe DiMaggio
87 Ingemar Stenmark
88 Hank Aaron
89 Paul Elvström
90 Lawrence Taylor
91 Larry Bird
92 Bob Mathias
93 Lionel Messi
94 Kobe Bryant
95 Yasuhiro Yamashita
96 Donovan Bailey
97 Lester Piggott
98 Annika Sörenstam
99 Mario Lemieux
100 Vasily Alexeyev
Awesome list! I wonder though, do you consider martial arts a sport? If so, here are some lists for that:

https://www.liveabout.com/top-most-infl ... ts-2307765
https://screenrant.com/martial-arts-stars-ranked/
https://medium.com/martial-arts-unleash ... 942ae0061f
https://www.shortlist.com/news/the-20-g ... stars-ever

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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:58 pm

ValenN wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:23 pm
Holden wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:37 pm
Hello! Nowhere near having enough lists to actually launch anything yet, but here is a little bit of a preview, after fifteen lists, and 702 athletes, here is the current top 100:
01 Michael Jordan
02 Pelé
03 Carl Lewis
04 Jesse Owens
05 Muhammad Ali
06 Jim Thorpe
07 Jim Brown
08 Wayne Gretzky
09 Nadia Comaneci
10 Michael Phelps
11 Bo Jackson
12 Babe Ruth
13 Deion Sanders
14 Diego Maradona
15 Paavo Nurmi
16 Babe Didrikson Zaharias
17 Larisa Latynina
18 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
19 Tiger Woods
20 Lebron James
21 Wilma Rudolph
22 Martina Navratilova
23 Jackie Robinson
24 Bobby Orr
25 Bob Beamon
26 Sergey Bubka
27 Usain Bolt
28 Eddy Merckx
29 Florence Griffith-Joyner
30 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
31 Johnny Weissmuller
32 Alexander Karelin
33 Mark Spitz
34 Johan Cruyff
35 Steffi Graf
36 Joe Montana
37 Wilt Chamberlain
38 Roger Federer
39 Cheryl Miller
40 Greg Louganis
41 Gordie Howe
42 Bjorn Borg
43 Sugar Ray Robinson
44 Pete Sampras
45 Willie Mays
46 Haile Gebrselassie
47 Michael Johnson
48 Al Oerter
49 Jerry Rice
50 Fanny Blankers-Koen
51 Ayrton Senna
52 Eric Heiden
53 Jack Nicklaus
54 Magic Johnson
55 Naim Suleymanoglu
56 Matt Biondi
57 Emil Zatopek
58 Bill Russell
59 Franz Beckenbauer
60 Steve Nash
61 Vitalj Sjtjerba
62 Abebe Bikila
63 Althea Gibson
64 Steve Redgrave
65 Lasse Viren
66 Serena Williams
67 Joe Louis
68 Jahangir Khan
69 Tom Brady
70 Ferenc Puskás
71 Aladar Gerevich
72 Teofilo Stevenson
73 Alfredo di Stefano
74 Aleksandr Karelin
75 Cindy Klassen
76 Ted Williams
77 Jean-Claude Killy
78 Sonja Henie
79 Dan Gable
80 Vera Caslavska
81 Dawn Frase
82 Anderson Silva
83 Alexei Nemov
84 Lionel Conacher
85 Björn Dählie
86 Joe DiMaggio
87 Ingemar Stenmark
88 Hank Aaron
89 Paul Elvström
90 Lawrence Taylor
91 Larry Bird
92 Bob Mathias
93 Lionel Messi
94 Kobe Bryant
95 Yasuhiro Yamashita
96 Donovan Bailey
97 Lester Piggott
98 Annika Sörenstam
99 Mario Lemieux
100 Vasily Alexeyev
Awesome list! I wonder though, do you consider martial arts a sport? If so, here are some lists for that:

https://www.liveabout.com/top-most-infl ... ts-2307765
https://screenrant.com/martial-arts-stars-ranked/
https://medium.com/martial-arts-unleash ... 942ae0061f
https://www.shortlist.com/news/the-20-g ... stars-ever
I do consider that to be a sport! Actually, one of the biggest surprises in the list above is that Anderson Silva isn’t on it! Thank you!
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Holden
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:03 am

Another major surprise is how low Serena Williams is
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ValenN
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by ValenN » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:59 am

It might be helpful to add the birthdate and primary sport for each athlete so as to differentiate any that happen to have the same name.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:09 am

I do plan to do that eventually
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Listyguy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:43 pm

Jordan's baseball career should disqualify him from being #1

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Jirin » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:21 pm

How do you balance across sports, I curious? Level of popularity? Level of celebrity? How do we know the greatest athlete of all time isn't some badminton player nobody has heard of?

I wouldn't recognize any Cricket players' names, but it is the second most popular sport in the world so if popularity is a factor, cricket players deserve to get on the list long before NFL players.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:31 pm

I basically just allow the lists to speak for themselves. As of right now, I am basically just going through sources that have many lists, which, as I live in the United States, is mostly American lists. It’s not the best variety yet, but I will expand to more foreign lists once I exhaust my current sources, but right now it’s definitely influenced by a sort of convenience sampling bias. In order to help this, please if you can link me to especially foreign sources; these will receive a higher weight than the American sources in the end due to their less abundant nature. Also, this current list is likely not going to be very indicative of a final list, just a way to show everyone on this sight that I am indeed making progress on its creation.
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Jirin » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:36 pm

As long as you're open about the list being from the United States perspective of sports. :)

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by bootsy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:12 am

Jirin wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:21 pm
How do you balance across sports, I curious? Level of popularity? Level of celebrity? How do we know the greatest athlete of all time isn't some badminton player nobody has heard of?

I wouldn't recognize any Cricket players' names, but it is the second most popular sport in the world so if popularity is a factor, cricket players deserve to get on the list long before NFL players.
So because cricket is the 'second most popular sport in the world' they deserve to get on a list before NFL players. That is such bullshit. NFL players have put their entire bodies on the line everytime they line up out on a field. That trickles down to college and high school. Cricket MIGHT be a popular sport but in no way is that a reason to say they deserve something over NFL/football players. Get out of here with this nonsense. And I don't care if someone wants to say 'well there goes bootsy again starting shit' I don't care. You can think what you want. If no one else will speak up about this. I will. I will not let someone degrade a football player because it's not as popular as cricket.

Also the reason we know the greatest athlete isn't some badminton player because there is no physical contact in that sport. There isn't much running, jumping, throwing, catching involved in that sport compared to many other sports. So if you want to include badminton players as the greatest athlete of all time, be my guest but you won't get many to agree with you.
Last edited by bootsy on Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:28 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by bootsy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:16 am

Jirin wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:36 pm
As long as you're open about the list being from the United States perspective of sports. :)
I get so tired of this too. USA athletes are athletes from a world athlete perspective. US athletes are recognized around the world, not just in the US. So are we going to start defining athletes by nation now?

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:43 am

bootsy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:16 am
Jirin wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:36 pm
As long as you're open about the list being from the United States perspective of sports. :)
I get so tired of this too. USA athletes are athletes from a world athlete perspective. US athletes are recognized around the world, not just in the US. So are we going to start defining athletes by nation now?
I actually would have to say that being open about the location of the sources is very important, and that it honestly isn’t really about being more biased towards American players, as can be seen by Pelé being at number 2. People from every country just have different perspectives. The Swedish lists from Henrik had mostly non-Swedish athletes, so in Sweden it’s possible the accepted greatest athlete is Pelé or someone else, while in America it seems to be leaning towards Jordan or Gretzky (who is from Canada, which isn’t exactly worlds away from America but still). Pelé and others, such as Bolt, have been consistently scoring high on each of the American lists, so like I said, it really isn’t about overvaluing any one country of players, more about getting a perspective from around the world.
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by bootsy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:51 am

Holden wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:43 am
bootsy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:16 am
Jirin wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:36 pm
As long as you're open about the list being from the United States perspective of sports. :)
I get so tired of this too. USA athletes are athletes from a world athlete perspective. US athletes are recognized around the world, not just in the US. So are we going to start defining athletes by nation now?
I actually would have to say that being open about the location of the sources is very important, and that it honestly isn’t really about being more biased towards American players, as can be seen by Pelé being at number 2. People from every country just have different perspectives. The Swedish lists from Henrik had mostly non-Swedish athletes, so in Sweden it’s possible the accepted greatest athlete is Pelé or someone else, while in America it seems to be leaning towards Jordan or Gretzky (who is from Canada, which isn’t exactly worlds away from America but still). Pelé and others, such as Bolt, have been consistently scoring high on each of the American lists, so like I said, it really isn’t about overvaluing any one country of players, more about getting a perspective from around the world.
I'm not saying you can't be more open but to single out lists because they have USA athletes and saying keep it a USA perspective is incredibly naive. There are a some people on here who are either jealous or have some hatred towards the US. I always feel when discussing the greatest athletes all nations should be represented that compete in sports but to single out USA comes off as jealousy to me. USA has some of the greatest athletes in the world. That has been on display in world events like the Olympics for a long time so we shouldn't have to keep a list to just USA perspective. Some of those athletes performed at the highest level against the rest of the world.

I encourage more lists from other sports/worldwide lists. Most of us only know what we are familiar with and what we grew up with. I don't know much about most athletes around the world but I always want to learn more and this thread should give us that. I just won't stand for singling out USA or NFL players and all that nonsense. That's just not necessary.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by andyd1010 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:48 pm

Holden, I had seen you mention this project on the music forum, but I hardly ever go to this side of the forum, so I’m just seeing it!

I’d be happy to submit a list soon. I’m not a famous writer or historian or anything, but I’ve interviewed hundreds of Olympians, written scripts for the biggest sports studio show in America, and produced the research materials for some of the world’s biggest sporting events, so I think I could make some lists worth considering for this. I’m most knowledgeable about men’s tennis.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:12 pm

andyd1010 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:48 pm
Holden, I had seen you mention this project on the music forum, but I hardly ever go to this side of the forum, so I’m just seeing it!

I’d be happy to submit a list soon. I’m not a famous writer or historian or anything, but I’ve interviewed hundreds of Olympians, written scripts for the biggest sports studio show in America, and produced the research materials for some of the world’s biggest sporting events, so I think I could make some lists worth considering for this. I’m most knowledgeable about men’s tennis.
Seriously any lists would be amazing
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by andyd1010 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:26 pm

bootsy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:12 am
Jirin wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:21 pm
How do you balance across sports, I curious? Level of popularity? Level of celebrity? How do we know the greatest athlete of all time isn't some badminton player nobody has heard of?

I wouldn't recognize any Cricket players' names, but it is the second most popular sport in the world so if popularity is a factor, cricket players deserve to get on the list long before NFL players.
So because cricket is the 'second most popular sport in the world' they deserve to get on a list before NFL players. That is such bullshit. NFL players have put their entire bodies on the line everytime they line up out on a field. That trickles down to college and high school. Cricket MIGHT be a popular sport but in no way is that a reason to say they deserve something over NFL/football players. Get out of here with this nonsense. And I don't care if someone wants to say 'well there goes bootsy again starting shit' I don't care. You can think what you want. If no one else will speak up about this. I will. I will not let someone degrade a football player because it's not as popular as cricket.

Also the reason we know the greatest athlete isn't some badminton player because there is no physical contact in that sport. There isn't much running, jumping, throwing, catching involved in that sport compared to many other sports. So if you want to include badminton players as the greatest athlete of all time, be my guest but you won't get many to agree with you.
Popularity is a much stronger argument than NFL players putting their entire bodies on the line. You think the best athletes all play contact sports? What matters most is the talent pool, which correlates with popularity. It's very impressive for Messi and Ronaldo to have dominated the world's most popular sport the way they have. The NFL is by far the most popular sports league in the U.S., so even though its talent pool is almost entirely American, many of the best American athletes play football, and the talent pool is among the world's strongest, making Tom Brady's dominance all the more impressive. Compare this to some of the more obscure Olympic sports, where there are certainly some exceptional athletes who stand out, but it's fairly obvious that the depth of talent across the sport does not compare with the most popular sports. Janja Garnbret (sport climbing) and Hannah Roberts (BMX freestyle) were probably the most dominant athletes in the world last year, but would they be as dominant if their competition were as strong as the talent pool in the world's most popular sports? Probably not.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:45 pm

Also what would be absolutely amazing is any books that had lists that could be transcribed. It's much harder to find those online.
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by andyd1010 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:53 pm

Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:03 am
Another major surprise is how low Serena Williams is
It seems like the list does not properly weight for recent athletes (or else the lists are all just suffering from the same phenomenon as the EOD music lists that neglect 2019). Serena's career had just begun when the best-of-the-20th-century lists came out. A lot of recent all-time greats are absent or surprisingly low.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:58 pm

andyd1010 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:53 pm
Holden wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:03 am
Another major surprise is how low Serena Williams is
It seems like the list does not properly weight for recent athletes (or else the lists are all just suffering from the same phenomenon as the EOD music lists that neglect 2019). Serena's career had just begun when the best-of-the-20th-century lists came out. A lot of recent all-time greats are absent or surprisingly low.
In the newer version of the ranking I have, more recent athletes are getting higher.
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by bootsy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:04 pm

andyd1010 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:26 pm
bootsy wrote:
Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:12 am
Jirin wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:21 pm
How do you balance across sports, I curious? Level of popularity? Level of celebrity? How do we know the greatest athlete of all time isn't some badminton player nobody has heard of?

I wouldn't recognize any Cricket players' names, but it is the second most popular sport in the world so if popularity is a factor, cricket players deserve to get on the list long before NFL players.
So because cricket is the 'second most popular sport in the world' they deserve to get on a list before NFL players. That is such bullshit. NFL players have put their entire bodies on the line everytime they line up out on a field. That trickles down to college and high school. Cricket MIGHT be a popular sport but in no way is that a reason to say they deserve something over NFL/football players. Get out of here with this nonsense. And I don't care if someone wants to say 'well there goes bootsy again starting shit' I don't care. You can think what you want. If no one else will speak up about this. I will. I will not let someone degrade a football player because it's not as popular as cricket.

Also the reason we know the greatest athlete isn't some badminton player because there is no physical contact in that sport. There isn't much running, jumping, throwing, catching involved in that sport compared to many other sports. So if you want to include badminton players as the greatest athlete of all time, be my guest but you won't get many to agree with you.
Popularity is a much stronger argument than NFL players putting their entire bodies on the line. You think the best athletes all play contact sports? What matters most is the talent pool, which correlates with popularity. It's very impressive for Messi and Ronaldo to have dominated the world's most popular sport the way they have. The NFL is by far the most popular sports league in the U.S., so even though its talent pool is almost entirely American, many of the best American athletes play football, and the talent pool is among the world's strongest, making Tom Brady's dominance all the more impressive. Compare this to some of the more obscure Olympic sports, where there are certainly some exceptional athletes who stand out, but it's fairly obvious that the depth of talent across the sport does not compare with the most popular sports. Janja Garnbret (sport climbing) and Hannah Roberts (BMX freestyle) were probably the most dominant athletes in the world last year, but would they be as dominant if their competition were as strong as the talent pool in the world's most popular sports? Probably not.
When you are discussing greatest athletes, popularity is not a way determining who is a greater athlete. Popularity just means .. you're popular. OK great that has nothing to do with an athletic skill. And I know the best athletes don't play contact sports but you need to have an athletic skill and popularity is not one of those skills. However like I said I will trust how to determine what a great athlete is in whether they can run, jump, tackle, shoot a basketball, throw a baseball over a badminton player. Badminton players are athletes but not like a greater athlete than what I just described.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by andyd1010 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:44 pm

bootsy wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:04 pm
When you are discussing greatest athletes, popularity is way down on the list of determining who is a greater athlete. Popularity just means .. you're popular. OK great that has nothing to do with an athletic skill.
All I'm saying is that popularity tends to draw skilled athletes into the sport. There are still plenty of incredible athletes in less popular sports, and popularity is far from my first criterion too.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by bootsy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:50 pm

andyd1010 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:44 pm
bootsy wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:04 pm
When you are discussing greatest athletes, popularity is way down on the list of determining who is a greater athlete. Popularity just means .. you're popular. OK great that has nothing to do with an athletic skill.
All I'm saying is that popularity tends to draw skilled athletes into the sport. There are still plenty of incredible athletes in less popular sports, and popularity is far from my first criterion too.
I'm not going to continue to go back and forth with you about popularity but it's not a determining factor in assessing someone's athletic skill.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:50 am

Alright, I have added in 35 lists, and changed my formula from an inverse formula, built around 300/2+rank, to a formula using logarithms, which has created a curve I so much happier with. My pace has been super slow so far, but I'm finally getting the hang of more efficient methodology and am going to try to push myself a bit harder to input more lists. Here's the current top 100:
01 Michael Jordan
02 Jim Thorpe
03 Muhammad Ali
04 Pelé
05 Jim Brown
06 Wayne Gretzky
07 Babe Ruth
08 Jesse Owens
09 Carl Lewis
10 Jackie Robinson
11 Babe Didrikson Zaharias
12 Michael Phelps
13 Deion Sanders
14 Bo Jackson
15 Wilt Chamberlain
16 Nadia Comaneci
17 Tiger Woods
18 Jackie Joyner-Kersee
19 Martina Navratilova
20 Paavo Nurmi
21 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
22 Willie Mays
23 Diego Maradona
24 Magic Johnson
25 Roger Federer
26 Wilma Rudolph
27 Lebron James
28 Bobby Orr
29 Jerry Rice
30 Gordie Howe
31 Usain Bolt
32 Larisa Latynina
33 Joe Montana
34 Sugar Ray Robinson
35 Lance Armstrong
36 Bob Beamon
37 Florence Griffith-Joyner
38 Bill Russell
39 Johnny Weissmuller
40 Steffi Graf
41 Jack Nicklaus
42 Kobe Bryant
43 Sergey Bubka
44 Allen Iverson
45 Joe DiMaggio
46 Julius Erving
47 Greg Louganis
48 Bjorn Borg
49 Larry Bird
50 Eddy Merckx
51 Lou Gehrig
52 Eric Heiden
53 Johan Cruyff
54 John Elway
55 Al Oerter
56 Alexander Karelin
57 Michael Johnson
58 Fanny Blankers-Koen
59 Shaquille O'Neal
60 Mark Spitz
61 Walter Payton
62 Emil Zatopek
63 Bob Gibson
64 Joe Louis
65 Oscar Robertson
66 Rickey Henderson
67 Barry Sanders
68 Rafer Johnson
69 Cheryl Miller
70 Ted Williams
71 Bob Hayes
72 Haile Gebrselassie
73 Charles Barkley
74 Lionel Conacher
75 Matt Biondi
76 Dave Winfield
77 Ayrton Senna
78 Abebe Bikila
79 Tom Brady
80 Naim Suleymanoglu
81 Roberto Clemente
82 Lawrence Taylor
83 Mickey Mantle
84 Franz Beckenbauer
85 Jerry West
86 Mario Lemieux
87 Jean-Claude Killy
88 Derek Jeter
89 Hank Aaron
90 Herschel Walker
91 Vitalj Sjtjerba
92 Althea Gibson
93 Alfredo Di Stéfano
94 Edwin Moses
95 Lasse Viren
96 Steve Redgrave
97 Sonja Henie
98 Mike Tyson
99 Roman Sebrle
100 Aladar Gerevich

Unfortunately, my new formula didn't make things closer between Michael Jordan and the rest of us mortals, so he has a pretty unabashed claim at No. 1, but the next spots are much more competitive, which I love!
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by andyd1010 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:05 am

What jumps out the most at first glance is Pele at 4 with Messi and Ronaldo absent entirely. Serena, Nadal, and Djokovic absent with other tennis players above them is questionable too (besides Federer - that's understandable).

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:11 am

andyd1010 wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:05 am
What jumps out the most at first glance is Pele at 4 with Messi and Ronaldo absent entirely. Serena, Nadal, and Djokovic absent with other tennis players above them is questionable too (besides Federer - that's understandable).
As of right now, this list should not be taken seriously aside from maybe the top few being indicative of the top. I have almost no sport-specific lists, and am still very U.S.-centric at the moment.
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by andyd1010 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:40 pm

bootsy wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:50 pm
andyd1010 wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:44 pm
bootsy wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:04 pm
When you are discussing greatest athletes, popularity is way down on the list of determining who is a greater athlete. Popularity just means .. you're popular. OK great that has nothing to do with an athletic skill.
All I'm saying is that popularity tends to draw skilled athletes into the sport. There are still plenty of incredible athletes in less popular sports, and popularity is far from my first criterion too.
I'm not going to continue to go back and forth with you about popularity but it's not a determining factor in assessing someone's athletic skill.
Well that raises some other interesting questions about what the criteria should be in lists like these. Should it be based purely on athletic skill? Serena Williams has said that Andy Murray would beat her 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, but would that make him greater than her? A current MLB pitcher said that if prime Babe Ruth were thrust onto a modern major-league team, he would bat .200. Both claims might be exaggerations, but there are differences in the level of play across gender and era in many (if not all) sports. Many advancements in training and technology over the last century have allowed today's athletes to develop skills that their predecessors never did, but that does not necessarily make them greater.

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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by mileswide » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:47 am

Don't know if any of these are helpful at all or if you've already seen these but here's some sport-specific and non-US lists:

American, sport-specific
https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-st ... me-videos/
https://www.active.com/cycling/articles ... f-all-time
https:/www.golfdigest.com/gallery/photos-playe ... skills/amp (result of 30 PGA Tour players polled on the best current and all-time golfer in each aspect of the game e.g. putting, driving...)
https://www.baseball-almanac.com/legend ... n100.shtml (The Sporting News' 1998 all-time players list)
https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh-st ... 119731979/ (CBS' NFL writer Bryan DeArdo's list, no idea if he's a respected name in football)
https://www.tennis.com/tags/50-greatest ... -open-era/ (50 greatest men and women players)
https://thehockeynews.com/news/article/ ... back-style
https://www.ringtv.com/121043-10-greate ... by-decade/ & https://www.liveabout.com/ring-magazine ... gs-4153939 (The Ring Magazine's 80 greatest boxers 1922-2002)
https://www.givemesport.com/1532031-the ... e-20102020

International, sport-specific
https://www.lequipe.fr/Top/Football/top ... rs-EURO/8/ (Top 100 footballers in the European Championship 1960-2016)
https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranglis ... C3%9Fballs (Kicker Magazine's annual ranking of the best footballers of any nationality in the (German) Bundesliga; this Wikipedia entry compiles the players that have been rated world-class in most years under 'Statistik' then 'Spieler mit den meisten Weltklasse-Einstufungen')
https://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/for ... er-zeiten/? (50 best Formula 1 drivers of all time, you have to scroll to below the article where it says 'F1-Rangliste' where there's a slide show of the drivers)
http://f1greatestdrivers.autosport.com/ (40 greatest F1 drivers voted by 217 former and current drivers)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisden_ ... he_Century (the 5 best cricketers of the 20th century according to a 100-strong panel picked by the 'Bible of Cricket') & https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/24640224 (Wisden's best 11 of all time as of 2013)
https://www.boxingnewsonline.net/the-to ... -all-time/

International, non-specific
https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champio ... C3%89quipe (an annual prize awarded by L'Équipe to the greatest sportsperson of that year, 1975- )

Plus, this isn't exactly from a respected sports source but I thought I'd include Complex's GOAT in every sport (spoiler: not actually every sport) as a cursory comparative overview https://www.complex.com/sports/2018/09/ ... f-all-time
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Re: Greatest Athletes

Post by Holden » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:21 am

Any and all lists are amazing!
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