Tuesday, August 12, 2008
ESPN.com in all of its poll wisdom decided that during Phelps Olympic destruction that they would have a poll consisting of 23 year old 'athletes' (NASCAR drivers are not athletes) to decide whom was the best of the bunch. And well, America is blinded by the glare of the gold medals and the massive eating abilities.
Don't get me wrong I'm not saying that Phelps isn't a great athlete or what he is accomplishing in the pool isn't phenomenal, it's just that theres no person on this planet who could convince me that he is in fact a better athlete than Lebron James (or Peterson for that matter). It's not Lebron's fault that he plays a team sport that only allows a single gold medal and not 4 variations of the same thing at 4 different distances a piece plus relay races.
Realistically if you want to find the best athlete in the world you would have to take them out of their element and have them perform in a bunch of random sports, and since the Olympics is one whole bag of random sports let's predict whom would win a heads up competition in each sport.
To be fair we shall throw out any swimming event or basketball event as we know whom would win those contests.
Team Sports (Lebron 2-1)
Water Polo (Phelps): Obviously something that involves swimming gives Phelps the edge. Although I wouldn't put it past Lebron to be the #1 nut punching defender in all of Water Polo.
Handball (Lebron): He can dribble, he's fast, he can pass, he's strong as hell, and he can throw. Nobody would be able to stop Lebron outside the arc.
Volleyball / Beach Volleyball (Lebron): Would anybody want to attempt to block 6 foot 8 Lebron James 4 feet above the net? Ya don't think so. Chances are he'd be better than most players in the Olympics. I mean how many of them would be able to block Tim Duncan?
Soccer (Wash): Phelps might have more powerful quicker legs but Lebron would be an absolute beast on free kicks or as a goalie.
Baseball (Wash): I have no idea if either would be able to remotely touch a fastball.
Field Hockey (Wash): I wouldn't care to find out which was better at Field Hockey.
Individual Events (Lebron 6-5)
Diving (Phelps): It's in a pool and Phelps is thinner which is typically the key for victory.
Canoe/Kayak (Phelps): Phelps would probably be better at reading the water and where to take his boat.
Cycling (Phelps): I'm giving Phelps the edge in most endurance based events which may not be fair to Lebron given that his swims end typically within 2 minutes.
Gymnastics (Phelps): The smaller and lighter frame gives Phelps a body a little easier to throw around in a Gymnastics competition.
Taekwondo (Phelps): Quicker legs would probably get Phelps ahead on points.
Weight Lifting (Lebron): I think this would be closer than most think given that Lebron's 4 extra inches would create more exertion. But the 55+ more pounds of muscle would lead him to the victory.
Boxing (Lebron): As big a reach as Phelps has, Lebron's is bigger plus he's a lot stronger. Lebron would knock pummel him in 4 rounds.
Judo (Lebron): 55+ pounds is a lot of extra weight to throw around.
Wrestling (Lebron): Again too much Strength advantage for James.
Fencing (Lebron): This would probably be a close matchup as I doubt Lebron would be very good in fencing, but again like boxing going with the extra reach.
Tennis (Lebron): Giving the advantage to Lebron based on more strength and more height and the perception that he would be able to fire a bullet serve.
The Greatest Athlete Competition (Lebron 7-3)
Every Olympics the so called greatest athlete in the world is crowned when they step foot on the podium with the gold medal in the decathlon. So whom would win this event?
100 Meters (Lebron): The shortness of the 100 gives the advantage to Lebron.
Long Jump (Lebron): Ya, Lebron would wipe the floor with Phelps in the Long Jump.
Shot Put (Lebron): Strength.
High Jump (Lebron): Again jumping high sounds like a tough competition for Lebron.
400 Meters (Phelps): Phelps pulls away the last 100 meters.
110 Meter Hurdles (Lebron): Running and jumping somes like something Lebron would be very very good at.
Discus (Lebron): Strength.
Pole Vault (Phelps): Give the edge to Phelps based on the ligher frame.
Javelin (Lebron): Strength.
1500 Meters (Phelps): Again endurance to Phelps.
Lebron is much bigger and much stronger than Phelps. While most of us have never actually seen Phelps run we can only imagine that Lebron James would be faster in a sprint. This isn't to demean Phelps' accomplishments at all but as Max Kellerman would say "If an alien came down to this planet and said present me with your best athlete to compete in a series of athletic events. If you win you can keep your planet, if you lose we shall destroy your planet." Would you pick Lebron or Phelps as our representative? I know Gilbert Arenas would choose Lebron.
Thrown Out Events that Are More Based on Skill Than on Athleticism: Archery, Shooting, Equestrian, Sync. Swimming, Table Tennis, Badminton, Sailing