T Nation

Your City's Sports Rushmore


#1

Take your city or region, put up the Rushmore. One player from each major sport. Then we can all call each other names being fan boys... They started this on the radio this morning, and seems like a fun way to piss away some time.

I'm in NE so

Tom Brady
Bobby Orr
Ted Williams
Bill Russell

I don't think many cities are going to compete with that talent pool spread across all 4 major sports.


#2

Really love this thread idea. I’m young so take mine with a grain of salt because I’ve only seen some of these guys play live:

Philly

Chuck Bednarik (also considered: Donovan McNabb, Reggie White, Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook)
Bobby Clarke (also considered: Bernie Parent)
Mike Schmidt (also considered: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Jimmy Rollins)
Julius Erving (also considered: Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone)

Football was a tricky one here because Donovan McNabb, realistically, is the most important and/or best Eagles player ever and it’s really not very close. But Philly fans never really liked Donovan that much. It was an uneasy relationship; he resented that they didn’t embrace him despite the fact that he was BY FAR the best QB we ever had, and they resented him for, well, being kind of a standoffish dick. Concrete Charlie was undoubtedly more beloved and led two Philly title teams in a long-bygone era.

Basketball is a really fun one to debate too, I think.


#3

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I’m in NE so

Tom Brady
Bobby Orr
Ted Williams
Bill Russell
[/quote]

Interestingly enough, for a city with fantastic sports history, there’s not really much debating these, IMO. You have some interesting runner-up candidates that would be on the Rushmore for a lot of other cities (Big Papi, Larry Bird, John Havlicek). One of the unsolvable things in a debate like this is are we going for “best player” or “most memorable” or “most important” - Papi isn’t the best Red Sox player ever, but you could argue that he’s the most memorable or most important. Thoughts?


#4

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I’m in NE so

Tom Brady
Bobby Orr
Ted Williams
Bill Russell
[/quote]

Interestingly enough, for a city with fantastic sports history, there’s not really much debating these, IMO. You have some interesting runner-up candidates that would be on the Rushmore for a lot of other cities (Big Papi, Larry Bird, John Havlicek). One of the unsolvable things in a debate like this is are we going for “best player” or “most memorable” or “most important” - Papi isn’t the best Red Sox player ever, but you could argue that he’s the most memorable or most important. Thoughts?
[/quote]

Personally, it is hard not to put Ortiz there instead of Ted. However, when I wipe away the fog of fandom, it would be a silly move. I mean history does and will remember Ted as one of the all time greats… Ortiz just has the hardware and clutch that Teddy just doesn’t have.

I don’t know enough about Hockey or Basketball to argue, but man, how you don’t have Reggie White on that mountain is beyond me lol.


#5

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
Really love this thread idea. I’m young so take mine with a grain of salt because I’ve only seen some of these guys play live:

Philly

Chuck Bednarik (also considered: Donovan McNabb, Reggie White, Brian Dawkins, Brian Westbrook)
Bobby Clarke (also considered: Bernie Parent)
Mike Schmidt (also considered: Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts, Jimmy Rollins)
Julius Erving (also considered: Allen Iverson, Charles Barkley, Moses Malone)

Football was a tricky one here because Donovan McNabb, realistically, is the most important and/or best Eagles player ever and it’s really not very close. But Philly fans never really liked Donovan that much. It was an uneasy relationship; he resented that they didn’t embrace him despite the fact that he was BY FAR the best QB we ever had, and they resented him for, well, being kind of a standoffish dick. Concrete Charlie was undoubtedly more beloved and led two Philly title teams in a long-bygone era.

Basketball is a really fun one to debate too, I think.[/quote]

Solid list. I’m from philly as well. I think Clarke and Schmidt are locks in their respective sports. I would have gone with Wilt for Basketball. Football is probably probably the most difficult. Along with no SB titles, we never really had an NFL legacy defining player in the franchise. Maybe if Reggie White had spent his whole career in one city. My mind initially went to Dawkins, but Bednarik is a great choice as well.


#6

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
I’m in NE so

Tom Brady
Bobby Orr
Ted Williams
Bill Russell
[/quote]

Interestingly enough, for a city with fantastic sports history, there’s not really much debating these, IMO. You have some interesting runner-up candidates that would be on the Rushmore for a lot of other cities (Big Papi, Larry Bird, John Havlicek). One of the unsolvable things in a debate like this is are we going for “best player” or “most memorable” or “most important” - Papi isn’t the best Red Sox player ever, but you could argue that he’s the most memorable or most important. Thoughts?
[/quote]

Personally, it is hard not to put Ortiz there instead of Ted. However, when I wipe away the fog of fandom, it would be a silly move. I mean history does and will remember Ted as one of the all time greats… Ortiz just has the hardware and clutch that Teddy just doesn’t have.

I don’t know enough about Hockey or Basketball to argue, but man, how you don’t have Reggie White on that mountain is beyond me lol. [/quote]

Reggie White was a tough one for me, and I’ll admit that if I were juuuust a few years older, I might have viewed this differently because I would remember Reggie-in-his-prime on the Eagles. But my first memories of Reggie are, sadly, as a Green Bay Packer because I didn’t really start watching the NFL until 1994 (I was born in 1986, and whatever little scraps I remember from a younger age didn’t leave much impression). So even though Reggie was a dominant player for the Eagles, MY personal memory is a little biased because I don’t entirely remember him as an Eagle.

Re: Papi, that’s why I made my little comment about “most memorable” vs “best” - hell, I’ve never lived in Boston, I’m not even a Red Sox fan (or a BIG baseball fan in general, just a casual one) and I can tick off iconic Papi moments.


#7

Tough choices,

Steve Yzerman

Al Kaline

Dave Bing

Barry Sanders

There are some rather distasteful names that could by all rights be up there also,

Ty Cobb

Half the Bad Boys

Gordy Howe (although I love Gordy he was a dirty player in a dirty era)

Ndamukong Suh


#8

Seattle:

Walter Jones
Gary Payton
Ken Griffey Jr.

No Hockey, so if I get an extra, Steve Largent.


#9

Oh, and, no fuckin’ way I’m picking A-Rod.


#10

I am from New York

Hockey- Brian Leetch
Football- Bruce Smith (because fuck the New Jersey Jets/Giants)
Baseball- idk, pull a yankee out of a hat, who the hell likes baseball anyway
Basketball- Walt Frazier

Hard to call me a homer though since I really only like the Rangers as far as New York teams are concerned.


#11

I’d put my list up against Beansies:

Sweetness
Bobby Hull
Frank Thomas*
MJ - GOAT

  • one of four players in major league history to finish his career with a .300 batting average or better (.301), 500 home runs (521), 1,500 RBIs (1,704), 1,000 runs (1,494) and 1,500 walks (1,667) to join Mel Ott, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth

Here’s the way I see Chicago vs. New England:

Football: Da Bears
Hockey: Bobby Hull over Bobby Orr
Baseball: Frank Thomas by a hair*
Basketball: don’t even have to answer this

  • "Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Frank Thomas . . .maybe the three best hitters God ever made."
    
  • Bill James

#12

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Hockey: Bobby Hull over Bobby Orr[/quote]

This isn’t even close to true. You’d have your sweater pulled over your head immediately upon entry into Canada if you truly believed this.


#13

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
I’d put my list up against Beansies:

Sweetness
Bobby Hull
Frank Thomas*
MJ - GOAT

  • one of four players in major league history to finish his career with a .300 batting average or better (.301), 500 home runs (521), 1,500 RBIs (1,704), 1,000 runs (1,494) and 1,500 walks (1,667) to join Mel Ott, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth

Here’s the way I see Chicago vs. New England:

Football: Da Bears
Hockey: Bobby Hull over Bobby Orr
Baseball: Frank Thomas by a hair*
Basketball: don’t even have to answer this

  • "Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Frank Thomas . . .maybe the three best hitters God ever made."
    
  • Bill James[/quote]

We were talking about it at lunch… I think Chicago is really the only town coming close without weighting the sports.

I’m not a big Basketball guy, but Russell had what 11 rings in 13 years? I mean… That wipes the floor with MJ…

If you weighted the sports:

Football: Chicago or Pittsburg, with a hat tip to Dallas & NE. Maybe San Fran, but they have shit for other sports.
Baseball: NY wins, hands down, every time. The Yankees alone have so many all time greats… It’s a joke
Hockey: Haven’t a fucking clue… So I’ll go homer and say Boston
Basketball: LA, Chicago or Boston.


#14
  1. Jim Brown
  2. Lebron
  3. Bob Fellar
  4. Otto Graham
    Honorable mention - Paul Brown, coach but deserving

Dont have the recent titles, or a big selection, but ill put that list up against anyone else.

No Hockey, but ill claim Jack Nicklaus since he’s from Columbus and that’s close enough


#15

[quote]ddot76 wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Hockey: Bobby Hull over Bobby Orr[/quote]

This isn’t even close to true. You’d have your sweater pulled over your head immediately upon entry into Canada if you truly believed this.
[/quote]

Yeah but you guys also produced Justin Beiber… Not sure DR is scared of those punches.

lol’ed that line though.


#16

[quote]Aggv wrote:

  1. Jim Brown
  2. Lebron
  3. Bob Fellar
  4. Otto Graham
    Honorable mention - Paul Brown, coach but deserving

Dont have the recent titles, or a big selection, but ill put that list up against anyone else.

No Hockey, but ill claim Jack Nicklaus since he’s from Columbus and that’s close enough
[/quote]

I forgot about Cleveland… Shit.


#17

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
Here’s the way I see Chicago vs. New England:

Football: Da Bears
Hockey: Bobby Hull over Bobby Orr
Baseball: Frank Thomas by a hair*
Basketball: don’t even have to answer this
[/quote]

I love the love for Frank Thomas. Underrated player, in my opinion, even as a HOFer. Got a little swallowed up by McGwire/Sosa/Bonds home run numbers which obscured his all around greatness as a hitter until you dug a little deeper than just raw HR numbers. But look at his baseball-reference page and see all the times he led the majors in stuff like OBP and OPS (his heyday before OPS was mainstream stuff). Analytics guys would come all over themselves analyzing Thomas in the early-1990’s if that had been the 2000’s.

Not sure I agree with Walter Payton over Brady (any pissing matches about the Pats’ cheating aside).

And in basketball, Jordan/Russell is a closer debate than you might think. Just curious, have you ever read Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball? He still goes with Jordan over Russell but breaks down both careers in a lot of detail, it was a really fascinating read.


#18

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:
I’d put my list up against Beansies:

Sweetness
Bobby Hull
Frank Thomas*
MJ - GOAT

  • one of four players in major league history to finish his career with a .300 batting average or better (.301), 500 home runs (521), 1,500 RBIs (1,704), 1,000 runs (1,494) and 1,500 walks (1,667) to join Mel Ott, Ted Williams and Babe Ruth

Here’s the way I see Chicago vs. New England:

Football: Da Bears
Hockey: Bobby Hull over Bobby Orr
Baseball: Frank Thomas by a hair*
Basketball: don’t even have to answer this

  • "Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Frank Thomas . . .maybe the three best hitters God ever made."
    
  • Bill James[/quote]

We were talking about it at lunch… I think Chicago is really the only town coming close without weighting the sports.

I’m not a big Basketball guy, but Russell had what 11 rings in 13 years? I mean… That wipes the floor with MJ…

If you weighted the sports:

Football: Chicago or Pittsburg, with a hat tip to Dallas & NE. Maybe San Fran, but they have shit for other sports.
Baseball: NY wins, hands down, every time. The Yankees alone have so many all time greats… It’s a joke
Hockey: Haven’t a fucking clue… So I’ll go homer and say Boston
Basketball: LA, Chicago or Boston. [/quote]

I have the distinction of growing up 50 miles southeast of Chicago and currently residing in N. New England, so I can clear this up for good.

MJ over Russel. All day, all night. GOAT vs an exceptionally good player fortunate enough to be playing in the NBA’s infancy.

Orr over Hull. Hull was very good, but Orr was a once-in-a-generation talent. I think he was better than Gretzky in their respective primes. I don’t think Hull is anywhere near Orr’s level. Not even close.

I know jack shit about football or baseball, so I can’t weigh in there.


#19

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

Not sure I agree with Walter Payton over Brady (any pissing matches about the Pats’ cheating aside).
[/quote]

Even if I agreed with you - and I’m not saying I do - I would never, ever admit it in public.

Likewise with Hull v Orr.


#20

[quote]Dr. Pangloss wrote:

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

Not sure I agree with Walter Payton over Brady (any pissing matches about the Pats’ cheating aside).
[/quote]

Even if I agreed with you - and I’m not saying I do - I would never, ever admit it in public.

Likewise with Hull v Orr.[/quote]

lmao.

I don’t know if I’d pick Brady over Walter Payton either. It’s really hard. The homer in me screams Brady all day, but the realist see’s two players at different positions during different eras.

Jim Brown is hard to ignore, and Barry Sanders… Man if he was on good teams.

I will say Sanders > Emmitt Smith, even though Emmitt is top 5 of all time without question. If you swapped them and put Sanders on those Cowboy teams… I think he is the Babe Ruth of football, an all time legend.