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Is there a difference between "Best" ever and "Greatest Ever"?

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Is there a difference between "Best" ever and "Greatest Ever"? Empty Is there a difference between "Best" ever and "Greatest Ever"?

Post by truffin1 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:01 pm

I don't know how many of you pay attention to the SuperBowl or NFL here in the states, but the game brought up a lot of debate regarding Peyton Mannings place in football history.
The general consensus amongst most experts and fans is Joe Montana is the QB GOAT...   Winning 4 Superbowls by playing nearly perfect, countless big game wins and famous comebacks. During an era when QB's were allowed to be hit and hit hard, WR's were harassed down the field,etc.  His era of QB's though do not have the stats that even very good qb's can put up in todays no hit NFL. 

In the most recent era- Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have both accomplished amazing things stats wise. In Brady's case- he has 3 SuperBowls but some feel he is more tied to his coach's genius while Manning is a one man stats machine. However, for all of Mannings consistent great regular season play- he's had some flops in big games and enough times that it's not a fluke.   The story line coming into the Superbowl last week- was that if Manning could win this one, his second, it would get him to the Montana mountain top and certainly the argument for Manning would be stronger.

Well, Manning flopped big time Sunday.. Was like a deer in headlights from the start. After the horrible performance, I noticed a lot of commentators and especially fans start to debate whether there was a difference in  "greatest" or "best."  That Manning was the best because of the huge stats he's put up but not the Greatest because he didn't have the "it" factor that Montana had.  

 So I was curious if any of you think there was any validity to this as applied to Tennis?  My personal view has been Federer is the best player ever based off of talent, ability and the massive stats and consistency.  At the same time, he has done what Manning hasn't done-  won more big titles than anyone in the history of the modern game- therefore also having the claim as Greatest.  You could also put Laver into the Montana category- won and dominated his era, but the stats won't match up to the modern game. 

Then there are many that  have come to view Nadal as the toughest one on one matchup in tennis- and he has some stats that are creeping into the territory of having a valid claim to best or greatest...

OR there is no difference and the best is the greatest?

truffin1

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:07 pm

I don't rate Nadal even as good or great, let alone best or greatest.
Not even on clay.
He is a one trick pony who was born in the right place at the right time.

Federer stands head and shoulders above the entire generation. There really is no comparison. Not even with other, older generations, although there have been some excellent players around.

Times are sadly changing, and tennis is not tennis any more. It's become an artificial athletic discipline that has lost its soul.

I don't follow any of American Superbowl, to me it's the circus to end all circuses when it comes to sport.

In terms of sheer semantics, unlike "the best" - "great" or "the greatest" can be ambiguous, almost like a consolation badge given to those who were good but never quite the best.

It seems you need to have won 5+ slams to "earn" that adjective next to your name. Just media regurgitating history and having to fill the air time with some talking, I suppose.

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Post by Daniel on Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:55 pm

Nadal isn't either of them, but yes there is a difference.  Ronnie O'Sullivan was better than Hendry long long ago... but when he got the results and the consistency, he was then widely accepted as the greatest.

Best: A player's best is better than anyone else's in history.
Greatest: A player's overall consistency and longevity playing at their best is better than anyone else's in history. Success is the main indication of this up to a point.

I guess that is how I see it.  Typically, the greatest is also the best.  But not always.

Daniel

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Post by truffin1 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:12 pm

noleisthebest wrote:I don't rate Nadal even as good or great, let alone best or greatest.
Not even on clay.
He is a one trick pony who was born in the right place at the right time.

Federer stands head and shoulders above the entire generation. There really is no comparison. Not even with other, older generations, although there have been some excellent players around.

Times are sadly changing, and tennis is not tennis any more. It's become an artificial athletic discipline that has lost its soul.

I don't follow any of American Superbowl, to me it's the circus to end all circuses when it comes to sport.

In terms of sheer semantics, unlike "the best" - "great" or "the greatest" can be ambiguous, almost like a consolation badge given to those who were good but never quite the best.

It seems you need to have won 5+ slams to "earn" that adjective next to your name. Just media regurgitating history and having to fill the air time with some talking, I suppose.

It is a circus... lol..

Since the 10th anniversary of Fed hitting #1 was last week- I've seen some interesting articles that have been brought back from that time when he 1st hit #1.  Whats amazing is there are already quotes from greats, from the commentators talking about Federer who had 2 Majors at the time- as potentially the best ever, already a legend,etc...  I had forgotten how quickly people recognized the greatness..   As some on his website have said- a lot of times you do see the commentators,experts talking about the "next big thing" and then it usually doesn't pan out and everyone forgets what they said.. In Federer's case- he fulfilled all they said and more.

One thing I found funny was article after article after that AO title that put him at #1 mentions how strong and deep the tour is and how it's hard to see how he can dominate it given the depth and tour, but if anyone can- they feel Federer can.............     Shows how stupid the weak era talk is or the flip side- how everyone thinks the present is always great. Same stuff we hear now about how this is the Golden era of talent and depth.

Back to the greatest vs best...  I think both are hard to quantify...  Sometimes the Best in terms of talent doesn't live up to to the potential and never becomes the greatest. I think that's what people are seeing in  Manning.  In Federer's case- he lived up to the potential and went from best to best and greatest.

Ali is seen by most people as the greatest boxer ever, but within the fight community- while he is certainly right up there as the very best in terms of talent and ability- there are a few guys that perhaps were better fighters.. Yet Ali transcended the sport, and the whole package- added up to Greatest.

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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:59 pm

Yes it's true, it's not very easy to spot a talent that will fulfil the promise, but Federer had it all going for him: apart from that God given hand to eye coordination and exquisite ball-striking talent, he had a great athletic body, is a passionate and fairly smart man, all the ingredients were there.
And then, there was that extra bit that separated him from other talented players, he was a genius.
There is really no other way to describe his presence on a tennis court, the way he moves, creates, executes, just spectacular when in full flow.

I have been particularly enjoying his later years as his game has matured and become almost decadent in its lush beauty...

The man knows it himself, which is "the best" of all..... Bubbly


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Post by noleisthebest on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:25 pm

The thing I find interesting with Federer is how he has handled that prodigal talent.
I remember he once said stg like: "I knew I was good, but I didn't know I was going to be THIS good."
He could've easily squandered it and not made the most of it.
But he didn't.
He has recognised he has been given something special and nourished it like a little seed that is now bearing wonderful fruit.
He has been a good custodian of that talent and I am grateful for it.

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Post by BEL19VE on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:33 pm

noleisthebest wrote:I don't rate Nadal even as good or great, let alone best or greatest.
Not even on clay.
Sometimes I doubt whether even you believe what you write.

BEL19VE

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Post by Tenez on Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:01 am

Good question. In short the best ever is, imo, the current number one....or the one able to play and produce the best tennis like a JJ on form.

I'd say the best player ever on clay is Federer (cause he can play the best most efficient game on clay, even if for one or 2 sets only) but the greatest on clay is Nadal cause he can win all those long sweaty matches and can accumulate records.

They are 2 different titles and both very important. If someone tomorrow more talented than Federer wins with more ease and more grace a few grandslams then he will be the best ever....even if he does not achieve as much for certain reasons. To be the greatest you need to deliver for a long period. Sampras was the greatest for a few years but in my view never produced the best tennis ever. Goran on a good day was simply better....problem for Goran is that he could not quite deliver under too much pressure.

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Post by luvsports! on Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:27 am

Just got back from an LSE talk on "The Sports Gene: talent, practice and the truth about success" and it was brilliant.
Speaker: David Epstein
Chair: Ed Smith

Talked about the science of nurture, human genome, age optimisation, mental strength, talent, genetics at the molecular structure and doping Big Grin, you guys would have enjoyed it I bet.

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Post by bluenose on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:37 pm

Tell me more about molecular genetics!  Hormones are tiny effectors, little bit causes a big cascade, so I'd love to know the findings.  I presume they have to do with RNA and protein synthesis?  Nobody is claiming DNA damage?  Or are they looking at cancers?  Do tell!

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Post by bluenose on Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:55 pm

More on topic, my poet brother-in-law told me that a good poet is someone who has written a good poem - once is enough!  But a great poet is defined by a body of work.  I take that to mean that having the skill and talent to do it is impressive and marks one as a success in the field, but having something to say in a meaningful and artful way over and over again is a very rare and splendid accomplishment.

I really can't imagine that tennis fans will look back on this era and laud the success of a stifler of talent over the majesty of Federer's creativity and determination.  I was never a fan of Sampras, hated the tongue hanging out and the flat affect.  He and Lendl were both squashers to me, players who conquered but didn't wow.  I was so happy when Federer took the major crown from Pete.

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