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Im fairly into sports, and i feel that by watching sports you can really see what is great about using your mind. And for some reason, even the more irrational of people do appreciate human achievement and greatness when it comes to sport, but for some reason denounce it in all other aspects of life.

If Michael Jordan, in his prime, played a one-on-one game against an obese lazy bastard that has never seen a basketball, the result would be an absolute blowout by Jordan. The lazy bastard would die of a heart-attack if they kept going long enough, while Jordan would have barely broken a sweat. A prime example of how your own actions, and not just "any actions", but specific actions based on reality, have made you(Jordan), so much better than the slob that did not take any of the actions required. Both members of the same species, but the other one, in reality, soooo much better than the other.

In sports it is also really easy to watch at statistics where you can rank the players based on what they have achieved. If player A is batting .212 for his 10-year career in the minors, and player B is batting .334 for 15 years in the majors, then player B is better at hitting(at least contact) than player A. And all people understand this. They do not say that it is "in the eye of the beholder" whether B is better than A, and understand that it is an objective fact that it is so. An aspiring baseball player can look up to the great contact hitter, and try to take him as an example of what he needs to do in order to achieve similar greatness.

It is sad that such easily accessible statistics do not exist in other aspects of life, or when they exist, people dont apply the same logic they use while comparing and judging athletes. Somehow, it becomes subjective who you should be inspired by, and somehow "everyone is as important" and "there is no right or wrong". I gues i should be happy for the fact that there exists at least one part of human life, sports, where people around the world generally do admire greatness and achievement.

Though, it has to be said, that sports are not perfect either. In america its a bit better, but here in Finland, it is so annoying that people who have success constantly disregard their own achievements and just talk about how "i was fortunate" or something. Also, in team sports, it is really annoying when clearly the greatest players on the team do not themselves acknowledge the fact, and they spout stuff like "im no more important to winning, than the rest of the team" or something like that. Basketball is a nice exception to this rule, it has to be said.

Also, the words selfishness and sacrifice are constantly used in the wrong way in sports. A person who passes the ball more than he shoots, whatever the sport, is always dubbed us un-selfish and the ones that are willing to endure some pain in order to achieve their goals, whatever the sport, are always said to "be willing to sacrifice themselves for the team". In reality, it would be unselfish if a person who valued the scoring championship more than the team championship would still act in a way that would be in contradiction to winning the scoring championship. And it would be sacrifice, if the player would value "being totally pain free" more than winning the championship. However, the ones that are dubbed as unselfish and are accused of sacrifice, are usually in reality the most selfish players on the team. They understand what it takes in order to achieve their goals, and they are willing to substitute a lesser goal for a higher one.

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I agree with you here, and also with your analysis of the word selfish as applied to sports--there is a complete misconception about it. You will see it being applied in soccer: Ronaldinho (arguably the best soccer player of modern times) is considered 'unselfish' because he happens to pass the ball often. In actuality, that is what is required to win. Personally, I prefer individual sports over team sports. Golf is by far my favorite sport, and I myself try to play at least 2 times a week. In general, you will see most golf players taking responsibility for their actions, whether good or bad. This is most obviously evidenced by Phil Mickelson after losing the '06 US Open on the last hole, when he repeated several times in a press conference "I'm such an idiot." Incidentally, the greatest athlete of this decade is Tiger Woods (although I suppose an argument could be made for Roger Federer).

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Yep if I have to hear how "unselfish" the Piston's as a team are one more time, I might pull out a gun and shoot the T.V. into a million pieces. Any team that can go to 6 straight conference finals is not an "unselfish" team or possess "unselfish" players.

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I agree completely with your post--I think the exact same thing when I hear people call Kobe Bryant selfish because he monopolizes the ball and scores a great deal, while Steve Nash is unselfish because he distributes the ball and sets up great plays. They don't realize that both players (as being part of their respective teams) fulfill different functions and have different strategies for achieving the same goal (winning).

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Just did a quick google search for "unselfish player", and surprise surprise, all of them are absolutely wrong. There is the example of Brian Westbrook, who kneeled down just before the endzone instead of scoring, as he wanted to run the clock out, rather than give the Cowboys more time to make a comeback in the last minutes of the 4th quarter.

How the hell is that unselfish? That would imply that Westbrook valued scoring a touchdown more than he wanted to win the game, but for some reason decided to sacrifice his own values for someone elses? I just dont get it? If it had been Week 17, with the Eagles being 0-15, and down 34-0 in the game with 20 seconds remaining, and Westbrook would have needed just one touchdown to pass the single-season rushing TD record, then i could have dubbed it as unselfish and irrational for him to have kneeled down before the endzone. I would also have dubbed it stupid.

Another thing about sports: I just read a book that some cricket player wrote, and he said something along the lines of: "In baseball it is better for a batter to trust his instincts than try to be so rational and scientific about the art of hitting". Ummm....the instincts he is referring to arent instincts but reflexes that the batter has learned to master during rigorous training through his whole life. So if the batter wants to hit the ball, and he knows that the best way for him to hit it, is to try and let his reflexes "take over" during his at bat, then how is this not being rational and "scientific"? If he acts in a way, that in reality allows him to achieve what he has set out to do, then how is this not rational, just because he isnt over-analyzing all his muscle-movements during his at bat?

Also, i love american sports, but why does every athlete have to be so damn religious or superstitious. Obviously superstitions can be different, and some superstitions may be good. It is debatable whether they are superstitions though. Take tennis for example. Most players have a set routine they do before they serve, and they bounce the ball on the ground in the same manner every time. The will not serve if they accidentally bounce the ball 5 times instead of 4, and start their routine again. However, this is not a superstition, and more about rhythm that allows you to serve better, so i would not class this in the same category as having some lucky necklace or something. Also, the "thanking god" thing is really lame, and id love it if someone said something like "I was in the zone, i had open looks all night, and i shot the ball perfectly, but you know, god just didnt allow them to go in."

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I was a huge fan of the NBA, but most of its superstars, while fantastic on the court, are just awful people with bad attitudes and frequently, criminal records, so kind of like Tom Cruise movies, I prefer not to watch anymore. I can't help but wonder how much better they would perform if their minds were as healthy as their bodies??

Edited by K-Mac
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I agree with you here, and also with your analysis of the word selfish as applied to sports--there is a complete misconception about it. You will see it being applied in soccer: Ronaldinho (arguably the best soccer player of modern times) is considered 'unselfish' because he happens to pass the ball often. In actuality, that is what is required to win. Personally, I prefer individual sports over team sports. Golf is by far my favorite sport, and I myself try to play at least 2 times a week. In general, you will see most golf players taking responsibility for their actions, whether good or bad. This is most obviously evidenced by Phil Mickelson after losing the '06 US Open on the last hole, when he repeated several times in a press conference "I'm such an idiot." Incidentally, the greatest athlete of this decade is Tiger Woods (although I suppose an argument could be made for Roger Federer).

The greatest golfer, yes, but athlete? I doubt it. I measure athleticism by things like speed, strength, endurance, balance, quickness, hand-eye co-ordination. Different sports require different levels of athleticism. Golf is way down the list I would think in terms of being physically demanding, although it is in its own way. The two most demanding of the popular team sports are probably hockey and football. Perhaps the toughest individual sport is something like kickboxing.

There is also the factor of intelligence in sports. You have the raw ability, now how do you employ it? Maybe the quarter back in football is the best example of the combination of the physical and mental in action.

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The two most demanding of the popular team sports are probably hockey and football.

Both are demanding in the sense, that they require amazing "bursts" of athleticism, but they lack in the aspect of stamina, as they have line-changes in hockey, and they only play(usually) on one side of the ball in football, in addition to loads of stoppage in the play.

Id say, that Rugby has to be quite close to being the toughest, as you have to have the same stamina thats required in soccer, but also the same athleticism and toughness as in hockey/football.

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