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Wall St. Journal Ranks World's Top 10 Male Athletes


Burgundy & Gold Jacket
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Apr 11, 2009
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This could be fun. :cool4:


The Journal's Top 10

HOW WE DID IT: We gave the performance stats and achievement records of 79 male athletes to a panel of 5 judges, and asked them to rank the competitors based on six criteria: speed; vision and reflex; stamina and recovery; coordination and flexibility; power, strength and size; and success and competitiveness. The final category examined success—records held and victories—as well as competitiveness, based on the sport's popularity. Soccer, for example, the world's most popular sport, was judged the most competitive. The panel gave a total score for each athlete in the first round. Sixty athletes were eliminated in the second round, either because of low scores or because they were not first in their field. Our panelists then made the final ranking. Yale statistician John Emerson helped normalize the scores so no single panelist could exert undue influence.

THE JUDGES: Ed Coyle, exercise physiologist, University of Texas; has studied top athletes, including cyclist Lance Armstrong. Steve Fleck, chairman of the Sport Science Department at Colorado College and former head of the Physical Conditioning Program for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Eric Heiden,orthopedic surgeon at a Salt Lake City sports medicine and training facility; won five gold medals in speed skating in 1980. Kris Homsi, director of sport science for Sparq, a training and assessment company used in college recruiting. Mark Verstegen runs a group of training facilities called Athletes Performance.


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Crosby over Ovechkin? Lebron over Kobe? Ronaldo over Christiano Ronaldo?
Any baseball player on a top-10 athlete list is a complete and utter fail. No offense to baseball fans, or the sport itself, but there is no way they are the top athletes out there.

The most notable snub (in my opinion) is Usain Bolt.
Considering the criteria used: speed; vision and reflex; stamina and recovery; coordination and flexibility; power, strength and size; the choices don't seem all that unreasonable. Lanky, Usain Bolt is the most astonishing sprinter I have ever seen, bar none but where would he fit in in the stamina, power and strength categories in comparison to, say, LeBron James or LaDanian Tomlinson?

It was noted, in the selection of Alex Rodriguez that there was dissension among the judges, as you alluded to about the nature of baseball not demonstrating some of the components. A lot has to do with the type of athletic endeavor of the individual. Most of the players in the World Cup could probably defeat most of the top 10 list running a 10k because of the stamina necessary for the game of soccer.

El, I think I understand why Crosby got the edge over Ovechkin-O's success comes, I think from his style of play at least as much as from his raw hockey-oriented athleticism-he intimidates other players. One aspect of the competitiveness category that would be, IMHO, difficult to measure would be the psychology-a lot of sports competition is in the "mind-game" aspect, the ability to get inside your opponents head and thus increase the probability of having success.
Vision and coordination are the only things baseball players would excel at over other athletes, and you could make a case for stamina because of the long season. However Alex Rodriguez? A suspected (proven?) steroids user? Get outta here. I'd much rather see a Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, or even the rookie in Atlanta on this list (Heyward?) than A-Roid.

Usain's speed and power ratings should be so much higher than anyone else's, he'd get in. Plus, he runs that fast over and over in competitions, so he's got the stamina and recovery. He's got a lot of strength, and is a big dude. I don't see why he wouldn't get in, but I guess that's the nature of these lists. :)

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