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View Full Version : Who was the most INTIMIDATING athlete of all time?


mintacular
05-27-2011, 10:40 PM
My vote is Mike Tyson, can anyone beat that? Thanks.

Writehooks
05-27-2011, 11:57 PM
Tyson's a good pick, but I'd go with Sonny Liston.
Iron Mike's "IQ" (intimidation quotient) was shattered after Buster Douglas KO'd him in Japan; it was a classic example of the schoolyard bully turning into a creampuff once he ran into somebody who wasn't scared and actually fought back. His subsequent meltdowns against Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis underlined just how far he'd slipped.
Liston, on the other hand, never lost his aura of murderous ferocity even after the two losses to Ali. In fact, Ali is on record as saying the only opponent he was physically afraid of was "The Big Ugly Bear." Even George Foreman no shrinking violet when it came to intimidating other fighters has said he was "terrified" during sparring sessions with Liston.

TUM301
05-28-2011, 06:26 PM
Gordie Howe, Jim Brown or maybe Nolan Ryan.

dherm360
05-28-2011, 10:44 PM
My vote is Mike Tyson, can anyone beat that? Thanks.

when I saw your thread this is who I immediately thought of, early in his career he was dominating and feared.

Also thought of Tiger Woods during his run

White Borders
05-29-2011, 12:23 AM
Dale Earnhardt, Sr. He was known as "The Intimidator".

djrhanover
05-29-2011, 06:42 AM
For me, the first name I thought of when I saw this question was Dick Butkus.

39special
05-29-2011, 09:00 AM
How about Don Drysdale or Bob Gibson.

Wihawk
05-29-2011, 01:07 PM
Tommy "Hit Man" Hearns didn't exactly look like a charm school grad with that evil pre fight stare:mad:

CW
05-29-2011, 01:17 PM
Wow, I'm amazed it took post #7 for Bob Gibson to be mentioned. He was the first that came to mind. I would also have to imagine that Michael Jordan was intimidating in his prime.

novakjr
05-29-2011, 02:05 PM
Boxing:Sam Langford...

Baseball: Batting- Barry Bonds. Steroids aside, from '01-'04 nobody wanted to pitch to the guy, and when they did, we all know what happened..

Baseball: Pitching- I have to agree about Gibson, but Randy Johnson is right there with him.

Football:I think I'll have to agree about Butkus, but on a different note, I think just about every receiver or TE had to cringe at the thought of a crossing route when John Lynch was on the field..

UFC/Wrestling: For a while there, I'd say that Brock Lesnar was one scary dude...

cincyredlegs
05-29-2011, 05:14 PM
I remember watching a show on TV (I think it was George Burns baseball documentary) and they were talking about Willie Mays.

As the story goes, Willie got up to the plate in the 1st inning and started to dig out a little hole with his right (back) foot for better leverage. As he got set in he said he forgot who was pitching. He looked up and realized it was Don Drysdale.

Willie quickly called time, covered up the hole and stepped back into the batter box. Drysdale's first pitch nearly took Willie's head off. Now that is what I call intimidation.

Mark

bcbgcbrcb
05-29-2011, 10:09 PM
Albert belle

mintacular
05-29-2011, 11:12 PM
Just wondering how you would forget who's pitching, wouldn't you know the day before and also see the guy warming up, and also, if not lead-off wouldn't you be watching Drysdale pitch to the first few hitters? Sounds like an old-wives tale

SlugSports
05-30-2011, 02:03 AM
How about "The Big Unit" Randy Johnson?!?! One of the most intimidating pitchers in big league history. Major league hitters would look like this :eek: when they saw that 100MPH fast ball coming straight for their head!!

cincyredlegs
05-30-2011, 08:39 AM
Just wondering how you would forget who's pitching, wouldn't you know the day before and also see the guy warming up, and also, if not lead-off wouldn't you be watching Drysdale pitch to the first few hitters? Sounds like an old-wives tale


I wasn't there so maybe it is. I am just going off of what I saw on the program. There was another player telling the story, just can't remember who it was. Either way, in my opinion, Drysdale would probably go down in the top 3 intimidating pitchers of all time.

novakjr
05-30-2011, 12:24 PM
Albert belle

I thought about suggesting him. Dude was a beast in his prime. But as intimidating as he was on the field, I think he intimidated fans, reporters, ex-girlfriends, trick-or-treaters and clubhouse thermostats just a little more than he did pitchers..

canjond
05-30-2011, 03:48 PM
Since he rode a horse (which makes you an athlete), Wyatt Earp

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/photos-oldwest/WyattEarp-500.jpg
http://vintage45.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/wyatt-earp1.jpg

Ease
05-30-2011, 09:19 PM
Ray Lewis.

bobbvc
05-30-2011, 11:20 PM
Based on actual records (stats) you'd have to go with Dan Gable, wrestling. Not to mention his coaching career with Iowa.

pariah1107
05-30-2011, 11:54 PM
Without a doubt, Max Baer.

novakjr
05-31-2011, 01:43 AM
Based on actual records (stats) you'd have to go with Dan Gable, wrestling. Not to mention his coaching career with Iowa.

Oooh. Good call. I'd put Cael Sanderson right there with him..

Combined HS and NCAA record of 286-3 with 4 Utah state championships and 4 NCAA Championships, plus the 2003 silver at the World Championships and the 2004 Olympic Gold.

With Gable it's hard to tell what he would've done with his freshman years of HS and College, since he wasn't allowed to wrestle varsity in either one of them. I believe he only had one unofficial loss in HS with 3 state championships, a 181-1 College record with 2 NC's. Plus the 1971 gold at the World Championships and the 1972 Olympic Gold.

It's a shame the rules back then wouldn't allow freshmen on the varsity squads, so we'll never know. But these two are pretty close to mirror images of each other career wise so far. Here's to hoping Cael has somewhat similar success coaching at Penn State.. There's no way he'll get 15 NC's, but I'm sure he might lead them to a few. Hell, he's already got 1..

k-dog
05-31-2011, 10:47 AM
How about Bernard Hopkins wearing his executioner mask as he made his way to the ring! :eek:

barrysloate
05-31-2011, 06:16 PM
For me it's Lyle Alzado...since he once threatened to beat me up!:(

sox1903wschamp
05-31-2011, 06:23 PM
"Pre" or Steve Prefontaine. He intimidated all runners right into the ground.

Don Drysdale for baseball. I like the Willie Mays story.

tachyonbb
05-31-2011, 08:38 PM
Baseball: Bob Gibson

Football: Dick Butkus

Basketball: Bill Russell

Wrestling: Dan Gable

nolemmings
06-01-2011, 06:33 PM
for baseball it was Frank Howard. 6'7+" 275 pounds of muscle. Whereas you might be intimidated by Barry Bonds taking you deep, you would be scared that Hondo would kill you. Hit the ball hard? Made Reggie Jackson look like a punch and judy hitter.

howard38
06-01-2011, 09:06 PM
Modern: Dave Schultz.

All time: Spartacus. Gladiator turned military general who had all of Rome terrified.

tedzan
06-03-2011, 09:22 AM
Todd S

You beat me to mentioning "Hondo".

During the 1960's, when pitchers of both leagues were asked which batter they feared the most, most said Frank Howard.
Simply because with his 6:7 stature he would regularly undercut the ball with tremendous power and the ball would soar.

Shortstop Tony Kubek once commented that Howard hit a line drive that Kubek leaped high for but just missed the ball in
its flight. That ball on a fly eventually hit the 457-foot marker on the Centerfield wall at the old Yankee Stadium.

Man, is that power....or what ?


TED Z

dstraate
06-03-2011, 01:22 PM
Surely a failed rap album and the movie Kazaam removed his mystique a bit, but I've got to think Shaq would be on this list somewhere.

Down here in New Mexico, Brian Urlacher is something of a cult legend.

And guys have mentioned Nolan Ryan, but it bodes reiteration. Anybody remember when Robin Ventura charged the mound and Nolan taught him the man dance? Whew. That was friggin awesome. People were re-creating that on the playground for weeks.

Kawika
06-03-2011, 02:00 PM
For me it's Lyle Alzado...since he once threatened to beat me up!:(
Barry, you could have taken him.

nebboy
06-03-2011, 02:00 PM
Some of the most intimadating player have shortend carriers because of the way they played

BO Jackson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgYYaL--1qc

Earl Cambell -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfJybuzkMT0

barrysloate
06-03-2011, 05:19 PM
Barry, you could have taken him.

Not bloody likely. But I could hide.;)

Leon
06-03-2011, 06:54 PM
I don't know if "intimidating" is the correct word but I think Michael Jordon in his prime was about as dominant as an athlete can get.....or Mark Spitz in the '72 Olympics.....

Exhibitman
06-04-2011, 11:56 AM
Intimidating IMO means that the guy scares opponents before he does anything just by his presence.

Boxing: Mike Tyson in his heyday. He basically made opponents wet their pants before the bell rang. Add to that the fact that he was a street criminal in his youth, a rapist in his adulthood, and by all admissions of people close to him has violent mood swings, and I think you have a genuinely scary, violent customer.

Baseball: Ty Cobb [vintage] and Nolan Ryan. Cobb won through intimidation, which is why he had so few friends. Ryan took no crap from anyone, ever. Plus his beatdown of Robin Ventura is a classic.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/small/0904/toughness-toughness-nolan-ryan-robin-ventura-baseball-brawl-demotivational-poster-1239308792.jpg

Football: They Call Me Assassin was one of my favorite sports books as a kid, so I have to go with Jack Tatum. Honorable mention to Jim Brown--if he couldn't go around you, he'd just go through you. 5.22 yards per carry for his career, highest all time, and averaged over 100 yards per game for his career.

Basketball: Bill Russell. He changed entire game plans with his defensive play. 22.5 rebounds per game for a career.

Hockey: The Hammer, Dave Schultz. The baddest bad boy on the Broad Street Bullies.

Ejm1
06-04-2011, 06:57 PM
Marvin Hagler

Mike Tyson, until he met Robin Givins

John Randle was pretty scary

I always thought Ben Wallace in basketball looked like a bas a**

Clemente had a look to him like he was all business

Leon
06-04-2011, 07:55 PM
He's not the world champion anymore but not many folks would like to meet Brock in the alley...

Gradedcardman
06-04-2011, 10:49 PM
I've been stewing on this one for awhile...baseball I love Gibson for the pitcher and Ruth for the batter. Football I like Jim Brown. Basketball I like Wilt. Hockey I go with Orr.

Cat
06-06-2011, 12:44 AM
On the BB court Maurice Lucas was very intimidating, so was Xavier McDaniel in a different way.

bundy462
06-09-2011, 01:44 PM
I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Shaq in basketball. He was so big and physical that he changed how the game was played in the paint (for the worse in my opinion, it's more like WWF than basketball under the hoop). Guys would be fouled out in 3 minutes if the game was called the way it was pre-Shaq. He was a beast.

brian1961
06-20-2011, 06:53 PM
I simply cannot select from just one sport. So, just some random picks, but sincere nonetheless:

Baseball: Ty Cobb, Lefty Grove, Jackie Robinson

Hockey: skating away from the goons, I would select Maurice "Rocket" Richard and Bobby Hull. Also, I have to totally agree with the gent who mentioned Bobby Orr. I was blessed to see him play against my Black Hawks during his rookie year. He was all over the place, giving the last-place Bruins a fighting chance against what was probably the best Hawk team in history. Chicago won that game, 6-3, I believe, but Orr scored and no doubt intimidated everyone he faced. All my junior high classmates and I adored Bobby, though we were from the Chicago suburbs. He wasn't much older than us yet he was already a major star. As Orr's career flourished, he obviously became more and more intimidating, just as happened with Richard and Hull.

Horse Racing: Secretariet

Cycling: IF ALL the key players were indeed on some sort of PEDS over the last 10 years, Lance Armstrong rides up the mountain alone, demoralizing everyone's resolve behind him. Before drugs or whatever, Belgian Eddy Merkx would be my selection as the most intimidating, ferocious rival.

Speed Skating: While his Olympic stardom was limited to one Olympiad, imagine what EVERY speed skater at the 1980 Olympics must have felt when they had to go head-to-head with Eric Heiden! As for the ladies, Bonnie Blair rules( My Bonnie lies over the ocean, my Bonnie...).

Wrestling: American Dan Gable, as well as ANY teams he coached!

Long Distance Running: Vladimir Kuts, Russia (1956), Emil Zatopek (1948, 1952), Herb Elliott (1960), Lasse Viren (1972, 1976), and with the exception of the '72 Olympics, American Steve Prefontaine. None of them except PRE had an "attitude"; however, it was the way in which all of them raced their opponents that struck great fear. Tactically, they would break you apart! You did not want to race them, but you had to.

Automobile Racing: Tazio Nuvolari, Jose Froilan "Fathead" Gonzales, Juan Manuel Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Mario Andretti, Jacky Ickx and by all means, Michael Schumacher!

Cheers. --Brian Powell:o

aaroncc
06-21-2011, 12:49 PM
Mike Tyson... even later in his career people were beat before the bell rang.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVPMgMBUsCI

alanu
06-23-2011, 11:37 AM
I'd go with Tyson too, but prior to the Ali fight, Foreman isn't too far behind

Maybe the same can be said for Liston, but that was a little before my time.

As for "non-contact" sports I'd go with Gibson, Gossage, Tiger, Gordie Howe, Butkus (okay, FB & Hockey are probably "contact")

Jewish-collector
06-24-2011, 08:27 AM
Wilt Chamberlain

benderbroeth
06-25-2011, 05:19 PM
I remember watching a show on TV (I think it was George Burns baseball documentary) and they were talking about Willie Mays.

As the story goes, Willie got up to the plate in the 1st inning and started to dig out a little hole with his right (back) foot for better leverage. As he got set in he said he forgot who was pitching. He looked up and realized it was Don Drysdale.

Willie quickly called time, covered up the hole and stepped back into the batter box. Drysdale's first pitch nearly took Willie's head off. Now that is what I call intimidation.

Mark


i think you mean ken burn's documentary not george burns..unless i am wrong lol

thescooper
06-25-2011, 07:55 PM
GOLDIE GOLDTHORPE:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek: :eek::eek::eek:

travrosty
06-26-2011, 10:08 PM
The answer is jim brown, he would walk the opponents sidelines before a game. steel look in his eye. ask anyone who ever played against him.


football is "maybe" a contact sport? i think i have heard it all now.