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  #1  
Old 11-06-2019, 02:22 AM
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Default Most beloved living legend?

Just curious -- who do you think is America's most beloved living sports legend? Not necessarily the greatest or most respected, but the man or woman who inspires the most public adoration? Personally, I'd go with either George Foreman, Hank Aaron or Shaq. For my money, Jordan is too wooden and too "corporate" and Tiger has too much baggage. Thoughts?
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:12 AM
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Good thread. You have excellent people who came to mind that I agree with. Id likely add also Arnold if you consider what he did a sport and what hes done is amid controversy as well.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2019, 08:33 AM
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It's interesting to me how difficult this actually is. A few years back, not so tough, with Yogi, Ernie Banks, Arnold Palmer, Ali (not universal of course), and others.


Maybe Nicklaus now?


On the women's side, Billie Jean King? Mary Lou Retton?
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2019, 09:21 AM
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I think Shaq is a good pick. Charles Barkley would be another. But someone who I think really fills this role with the masses is Michael Strahan. He's a day time TV fixture, still covers big NFL games and is generally beloved by even regular people who don't like sports.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
It's interesting to me how difficult this actually is. A few years back, not so tough, with Yogi, Ernie Banks, Arnold Palmer, Ali (not universal of course), and others.


Maybe Nicklaus now?


On the women's side, Billie Jean King? Mary Lou Retton?
I was also thinking Mary Lou Retton
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:31 AM
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I think Shaq is a good pick. Charles Barkley would be another. But someone who I think really fills this role with the masses is Michael Strahan. He's a day time TV fixture, still covers big NFL games and is generally beloved by even regular people who don't like sports.
Gosh, Ive always wanted to be a regular person.

Do regular people all take Metamucil?
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:38 AM
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Maybe. Mostly they watch Good Morning America, probably were fans of Kelly and Michael and are probably huge fans of Strahan, Sara and Keke.

Can you think of anyone with a wider audience?
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:19 PM
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Maybe. Mostly they watch Good Morning America, probably were fans of Kelly and Michael and are probably huge fans of Strahan, Sara and Keke.

Can you think of anyone with a wider audience?
Joe Namath is doing Medicare Advantage commercials.
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  #9  
Old 11-06-2019, 12:29 PM
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In Baltimore it's Brooks Robinson by a mile.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:43 PM
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In Baltimore it's Brooks Robinson by a mile.
And in Boston Yaz and Orr, but I don't think they have a national following so much.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:49 PM
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I like Lou Holtz. Been out of the spotlight for a while though, however I imagine he does speaking engagements.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:50 PM
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Does The Rock count for something like this? He's pretty huge in popular culture too.
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  #13  
Old 11-06-2019, 01:04 PM
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Number 4 -- Bobby Orr!
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:15 PM
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Number 4 -- Bobby Orr!
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:41 PM
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Without doubt, when it comes to football, in the SF Bay area its Joe Cool.
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  #16  
Old 11-06-2019, 02:25 PM
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As a Canadian I feel like I have to go with Gretzky
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  #17  
Old 11-06-2019, 05:01 PM
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Sandy Koufax Would be a good pick
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  #18  
Old 11-06-2019, 07:17 PM
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Most beloved, got to be Mr. Bill Belichick.
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  #19  
Old 11-06-2019, 09:26 PM
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Wanna feel freakin' old??? I just saw Mary Lou Retton doing a commercial for a menopause medication!!!!!!!
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  #20  
Old 11-06-2019, 09:30 PM
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Id go with Cal Ripken Jr. while Brooks Robinson Is more beloved in the Maryland area as Mr. Oriole on the national level Cal is beloved all over, and is a great genuine person.
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  #21  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:11 PM
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No offense but Ripkin couldn’t be picked out of a lineup by 99.999% of Americans. Baseball fans will remember his record. Most people won’t.

Would have been Ali before he died. He was on a separate realm. Today could be Shaq due to his size and uniqueness.

Think about all the publicity when Ali died. CNN broadcast his funeral for hours. Do you think Bobby Orr or Cal Ripken are even in the same celebrity universe as that. Nope. By that standard might well be Tiger Woods. He won some tournament last week I never heard of and it was massive news.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 11-07-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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  #22  
Old 11-06-2019, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
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No offense but Rivkin couldn’t be picked out of a lineup by 99.999% of Americans. Baseball fans will remember his record. Most people won’t.

Would have been Ali before he died. He was on a separate realm. Today could be Shaq due to his size and uniqueness.

Think about all the publicity when Ali died. CNN broadcast his funeral for hours. Do you think Bobby Orr or Cal Ripken are even in the same celebrity universe as that. Nope. By that standard might well be Tiger Woods. He won some tournament last week I never heard of and it was massive news.
Ali literally could not go anywhere without being instantly recognized and mobbed. To be sure, an interesting transformation from a man who at times behaved deplorably to a world icon, but he certainly had the intelligence and charisma and gift of connecting to people to pull it off.

I just don't see Woods in that role. He doesn't have the outsize personality or the human touch of an Ali.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:07 PM
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I think everybody knows the legendary Pete Rose, but I guess the word legend is associated more frequently with positive connotations rather than negative ones.

Pete had both, so I guess they cancel out. Nevertheless I dont consider it outrageous to at least mention him, before nominating Jack The Ripper or the Boston Strangler.

No Net54 thread would be complete without a Pete.
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  #24  
Old 11-07-2019, 08:50 AM
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I think Barkley and Shaq are media driven goofballs. If I'm picking a living legend (as in somebody I'd like to meet) from the NBA it'd be somebody more akin to Bill Russell or Jerry West.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:18 AM
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It's an interesting question and interesting seeing how much local bias seeps into such a discussion. Brooks Robinson? Are you kidding me. C'mon. I'm a Met fan. I'd stop dead in my tracks if I saw Tom Seaver, but he's not some widely beloved figure. Sandy Koufax? A complete enigma with ZERO public presence (intentionally of course).

Maybe the bottom line is there isn't one today. Would prob be an Olympian, as they don't really have an "opposing" team so to speak. Michael Phelps is pretty well known, but not beloved.

Last edited by Snapolit1; 11-07-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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  #26  
Old 11-07-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
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No offense but Ripkin couldnt be picked out of a lineup by 99.999% of Americans.
True. A lot of people can't even spell his last name correctly.
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  #27  
Old 11-07-2019, 01:52 PM
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Joe Montana, Nolan Ryan. Not necessarily beloved, but most respected - Hank Aaron.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:53 PM
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Default My picks

Being a Wisconsinite, I would have picked Bart Starr if he was still alive. Also, showing my bias, I would put Robin Yount right up there.

Serena and Venus Williams come to mind. Lance Armstrong could have been a contender. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.? Simone Biles?

I can't come up with anyone who really stands out from the crowd.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:05 PM
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Based assuredly on her recent successes, for me, it would have to be Ms. Biles. Her smile alone could light up a room. No 'roids, just pure athletic accomplishment. I realize she hasn't been doing this for the past 40 years, but at the moment, she gets my vote!
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:16 PM
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Based assuredly on her recent successes, for me, it would have to be Ms. Biles. Her smile alone could light up a room. No 'roids, just pure athletic accomplishment. I realize she hasn't been doing this for the past 40 years, but at the moment, she gets my vote!
She is a phenomenal talent and personality. Just as a matter of personal aesthetic taste, I prefer the more artistic, balletic gymnasts such as Liukin, Boginskaya, and Khorkina.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:25 PM
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True. A lot of people can't even spell his last name correctly.
Interesting. Doesn't appear to be spelled wrong.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:58 PM
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Nolan Ryan has to be pretty high on the list. The baseball message boards on Facebook are enamored with him; you risk getting into a very ugly discussion if you insinuate the least negative thing about our all-time K / no-no leader.
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  #33  
Old 11-07-2019, 05:38 PM
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Interesting. Doesn't appear to be spelled wrong.
Steve- Ripkin is spelled Ripken , though Shaq is not spelled Shac .

is 50 a 'D' or a high 'F'?

.
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  #34  
Old 11-08-2019, 08:20 AM
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Michael Jordan
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  #35  
Old 11-08-2019, 08:46 AM
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Dont know about the most part but Vin Scully is one Id consider a legend and I think hes beloved.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:38 AM
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if you go by name recognition, reputation with the public, and overall excellence in his sport, I think it's got to be Jack Nicklaus. I would say Hank Aaron but Nicklaus has been, through the years, much more visible in public. Michael Jordan is more famous but I'm not sure the "beloved" title fits him as well.

Just watching Nicklaus win the Masters in '86 was enough for me.

In Detroit it would be Al Kaline. He's the very definition of "beloved" here.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:06 PM
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Pele, or are we just talking USA?
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
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if you go by name recognition, reputation with the public, and overall excellence in his sport, I think it's got to be Jack Nicklaus. I would say Hank Aaron but Nicklaus has been, through the years, much more visible in public. Michael Jordan is more famous but I'm not sure the "beloved" title fits him as well.

Just watching Nicklaus win the Masters in '86 was enough for me.

In Detroit it would be Al Kaline. He's the very definition of "beloved" here.
I would argue Nicklaus' run on Sunday at the 1999 Masters, where he birdied the 15th to move within two shots of the lead, at age 58 lol, was even more remarkable.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:43 PM
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Before he passed, Musial was a very beloved figure.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:45 PM
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Derek Jeter by a mile.
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  #41  
Old 11-08-2019, 05:07 PM
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The Rock.

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Old 11-08-2019, 08:05 PM
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Gretzky. Nice guy, no negatives, the best ever at his sport.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:02 PM
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At one time I'd think Tommy Lasorda was right up there.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:21 PM
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Peyton Manning. He is on TV commercials and ESPN constantly. I would think he is recognized most everywhere. He seems to be very personable.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:22 AM
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  #46  
Old 11-10-2019, 12:56 PM
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John Madden

In baseball, Ken Griffey Jr. still has the affection of millions of fans. He is seen as the clean hero of the 90s.
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  #47  
Old 11-10-2019, 02:09 PM
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  #48  
Old 11-10-2019, 02:10 PM
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America's most beloved living sports legend......

Well id say just about everyone in America knows who Michael Jordan is & that he is a legend.

But if we are leaving him off....

Id go with wane gretzky, by far the best hockey player of all time, his records will never be broken. And even though hockey isnt as popular as the rest of the sports id think most Americans know who he is and that hes the gratest all time
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  #49  
Old 11-10-2019, 04:06 PM
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I agree with Gretzky.
A true icon by definition as the representative symbol of his sport...
not many listed in this thread share his lofty status.
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  #50  
Old 11-10-2019, 04:56 PM
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Gretzky is the all time leading goal scorer. If Gretzky had never scored a goal, he would still (unless Jagr has recently changed this) be the all time leading point scorer. It's truly unfathomable.
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