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Old 01-28-2011, 04:02 AM
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Default Topic #7, Group #2: Most Well Rounded Athlete

This thread is to be used by those in Group #2 (see the stickied thread for rosters if you're unsure of where you are). Any other posts in here will be flagged for spam and deleted. You have four days from the time this is posted to post (as in the time this is posted on Tuesday, which is approximately when the new topic will go up. Note that I mean 96 hours after MY initial post, not the lead off debater.) your arguments, rebuttals and anything else you want. Best overall debater in that time period receives 10 points, second receives 9, third receives 8, all others receive 7.

Hitting Lead-Off in this debate is hatehabsforever. He has 24 hours to reply and if he doesn't then it's open season.

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Topic: What sport has the most well rounded athletes overall?

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Old 01-28-2011, 05:13 PM
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In answering the question of "what sport has the most well rounded athletes overall," it is first necessary to define what the expression "well rounded" means to you.

For me, a well rounded athlete is someone who can combine the attributes of physical athleticism, mental toughness, and emotional stability. It has to refer to the athletes of a particular sport who are physically gifted, both in terms of being in prime physical condition, as well as performing a difficult skill or talent at a high level. They have to be mentally tough, as this is, arguably, one of the key ingredients in terms of success in professional sports. And they must be able to remain emotionally stable. So what athletes of what sport demonstrate all of this to the greatest degree? I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but I will give the nod to soccer.

Now don't get me wrong, I am by no means a fan of soccer/football. In fact, in my opinion, it is the most boring team sport known to man. But there's no denying the physical condition of the athletes who play competitive soccer at a high level. Those sons of guns are in tip top physical shape. The strength that they exhibit in playing professional soccer is impressive. Their cardiovascular capacity is magnificent as well. The stamina that they display in traveling back and forth the field, while rarely appearing winded, is something they should be commended for. The flexibility they display in handling the ball and maneuvering their way through traffic is pretty good as well. The ball control they are able to exhibit makes even a non-soccer enthusiast like myself stand up and take notice. To handle the ball as smoothly as they do, obviously without the use of their hands, while still displaying the dexterity of a surgeon simply with their feet and their heads is something which I cannot help but marvel at. The accuracy they can display, whether it be via passing to teammates or shooting at their opponents goal, is very impressive as well.

Their ability to recover from injury is astonishing. You see a guy go down in every game of soccer you watch, multiple times, and as he is writhing in pain on the field, you would swear the guy is about to die. 2 minutes later he's back on his feet, speeding up the pitch , like nothing ever happened. Truly miraculous.

OK, I couldn't resist a little sarcasm in that last paragraph, but in all seriousness, you have to think that athletes who display such exceptional physical conditioning while performing difficult skills expertly, and make it look fairly effortless and easy in doing so, have to be seen as pretty well rounded athletes.

The mental toughness they exhibit is good as well. Soccer would appear to be a highly strategic game, requiring a high degree of mental prowess. The fact that they are able to remain mentally tough throughout a game of such mind-numbing boredom, as they battle it out to a nil/nil draw, takes more mental toughness than I could ever display as an athlete, or even as a spectator/fan. Maintaining focus is a difficult task for any athlete, but I think that the higher calibre soccer players are able to do so.

While it may be slightly redundant, soccer players display emotional toughness as well. They often play the game with high stakes at hand, which contributes a level of pressure to their performance which can only make their task at hand tougher yet more impressive. When playing in the World Cup, for example (which of course has already been firmly established earlier in this contest to be less significant than the Summer Olympics, but I digress) the eyes of the entire world are upon them. Entire nations hold their breath while watching the game, dreaming of the sometimes unlikely occurrence of someone actually taking a shot on net, or dare I say it, scoring a goal. Fanaticism amongst the fans of some nations is well documented. Guys have received death threats in the past when failing to live up to expectations. Guys who do live up to them or exceed them are national heroes. Professional soccer players frequently play the game under such stressful conditions, and the fact that they are able to do so and remain sane, not to mention be successful, takes a whole extra type of well roundedness. Let's face it, if Roethlesberger doesn't play well in the Superbowl and the Steelers lose (crosses fingers), he'll be disappointed, as will his fans, but 24 hours later, life will go on. In contrast, if some French soccer player has a brain cramp and decides to head butt the chest of some opponent, he's an outcast. Much bigger stakes. Much more pressure. You certainly have to be a well rounded athlete to excel under these conditions.

What are the alternatives? In terms of physical conditioning alone, look at MLB. While requiring a high degree of skill, you don't exactly have to be in peak physical condition. CC Sabathia, for example, is not what you'd call ripped. The guys spend considerable periods of the game sitting in the dugout. The DH's spend the whole game there. Even when in the field of play, a lot of time is spent just standing around. Not to demean baseball, as I prefer it far more than soccer, it just doesn't require the same extent of well roundedness thar other sports do.

I also prefer the NFL to soccer, but let's face it, while very physical while you are on the field of play, there are a lot of stops and starts, as opposed to soccer which is pretty much perpetual motion. If you are an offensive player, you get to take a seat while your defense is playing, or vice versa. NHL and NBA probably require greater conditioning and stamina, but I still don't think they involve the same cardiovascular demands or physical prowess that soccer does.

To excel in any professional sport at the highest level, you have to be able to display a well rounded performance. But, while well down my personal list of likes and dislikes, I have to give credit to the game of soccer in terms of which of its participating athletes are the most well rounded overall.

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:14 AM
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When I think regarding the sports that have the most well rounded athletes, it comes down to two sports for me: Basketball and soccer. Much of this is due to the amount of time these athletes spend running up and down the field. The hand eye cordination has to be exceptional, and one has to make split second decisions on a consistent basis. There is little margin for error. I rule out baseball, because it is based more on skill than being a well rounded athlete. Don't get me wrong,there are great athletes in baseball. But if one were to put the majority of baseball players in pure physical testing against basketball and soccer players, they wouldnt stand a chance, especially when it comes to physical conditioning and actual athletic skill.

When you look closely at a basketball players, they are required to train year round to run, make split second decisions, handle a ball, and jump up and down the court. Further, they have to move quickly, laterally, and change their angles in a split second. The coordination of basketball players are second to none. Understand, soccer players must be in the same shape as basketball players. However, their training is based mostly on endurance. While they also handle a ball, they do so far less then the basketball player. Much of what they do is geared to being able to run up and down the field.When you think of their lateral movement much of the time, it simply doesn't compare to that of a basketball player.

Soccer players don't play with the same aggression on defense, by design. The basketball player exhibits aggression so much more, and they handle the basketball far more then the soccer player handles the the futbol. Much of this is due to the 11players on a soccer field per team, where a basketball team fields only 5. This is not a knock on soccer, as a great comparison I could make regarding soccer is to a long distance running sport. Even at times, it requires sprinting as well. But overall, the usage of hand eye coordination, quick thinking, and handling the ball simply doesn't measure up to that of the basketball player. Soccer players have more athletes on the field, so there are less opportunities to use these skills. Because of this, basketball players are the most well rounded athletes in the world. As I previously stated, their hand eye coordination is second to none in any sport. The split second decision making exists far more often then it does in any other sport. Their endurance is equal to that of any athlete in any sport, and their vertical and lateral movements, as well as their jumping, are second to none. While soccer is a physically draining sport that requires great hand eye coordination and endurance as well, it is not as demanding in many of these areas that basketball is. I thought long and hard about this decision, but these factors helped me arrive at my decision. Basketball players are the most versatile athletes in the world, thus making them the most well rounded athletes in the world as well.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:32 AM
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Once again, glad to see my first choice wasn't taken before I could claim it. This is an easy one for me. the answer is certainly hockey players.

First of all, that certainly are the toughest athletes of any sport out there. In what other sport to guys lay their bodies out on the line to block at hard, rubber object being shot upwards of 100 MPH?

Also, I think you're missing the other side of well rounded, which also includes off the playing field. A large amount of basketball players are thugs and soccer players are spoiled brats. Hockey players are tough, blue collar, all around great guys.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:19 PM
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Also, I think you're missing the other side of well rounded, which also includes off the playing field. A large amount of basketball players are thugs and soccer players are spoiled brats. Hockey players are tough, blue collar, all around great guys.
First off, let me say that Im the last one to defend some of the actions off the court of basketball players. But are you serious about hockey players being "good guys?" Hockey is my favorite sport, but this is ludicrous. Each of the 32 teams in the NHL employs an "enforcer", a glorified goon whose only job is to fight the other teams enforcer. They possess limited skill and athletic ability, unless throwing rights and lefts count.

To add to this, hockey players are no better, if not worse, then basketball players. Was the Vancouver Canucks Brad May being an "all around great guy" when he put a "physical bounty" on Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche? Todd Bertuzzi "cashed in" on said bounty when he ended Moore's career by punching him, blindsided in the head, breaking his neck in the process. You can read the article here.
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Source: ESPN.com

On Monday March 8, 2004, the Colorado Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks faced off for the last time of the 2003-2004 season. The game was significant because in a previous game played on February 16, 2004, rookie Avalanche player Steve Moore laid an open ice hit on Canucks star Markus Naslund. Naslund was injured and missed the next few games, but Moore was not penalized.

Canucks Head Coach Marc Crawford on Steve Moore's hit:



"It just mystifies me that this happens in this League. They talk about players not having respect for players. Do they not have respect for the leading scorer in the league? When does that come? When does that come? It could have been an obstruction call, it could have been an elbowing call. It could have been anything. Instead, they call absolutely nothing. I have no idea. It was hard-fought game, nobody is talking about that but that was a cheap shot by a young kid on a captain, the leading scorer in the League and we get no call. We get no call. That is ridiculous. How does that happen? That's got to be answered. Why is there no respect from those referees for the leading scorer in the League. I do not understand that for the life of me. I don't care if they fine me, I really don't. That needs to be answered."

The Canucks vowed revenge for the hit. Brad May, a Canuck, went so far as to place a bounty on Moore's head. The next game between the two teams, played at the Pepsi Center in Denver, was attended by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman just to make sure no funny business happened. Vancouver kept their hands off of the Avs and the two teams skated to a 5-5 tie.

The next game in the Colorado/Vancouver series, played at the GM Place was entirely different. The feelings on the ice were more aggressive. Not only would the game determine the Northwest division leader, but the bounty on Moore's head still stood.

After two fights to start of the game (Moore vs. Cooke and May vs. Worrell), Milan Hejduk started of the scoring at 6:54 in the first period. Then the Avalanche solidified their lead with three goals in 51 seconds, a franchise record (starting at 14:40 in the first by Steve Konowalchuk). Brad May, the goon for Vancouver scored the only two goals for his team. After each goal, May made his way back into the goal crease to shove and taunt Avalanche goalie David Aebischer, for which he was given a ten-minute penalty for misconduct.

The Avalanche continued to score and the tension continued to build until the third period, when Todd Bertuzzi went after Steve Moore. Bertuzzi felt that even though Moore had fought with Cooke earlier in the game, he deserved something more. After shadowing the rookie, Bertuzzi came up from behind and grabbed Moore's jersey, pulled him in close and landed a roundhouse right on the side of Moore's head. The hit knocked him unconscious and he was defenseless as Bertuzzi drove his head into the ice. A pileup of players landed on top of the two. Vancouver goaltender Johan Hedberg challenged David Aebischer, and various other scraps were started. Steve Moore lay in a pool of blood for several minutes before being carried off in a stretcher by medics.

Colorado Avalanche head coach Tony Granato was visibly upset. Backup goaltender Philippe Sauve had to hold Granato back as he screamed over the glass at the Canuck bench. The Avs coach later explained that not only was he angry at the disgusting diplay on the ice, but also at Marc Crawford's smirk he wore on the bench throughout the incident.

Avalanche Defenseman Derek Morris on the Todd Bertuzzi hit:



"It was disgusting. I haven't seen anything like that in my seven years of playing hockey. This was premeditated; this was the worst thing I've seen."

Moore suffered fractures in his C3 and C4 vertebrae, a concussion, and deep cuts in his face. He did not have any spinal cord damage or paralyzation and was talking with teammates in the hospital after the game. Bertuzzi was assessed a match penalty for attempting to injure a player. He was automatically suspended pending a hearing, which was held on Wednesday March 10, 2004. During the hour-long hearing in Toronto, Bertuzzi and NHL vice president Colin Campbell discussed the hit and watched a video replay of it. The next day, Campbell ruled that Bertuzzi was to be suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, and must ask for reinstatement at the beginning of the 2004-2005 season. The Vancouver Canucks were also fined $250,000 on top of the $500,000 of Bertuzzi's salary they were required to forfeit.

NHL vice president Colin Campbell:



"We dealt with Todd Bertuzzi like we would any other player in this situation. Because Todd Bertuzzi is the impact player he is, the ramifications and severity of this will definitely affect and hurt the Vancouver Canucks' chances of being successful in the playoffs."

Vancouver police are also investigating whether to pursue criminal charges on Bertuzzi for the hit. The whole situation has been compared to the incident involving Marty McSorley and then-Canuck Donald Brashear. McSorley smashed Brashear on the side of the head with his hockey stick, which gave him a concussion after he hit the ice without his helmet. McSorley was charged with assault with a weapon in a Vancouver court, receiving an 18-month conditional discharge. The incident ended McSorley's career after he was suspended for a year and never signed by another team.

Fans around Colorado and the NHL showed deep concern for the injured Moore and gave their support by emailing local newspapers and creating numerous get-well cards that were scattered around the city of Denver. A local television station's website set up a place for fans to include their words of encouragement for the injured Moore. Bertuzzi responded to the media with a tearful apology, but many found it hard to find sympathy for the Canuck.

Todd Bertuzzi's first comments to the media after the hit:



"This comment's for Steve: Steve I just want to apologize for what happened out there. But I had no intention of hurting you. And I feel awful for what transpired.

Steve's family: Sorry that you had to go through this. And I'm sorry again, about what happened out there.

I'm relieved to hear that Steve's gonna have a full recovery. It means a lot to me to hear that that's gonna happen. I wanna apologize to Mr. Burke and Mr. McCaw, the Vancouver Canucks organization, and my teammates.

To the fans of hockey and the fans of Vancouver, for the kids who watch this game: I'm truly sorry. I don't play the game that way, I'm not a mean-spirited person. And I'm sorry for what happened."

As a result of the incident, Bertuzzi was charged in British Columbia, Canada with assault. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a year of probation and 80 hours of community service, but received a conditional discharge, leaving him without a criminal record. Bertuzzi was suspended from the NHL indefinitely, which included the remaining 13 regular season games and all playoffs of the 2003-2004 season. Bertuzzi was reinstated for the 2005-2006 season after being ineligible to play in Europe during the lockout. Steve Moore filed a civil lawsuit in a Denver court on February 15, 2005. Named in the suit were Bertuzzi, Brad May, Marc Crawford, former Canucks GM Brian Burke, Orca Bay Sports and Entertainment, owner of the team. The lawsuit, which sought unspecified damages from the defendants, was thrown out when the judge handling the case cited that it had no bearing in Colorado.

Then there's perennial all-star forward and sniper Danny Healtey of the San Jose Sharks, formerly of the Ottawa Senators and began his NHL career with the Altalnta Thrashers. This "good guy" drove his car 130 miles an hour in a 35 zone after drinking. As a result, passenger and fellow teammate Dan Snyder died due to massive head trauma when Heatley wrecklesslhy ran his car off a road and into a brick wall. Heatley only avoided jail time because Snyder's family begged the jude to do so. You can read this story here.
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Source: CBC Sports

National Hockey League forward Dany Heatley on Friday pleaded guilty to four of six charges in the vehicular homicide case against him and was sentenced to three years probation.
In exchange for the plea, the only felony charge – first-degree vehicular homicide – was dropped along with a charge of reckless driving.

In addition, the Atlanta Thrasher must deliver 150 speeches about the dangers of speeding and cannot drive except for work, medical purposes, going to the grocery store or for attending his speeches.



Dany Heatley was sentenced Friday to three years probation in the vehicular homicide case against him. (CP File Photo)

A Calgary native, Heatley did avoid possible deportation, so his ability to play in the NHL shouldn't be affected.

"The mistake I made that night was speeding," Heatley said at his sentencing. "This mistake will stay with me the rest of my life."

Heatley was also charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving too fast for condition, failure to maintain a lane and speeding in connection with the Sept. 29, 2003, car crash that killed teammate and friend Dan Snyder of Elmira, Ont.

Heatley would have faced up to 20 years in prison and fines totalling $5,000 US if the case had gone to trial and he was convicted on all counts.

In sentencing Heatley, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Roland Barnes said the court will have to approve the type of car Heatley drives. The vehicle can't exceed six cylinders and will be equipped with a mechanism to prevent it from exceeding 112 kilometres per hour.

Lawyers for the NHL all-star had spent the past few months trying to negotiate a plea bargain.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard was satisfied with the sentence.

"This was a traffic-related incident. It was not an intentional incident," said Howard, adding Heatley and Snyder's friendship was a factor in the handling of the case.

The 24-year-old Heatley returned to Atlanta Monday from Switzerland, where he is playing during the NHL lockout.

In late September 2003, Heatley drove his Ferrari approximately 130 km/h down a narrow, two-lane Atlanta road when he spun out of control and smashed into a brick and wrought-iron fence.

Snyder was ejected from the vehicle and suffered a fractured skull. He underwent two hours of emergency brain surgery but never emerged from his coma.

Snyder, 25, died Oct. 5, 2003, from massive head trauma sustained in the high-speed accident.

Heatley suffered a broken jaw, a minor concussion, a bruised lung and kidney. He also had surgery to repair torn medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments as well as the lateral meniscus in his right knee.

Snyder's family didn't want Heatley to go to jail, something Barnes took into consideration in the sentencing.

"As a parent, it's hard to explain how you feel about losing your son. My pride in Dan was immeasurable," said Graham Snyder, adding he wanted Heatley to continue his NHL career. "We will all miss him.

"So how do we move on from here? Forgiveness in our hearts has helped us move on. We forgive because Dany has shown remorse to his family."

Heatley, a former Calder Trophy winner as NHL rookie of the year, led Canada to gold medals at the world hockey championship and World Cup of Hockey in 2004.


There's certainly more, as I saved my most recent and laughable example for last. NHL 10 coverboy Patrick Kane and his cousin decided it was appropriate to assault a taxi cab driver because he didn't have a 20 cents in change from $15.00. Yes, you read that right, 20 cents! Not only did they assault the taxi-cab driver, but they stole the $15.00 back as well! A multi-millionaire cover boy commits assault, and he's a good guy? Gimme a break. You can read the article here.
Click for Spoiler:

Source: Fanhouse.com
Patrick Kane, the Buffalo native who was selected first overall in the 2007 draft by the Chicago Blackhawks, was arrested early Sunday morning along with a relative for allegedly assaulting a cab driver and failing to pay their fare. The two were leaving Chippewa Street, the hub of Buffalo's nightlife.

Actually, they technically paid their fare, but allegedly punched the driver and took the money back when the driver notified them he didn't have 20 cents in change to give them. They were arrested at about 5 AM, three days after Kane attended an event with the mayor in Buffalo to celebrate the opening of an ice rink and park facilities.

"It's special for me, it's the place I grew up," Kane said at the time. "The best part is coming back and hanging out with your buddies and family." He didn't list "assault and robbery" as other special things about returning back home.


According to the driver, the fare was $13.80 and the pair paid the driver $15. When the driver couldn't produce 20 cents, he claims he was punched in the face and head, grabbed by the throat and had his glasses broken. A torn $5 bill was later found in James Kane's pocket.

Both Patrick and James were charged with second-degree robbery, a felony, as well as fourth-degree criminal mischief and theft of services, both misdemeanors.

Kane is one of the best young wingers in the game, and FanHouse's 47th best player in the NHL.

Kane is in the last year before restricted free agency, one of the Blackhawks' young stars expected to receive a hefty raise. Still, you would think that he would have enough banked on his current salary to toss a Buffalo cabbie $1.20 in change (compared to the cost his character and wallet will face thanks to the alleged incident, a buck and change seems a minor pittance).

Then again, when you're 20 you make stupid decisions. With his name in the headlines, the rising star is probably regretting this one.

The point is, hockey players have no edge behavior wise on or off the field of play over basketball players. While Im not defending the Ron Artest's and Gilbert Arenas', I'm simply noting that hockey players are no better, if not worse. I didn't even mention Steve Avery, and his infamous comments regarding "sloppy seconds", a crude sexual reference, before a game in Calgary. This got him suspended indefintely by his team, the Dallas Stars. I mentioned already that each hockey team employs a glorified goon whose sole purpose is to fight, which has little to nothing to do with the game. The argument about "protecting team's stars" doesn't fly here, because if hockey players were truly "great guys" they wouldn't be taking runs at other teams stars in attempts to injure in the first place. Todd Bertuzzi's despicable act on the ice, as well as Dany Heatley's and Patrick Kane's further show that hockey players behave in more deplorable ways then basketball players do.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:53 PM
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The simple fact of the matter here is that in any sport, whether it be NBA, NHL, soccer, or whatever else, there are good guys and there are bad guys. Human nature. Therefore, I think it is too general, guilty of making too many assumptions, to include character traits when assessing the well roundedness of the athletes of any particular sport. For every Dany Heatley, there is a Wayne Gretzky. For every Allen Iverson, there's a Steve Nash. I don't know enough names of professional soccer players to comment on this, but safe to assume that they too boast both quality, stand up guys, as well as their share of assholes.

In terms of debating this from an on field/ice perspective, I fear I have somewhat painted myself into a corner here, having to speak more highly of soccer, of which I am not a fan, while opposing the NHL or NBA, both of which I prefer far more. In terms of the NHL, there's no denying that these guys are in great shape physically. Long gone are the days when the players partied all the time after their games, and took their summers off. It is now a 12 months commitment amongst their rosters, and the guys who don't treat it this way get left behind. But I still feel that the cardiovascular demands of soccer, the stamina and endurance it entails, while still competing at a high level, is more significant than my beloved NHL. While the top players log serious ice time, a lot of the other guys spend considerable amounts of time on the bench. The NHL features the ability to change shifts on the fly, during play, resulting in shorter shifts and more frequent rests. I am not suggesting that the NHLers have it easy, far from it, and there's absolutely no denying their toughness, their grit, and their passion for their sport. But I still feel that overall,soccer features the more well rounded athlete.

NBA players are impressive too. Their cardio is pretty freaking' amazing as well. Jesus, the last time I played a game of basketball with my buddies, I thought I was going to die after running the floor a few times. Not to mention doing it at the tempo and with the skill level of the pros. These guys are highly skilled, in peak physical condition for the most part, and they make a difficult skill sett look remarkably easy. But again, despite my clear preference for basketball over soccer, I give the edge to soccer. It would appear to me that while there are lots of NBA players in excellent physical shape, there are many of them who aren't, who simply take advantage of their God given genetic advantages to excel in their sport.

I don't perceive Yao Ming as a terribly athletic specimen, but he's really tall (and tremendously talented as well). He doesn't stand out in particular to me as being a particularly well rounded athlete. Shaquille O'Neill is not a model of fitness either, and he's been excelling in the NBA for ages. Don't get me wrong, I'm not demeaning the physical condition of the NBA athletes. I just think when speaking in general terms, the average professional basketball player is not as well rounded as the average professional soccer player.

Combine all of this with the inherent pressures of playing professional soccer, complete with rabid nationalism and frequent fanaticism, and I think it takes a special type of player, with a unique breed of well roundedness, to be able to perform at this level under these conditions.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by hatehabsforever View Post
For me, a well rounded athlete is someone who can combine the attributes of physical athleticism, mental toughness, and emotional stability. It has to refer to the athletes of a particular sport who are physically gifted, both in terms of being in prime physical condition, as well as performing a difficult skill or talent at a high level. They have to be mentally tough, as this is, arguably, one of the key ingredients in terms of success in professional sports. And they must be able to remain emotionally stable.
I give you credit Habs, you nailed the description of the well rounded athlete to a "T". You just did it with the wrong sport.

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So what athletes of what sport demonstrate all of this to the greatest degree? I cannot believe I am actually saying this, but I will give the nod to soccer. But there's no denying the physical condition of the athletes who play competitive soccer at a high level. Those sons of guns are in tip top physical shape. The strength that they exhibit in playing professional soccer is impressive. Their cardiovascular capacity is magnificent as well. The stamina that they display in traveling back and forth the field, while rarely appearing winded, is something they should be commended for.
Im not here to argue against the conditioning of soccer players, because it's impressive. Rather, it's that the basketball player is better conditioned. When looking at stats from Yahoo last year regarding FIFA games, the average soccer player ran 6.5 miles per game. When compared to the NBA, the NBA player ran 5 miles a game. End of story, right? The problem is, soccer games are 90 minutes long. When averaged out, the soccer player runs on average 4.4 miles(being generous) per hour. The basketball player runs 5 miles per hour.

In soccer, there are places that some players rarely leave. The sweeper, for example, mostly protects the goaslie. The striker largely remains on one half of the field, playing the ball, recovering it, and attacking the net. Basketball players must defend, run the fast break, set up in transition, and run set plays. This is equal for all of them, making them overall better conditioned then soccer players, generally speaking.

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The flexibility they display in handling the ball and maneuvering their way through traffic is pretty good as well. The ball control they are able to exhibit makes even a non-soccer enthusiast like myself stand up and take notice. To handle the ball as smoothly as they do, obviously without the use of their hands, while still displaying the dexterity of a surgeon simply with their feet and their heads is something which I cannot help but marvel at. The accuracy they can display, whether it be via passing to teammates or shooting at their opponents goal, is very impressive as well.
This is nothing compared to that of the basketball player. Have you ever seen Steve Nash handle the basketball? He's a wizard of, while moving full speed, passing the ball through two defenders to a perfect spot. The three point shot, the most difficult to make, is also the most contested. Yet when I think of amazing accuracy, I think of a Matt Bonner. According to ESPN.com, he lead the league in converting 50.4% of his three pointers(of those who attempted 100 or more). Again, the most difficult shot in basketball at a 50% rate. No soccer stat could ever compare to that.

When you talk about a surgeon, I think of Jason Kidd, who uses speed and dexterity, but most of all hand-eye coordination when handling and passing the ball to an open player. His 9.2 assists(leading the league) at 37 tells one that. When you talk of flexibility, I think of a Lebron James driving the baeseline draped by two defenders for a reverse dunk. I think of a Kobe Bryant fadeaway for a gamewinner. When it comes to performance, a key factor in being a well rounded athlete, basketball is head and shoulders above soccer in this.


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The mental toughness they exhibit is good as well. Soccer would appear to be a highly strategic game, requiring a high degree of mental prowess. The fact that they are able to remain mentally tough throughout a game of such mind-numbing boredom, as they battle it out to a nil/nil draw, takes more mental toughness than I could ever display as an athlete, or even as a spectator/fan. Maintaining focus is a difficult task for any athlete, but I think that the higher calibre soccer players are able to do so.
I disagree, and doubt that the soccer players would call it boredom. They each just have different roles, some which expend more energy then others. With basketball, all five players are working toward the same thing. They're attempting to stop a basket, or score one. Mental focus is pertinent here as well, as there's only 24 seconds each possession to get off a shot. Further, players in basketball must have much shorter memories, as in 24 seconds if scored upon. ecause here's such little scorin in soccer, there's less of ha inense focus that mus be there mentally. If a player ecomes dejected after being scored upon once or twice in basketball, he can hurt his team in the span of a few minues. Menal focus is paramount in basketball, more then any oher sport. This is just another area that makes asketball he most well rounded sport, not soccer.

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Playing in the World Cup, for example (which of course has already been firmly established earlier in this contest to be less significant than the Summer Olympics, but I digress) the eyes of the entire world are upon them.Entire nations hold their breath while watching the game, dreaming of the sometimes unlikely occurrence of someone actually taking a shot on net, or dare I say it, scoring a goal. Fanaticism amongst the fans of some nations is well documented. Guys have received death threats in the past when failing to live up to expectations. Guys who do live up to them or exceed them are national heroes.
I fail to see how this makes soccer a more rounded sport Habs.

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While it may be slightly redundant, soccer players display emotional toughness as well. They often play the game with high stakes at hand, which contributes a level of pressure to their performance which can only make their task at hand tougher yet more impressive.
Being able to play for high stakes is anoher important factor that makes a sport well rounded. The higher the stakes, the more important the sport. Unfortunately, people believe that national pride or championships are the ultimate stake. Unfortunately, it's money. Money is what drives players to hold out, re-negotiate contracts, demand trades, and even sit out.(Im talking to you Vincent Jackson.) Money is the highest stake a player works for, just as a job. Nothing can top that championship feeling like an endorsement, or a large bump in pay. Basketball is famous for their endorsements, including their "Be Like Mike Commercials."

It's also important to look at players salaries. While a FIFA soccer player may make a nice living, he's not touching a million dollars unless he's in the top twenty players of the world. The average FIFA soccer player makes $83,000 dollars a year. The source is provided here.

Click for Spoiler:
Source: Kaycircle.com
How much does a Professional Soccer Player make per Year?
April 4,2010
Average FIFA/MLS Player Annual Salary Range 2010
In 2010, the average professional soccer player earns a salary of $83,000 per year. The starting salary of a player in the MLS is $62,000 per year. Generally, the salary range for professional soccer players starts at $51,000 per year and can reach well over six

Soccer players can earn very high salariesfigures. Famous and highly skilled soccer players can earn millions of dollars per year as a contract salary.


While the average soccer player is lucky to see close to a million a year, the average NBA player makes 2.4 million a year. That's three times the amount of a soccer player. That's three times the drive to be excellent, three times the motivation, and three times the reasons to remain emotionally stable and mentally focused. These are all reasons you used to describe the well-rounded athlete, which I agree with. The soure for this can be found here.

Click for Spoiler:
Source: Kaycircle.com
How much does an NBA basketball player make per year?
April 4, 2010.
The average salary of a basketball player in the NBA is about $4.2 million per year.

Basketball players can earn millions of dollars per yearyear. A starting rookie player makes about $750,000 per year, while a highly paid and highly skilled NBA player can make upwards of $10 million per year. A basketball player skill generally has the greatest degree of determination over their salary, but you must also factor in which team they are playing for and for how long.



Quote:
Fanaticism amongst the fans of some nations is well docume
nb nted. Guys have received death threats in the past when failing to live up +to expectations. Guys who do live up to them or exceed them are national heroes.
Fanaticism, win or lose, doesn't lend to a sport being more rounded. It's simply the sport giving individuals an opportunity to act like imbeciles. It's disraceful, and I don't believe it applies here.

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Professional soccer players frequently play the game under such stressful conditions, and the fact that they are able to do so and remain sane, not to mention be successful, takes a whole extra type of well roundedness. Let's face it, if Roethlesberger doesn't play well in the Superbowl and the Steelers lose (crosses fingers), he'll be disappointed, as will his fans, but lfe will go on. In contrast, if some French soccer player has a brain cramp and decides to head butt the chest of some opponent, he's an utcast. Much bigger stakes. Much more pressure. You certainly /*have to be a well rounded athlete to excel under these conditions.
I disagree. Ill use the Immaculate Reception of 1972as an example, where one miracle at the expense of Raiders safety Jack Tatum won the Steelers the game when Franco Harris caught the ball of Tatum's helmet. All this did was serve as a catalyst for the fiercest rivalry in football of the 1970's.(and the Steelers winning 4 of their 6, soon to be 7 Super Bowls. ). Everyone remembers Joe Montana's impossible throw to Dwight Clark in the 1982 Super Bowl. Both of these plays are so memorable that they have their own wikipedia page, named "The Immaculate Reception", and "The Catch", respectively. My point is, a blunder OR success can have long lasting effects, with obviously large stakes. And nobody forgets "The Game" in my chosen sport, basketball, where Michael Jordan scored 38 points despite sufferring food poisoning the night before, and dehydration and a 102 degree fever throughout the game. It's moments like that with Jordan that make basketball the more well-rounded sport.

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What are the alternatives? In terms of physical conditioning alone, look at MLB. While requiring a high degree of skill, you don't exactly have to be in peak physical condition. CC Sabathia, for example, is not what you'd call ripped. The guys spend considerable periods of the game sitting in the dugout. The DH's spend the whole game there. Even when in the field of play, a lot of time is spent just standing around. Not to demean baseball, as I prefer it far more than soccer, it just doesn't require the same extent of well roundedness thar other sports do.
Here we agree.


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I also prefer the NFL to soccer, but let's face it, while very physical while you are on the field of play, there are a lot of stops and starts, as opposed to soccer which is pretty much perpetual motion. If you are an offensive player, you get to take a seat while your defense is playing, or vice versa. NHL and NBA probably require greater conditioning and stamina, but I still don't think they involve the same cardiovascular demands or physical prowess that soccer does.
There are plenty of starts and stops in soccer, each time the ball goes out of bounds and must be thrown in. It equates to the fouls andout of bounds plays in basketball.

Quote:
To excel in any professional sport at the highest level, you have to be able to display a well rounded performance.
Exactly. Basketball demonstrates all those traits of performing at the highest level, which is why it is indeed the most well rounded sport.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:59 PM
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All 3 of you have picked excellent choices, but I'm going to have to go with Tennis players. Many of both these men and women have matches that last for hours upon hours and can drain anyone, yet they still go out there and play to their best abilities. Yes, many tennis players retire by their early 30's at their latest, pointing out their lack of durability, but many of these players turn pro in their mid teens and still get a good few years on their career. You have to be in the best of shape to run around on the court trying to smack a ball across the net, and I think these people deserve some credit for being as good of athletes as they are. Tennis isn't easy, and it quickly will drain you out running back and forth across the court for a few volleys.

All are good choices, but Tennis players would have to be the ones I would take.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:18 AM
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Some great sports and choices are listed but I'm going to have to go with tennis players. One reason is that the demading nature that the sport comes with gives players a shorter time period of success. You always hear how tennis players are done with age 30 hits. Basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer players can play the game for 15-20 years at a high level. You never hear that about tennis players save for a few.

Tennis players have to have great hand-eye coordination to hit the ball, they have to be fit to run around the court for hours at a time which includes stamina as well because even the greatest players in other sports takes breaks during the game. Arm strength is key as well as leg strength.


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Once again, glad to see my first choice wasn't taken before I could claim it. This is an easy one for me. the answer is certainly hockey players.

First of all, that certainly are the toughest athletes of any sport out there. In what other sport to guys lay their bodies out on the line to block at hard, rubber object being shot upwards of 100 MPH?

Also, I think you're missing the other side of well rounded, which also includes off the playing field. A large amount of basketball players are thugs and soccer players are spoiled brats. Hockey players are tough, blue collar, all around great guys.
I guess Patrick Kane alledgely punching a cab driver makes him an all-around great guys. There are thugs in hockey too especially with incidents on the ice so don't say that hockey players are choir boys. Every sport has bad apples here and there and it's ridiculous to praise one sport for its athletes and condemn others.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:34 PM
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Some great sports and choices are listed but I'm going to have to go with tennis players. One reason is that the demading nature that the sport comes with gives players a shorter time period of success. You always hear how tennis players are done with age 30 hits. Basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer players can play the game for 15-20 years at a high level. You never hear that about tennis players save for a few.

Tennis players have to have great hand-eye coordination to hit the ball, they have to be fit to run around the court for hours at a time which includes stamina as well because even the greatest players in other sports takes breaks during the game. Arm strength is key as well as leg strength.
I don't think I can really agree with the sentiment being expressed here LJL. There is no doubt that tennis is a demanding sport requiring excellent fitness and great skill. However, I don't really see how the fact that these demands upon their bodies, which shortens the lengths of their careers more so than with athletes of most other sports, makes them more well rounded athletes. If anything, to me, it makes them seem less well rounded. The fact that they can only sustain their career at the level expected on the pro tour for 10 years if they are good, perhaps 15 years if they are excellent, makes them seem less well rounded. Athletes in other sports have to be more adaptable, by altering their game to go with the flow while their bodies age. Pitchers have to change their pitching styles, from high heat to off speed. Running backs have to shift from power running, north to south, to lateral movements, with a more cerebral component rather than just brute force. NBA players probably have to dish the ball off more, taking a back seat to their younger and more athletic counterparts. Tennis players typically do not do so. Either they are not able to do so, or the game doesn't allow it. It is a sport dominated by youth and energy more so than by experience and longevity. As such, they are, if anything less well rounded athletes, who excel while still in their comfort zone, while not being well rounded enough to depart from it.
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