Topic #3, Group #2: Most Internationally Famous Athlete

Discussion in 'Sports Debater's League' started by klunderbunker, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    This thread is to be used by those in Group #1 (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 Saturday, 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 Little Jerry Lawler. He has 24 hours to reply and if he doesn't then it's open season.

    Again: 4 days, best overall poster gets first place points.

    Topic: Which athlete is the most famous on a global scale? This can be anyone throughout history and does not have to be current.

    Scores will be posted as soon as the three judges give their scores.

    Go.
     
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  2. Little Jerry Lawler

    Little Jerry Lawler Sigmund Freud On Ritalin And Roids

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    This was a hard decision to make because some sports lend to more international spotlight and notoriety than others. I'm choosing a guy who was legendary in the United States and took that legend to other parts of the world and is still remembered to this day.

    Muhammad Ali

    I seriously thought about choosing Michael Jordan but I had to go with Ali. Ali was unlike anything we've ever seen. He could trash talk you to death and he had the ability to back it up. He was pre-internet's Terrell Owens or Shaquille O'Neal. To some, Ali was a larger than life character. I'm going to highlight two of his fights to prove my case.

    1. The Rumble In The Jungle

    I couldn't stress enough the significance of this fight. The payoff to this fight was $5 million but Don King didn't have the money so he had to go to an outside country and Zaire was willing to sponsor the fight. The president of Zaire wanted publicity and he got exactly what he achieved. For maybe the only time in history, the eyes of millions was focused on a country in Africa.

    2. Thrilla in Manila

    This was the end to the bitter feud Ali and Frazier had which was one of the greatest of all-time. President Ferdinand Marcos wanted the honor to host this fight as a way to divert the social chaos Manila was experiencing at the time. HBO broadcasted the fight and numerous countries got to see this happen.

    Muhammad Ali brought boxing and his personna to other countries of the world in a sport that had mainly been localized to America at that point. Ali and the sport of boxing didn't have the advantages that other athletes have today in the world of technology. Muhammad was one of the greats and he got to display that talent to other parts of the world so they could see it too.
     
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  3. Megatron

    Megatron Justin Verlander > You

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    Reading this question, I instantly had one thought of who it would be, and I hoped that someone wouldn't take him. He's the best NBA player of all time, and no doubt is the most famous North American athlete in the past 50 years. Of course, I'm talking about the one, the only, Michael Jordan. Why is he so famous around the world? Well...

    Iconic Moments:

    Jordan has had a lot of these memorable moments in the NBA. The shot over Cleveland in the first round, the reverse layup against the Lakers in the NBA finals, and the shot over Byron Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 finals (which was the highest rated final ever, along with Game 6 being the highest rated game in television history). All of these Jordan moments are iconic and many can be remembered by not only diehard NBA fans, but casual fans who don't watch a whole lot, mainly because of who was the star in all of these moments: Jordan.

    Merchandise/Sponsorships

    Michaels biggest merchandise apparel has been the Air Jordan shoes, first released in 1985 and there's still new releases every year to this day. Not only that, but Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald's, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Wheaties, Hanes, and MCI have also been sponsored by Jordan one time or another. He's starred in Movies (Space Jam) and commercials. Also, his total amount of money from endorsements is estimated at over 40 million per YEAR. That's amazing. And that's not just people in NA buying his stuff. Europenas, Asians, and South Americans are a large part of that as well.

    Plus, he was rated as the 20th most powerful celebrity by Forbes for the time between June 2009-10, earning over 55 million dollars.

    Affect on NBA

    Almost every Bulls game, home or away, was sold out at Jordans peak in both the early and late 90s (the time b/w him taking off for baseball). The NBA's ratings were much higher when he was in it then each time that he left (to play baseball and retire forever). He made the NBA into the #2 league (behind the NFL), and his presence influenced stars like Lebron James and Dwayne Wade (now two of the NBA's biggest stars). This guy was not just popular, he was the most well known athlete in the world.

    (source on first claim: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=1538744&type=story)

    Note: I'll add more onto this later, but I wanted to get this in before I had to go.
     
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  4. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
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    There's no doubt about it, there were a wide variety of athletes to choose from, spanning the entire globe, when considering who the most internationally famous athlete would be. In the end, though, it was actually a surprisingly easy decision. My selection for the most internationally famous athlete was Tiger Woods.

    Here's a guy whose hype preceded him in a big way, and make no mistake about, he did not fail to live up to every single bit of the hype and hooplah which he brought from the amateur ranks into the realm of professional sports. Eldrick was being touted as being all that, signing record endorsement deals, and creating a buzz and anticipation like no one before him.

    He has proceeded to win golf tournaments at an absolutely torrid pace. He has won all components of the Grand Slam of golf, some of these events multiple times, not to mention the plethora of non-major titles which he has been victorious in. He's won everywhere: North America, Europe, etc., he's truly been a global phenomenon.

    He has brought interest to the sport in an unprecedented fashion. He's changed the demographics of who watches golf, and for that matter, who plays it. Look at the attendance figures and/or ratings in events where Tiger Woods is featured, and compare this to events where he is absent. Look at how the numbers have dropped off when he has been out nursing injuries, or when he missed time more recently due to his extracurricular activities and affairs. And imagine how the numbers will be if he is able to regain his form and retake his seat on the throne as the king of golf.

    Talk to someone who is not a golf fan. For that matter, talk to anyone who isn't even a sports fan. Everyone knows Tiger Woods. He's got the most recognizable face out there, if not always for the most positive reasons. Few athletes before him, and few to come, will carry this presence which spans beyond the athletics world and into the mainstream.

    But habs, it's only golf, it's not a real sport! Bullshit. The talent, strength, precision, accuracy, etc., that it takes to play professional golf at this level is remarkable. Those who say golf is not a true sport must have never played the game, or if they have, they must have missed the significance of what it takes to excel at it. Pin-point precision, sometimes in adverse elements, in front of a global audience, no small feat if you ask me.

    But HHF, his game is in decline. First of all, I don't buy into this for a second. Sure it's been a rough 12-18 months, but I for one fully expect Tiger to eventually right the ship and re-ascend to the pinnacle of the sport. Once he becomes physically healthy again and gets his mental state rectified, with the resolution of all his outside distractions, he'll be back. And even if his doesn't recapture his past glory, he has already achieved more to date than most professional athletes would ever dream of achieving. Winning a professional golf tournament is not easy. Winning a major is even tougher, just look at all of the athletes in the PGA who have never done so, or have only done so once or twice. Winning like Tiger has, often in dominating fashion, now that's legendary.

    Come on, habs, he's a scumbag. Just look at what he did. Honestly, I couldn't care less. He's the most internationally famous athlete, not the best person. He's no role model to me or to my kids except for his skills on the golf course. Not my place to comment on his morality, or lack thereof. I'm tired of his entire life being nitpicked to the extent that it has been, leave the man alone and let him move forward. But I guess that's not possible when you are the most internationally famous athlete on the planet. With all of the fame, fortune, glory, accolades, etc., comes scrutiny and expectations off the links. Plus, even if you don't approve of his conduct away from the PGA tour, it has made him probably even more recognizable internationally. Not only is he visible now on ESPN, TSN, CBS, etc., but he's also on TMZ, in the Enquirer, etc.,

    All due respect to Muhammed Ali, Roger Federer, Michael Jordan, or whomever else, the most internationally famous athlete out there is the incomparable Tiger Woods.
     
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  5. gd

    gd Plump, Juicy User

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    Glad to see my choice hasn't been picked yet, that being the greatest and most recognizable athlete of all time, Pele. He is the easy choice for a few simple reasons.

    Simply put, he was the best athlete ever in the world's most popular sport. Compare it to anything, and soccer is king. And among soccer enthusiasts everywhere, there is no question he is the best and brightest of all time. Ask almost anyone in the world and they know who Pele is.

    His time on the New York Cosmos in the early 70s also greatly helped to raise public interest of soccer in America, no easy accomplishment. A certain Mr. Beckham couldn't even do as much. All in all, Pele is revered as a God, and rightly so. The man is legendary.

    I'll get back to all of the above argument later, but I just wanted to point out that Megatron made a huge mistake in his choice. Sure, Jordan may be the most popular North American athlete ever, but this is about being famous around the world, which he isn't compared to some other bigger names.

    Basketball isn't an international sport, even though it is growing, and MJ has never done anything major to make an impact on the other side of the world. The fact that he's sponsored by big companies is in no way proof to his fame overseas.

    Also, "Effect on the NBA" not Affect. Not trying to be a grammar Nazi, but is was in bold.
     
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  6. mrbrownstone

    mrbrownstone Fucking Hostile

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    My choice is the man who has been the face of the worlds most popular sport for the past 10+ years, David Beckham. This is a person who has found fame both with his sport and without it, in nearly every country in the world.

    With his sport he has played for two of the worlds most renowned teams, Real Madrid (Spain) and Manchester United (England) he has also played for and captained his national team, England. During his time with Manchester United from 1993-2003 he amassed an amazing resume, winning the Premier League six times, the FA Cup twice and the UEFA champions league once. During his four year stint with Real Madrid from 2003-2007 he won the La Liga once. He has also played for his home country of England 115 times, captaining them 59 of those times making him the most capped player in English history.

    Some other achievements he has include:

    Premier League Player of the Month: August 1996
    PFA Young Player of the Year: 1996–97
    Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 1996–97
    UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 1998–99
    UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year: 1998–99
    Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2001–02):
    Domestic & Overall Team of the Decade
    Goal of the Decade (vs. Wimbledon, 17 August 1996)
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year: 2001
    FIFA 100
    ESPY Award – Best Male Soccer Player: 2004
    ESPY Award – Best MLS Player: 2008
    English Football Hall of Fame: 2008
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award: 2010

    As you can see his on field achievements are mind blowing, there is good reason he is regarded as one of the best players ever.

    He has also had a go at trying to make soccer/football more popular in the American market by playing for the LA Galaxy for the past three years. Suffice to say it has worked, LA Galaxy's home attendance has risen from an average of 20,813 in 2006 (the year before he joined) to an average of 26,008 in 2008. There has also been an increase in ratings from an average of 263,000 viewers in 2006 to an average of 289,000 in 2007, therefore an an average of 26,000 more American people are watching soccer on TV. There is also the fact that after his signing was announced LA Galaxy jersey sales reached an all time high sales figure of 250,000. So while these increases may only be slight Beckham has certainly generated interest in soccer in America, a feat thought unachievable for a long time.

    So just with his involvement in soccer/football Beckham already reaches the markets of Europe, South America and North America as well as anywhere else in the world that watches the sport. But then for those who don't watch the sport there are other then he has just as much of a celebrity status outside of the sport.

    He is married to Victoria Beckham, perhaps better known as Posh Spice, together they form one of the most well known celebrity couples in the world, just through his involvement with her the amount of people who are likely to know of him would increase dramatically. As well as that he has had endorsement deals for internationally recognisable brands such as Pepsi, he has his own clothing and fragrance line, he has been on the covers of magazines and video games, he has even been in movies like The Goal! Trilogy and he has a movie named after him in Bend It Like Beckham.

    So whether you know his through Soccer, through his wife, through his clothing line or through Bend It Like Beckham if you have some kind of access to some form of media them in some way shape or form you know of David Beckham.
     
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  7. gd

    gd Plump, Juicy User

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    Ali isn't a terrible choice, but he is the wrong one for a few reasons. Firstly, sure those were big fights, but they aren't even the biggest boxing fights of all time. Jack Johnson vs. James Jeffries in the 30s (due to racial implications), Louis vs. Schemling II (huge fight where Joe Louis singlehandidly took down the Nazis) were both bigger fights. And perhaps more importantly, Ali isn't even the greatest boxer of all time. Sure, the personality is there and all, but he resonated more with the black community more than anyone else. He may be a top 5 choice, but isn't number 1.

    You are mostly spot on, but are a little mistaken here. Tiger isn't actually one of the most famous athletes out there, he's one of the most infamous. There's a difference. After the whole ordeal he has been but in the spotlight more, but for all the wrong reasons.

    More importantly, he's a golfer. Nothing against golf, but it just isn't that big of a sport, certainly not when you compare it to something like soccer. I'm not arguing golf isn't a sport, that'd be silly. But arguing that golf is a popular sport would be even sillier.


    Good to see another stupid choice here. First off, he may be one of the most popular soccer players of the last 10 years, but this debate is concerning all time athletes, which he certainly is not. He may have had a very good soccer career, but any credible list wouldn't have him near the top 10 of all time.

    Furthermore, you are severely overrating his soccer run in the US. He's been hurt or on loan for most of the time and the profile of the MLS hasn't been raised at all. If anything, Landon Donavon is the one responsible for the marginal increase in LA Galaxy attendence.

    Beckham may have a semi-famous wife (who hasn't been relevant in a decade) and a rockin' body, but he in no way is the most famous athlete of all time. He isn't even the most famous soccer player. Overall, Pele was much more successful in his run in the US, skilled, and accomplished than Beckham. Just because Pele isn't an underwear model it doesn't mean he's less famous.
     
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  8. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
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    There's no denying that Pele is another excellent choice to consider with regards to the most internationally famous athletes. I guess a little of my personal bias crept into the discussion here as I would have never selected a football/soccer player as an answer to this question, because in my humble opinion, it's the most boring game known to man. But I guess that's a separate discussion for another day and time.

    I disagree with both of your responses to my selection of Tiger. For one thing, you are somewhat correct in that Woods has become know for his infamy, his indiscretions, his extracurricular hobbies and affairs over the last 12-18 months. But I would suggest that all of that aside, he had more than already established his credentials and staked his claim to the moniker of most famous athlete. All of his amateur success preceded his infamy. He had already won multiple golf tournaments, including repeated major titles, prior to his walk of shame. He was already endorsing a shit load of different products on television and in other media outlets, making his name and face supremely recognizable. All of this was before his ex-wife decided to practice her drive at the side of Tiger's car rather than at the driving range. If this question had been posed before that infamous night, my answer would have still been the same. Tiger was not a product of the infamy only, he was a product of his amazing ability and the way it is perceived on a worldwide global scale. Sure, his appearances on TMZ and the Enquirer and crap media like this has made him more noticeable by the non- sporting population, but it is inaccurate and surprisingly naive of you to suggest that he is only a product of this infamy. And by the way, in typical Tiger fashion, he will undoubtedly rise above these challenges and re-ascend to the top of the golfing world again, displaying his trademark resilience and mental toughness which is only possessed by guys who can make a claim of being the most famous in the world.

    You are a little too dismissive of the prominence of golf on the worldwide stage too. Does it enjoy the popularity and fanaticism of football/soccer, of course not, on the international stage I'm not sure anything does, as baffling as that is to me. But I think golf has more global appeal than you give it credit for. Look at the passion that emerges amongst fans and players alike for such events as the Ryder Cup. Check out the locations of the tournaments over the course of a season, the game is played and enjoyed absolutely everywhere. And look at this prominence today and compare it to the pre-Tiger era. Black and white (no pun intended). Tiger has taken a sport which has been enjoyed across the globe for years, and has made it cool, has made it fashionable, and has made a popular sport even more popular.

    If Pele had never been born, or had never played the game of soccer, I'm quite certain that this sport would still be supremely popular worldwide. While Pele was remarkable and a very recognizable face and character, he didn't transcend his sport like Tiger did and is still doing. Ratings didn't soar, multitudes of kids did not pick up the sport, or companies were not tripping over themselves to secure endorsement deals for Pele relative to soccer. Tiger's impact upon golf, how it's played, how it's viewed, by whom, etc., is more significant than for Pele and football. And it's this type of presence on the international golfing stage that has made, and continues to make, Tiger Woods the most internationally famous athlete, in spite of rather than because of the infamy and scrutiny.
     
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  9. mrbrownstone

    mrbrownstone Fucking Hostile

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    So because he has only been playing over the last couple of decades he can't be considered for something that involves all of time? Last I checked the past 18 years (the amount of time Beckham has been playing, he debuted for Man U in 1993) are part of all time.


    Did I ever say he would? He is popular and therefore famous, popularity and skill don't necessarily go hand in hand (see: Justin Bieber).


    So it is just a coincidence that attendance and viewership increased the first season he started playing for them? Even if it is only marginal he has still had an effect and that is undeniable. If it had anything to do with Landon Donavon then wouldn't this increase have started in 2005 when he debuted? Also he can hardly help being hurt, in any sport injuries are unpreventable and Soccer is obviously included in that.

    Like I said skill and being famous are unrelated a lot of the time. I am not denying Pele is a better soccer player than Beckham, no one could but Beckham is certainly more famous. He appeals to everyone in some way shape or form. He appeals to soccer fans through the fact he is one of the greatest players of the last two decades but he also can do something Pele can't, appeal to non soccer fans. he does this through his wife, his endorsements, his clothing line, the fact he is on magazine covers, like it or not Beckham is a celebrity, something Pele isn't.
     
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  10. Little Jerry Lawler

    Little Jerry Lawler Sigmund Freud On Ritalin And Roids

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    I disagree with your statement that he changed the demographic of who plays golf. Joseph Bramlett recently joined Tiger Woods as the only players on the PGA Tour of black descent. I don't recall any others being on the tour during Woods' time and there has not been a significant increase in African-Americans playing golf. I attribute this to economic factors and that I never felt Woods embraced his African-American heritage and encouraged African-Americans to play golf like other athletes have done.
     
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  11. newc868

    newc868 Pre-Show Stalwart

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    Right, time for to get into one of these debates where I actually know what I'm talking about for a start/not going to miss it.

    While I'll get round to criticising and de-constructing your arguments for your 'most internationally famous athlete', I have to first criticise the lack of women and female athletes within this debate. I know sport is a male-dominated domain but that doesn't mean to say their haven't been some spectacular female athletes in sporting history, who're known around the world. Although I had this down to two picks, one of which could a be sure fire win, I'm going to go on a limb and pick Martina Navratilova as my most internationally famous athlete.

    Intro
    While the days of global sponsorship and worldwide viewership of events on TV was just taking it's first steps out of it's infancy, one women was dominating the sport of tennis - Martina Navrativlova.

    Born in 1956 in Czechoslovakia, she'd won her first national title by the age of 15. Leaving her homeland the next year to make her first appearance on the US Lawn Tennis Association tour in 1973. The following year after that she had won her first professional title, although she wouldn't turn pro until 1975 and that's when the era of Navrativlova had just began.

    Her Tennis career
    Her first season as a pro in 1975 saw her reach the finals of two Grand Slams, losing the Australian Open to Evonne Goolagong and the French Open to Chris Evert. She reached the US Open Semi-finals as well, where soon after she applied for her US Citizenship.

    She captured her first singles Grand Slam in 1978, having previously won the doubles title of the French Open in 1975. These were just a few of 59 Grand Slam titles she would win in her career, with a further 26 runner-up trophies. her record in Grand Slams looks like this:

    Wimbledon:
    9 times Women's Singles Champion
    7 times Women's Doubles Champion
    4 times Mixed Doubles Champion

    US Open:
    4 times Women's Singles Champion
    9 times Women's Doubles Champion
    3 times Mixed Doubles Champion

    French Open:
    2 time Women's Singles Champion
    7 times Women's Doubles Champion
    2 time Mixed Doubles Champion

    Australian Open:
    3 times Women's Singles Champion
    8 times Women's Doubles Champion
    1 time Mixed Doubles Champion

    She boasts a 306-49 Win-Loss records in Grand Slam singles in a career spanning almost 3 decades and her overall career record lies at 1444 wins, 227 losses just in singles matches. In her career, she holds a winning record against pretty much every other player, bar 4 people - one of which is a tying record against Steffi Graf, and is arguably the greatest player to have ever competed in Women's tennis.

    It isn't just her exploits in dominating the game of tennis for pretty much 3 decades though, the thing that makes her internationally known, whether you like her for it or hate for it is that Martina Navratilova is the biggest superstar in any sport to have come out as gay and her attitudes towards this are what makes her world famous.

    Coming Out and Political Activism
    Navratilova came out in 1981, a time when there were no such things as same sex marriages or relations and the entire concept of homosexuality was still pretty much a taboo subject, unlike today.

    Her defiance to the social norm is what had put her in this place to begin with. Denouncing her Czech heritage and nationality because it had been tainted by the Communist rule of the Soviet Union, was just her first stand against politics and also her first crusade into it. It was her coming out that's led her to become a worldwide icon for gays and lesbians because she was never afraid to admit about who she truly is and no matter what - she's always stood up and faced her critics.

    She had petitioned and sued against laws that prevented gay and lesbians to have the right to not be discriminated against, she has defied and put down communist ruling, she is an active member of PETA and she is an icon.

    Conclusion
    She may not have been plastered all over the world as the face of a global sporting company due to her homosexuality but that doesn't mean the name Martina Navratilova won't bee recognised because when you talk about the greatest of sports people, she is right up there alongside Jordan, alongside Ali, alongside Pele because she dominated her sport with her athletic prowess and not just her outstanding defiance to the norm (she received training from basketball coaches). She cultivated the need for a tennis player and other sports-people to understand the peek physique that is essential for them to be the best.
     
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  12. hatehabsforever

    hatehabsforever Moderator
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    When I speak of the changing demographics of golf, I am not referring to professional golfers. I am well aware of the fact that African-Americans are a rarity in the PGA and in the other professional golfing organizations. Of course Tiger has not changed this. I am referring more to at the grass roots level. More children and younger adults are playing golf and are seeing it as as alternative to automatically playing basketball, baseball, or football. Check out the galleries the next time you watch the PGA on television, I think you will see far more black kids than you would have ten years ago or earlier. Tiger is directly affecting the perception of golf amongst our youth from various economic, cultural, racial, or gender divides. The effect of this in the pros will probably not be evident for a generation or two. More black kids are golfing today than ever, socioeconomic restrictions aside, and you can be sure that in the future, we'll be seeing more than just a couple of guys playing in the PGA who are of African-American descent.

    In terms of him embracing his heritage and encouraging it, I don't really know how to respond to this. The man is black, and his very presence on the tour, with all of his dominance and prominence fully featured, in and of itself will encourage other kids to try to follow in his footsteps. I don't really think he needs to take steps to be a golfing ambassador to the world; his presence and his success, recent transgressions notwithstanding, make this automatic.
     
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  13. The Crock

    The Crock WOO!

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    Ronaldinho, a man known for his infectious smile and his impeccable footwork. He is recognizable regardless of where you are, everyone knows him. His commercials and viral videos went worldwide, and one of his Youtube videos was the first video to ever reach 1 Million views on the site. Soccer is the world's most watched/played sport and Ronaldinho was the most famous soccer player ever. Sure, a guy like Pele may be well known, but the new generation and people who rarely follow soccer don't know him, they sure know Ronaldinho. He was sponsored by Nike and was featured in what may be their most successful commercial series ever, the Joga Bonito series.

    Ronaldinho's crowning moment was being named captain of the Brazilian International Soccer Team, arguably the most famous soccer team in the world. His brilliant play in the World Cup and the Confederations Cup led him to be known on a world wide stage for him amazing ability aside from his footwork and his Nike commercials. He was also a two time FIFPro World Player of the Year.

    Ronaldinho takes the cake.
     
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  14. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

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    I agree with Megatron, it has to be Jordan. He was thrust onto the International scene in 1984, where he lead the US Olympic team to the Gold Medal. This was largely responsible for putting basketball on the map globally for the first time, as all Jordan did was score 24.1 points a game to not only lead the team, but also the entire tournament, where he was named MVP. Because of this, he is largely responsible for basketball becoming known globally, more then any other.

    Source: Espn.com
    Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2009
    2 Olympic Gold Medals – 1984, 1992
    6-time NBA Champion
    6-time NBA Finals MVP
    5-time NBA MVP
    10 NBA Scoring Titles
    3-time steals leader
    3-time minutes leader
    14 NBA All-Star Selections
    3-time NBA All-Star Game MVP
    11 All-NBA Selections
    9 All-Defensive First Team Selections
    2-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion – 1987, 1988
    NBA Rookie of the Year – 1984–85
    NBA Defensive Player of the Year – 1987–88
    ACC Freshman of the Year – 1981–82
    2-time Consensus NCAA All-American First Team – 1982–83, 1983–84
    ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year – 1983–84
    USBWA College Player of the Year – 1983–84
    Naismith College Player of the Year – 1983–84
    John R. Wooden Award – 1983–84
    Adolph Rupp Trophy – 1983–84
    Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year – 1991
    Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996
    Ranked #1 by SLAM Magazine's Top 50 Players of All-Time
    Ranked #1 by ESPN Sportscentury's Top 100 Athletes of the 20th century
    Elected to North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame

    WHo has accomplished more within their sport? ESPN named him the top athlete of the 20th century. That's above Pele, Ali, and Tiger. All of them were on the list, which shows that this is a Global list, not just an American one. Much of this is due to him becoming famous globally in 1984, and sustaining that until this day. Here's the full list.

    Originally posted by ESPN.com

    1. Michael Jordan
    2. Babe Ruth
    3. Muhammad Ali
    4. Jim Brown
    5. Wayne Gretzky
    6. Jesse Owens
    7. Pele
    8. Willie Mays
    9. Jack Nicklaus
    10. Babe Zaharias
    11. Joe Louis
    12. Carl Lewis
    13. Wilt Chamberlain
    14. Hank Aaron
    15. Jackie Robinson
    16. Ted Williams
    17. Magic Johnson
    18. Bill Russell
    19. Martina Navratilova
    20. Ty Cobb
    21. Gordie Howe
    22. Joe DiMaggio
    23. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    24. Sugar Ray Robinson
    25. Joe Montana
    26. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    27. Jerry Rice
    28. Red Grange
    29. Arnold Palmer
    30. Larry Bird
    31. Bobby Orr
    32. Johnny Unitas
    33. Mark Spitz
    34. Lou Gehrig
    35. Secretariat
    36. Oscar Robertson
    37. Mickey Mantle
    38. Ben Hogan
    39. Walter Payton
    40. Lawrence Taylor
    41. Wilma Rudolph
    42. Sandy Koufax
    43. Julius Erving
    44. Bobby Jones
    45. Bill Tilden
    46. Eric Heiden
    47. Edwin Moses
    48. Pete Sampras
    49. O. J. Simpson
    50. Chris Evert

    What's also relevant in context is his endorsements. He has been a major spokesman for such brands as Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald's, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Wheaties, Hanes, and MCI. Jordan has had a long relationship with Gatorade, appearing in over 20 commercials for the company since 1991, including the "Like Mike" commercials in which a song was sung by children(of many ages and races) wishing to be like Jordan. Pele, Beckham, Ali, and Woods never made a commercial like this.

    [youtube]C6VKOq45j5o[/youtube]

    Jordan's impact on his own sport is more then any other as well. Although Jordan was a well-rounded player, his "Air Jordan" image is also often credited with inadvertently decreasing the jump shooting skills, defense, and fundamentals of young players. Who else has made an impact such as this on their sport? Id argue that noone has. He changed the landscape, to this day, of how players within his sport play. Because of basketball's increasing exposure globally, Id argue that this is another reason as to why Jordan is the most "internationally famous" athlete. Who else has stirred up debates to this day as to who will be the "Next Jordan" within their sport? Noone has.

    Because of him being responsible for the initial exposure to basketball on a global scale through the 1984 Olympics, his unparralled accomplishments within his sport, including being named the greatest Athlete of the 20th Century, amongst all global sports, his endorsements that are known worldwide and second to known, and his impact as to how the landscapeof his sport is played, including the ongoing source for the "Next Jordan" Id argue to that Jordan is the most most internationally famous athlete. Noone has been more well-rounded in their accomplishments and notoriety.
     
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  15. mrbrownstone

    mrbrownstone Fucking Hostile

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    To the two people who chose Michael Jordan, there is no way he is the most internationally famous athlete ever, perhaps in North America he might but outside of North America he is not even close to it. Basketball is not an international sport and it is not even close to being so, it is popular in a few countries around the world at best. So how can someone, however great of a player they may have been, be considered the most famous athlete ever on an international scale when the sport he played in only popular in a select few countries? If you went to somewhere like South America, Africa, Asia or Even Europe I bet at least half of them wouldn't recognise a photo of Jordan if you showed it to them, I know I sure as hell wouldn't. So if you don't reach such large markets no way are you the most internationally famous athlete ever.
     
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  16. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

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    There's no question, no argument that can be made that Jordan ISN'T the most popular player within North America. The "perhaps" can be removed from your statement, as its easily Jordan. His longevity within his sport dating back to 1984 to his endorsements that continue to this day ensure that. Most retired athletes may get a token endorsement through Hair Club for Men or something like that, but he maintains his own shoe line through Nike, which is disriued to this day. Did I mention that his shoe line is distributed GLOBALLY? Which leads me to.....

    Source: FIBA: International Basketball

    Of all of the great world team sports prominent in the twenty-first century, only basketball can be said to be entirely American in its origin. Invented by Canadian James Naismith in 1891 in Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball was a pure creation and not a derivative game or a long-evolving sport in the manner of soccer, cricket, rugby, and baseball. The rapid growth of basketball in the 1920s and 1930s, primarily at the American high school and college levels, led to a worldwide interest in basketball competition. This led to the creation of the Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) in 1932. As was the custom with international sports bodies, in which French was the typical language medium, FIBA is a French acronym. The founding members of FIBA were Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Australia and Switzerland. Basketball was first accepted as an Olympic sport in 1936.

    In 1989, FIBA removed the term "amateur" from its name, so as to embrace basketball at every level from around the world and to permit both amateurs and professionals to compete in FIBA championships. Professional basketball players competed in the Olympics for the first time at Barcelona in 1992; this event was notable for the participation of the U.S. "Dream Team," a dominant collection of National Basketball Association (NBA) superstars, lead by the supremely gifted Michael Jordan.

    FIBA is now the world-governing body for international basketball. It comprises of over 200 national basketball associations; virtually every country in the world has a structure with which the game is organized. As with most international sporting organizations, FIBA is the sole recognized authority regarding basketball by the International Olympic Committee, regarding both rules and the qualifying competitions to advance to the Olympics. FIBA also convenes world championships in men's, women's, and various youth divisions every two years; international championships are not held in an Olympic year.

    FIBA is divided into five distinct zones for qualification and organizational purposes, including Africa, the Americas (both North and South), Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

    FIBA is constituted as a not-for-profit entity; the most important parts of the FIBA mandate are the establishment and periodic review of the Official Rules of Basketball, equipment specifications, facility sanction for its competitions, the appointment of international officials, and the regulation of any international player transfers.

    The codification of the international rules of basketball has followed a tortuous path. The FIBA rules of competition are significantly different than those that govern National Collegiate Basketball Association (NCAA) competition, or those used by the NBA. The FIBA international rules control does not yet extend to the United States, which remains the largest basketball-playing nation in the world, evidenced not only by the power of the NBA, the most visible and successful professional league, but also by the approximately 1,100 NCAA member institutions, whose game rules differ slightly again from NBA regulation.

    The chief differences between the three sets of rules are not tremendous, but each is significant enough to affect both the tempo of the game and the tactics employed. NCAA rules provide for a 35-second shot clock for men and a 30-second shot clock for women. Both FIBA and the NBA provide for a 24-second shot clock. The lane between the foul line and the basket differs in each format: it is rectangular in shape in the NCAA, a wider rectangle in the NBA, and a broad-based parallelogram in the FIBA rules. The three sets of rules each provide varying three-point shot arc distances.

    FIBA and NCAA games are 40 minutes in length; the NBA contest is one of 48 minutes. In FIBA, a ball that goes out of bounds may be quickly in-bounded without having the referee handle the ball first. A FIBA player may also touch the ball when it is anywhere in or above the cylinder of the basket; any such touching of the ball in either NBA or NCAA rules is referred to as a goal-tending violation.

    Although not significant to the essence of the game, FIBA rules present a challenge for North American players unaccustomed to them. Conversely, the recent and ever-rising influx of highly skilled European and South American basketball players into the NBA is confirmation that adaptation to the professional rules by these players has been relatively seamless.

    The trends evidenced by recent Olympic and FIBA world championships suggest that while the United States remains the most prolific basketball nation in the world, FIBA and its impetus to the promotion of a world game have fostered a stimulating competitive climate.

    While basketball may be North American in its origin, so freaking what? As this article notes, it began to become an international sport within the 1930's, with it becoming an Olympic sport in 1936. The Olympics are a global event, are they not? The founding members of FIBA were Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, Romania, Australia and Switzerland. Those are all international countries, are they not? Many of them are prominent Asian countries, in fact, such as Russia. Others include your own location, Australia. So while you may never have heard of him, or seen his picture, your country felt differently about his sport in 1932 when it was a part of forming its committee to internationalize the sport.

    Because when he played in the Olympics in 1984, he made himself known to all countries. This may seem like a simplistic argument, and it is in alot of ways. But the Olympics are an International event, and Jordan helped change the way basketball was perceived when he lead the US to the gold medal in 1984. Basketball has been the hallmark summer olympic sport ever since. Why? Because Jordan lead said team to an 8-0 record while scoring 17.1 points a game. Couple that with his endorsements over the past 19 years, including internationally distributed proucts such as Nike, Gatorade, and Coca Cola.
    That's based upon personal opinion, and nothing more. There's no empirical evidence, other then your OWN inability to recognize Jordan, which suggests that he wouldn't be recognized by sports fans across the globe. Seeing how basketball continues to grow to this day across the globe, and with Jordan being the most recognizable basketball player of all time, its hard to argue he's not the most famous international athlete, both in North America, but across the globe as well. Basketball's expansion globally in the 1930's, 80 years ago, would suggest as much.
     
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  17. LSN80

    LSN80 King Of The Ring

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    An infectious smile and great footwork is nice and all, but Ronaldhino didnt even make the ESPN list of the top 50 global athletes of the 20th century. If a player isn't in the top fifty, how can they be considered the most internationally famous? There were men such as Pele and David Beckham both that made the list above him. He's not even considered the top dog within his own sport.
    These commercials were fine and dandy at the time they were made, but I hardly remember what they were about to this day. Now, I present to you the Michael Jordan Nike commercials, and you tell me which one is more enduring and was more successful. Anyone can see it was easily Jordan.

    [YOUTUBE]BhHONpmlxPc [/YOUTUBE]

    [YOUTUBE]wR33MnYrsd0[/YOUTUBE]
    Having watched those commercials, I think anyone can easily see that Jordan's commercials were far more successfully, globally, in selling Nike shoes then Ronaldhino's ever were.

    Again, thats fine and dandy, but it doesn't touch Jordan's 2 Olympic Gold Medals in 1984 and 1992, 6 time NBA championships(of which he was the MVP of all 6 Finals), and a 5 time NBA MVP. In the ever growing sport on a global scale in basketball, Jordan's accomplishments easily eclipse Ronalidhino's, Pele's, Tiger's, Ali's, or Navratilova's.

    Not even within his own sport. Pele accomplished more, and Beckham is far more popular. And both of them pale in comparison to Jordan based on his accomplishments, taking basketball global, and his mainstream popularity through his endorsements, many of products such as Nike, Gatorade, and Coca-Cola which are distributed world wide. It's Jordan, without a doubt.
     
    #17

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