I would be suprised if there is a more used term in sports, than GOAT (Greatest of All Time).
The debate around who is the GOAT in a sport is brought up on a daily basis across sports forums worldwide. These debates rage across nearly every sport and provide some of the most passionate arguments between fans of one player over another.
Let’s look at basketball as an example. The discussion here is generally between MJ & LeBron. Interestingly, if you google the term “Basketball GOAT” the first link is to the wiki page of Earl Manigault, a name that the causal basketball fan may not even have heard of. So if even google can not definitively answer this question, it makes me wonder, ‘should we even be asking it'?
This is where I introduce a new term, the GOTE (Greatest of their Era).
Surely it is easier to establish the greatest player of an era. In the 1960’s we had Wilt, and the 70’s Kareem. The 80’s is a tough one, Bird, or Johnson? Basketball had MJ in the 90’s, Kobe in the 00’s and LeBron in the 2010’s. What a spectacular list of players. Why do people say we need to come to a consensus on who is the best of these?
Different era’s provide us with different styles of game, officiating, training procedures, professionalism and so on, which in my mind makes it almost impossible to compare apples with apples. Some say MJ does not have the skills required for today’s game, but others will argue that with the way the game is officiated today, he would make a mockery of the current game. Who knows who is right? There is actually no way of knowing.
By looking at GOTE’s, it won’t stop a GOAT debate, but it will recognise that you don’t need to put MJ down to promote LeBron or vice versa, and why do people hardly even mention Wilt in a GOAT discussion? Under the GOTE system they all get recognised as the best of their era.
So having said all that, I am going to give you my GOAT’s of a variety of popular sports, and throw in a couple of GOTE’s as an example too.
LeBron, Wilt, Kobe
Emmiitt Smith, Joe Montana
Murli, Tendulkar, Lillee
Buddy, Carey, Skilton, Colemen
Let the debate continue...
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