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Who are Sports best Athletes

Well this is an age old question that came up the other night where most great conversations take place..At a sports bar. While spending some time with some friends and Alexander Keith we had a brief debate about which sport has the best athletes? Well let me first eliminate some sports that I have heard actually people paid to talk about sports on TV suggest. Golf more specifically Tiger, No Way! Golf is for people who are retiring why am I even trying to give examples, it’s golf!! Baseball, Uh No, unless you are playing in the middle of the field you are doing very little on the field and you get a break every inning. Football, well these guys tend to be quite athletic but I will elimate them, because 1 they play half a game as there is a defence and and on offence. Also the actual action on a football field is about 5% of the allotted time to play the game as most of the time nothing is happening the game is on pause. I will narrow the debate to 3 sports – Hockey, Basketball and yes – Soccer. In all these sports you play continuously, you play offense and defense, you use your entire body and when you look at the average player they are in physically good shape. (Some of the guys you see playing football or baseball could not be put in a rink, a ball court or a soccer field.). My vote goes to the Soccer players as I think although Hockey would likely be the hardest sport for the average person to play because it involves skating. The debate with my arguement comes down the high impact and high intensity of Hockey and Basketball vs Soccer. Reason being in Soccer most players play the full game (90 Mins). Much longer than Hockey or Basketball and do not get subbed off at all. In Hockey you take 90 sec shifts and may play 20 mins on a given night and in Basketball you tend to have most guys play 30-40 mins a night. I mean the stats for Soccer players is crazy when you see how much a player runs during a game. Even if you dont have the ball you are in constant movement whether on offense or defence. However one could argue the pace of soccer is much slower than basketball! But at the same time since Hockey and Basketball are North American and created in the birthplace of the mighty dollar. The average 48 min Basketball game or 60 min Hockey game takes 3 hours to watch from start to finish while a soccer game may take 2hrs. The soccer game is constant with no breaks other than halftime. Hockey and Basketball games tend to have numerous breaks in addtion to quarter ends and period ends. TV timeouts allow for the players to get numerous breaks that allow them to play the so called heavy minutes. Also for Hockey the inclusion of a stick and equipment devalue the athleticism of the sport, where Basketball and Soccer is man and ball strictly.

Categories: Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer
  1. April 16, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Indeed. They say tht the most difficult move (for lack of a better term) in sport to preform from a biomechanical stanpiont is heading a soccer ball.

    Soccer gets my very etremely biased vote!!

  2. Grant C
    May 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Having played both, have to go with hockey. By a lot.

    Yes, you have to play the entire game in soccer… but fact is a lot of that is not exactly at peak intensity. It’s not a 90 minute sprint. A lot of it is a light jog. Hockey players may play in shifts… but they’re mostly shifts of absolute all out top intensity effort. They play in shifts because it is *impossible* to play hockey continuously for an entire game at a professional level. There isn’t an athlete on earth who could do it.

    As for coordination… I’ll put deflecting a 120mph slap shot of an inch thick 3 inch wide rubber puck out of mid-air past a goalie and into a net barely larger than the goalie in question against heading a much slower moving foot wide sphere into a goal 10 times the size of an NHL net anytime.

    Then there’s strength/toughness… need we even discuss that? All the contact levels of football but played on concrete hard ice at 30 mph. There are very few soccer players who are likely to want to be anywhere near that.

    Then there’s just the schedule. The NHL has an 82 game regular season, average 1 to 2 days off between games for 6 consecutive months… then playoffs which are 4 best of 7 rounds with the same amount of break between games. What do soccer players have to endure… game a week? If that? Anecdotally… the Flyers finished their cup run about a week ago, after which it was announced at least 5 of their players were going in for wurgery surgery (but of course, were not going to get it while there were still games to play). That is not atypical. The conditioning it takes to survive an NHL season is ridiculous.

    Sorry… soccer players are *good* athletes, but not on the same level as hockey players. They’re in different leagues. (har har… ‘different leagues’… get it?)

    • smoodguru
      May 17, 2011 at 2:59 am

      Good comments Grant and I even agree with some of your points as the average person could definitely play soccer much easier than hockey. Even myself who I consider to be quite athletic would be quite embarassing in an ice rink. But this is why I continue to believe soccer players are better athletes in rebuttal to some of your points.

      As for your comments I agree that hockey is intense but in the same way you argue that you need to have shifts due to the intensity, I continue to believe that having 20 players for a game that has 5 players and a goalie and numerous stoppages minimizes this point. A 60 min hockey game can take 3 hours to play. An average hockey player plays maybe 5 mins a period and gets a 20 min break between periods.

      As for coordination and toughness, your example is true as this is difficult to do. However this is one of my big arguements, hockey players use equipment and when you are using equipment this minimizes athletic ability. If I have better skates, better stick, better goalie equipment then I will be the better player but not necesarily the better athlete. (kind of like the proline commercial where the hockey players use the throwback euipment) Soccer does not have this factor as you are limited to soccer boots. This is why I also rate Basketball players high and you often hear the arguement that todays basketball players are more athletic than the past. Or even why sprinters are considered world class athletes. These sports are basically man and man alone, no accessories. As for toughness this does not have any bearing on being more athletic. In the NHL there are guys who are tough with limited athleticism that play and make a living, you wont find a player on a soccer field that can not play soccer that is there for his toughness only.

      Lastly as for schedules, NHL seasons last as long as they do mostly because winter is long and we need something to watch until baseball season starts and because of money. There is no reason for hockey to be as long as it is, it mid may and we have another month left of hockey possibly. This has actually weakened the game as you get games that dont matter as everyone only cares about the playoffs and the regular season does not matter. You even get rewarded for last place with a number 1 draft pick. In soccer you actually play as many games if you factor in the numerous tournaments that occur during the year, Each domestic league has about 2-3 tournaments during the season and the elite teams play in the champions league in addition to that. Furthermore as Soccer is a truly global sport you have World cup qualifiers, European Championship qualifers so you get the same amount of games at a higher level. In addition every game during the season counts in soccer as winning a league actually means something and comng last can result in your team being demoted not rewarded.

      I guess we can agree to disagree but you did raise some very good arguements, As a Leaf fan thank god NHL does not demote teams!

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