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I decided I would start this thread because it seems like we have to be talking about this on a regular basis so I figured why not pool them to one spot. As someone who works with back injuries, the speculation, method of treatments and over analyzing makes me laugh a bit. In my professional opinion, I am surprised that Tiger is playing this weekend if his spasms were debilitating enough. Also just because he has a team of people working on him, doesn't mean that he would heal faster. Sometimes you have to leave it alone and do minimalistic treatments to let it recover. He did carry himself last week like he was having problems. The golf channel and having EVERYONE put their 2 cents in on back injuries is irritating.
I strongly support Mario Lemieux as the GOAT in hockey. Others will just point to career totals, but those don't tell the story. Others have even said to “compare Wayne’s first 915 games” (which is how many Mario played in his career), because they think that's a "fair" way to compare the careers. But, Wayne started five seasons before Mario and Mario was still playing in the league nine seasons after Wayne had retired. If instead you look at seasons where Lemieux and Gretzky overlapped (1984-1994 and 1995-1997, a total of 12 seasons), you get a different story. This doesn’t eliminate differences in teammates, but at least eliminates the change in the style of play and/or the change in goalie style, equipment, etc. It also doesn’t account for the fact that Gretzky had played in the league for five years, which is an advantage earlier in the career and a bit of a disadvantage later in his career). Over those 12 overlapping seasons, Lemieux: 745 games (highs of 79 and 76, lows of 22 and 59) 613 goals 881 assists 0.82 GPG 2.01 PPG Gretzky, over the same years: 894 games (+149) (highs of 82 and 81, lows of 45 and 64) 495 goals (-118) 1248 assists (+367) 0.55 GPG 1.95 PPG So, in the years they played in the league together, Lemieux scored 0.27 goals per game more than Gretzky and 0.06 points per game more than Gretzky. Gretzky played nearly two full seasons more than Lemieux in their overlapping years, yet came up 118 goals shy of Lemieux and couldn’t even make up the gap in points per game. Of course Gretzky’s career-long totals are higher than Lemieux’s. The years their careers didn’t overlap were played under quite different rules and equipment and such, and so Gretzky “wins” on longevity. Now, if you rank longevity as a thing, then the post above is irrelevant to you. But if you consider Mario’s career “long enough” to count as a career, and you ask yourself which hockey player was capable of playing the best hockey for their career, you can build a very strong case for Lemieux. The parallels between Tiger and Jack are kinda crazy. Jack/Wayne had longer careers with fewer injuries against weaker opposition. Tiger/Mario had shorter careers (injuries/illnesses) against stiffer competition. Woods is the GOAT to me, even before he got his 15th major. Considering the strength and depth of field, 14 > 18 and 81 (at the time before The 2019 Masters) > 72. P.S. Wayne’s 1994-95 season, in which Mario didn’t play: 48 games, 11 goals, 37 assists for 48 points. If you want to count that season, Wayne’s per-game stats drop to 0.54 GPG and 1.90 PPG. P.P.S. Someone suggested that Wayne's last five years when he was in decline, if Mario made up those 150 games, he'd see a similar drop to his numbers. This isn't true: In the 2000-2004 season Mario played 144 games. He scored 70 goals (0.49 GPG) (almost Wayne's 12-season-overlap production level) and 207 points (1.44 PPG), which brings his average(s) to 0.77 GPG (over 1/5 of a goal more per game than Wayne during the 12-season span) and 1.91 PPG (0.04 less). It turns out that the differences in goaltender style, etc. had a big effect and substantially boosted Wayne's career totals: in the five years before they had years in common, Wayne played 393 games, scored 356 goals and racked up 914 points.
In many of the Tiger vs Jack threads, it seems that people are talking past each other, because they mean different things when they say "Greatest of All Time." For example, Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee seems to be in Tiger's camp now, but just a few years ago, he said that he didn't care if Tiger won 25 majors, Jack would still be the greatest -- I assume because of Tiger's off-course escapades. So this poll is an attempt to determine how many people distinguish between the greatest golfer of all time, the best golfer of all time, and the greatest golf career of all time. I hope that those responding will explain why they answered the poll the way they did. Under consideration are three fictional golfers, all playing in the same generation: Abe entered and won the US Amateur. That got him into the following year's Masters, which he also won. The Masters win got him into the other three professional majors, and he won all of those that same year. Still playing nothing but majors, he went on to win all four majors the following year as well, but then, for reasons known only to him, stopped competing. So his career totals were 8 pro wins, all of them majors, in two years. Bob had a brilliant amateur and professional career. He won the US Amateur twice, and won two regular PGA events and one major his first year on tour. He continued to play well every year for 20 years, winning at least twice each year, and winning 0 to three majors each year. He ended his 20-year career with 50 wins, including 15 majors, and several money titles, Vardon Trophies, and Player of the Year awards. Chuck once reached the quarter finals of the US Amateur, turned pro, and got into the US Open via sectional qualifying. He caught lightning in a bottle and won. Over his career he played very erratically, usually missing over a dozen cuts every year, but for some reason the majors brought out the best in him. He only won four non-majors, and zero money titles, Vardons, or POTYs. But although he never won more than one major a year, he ended up winning 25 majors in 30 years. Note: I intended this poll to have four questions --- how many different players do you think could possibly hold the three titles, and then which golfer you would name for each of the three titles. The poll machine only allows three questions, so please add a comment about which golfer you would say had the best career. Thanks.