[sumo] GOAT in sumo?

Robert Hovestadt sherlockiama at gmail.com
Sat Aug 16 19:45:16 EDT 2008

I'm not sure how much weight my opinion will really carry, even in this
decidedly international audience, but I will post it all the same.

I am sure that the folks at Danges Nyheter like many other journalistic
publications do not understand the athleticis it takes to be a successful
sumotori [not sure that is a term that i should use], and I am sure that
Takanohana made it to the list because of the media coverage he recieved. It
is unlikely that many people in Sweden would have the faintest idea who
Taiho and Chiyonoifuji are, and I can guarantee that the case would be muuch
the same here in the United States.  Just consider that there is no coverage
of sumo available in any fashion from an American broadcast outlet.  The
sole availalbility that I am aware of in the Northeast reagion of the US is
TV Japan on the Dish Network. Not sure I understand why Phelps is only
ranked 12th on that list, he should clearly [IMO] be in the top 10 at the
very least, I would be much interested to see that list or at least the top
50 of it just to see what they think.

Bob "Sherlockiama" Hovestadt

On Sat, Aug 16, 2008 at 6:57 PM, Magnus Berg <magnus.rie at comhem.se> wrote:

> Yes, the list HAS been very quiet, so I thought I should throw in a
> potential thread for someone to reply to.
> The other day, as Michael Phelps became the most olympic gold medal winner
> ever, Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter published their list of the greatest
> athletes of all time (hence the goat in the subject line). While such a list
> is near impossible, it is always fun and a good topic for discussion. The
> top of the list (1. Pelé, 2. Carl Lewis, 3. Michael Jordan, 4. Jesse Owens,
> 5. Nadia Comaneci. Phelps? #12) could be debated elsewhere, but what I
> thought was interesting was the only sumo rikishi on the list, #77,
> Takanohana. Good that they acknowledge sumo, but shouldn't it have been
> Taiho, Futabayama or Chiyonofuji? Or can anyone find a good argument why
> Takanohana should be regarded as the GOAT in sumo? If media interest is put
> into the mix, he might be, but I don't really see how that makes him a
> greater athlete. Sure, it could possibly be argued that he had a stronger
> rival in Akebono than either Taiho or Chiyo had, bu he is still 10 yusho
> behind Taiho and 9 behind Chiyo. Futabayama would likely have won over 30
> had he competed in the 6 basho-a-year-era. Of course, there's also
> Asashoryu... at least in a few years?
> So, are Dagens Nyheter just semi-ignorant of things sumoan or are there any
> objective arguments for placing Taka as the sole sumo on the list? What do
> you think?
> Maguroyama
> Ps. The whole list: http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?a=814864
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