[sumo] GOAT in sumo?

Jim Bitgood Jimbit2 at comcast.net
Sun Aug 17 15:46:18 EDT 2008

Without looking at the whole list, I would guess 
that the journalist(s) who made the list are 
under 40 years old, possibly under 30 years old. 
They probably are not students of sports history 
(or much other history either). And Taiho and 
Chiyonofuji are sumo historical figures now. Even 
though Jesse Owens' successes are over 60 years 
ago, they are famous around the world because of 
historical niche they occupy. Are there any other 
athletes from 50-60 years ago on the list? (I'm 
busy trying to organize all my pictures from our 
trip to Moscow and St. Pete from 5 different picture chips.)

At 18:57 8/16/2008, you wrote:
>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?


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