Sports Arguments People Won't Shut Up About
If you're a true sports fan, then you know that as much passion that following a team or athlete takes, there's always going to be disagreement with other people.
Hell, just look at the comments on any of my B/R articles, and you'll see a ton of readers who disagree with my opinion.
But that's what sports is about—debatable imperfection.
Since no one will ever be right—but will always continue to argue—here are things that people just won't shut up about.
Who Is the Best Player in Each Sport Right Now?
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While I've admitted numerous times that I'm not a huge hockey fan—jumping on the sport's bandwagon usually during playoff time—this argument popped into my head only after thinking about Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
For awhile now, Crosby has been thought of as the creme de la creme of the league.
But after a few down seasons, it was Ovechkin who captured the league's regular season MVP in 2012-13, re-opening the argument.
It's not just hockey though.
Fans constantly wonder if it's Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, or someone else in the NFL.
Or if there's anyone that even comes close to Miguel Cabrera as the best player in baseball?
My Take: If I had to choose between the four major American sports right now and soccer, it's LeBron James in the NBA, Cabrera in MLB, Brady in the NFL, Crosby in the NHL and Lionel Messi in club soccer.
Go ahead, give me your picks through Twitter and the "Comments" section now.
Is Football Too Violent?
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Sports fans have always known that football is a violent sport, but thanks to President Obama stepping to the plate and offering his opinion earlier this year, it has become more of a debate.
The game definitely isn't for the faint of heart, relying on size, strength and speed in order to avoid injury.
But it also relies on coaches teaching proper mechanics and fundamentals at an early age too, which many argue is the reason they'd never let their kids play.
My Take: I'm 5'8" and weigh 160 pounds, so there was no way in hell I was making it as a football player.
For someone who is the same height as me—but obviously much bulkier—I'd say that Ray Rice has done just fine for himself playing football though, so while there's more of a risk to get injured based on the rules, I don't think it's any more dangerous than getting in a car that goes 200 miles per hour around a track like NASCAR drivers do.
How Good Will Andrew Wiggins Really Be?
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OK, so now that we've lived through the "awful" NBA draft of 2013, let's all focus on the star-laden2014 version that features one Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins, who committed to Kansas back in May, has been compared to guys like LeBron James and Kevin Durant—which is no small compliment.
Seeing that everyone thinks he's the next big thing, we should all be curious as to see if this kid really is worth the hype and will take over the NBA like the aforementioned players did, or just be an all-star-caliber player who doesn't take over the league as expected.
My Take: I've never seen the kid play, but after my Aunt Claudia once told me when I was in ninth grade that LeBron would be "the next Michael Jordan," I've learned to trust other people's judgements—even if they know squat about basketball like my Aunt C.
The league is in great shape with the young stars in the game now, but with all of us assuming Wiggins is one-and-done, here's to hoping he accomplishes similar fortunes as Durant and James did early on in their careers so to avoid the heavy critics.
If an Athlete Is Cleared to Play by Doctors, Should He?
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Even if you're not a fan of Derrick Rose, chances are you had a conversation with your buddies about the status of him playing or not—especially when the Bulls were locked into a tight second-round series with the Heat, and it was reportedly considered.
The same might be said for Alex Rodriguez, who recently took to Twitter (and got punked out for doing so) to let fans know that his doctor approved him to play.
When it comes to health, teams are especially cautious to not rush a player back. But there have been times when players refuse to come out, so can the team really be blamed?
My Take: Even though these guys are paid millions, I'm old school, so stop babying them even more and let them play if they're doctor says they can.
Injuries are part of sports, so I'd much rather have a guy at 85 percent during a critical playoff game and risk it, than having him sit, getting blown out and wonder 'what if?'
Who Is the Most Prestigious Team in Sports?
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Thanks to our financial-conscious buddies over at Forbes, we know which teams are the most valuable in sports, but does that make them the most prestigious too?
One might argue yes, but again, is there any true way to decide?
Many people in the States might say that the Yankees hold the top spot without much of a challenge, while others can argue that the Red Sox, Dodgers or Giants might even surpass them in their own sport.
Whether you base your decision on titles, number of Hall of Famers or overall value, this is one that fans will never absolutely agree upon.
My Take: It's tough to argue with the franchises that Forbes lists as the most valuable to at least set the basis.
That said, my personal top-3 would be Manchester United, New York Yankees and Green Bay Packers.
What's the Best Sports Movie?
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After putting together a list of the worst sports flicks ever filmed—where plenty of people told me their opinions—I'm guessing there are just as many sports fans and movie buffs who could argue their points on why one is better than the other.
But even if one movie wins every award known to man, can it still be called the best one ever?
So let the debate carry on!
My Take: I'm a sucker for Remember the Titans, but at the same time, I'll never turn the channel when Happy Gilmore comes on, opting to quote the entire damn thing.
Those are completely opposite ends of the sports movie spectrum, but they'd both fall in my top-10 without a doubt.
Should Pete Rose Be in the Hall of Fame?
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He's MLB's all-time hits leader, but does Pete Rose deserve to be have his lifetime ban from the sport lifted in favor of him being in the Hall of Fame?
After seeing how some of these other guys have cheated the game, maybe you think he should be let in.
But if you're old school and know the facts of his betting on the Reds, than maybe you aren't so quick to forgive him.
Who knows if Rose will ever be allowed into Cooperstown, but people will argue back and forth as long as the guy is around.
My Take: It's hard to imagine 100 years from now when all of us are long gone that Rose will be nothing but an afterthought.
For that reason, I think MLB owes it to him (and future baseball fans) to acknowledge his playing career by giving him his plaque.
I wasn't around when he was gambling, but I've heard "Charlie Hustle" was about as good a hitter as anyone who has played the sport, so he should be probably be in.
Should Athletes Be So Accessible?
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Back in the "old days" of the mid-90s when I was in middle school, tracking down an athlete to talk with was a definite process.
I can't even begin to tell you how many hand-written letters I sent to my favorite stars like Mario Lemieux, Cal Ripken Jr. and Michael Jordan in hopes that I'd get an autograph in return.
Kids these days though? They just take to Twitter.
Twitter has become the go-to social platform for athletes to interact with their fans, while also speaking their minds.
Is this OK?
Some say they should be more careful, while others love it because they have the right to speak their minds.
Whatever your stance is, it's something plenty of people like to argue.
My Take: Athletes need to be aware of what they're saying all the time, not just on Twitter and in front of cameras.
Everyone has a smart phone these days, so as difficult and unfair as it is to ask these guys to be "perfect," it's the life they signed up for when they signed that dotted line for a fat contract.
Who's the Real College Football Champ?
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After seeing the two best eligible teams square off in last year's national title game—excluding the undefeated, bowl-banned Ohio State Buckeyes—there wasn't much of a debate that Alabama rightfully earned the crystal ball.
But in the past, it hasn't always been so cut-and-dry.
As recently as 2010, we saw three unbeaten teams who were worthy to play for the national championship, with Auburn and Oregon relying on the BCS to decide they were the fortunate two to square off.
Thankfully, college football is getting a playoff, so things will become a bit more clear, but we all know it will never be perfect.
My Take: For the most part, I think the BCS has worked.
The system has its flaws, but when you factor in strength of schedules, human rankings based off the eye test and other really nerdy, mathematical equations, it's done a decent job picking the right teams.
That still doesn't mean I'm going to be sad that it's gone.
What Will LeBron Do in 2014?
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After seeing how this all went down back in 2010, everyone might argue about this, but does anyone honestly believe they have any idea?
LeBron James is undoubtedly the greatest player on the planet—that's for you JacobMarshall23—and we know that he loves dramatics as much as he does the spotlight, so with the Heat expecting to bring their core back next year for a shot at a third straight title, James should feel comfortable cozying up in South Beach.
Problem is, no one would be shocked if he bolted for somewhere else to continue his legacy.
My Take: I'm from Cleveland, I think you know where I want him to go.
Assuming it doesn't happen though, could the Lakers really replace Kobe with "King James?"
How Should Records Be Handled for Those Who Got Busted?
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If you've paid attention to the news at all today, you've probably noticed that admitted PED user Lance Armstrong has tried to defend himself by saying that no one could win the Tour de France without doping.
He should know, because that is in fact what he did for a *record seven times. (Notice the asterisk)
But just because we saw him ride a bike across the finish line ahead of everyone else, and witnessed Barry Bonds' *career home runs record with our own eyes, should we let them stand because of the illegal enhanced drugs?
My Take: Absolutely not. Just because you're dating a girl who claims that she's a model because she takes pictures of herself and has a model mayhem profile, doesn't mean she's actually what she says she is.
Sometimes, logic should be used rather than what our eyes or hearts want to believe.
Who Should Be the No. 1 Pick in Your Fantasy Football Draft?
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Few things get sports fans as fired up then fantasy football.
With the popularity of the online game growing over the past 15 years or so, people will go to any length possible in order to get a leg up on their friends.
But even after buying three different fantasy sports magazines, ranking and re-ranking your top picks and listening to hundreds of fantasy football "experts," no matter who you actually take No. 1 will always be argued—especially if that guy doesn't pan out.
What Should the Hall of Fame Standards Be?
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As fans, we don't have a single vote for which players ultimately end up in the hallowed walls of a sports Hall of Fame, but that doesn't mean we don't argue about who should and shouldn't be let in.
For those who actually do vote, are guys measured by championships, individual success, their impact on the game or all three?
We'd all like to think it's a combination of all three, but there's certainly been controversy as to the process recently.
My Take: Speaking for myself, when I think of a Hall of Famer, I imagine the guy who left a huge impact on their sport.
A person who became both the face of their franchise, acted the right way and was a leader through their hard work and both team and individual success.
To break it down, give me 50 percent individual success, 30 percent team success, 15 percent generational impact and 5 percent social impact.
What's the Best Venue in Sports?
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I'm pretty sure that few fans will ever argue that Tropicana Field is the greatest sports venue, but then again, who am I to say they're wrong?
No matter where a fan enjoys a sporting event, they usually make it a good time—unless the food and beer prices are just ridiculous—so when a buddy tells you he had the best time ever during a mid-December game in Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, you don't want to believe him, but maybe he's actually right?
My Take: From my own personal experience, my top three overall would be Fenway Park (Red Sox), Michigan Stadium (Michigan Football) and yes, CenturyLink Field (Seahawks).
Who Is the Greatest of All Time?
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This question is one that will never, in the history of mankind, absolutely be 100 percent agreed upon—and we shouldn't want it any other way.
With the passing of time and different generations, players will naturally get bigger, stronger and faster.
Could Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell succeed in today's game against guys like Dwight Howard?
Would Cy Young really be able to last through 749 career complete games against today's hitters?
And how good would the "Steel Curtain" be against some of these pass happy teams in the NFL right now?
No matter what sport we're talking about, there will always be an alternative thanks to the guys who played before them—and the ones who will suit up next.
My Take: Based on my lifetime, there's never been anyone better than Jordan in the NBA, Gretzky in the NHL, Brady in the NFL and though he's not the greatest of all time, Ken Griffey Jr. (pre-injuries) in MLB.