Deion Sanders: Is Deion Sanders the Best Athlete of All Time?
Deion Sanders' Incredible Athletic Gifts Allowed Him to Excel As a Two-Sport Star
With the exception of basketball, it's extraordinarily difficult to determine who can be credited as the greatest player in the history of a given sport.
Trying to single out the single greatest athlete in the history of all sports, on the other hand, is pretty much impossible.
No doubt many people will immediately point to somebody like Jim Thorpe, who made a name for himself as an Olympian who also dabbled in the pros in football, baseball, and basketball. Others will make the case for Bo Jackson, whose incredible talent and bright future were derailed by injuries seemingly just when he was really getting started.
With Deion "Prime Time" Sanders being selected as one of seven new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend, we have to ask: why not him?
Indeed. In addition to being one of the all-around most talented players in the history of the NFL, Deion also enjoyed a solid Major League Baseball career, and he is still the only player in history to hit a home run and score a touchdown in the same week. He is also the only man to ever play in both the World Series and the Super Bowl.
As far as the latter is concerned, Deion won two of them. He was also selected to eight Pro Bowls, and was named the AP's Defensive Player of the Year in 1994.
Unfortunately, listing all of Deion's numerous accolades doesn't do much in the way or arguing his case as the greatest athlete in the history of sports, no matter how fun it might be. The fact of the matter is that pure athleticism is pretty much impossible to quantify, which basically means that the evaluative effort is a matter of perception.
In that regard, it has been widely noted that Deion was one of the fastest men on the planet when he was in his prime, and that few players could ever hope to duplicate his quickness and agility. Of course, he also had incredible instincts, which is a big reason why he was able to record a record 19 non-offensive touchdowns in his career.
One way or the other, the debate obviously isn't going to stop just because I've spoken my peace (although that would be cool).
If you feel like debating the point, go ahead and sound off in the comments section.
For more football goodness, check out our discussion of whether or not the Green Bay Packers Have Become the NFL's Most Storied Franchise.
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