G.O.A.T. Translation: Greatest of All Time. We universally agree with the acronym, but that’s about it. We typically reserve this designation for athletes, musicians, movie stars, etc. As the old expression goes, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and most of them stink.” The year is 2020, so before I get cancelled in the opening paragraph, if there is a demographic that is offended by the expression, stop reading now and find a safe space; this is not for you.
We can all agree on what G.O.A.T means, but who is the G.O.A.T: Ali? Tyson? Mayweather? Brady? Jay-Z? Nas? Drake? Tiger? Serena? Federer? MJ? Kobe? LeBron? Messi? Ronaldo? I know, I know – I left someone off or put someone on you don’t agree with, but that’s exactly the point.
Everyone has their own bias and opinion and it often becomes a geographical or generational argument based on personal preference, not backed by facts. Imagine if we could remove opinion and come to an answer based solely in FACT. Nothing wrong with saying that you prefer Messi to Ronaldo or vice versa, but there is probably a clear-cut answer, whether you have the pride to admit it is a different question. The latter is why sports have been and will continue to be so impactful around the globe.
How many times have we seen brawls break out at sporting events because another human being walked past with a different color jersey? To someone who does not care for sports and competition, such a situation would warrant a facepalm or eye-roll emoji, but to the rest of us (the normal ones), we immediately want to know who won and say things like, “Philly fans are trash” or “But, the Yankees are the classiest franchise, right?”. Not to get on Philly, but were there not viral videos of Eagles’ fans actually eating horseshit after they won Super Bowl LII?
How about Bills Mafia? I know Buffalo is cold and you have to make life interesting but jumping off of a school bus in below twenty-degree temps through a folding table… PRE-GAME! C’mon Philly and Buffalo, do better!
But no, if you are a true diehard fan, there’s a part of you that shrugs your shoulders a bit and shakes your head back and forth, giving the Larry David, “Eh, okay, okay.” We all cannot be Cologero from A Bronx Tale and throw away the Mickey Mantle card because, as Sonny put it, “Mickey Mantle don’t care about you, so why should you care about him?”
Rivalry, hatred for and comradery between and amongst fans of teams and organizations conjure this unparalleled and indescribable pride. Picture the World Cup; the starting elevens scream their respective national anthems, sometimes in tears, because of the passion they have for their jersey, flag and country (except America, we kneel and protest wages…another topic for another day). So why have I gone off on a tangent this early on? The essence of sports – pride and rivalry – triggers great debates.
Without further ado, which two-three is the G.O.A.T.?