I will probably get flamed for this, but this is a cop out and its ignorant. What happens is the guys who arent finding the top level of success, they cannot see the intangibles, so they say "they are just more talented." They see these guys doing the same workouts, learning the same things, cutting weight the same way, and they just chalk it up to them having some kind of superior genetics or some kind of god given ability. Its not.
What the guys are blaming on superior talent levels are almost always intangible things that have become habit for so long that it allowed them to rise above the other guys. Not being scared of guys who are really good. Not being scared of a tournament where they know every match will be extremely tough. Having the will to tax their system a few seconds longer in every single scramble, in every single live go, in every single practice. Telling yourself you are better than the other guys and actually making yourself believe it. Not accepting in your mind any reason why a point got scored on you. These things get developed very early on, and they become ingrained in everything in their mind, and it adds up over thousands and thousands of hours of training.
The problem is, the other guys cant see this, they cant feel it like the other guys, so it must be something that couldnt possibly be in their control. Thats an ignorant path to go down. Should these All Americans be put on some pedestal? No, I 100% agree with you there. However, saying the "real All Americans" are the guys who couldnt figure out a way to put it together in competition isnt fair, and is corny as hell. "The guys who were good high school football players but quit and became great family men and assets to the comminity, these are the real Super Bowl Champions." Our society has really switched where we absolutely refuse to make a distinction between those who win and those who try hard, but their error in preparation caused them to not win.