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Is JB now the American GOAT?

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3 hours ago, jchapman said:

If that is his worst mark, then you are really saying he doesn't have any.  It was a meaningless qualifying match, Smith already clinched going on to the next round.

“Smith still has an advantage on excellence, but it's not by as much as some are arguing”

He lost an Olympic match. Spin it if you must. Ultimately, I agree that it doesn’t affect the argument that he has the most excellent career.

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I can see why you value Oly medals more that WC medals nowadays, when the weights shrink to 6 from 10. But in John Smith's time, there were 10 weights for both so they would have been roughly equal.

Yes but at the end of the day it’s not an Olympic Gold, and to purists such as ourselves it’s easy to see and understand. At the end of the day it’s just an excuse though, just like John Smith not winning one of his matches at the Olympics against Lazaro Reinoso. I guess what I’m trying to say is that at the end of the day Smith got it done and Burroughs did not. So to the masses or just your average Joe wrestler Olympic gold is everything.

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7 hours ago, RajaThaiKnee said:


Yes but at the end of the day it’s not an Olympic Gold, and to purists such as ourselves it’s easy to see and understand. At the end of the day it’s just an excuse though, just like John Smith not winning one of his matches at the Olympics against Lazaro Reinoso. I guess what I’m trying to say is that at the end of the day Smith got it done and Burroughs did not. So to the masses or just your average Joe wrestler Olympic gold is everything.

Well, I don't know what "the masses" think. But your saying what they think does not make them right and it certainly does not validate what YOU say.

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1 hour ago, NJDan said:

Well, I don't know what "the masses" think. But your saying what they think does not make them right and it certainly does not validate what YOU say.

Olympic gold is the, well, gold standard of wrestling.

Edited by Plasmodium

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1 hour ago, Plasmodium said:

Olympic gold is the, well, gold standard of wrestling.

Fair enough, but I think the GOAT trajectory is something like this:

1. Win early in your career, esp against somebody you aren't supposed to beat, eg Burroughs over Tsargush 1.

2. Follow this early success by beating the same guy or equivalent guy again and thus proving that it was no fluke. While the first win mighr have been close, the second should demonstrate separation, eg Burroughs vs Tsargusg 2.

3. Start a streak of dominance while challengers come and go. You beat everybody the put in front of you.

4. At sime point in this domination streak, you overcome some crazy set of circumstances that would lead to.failure for anyother person, e g. Burroughs broken ankle.

5. Old age catches up and you take a loss here and there. You have to modify you style and are reborn and become champion again. It's even better if you do so by beating your nemesis.

 

Edit: Jordan, Ali, Federer, Brady, etc had careers that followed this path.

Edited by jackwebster

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13 hours ago, RajaThaiKnee said:


Yes but at the end of the day it’s not an Olympic Gold, and to purists such as ourselves it’s easy to see and understand. At the end of the day it’s just an excuse though, just like John Smith not winning one of his matches at the Olympics against Lazaro Reinoso. I guess what I’m trying to say is that at the end of the day Smith got it done and Burroughs did not. So to the masses or just your average Joe wrestler Olympic gold is everything.

This 100%.  You can't be the GOAT when you only have one Olympic gold (Burroughs) or zero (Adeline) and there is someone else with more Olympic gold (Smith and Baum, and on the women's side, Helen and Mensah).

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On 10/8/2021 at 2:49 PM, AnklePicker said:

10 weights makes a huge difference. Some come down ala Kyle Dake and keep 5 time world champs off the team. I’m not sure how you can argue otherwise. 

One last point....back in the day...( not John Smith's day but a little further back) we wrestled 9 freakin' minutes through 1980 Trials. Your garden variety take-down was only worth ONE point. Par-terre excellence was rewarded, but sometime post 1980 ish they limited the turns to only one per technique for a little while, and made the matches 6 minutes instead of 9.  The scoring was always changing. And you could be DQ'd for not maintaining some kind of forward attack.

A whole different world.

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I'll take Smith.  JB is great undoubtedly and deserves to be in the discussion, but Smith went 6 for 6 and retired on top, how many people can you say that about?  There are others with more world titles but no one has had a perfect record at that level of competition for so long, even amongst people we would consider overal GOAT (Satiev, Medved, Sadulaev etc).

Burroughs isn't even #1 in his own weight class right now.  He has never beat Sidakov, lost recently to Dake, hasn't ever faced the guy who beat Dake at the olympics, and split with Chamizo.  If you put those guys in a round-robin I'd be rooting for Burroughs but I really don't know for sure who would come out on top (my money would be on Sidakov).  I do think there is a lot to be said for the "fewer weights make it tougher argument" but I can't give a guy more points for losing against a tougher field then the guy who won every single time.

 

 

 

 

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On 10/8/2021 at 2:49 PM, AnklePicker said:

10 weights makes a huge difference. Some come down ala Kyle Dake and keep 5 time world champs off the team. I’m not sure how you can argue otherwise. 

You may find this interesting....I just saw where Dan Gable wrestled 6 matches to win his 1972 Olympic Gold. John Smith wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Olympic Gold in 1988.

John Peterson wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Gold in 1976. FOUR wrestlers were DQ'd in the first round in his bracket, three in the second round, one in the third round, and on in round 5. By the way, his closest match was a 7 point difference!

NINE MINUTE MATCHES, with possibility of DQ hanging in there air per judgement of referee. I'd say it evens out.

 

In 2012, Burroughs wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. In 2016, Snyder wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. David Taylor wrestled 4 matches enroute to Olympic Gold.

 

 

 

I WILL admit that it is harder to make a national team these days IF you are caught between weight classes. I would bet that there are guys today that see ZERO path to the team based on size/strength difference, so they don't go for it. 

 

 

Edited by BadgerMon

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15 minutes ago, BadgerMon said:

You may find this interesting....I just saw where Dan Gable wrestled 6 matches to win his 1072 Olympic Gold. John Smith wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Olympic Gold in 1988.

John Peterson wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Gold in 1976. FOUR wrestlers were DQ'd in the first round in his bracket, three in the second round, one in the third round, and on in round 5. By the way, his closest match was a 7 point difference!

NINE MINUTE MATCHES, with possibility of DQ hanging in there air per judgement of referee. I'd say it evens out.

 

In 2012, Burroughs wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. In 2016, Snyder wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. David Taylor wrestled 4 matches enroute to Olympic Gold.

 

 

 

I WILL admit that it is harder to make a national team these days IF you are caught between weight classes. I would bet that there are guys today that see ZERO path to the team based on size/strength difference, so they don't go for it. 

 

 

Why so many DQ?

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Is it the black mark system?  I've only heard of it, I don't know how it works.  But I think once you get so many black marks (usually 2 losses) you are out.  Could this also be  called DQ? 

mspart

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6 hours ago, BadgerMon said:

You may find this interesting....I just saw where Dan Gable wrestled 6 matches to win his 1072 Olympic Gold. John Smith wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Olympic Gold in 1988.

John Peterson wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Gold in 1976. FOUR wrestlers were DQ'd in the first round in his bracket, three in the second round, one in the third round, and on in round 5. By the way, his closest match was a 7 point difference!

NINE MINUTE MATCHES, with possibility of DQ hanging in there air per judgement of referee. I'd say it evens out.

 

In 2012, Burroughs wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. In 2016, Snyder wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. David Taylor wrestled 4 matches enroute to Olympic Gold.

 

 

 

I WILL admit that it is harder to make a national team these days IF you are caught between weight classes. I would bet that there are guys today that see ZERO path to the team based on size/strength difference, so they don't go for it. 

 

 

You’d say what evens out?  I’m aware of and have considered all the things you’ve mentioned, I still think it’s way more difficult nowadays with 6 weights and no Soviet Union. It’s not about how many matches you wrestle, but who you wrestle. Burroughs just won 5 to win his world title. List all of Burroughs opponents and I think you’ll find 60% were former Soviets. It’s unreal. Contrast that with 89 worlds where Smith beat a Canadian in the finals who never medaled before or after that year and the bronze went to a German, an East German. 

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There is no question it is more difficult to win a gold medal now than it was in the soviet era.  Each bracket has 4-5 medal threats now that would have only been there as a training partner for the soviets.  Add to that the current climate of free agency, and you have former soviets wrestling for Hungary, Serbia, Bahrain, etc. etc. on top of Azerbijan's Uzbekistan's, etc etc.  The "GOAT" talk is all very subjective and different for each person, but I think that has to be factored in heavily.  Tied for #1 in golds and #2 in total medals is a pretty good combo, particularly in this era.

 

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15 hours ago, mspart said:

Is it the black mark system?  I've only heard of it, I don't know how it works.  But I think once you get so many black marks (usually 2 losses) you are out.  Could this also be  called DQ? 

mspart

No. DQs were for "stalling" , which could and often was interpreted as taking one minor step back. Or not pressing forward.  4 or 5 warnings and you lost the match. They used to put flags up in a wood base with holes for the flag dowels. At least you could see where you were at with the ref. 

Black marks were tournament points against you...if you got 6 points you were out. 1 for winning a regular decision, 2 for a draw, 3 for losing a regular decision, 4 for losing by pin if I remember right.  You could draw three opponents and go out without losing a match. 

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36 minutes ago, Plasmodium said:

Compounding the loss of 4 weights, there are nearly twice as many people competing for those spots.

But fewer people are trying out per each nation, I would wager.  We had 36 men trying out in for the 149.5 spot in 1980  we KNEW wasn't getting to go to Moscow anyway. And that was group of qualifiers from regionals held around the country.

How many tried out for the 145.5 lb spot this past Olympics for the team? Just curious. I doubt the field was near that large.

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7 hours ago, BadgerMon said:

But fewer people are trying out per each nation, I would wager.  We had 36 men trying out in for the 149.5 spot in 1980  we KNEW wasn't getting to go to Moscow anyway. And that was group of qualifiers from regionals held around the country.

How many tried out for the 145.5 lb spot this past Olympics for the team? Just curious. I doubt the field was near that large.

There are huge JV tournaments. The number is not important, it’s the level of competition. That’s why Burroughs’ titles are so impressive. A ton of super hard matches. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 3:32 PM, BadgerMon said:

You may find this interesting....I just saw where Dan Gable wrestled 6 matches to win his 1072 Olympic Gold. John Smith wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Olympic Gold in 1988.

John Peterson wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Gold in 1976. FOUR wrestlers were DQ'd in the first round in his bracket, three in the second round, one in the third round, and on in round 5. By the way, his closest match was a 7 point difference!

NINE MINUTE MATCHES, with possibility of DQ hanging in there air per judgement of referee. I'd say it evens out.

 

In 2012, Burroughs wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. In 2016, Snyder wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. David Taylor wrestled 4 matches enroute to Olympic Gold.

 

 

 

I WILL admit that it is harder to make a national team these days IF you are caught between weight classes. I would bet that there are guys today that see ZERO path to the team based on size/strength difference, so they don't go for it. 

 

 

It is pretty hard to compare the old pool/black mark systems to the straightforward bracket they use today.  In theory when using the bracket each round is suppose to get progressively harder as the easier competition is eliminated.  Without good seeding this isn't always the case (see DT's 2018 WC).  Still it is hard to say the 6 matches won in earlier RR years were harder than the 4 in a processive bracket.

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17 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

There are huge JV tournaments. The number is not important, it’s the level of competition. That’s why Burroughs’ titles are so impressive. A ton of super hard matches. 

Yeah I hadn't been on this thread for a bit but 100.
With everyone having endless film on the top guys.
People transferring countries so they can compete. 
Mid career change in weigh-in policy. 
There are a ton of things to be said about staying on top in the current world of wrestling. 
Whether you're wrestling 2, 3, 4 matches doesnt matter, when comparing it to a much less competitive "Field" 

Edited by spladle08

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On 10/8/2021 at 9:59 PM, denger said:

He lost an Olympic match.

Re Reinoso loss: Smith (and Cowboys in general, I think) didn't put as much emphasis on total domination as, say, the Brands, e.g. in the 91 US Open Smith opened up a huge lead on a young Tom Brands, but once the score was out of reach he gave up a few takedowns without any attempt to counter. Smith's defence was as good as his offense, but he didn't seem all that interested in the shut out. In contrast, Terry Brands lost Olympic gold bc he refused to concede an imminent takedown and gave up a feet-to-back as a result.

Reinoso was always a tough match for Smith, but that match was more-or-less meaningless . . . Like when NFL teams rest their starters after cliching play-off berths. 

Edited by jackwebster

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On 10/14/2021 at 3:32 PM, BadgerMon said:

You may find this interesting....I just saw where Dan Gable wrestled 6 matches to win his 1072 Olympic Gold. John Smith wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Olympic Gold in 1988.

John Peterson wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Gold in 1976. FOUR wrestlers were DQ'd in the first round in his bracket, three in the second round, one in the third round, and on in round 5. By the way, his closest match was a 7 point difference!

NINE MINUTE MATCHES, with possibility of DQ hanging in there air per judgement of referee. I'd say it evens out.

 

In 2012, Burroughs wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. In 2016, Snyder wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. David Taylor wrestled 4 matches enroute to Olympic Gold.

 

 

 

I WILL admit that it is harder to make a national team these days IF you are caught between weight classes. I would bet that there are guys today that see ZERO path to the team based on size/strength difference, so they don't go for it. 

 

 

I had no idea Gable was that old.

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On 10/14/2021 at 3:32 PM, BadgerMon said:

You may find this interesting....I just saw where Dan Gable wrestled 6 matches to win his 1072 Olympic Gold. John Smith wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Olympic Gold in 1988.

John Peterson wrestled 6 matches enroute to his Gold in 1976. FOUR wrestlers were DQ'd in the first round in his bracket, three in the second round, one in the third round, and on in round 5. By the way, his closest match was a 7 point difference!

NINE MINUTE MATCHES, with possibility of DQ hanging in there air per judgement of referee. I'd say it evens out.

 

In 2012, Burroughs wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. In 2016, Snyder wrestled 4 matches for his Olympic Gold. David Taylor wrestled 4 matches enroute to Olympic Gold.

 

 

 

I WILL admit that it is harder to make a national team these days IF you are caught between weight classes. I would bet that there are guys today that see ZERO path to the team based on size/strength difference, so they don't go for it. 

 

 

I had no idea Gable was that old.

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