Monday, September 17, 2007

Who's better, Who's best?

In individual sports, we are currently blessed with seeing the two greatest players in the history of their sports performing at their best. They transcend their own sport rivals so greatly, that the best point of comparison for one is the other, even though the sports are very different. I have previously opined that of the two Tiger's body of work was more impressive, but after this summer and meaning no disrespect to Tiger, I have to reverse myself and give the KPC endorsement for GOAT to Roger Federer.

In 2007, Tiger Woods won 7 times, including one major (the PGA). He won just over $10,000,000 in prize money. He won the inagural FEDEX cup playoff and its $10,000,000 annuity first prize. He was tied for second at two other majors, the Masters and the US Open. He has won 13 majors and is closing in on Jack Nicklaus' record. Woods has won 5 of the last 12 majors and also has 3 second place finishes in that stretch.

In 2007, Roger Federer won 6 times, including 3 of the 4 majors and he lost in the final of the other major, the French Open). He won just over $7,000,000 in prize money. He won the US Open Series which when combined with his win at the US Open gave him a $1,000,000 cash bonus. He has won 12 majors and is closing in on Pete Sampras' record. Federer has won 6 of the last 8 majors and lost in the finals of the other two. Going a bit further back, he has won 11 of the last 16 slams contested in Tennis.

Fed is one crazy Spaniard away from having won back to back grand slams! He has won the US Open 4 straight years and Wimbledon 5 straight years. As great as Tiger is, his best streaks are won back to back Masters in 2001-02, back to back US Opens in 2005-06, and back to back PGAs in 2006-07. He did win 4 slams in a row in 2000-2001.

Everyone knows about Tiger, he's an American and golf is a lot more popular than tennis. But Federer is even more transcendent, at least right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And, Federer has a relatively normal body type, compared to Sampras et al. in the sport. So if tall athletic players have an body type advantage for those "Aces" they may require 25% talent and 75% work, whereas Federer may require 10% and 90%.

I'm not implying anything bad about Sampras, just saying that Federer looks like a utility infielder (O. Smith) when standing next to Sampras types (B. Bonds), so that makes it all the more impressive.