Wednesday, May 02, 2012

greatest ever

A bit of snooker talk that devolves into overall sport. Stephen Hendry retired yesterday after his loss at the World Championships. He’s won more of everything (7 World titles, ranking tournaments, etc.) than any in history – most of them coming in the 1990s when he dominated the sport. This has led to the discussion of whether he was the best ever, and it’s opened the floodgates of opinion comparing him not only to his ‘contemporaries’ (O’Sullivan, Higgins, Williams, etc.), but to the greats of the past (primarily a trio of Davises). Only one commentary clarified the debate, particularly among his peers, and it was a declaration that there wasn’t a ‘fag paper’ (British commentary) between all of them in terms of talent. I couldn’t agree more. What that tells me, or anyone, is that with equal talent to the rest he won more often than any of them. Higgins has four titles, O’Sullivan three, Hendry – seven. Greatness comes from the ability to separate yourself from the amazing talent around you and excel more often. It’s the same with all individual sports and to some extent with leaders in team sports. We often debate the era in which players compete, the talent around them (team sports), but the fact is that when you are at the pinnacle of your sport, every single person in that league or association is separated from each other, talent wise, by microns.  The great separate and win. It’s pretty simple.

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