Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Greats

Didn't feel like thinking too hard this week. This is just a fun rundown of some unbelievably talented people with video hightlights. All worth watching. There's no point being made, they are just fun. I tried to find short ones, but two are a little long. Also, I kept the number down as it takes a bit to watch the videos. Sorry some have commercials.

While making this I realized that what I was doing here was what Stan Lee's show Super Humans is all about and some of these guys have been featured there. Then again, for all I know, he gets all of his subjects from the internet.  

Tom Knapp just died at age 62. I have seen him perform on documentaries and he is the real deal. I could watch him do trick shots for hours. Below is his record setting 10 clay pigeons in 2.2 seconds, which just seems uncanny. What combination of genes and practice allowed this ability to develop? I don't own a gun, but if I was going to buy one, it might be a Benelli shotgun. Good sales job, Tom.

While we are on guns, Howard Darby is a many time world record holder of Fast Draw and who knows, maybe the fastest ever. He is also a "spinner" and fun to watch. For some reason, these shooters usually appear to be really nice guys.

(You may have seen fast draw Bob Munden on tv. He is even more fun to watch and I don't think anyone has ever proved he is a fraud or not lightning fast himself. But his claims to holding world records and championships is completely fabricated and he is loathed by the real competitors. But, I've seen him on shows where they do slow mo for what he just did that was almost too fast to see, and it is either so or these shows are in it with him. On the other hand, if he is for real, why did he make up all those titles and records? You can look him up yourself if you haven't seen him.)

Okay, so the guys with guns are pretty amazing. This next guy, Byron Ferguson, does it with a bow and arrow. No, not the ones with all the supports and stuff like in the Olympics and makes it really hard to miss once you've learned what to do, but the type of bow and arrow we associate with Robin Hood that you can at least imagine you can make in your backyard. It doesn't even look like he is trying. I wonder if he and Tom Knapp know each other. Also, who is this trusting chick throwing the stuff up in the air. I mean, what if he one bad moment?

Now check out the superhuman strength on this Canadian circus performer, Dominic LaCasse. Watch through the end where he does a human flag and makes a 360 degree walk in space that seems impossible.

This next one is Aaron Evans, who not only can jump, but is either very brave or very stupid.

The following is a sand painter. I've seen a couple of people do this but still uncanny. Ferenc Cak├│ is possibly the most famous of them. I don't really know though and can't say I care. I just see his name a lot. Because it takes time to do these drawings, this video is a little longer than the others and you might want to skip around a bit. On the other hand, you might like the music.

Ok, last one b/c I know that you can't miss with it even if you've seen them ten times:

Is there anyone over, say, 8 or 9, who doesn't know who Michael Jordan is? But, if you are one of the few who needs it, for 15 years in the 80s and 90s those who followed basketball and many others were treated to the Michael Jordan experience. MJ is, as the NBA says, by acclamation the greatest player who ever lived and I can't disagree. Even if there are a handfull whose statistics can compare with his, you just had to watch him once to know that he had a physicality, quickness and perhaps focus that was different than anyone else. The only ones I can think of who I can compare him to who I have seen in my lifetime in terms of inarguable superiority in their sport are Bruce Lee in the martial arts, Sugar Ray Leonard in boxing, Greg Louganis in diving and maybe Alexander Karelin in Graeco-Roman wrestling. I probably saw him play 100-150 times during that professional decade and a half or so, but, I don't think there was a time when I did that he didn't do something in the air that just took my breath away. I'm not sure there is a highlight reel long enough to contain him, but this one is 15 minutes long and doesn't get boring. You have to see the moves in slow motion to appreciate the agility, hang time and explosiveness that made other outstanding players like Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley and Isaiah Thomas look almost ordinary in comparison.


  1. I quibble with MJ as the UNDISPUTED greatest of all time. There is dispute. If we have a fantasy draft of all players ever, healthy, and in their prime, he is my third pick. No doubt, he is one of the greatest, but there is no undisputed GOAT in basketball.

  2. I have always considered doing a post just on the greatest basketball players. It was easier when I was a kid, but it's been around for 60 years with more great players to think about. Given the changes in the game, it is harder to compare those from different eras. Before I start though, I said the NBA said by acclamation he is the greatest ever and I agree. Both those things are true. Bear might disagree (and I admit he follows sports closer than I do), and others, but I think by "acclamation" (voice vote needing no head count) Jordan would win. Probably, if you are thinking THE guy, you can realistically put Chamberlain, Russell, West, Robertson, Jabbar, Johnson, Bird and Jordan in the group. If you want to add a few others, maybe you could (Kobe? Olujawon? O'Neill? Dr. J?), but I think those are the ones most people who have seen all of them would put down as possibles. But, Bird and Johnson, I think who 9/10 of those who saw them in the 80s would agree they were it until Jordan - both say that Jordan is the greatest ever. Many people before Jordan (and some still) say Bill Russell was the greatest ever. But, he said - yeah, that's right, Jordan. If Johnson, Jordan and Russell say it, then I would say at least the burden is on the dissenter to give very good reasons why he would not be considered so by acclamation (Robertson, a personal favor of mine, btw, dissented, but did not single anyone else out; West said Kobe but if you listen to the tape, he mentions only Lakers and I think was talking about them). And, during the very few minutes of research I actually did I found that when someone wrote a post saying that someone else was the greatest - like, e.g., Bird or often Russell, they usually mentioned or compared them with Jordan too, as if to say - most people would say Jordan. If you go to, just as an example, where people vote, Jordan almost doubles the votes to the number two guy there - Magic Johnson. Such overwhelming votes are rare in almost any sport. Okay, I've exhausted myself on this.

    What about these other guys though? Woo!

    1. Since when does popular voting qualify as a measure for greatness? Most people are stupid.

  3. When we are discussing "by acclamation." It is very relevant to that, which is what I cited the website to support. I just happen to agree with most people on it. You can call me stupid, but since Magic, Bird and Russell also agree, hard to go with stupid here.

    Personally, I am still amazed by the archer and the guy who jumps the car. Was he drunk when he did it the first time?


Your comments are welcome.

About Me

My photo
I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .