Brian Scalabrine is Better at Basketball Than You

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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I once stood in a batting cage against a machine throwing 96 mph. The first pitch made a thump against the mat behind the plate - I heard it, I didn't see it. The same thing for the next 3-4 more pitches before I finally started to "see" the ball come out of the machine. Then I started swinging. Of course I was ridiculously late. Then after a dozen pitches, I finally made contact. Then I started putting the ball in play. But it's only because the pitch came to the same place every time, at the same speed, and I basically had to start swinging before the machine released the ball.

I cannot even fathom what it takes to hit actual major-league pitching, with all the movement and deception and varying speeds and locations and pitch types. It seems utterly impossible.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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I once stood in a batting cage against a machine throwing 96 mph. The first pitch made a thump against the mat behind the plate - I heard it, I didn't see it. The same thing for the next 3-4 more pitches before I finally started to "see" the ball come out of the machine. Then I started swinging. Of course I was ridiculously late. Then after a dozen pitches, I finally made contact. Then I started putting the ball in play. But it's only because the pitch came to the same place every time, at the same speed, and I basically had to start swinging before the machine released the ball.

I cannot even fathom what it takes to hit actual major-league pitching, with all the movement and deception and varying speeds and locations and pitch types. It seems utterly impossible.
They say the hardest thing in all of sports is hitting a 95+ mph fastball.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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They say the hardest thing in all of sports is hitting a 95+ mph fastball.
I shared this a few years ago, but Gary Sanchez was batting against Kimbrel in one game, and Kimbrel threw two straight 99-mph fastballs for strikes. Then he threw a 90-mph slider (a really good one, at the knees and on the outside corner) and Sanchez fouled it off. And at that point I thought, Sanchez is incredible. How in the world did he even get a piece of that?
 

Light-Tower-Power

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We need to organize a SoSH vs. Muggsy charity event because he would obliterate every single person on this board - young, old, big, strong - doesn't matter. I'm 30 years younger, a little bigger, certainly have a lot less wear and tear on my body than he does, and a reasonable amount of basketball ability and athleticism. I wouldn't advance the ball 5 feet up the floor before he took it and drained 11 straight baskets in my face.
 

Cesar Crespo

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We need to organize a SoSH vs. Muggsy charity event because he would obliterate every single person on this board - young, old, big, strong - doesn't matter. I'm 30 years younger, a little bigger, certainly have a lot less wear and tear on my body than he does, and a reasonable amount of basketball ability and athleticism. I wouldn't advance the ball 5 feet up the floor before he took it and drained 11 straight baskets in my face.
Do you think he'd beat most Division 1 college players 1 on 1? Do you think Scal would? Do you think Muggsy would beat Scal one on one?
 

RG33

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Yeah, this thread is funny. There is literally nobody on this board that could beat Mugsy or Scal or any other former NBA player in 1-on-1. I’m a hack 45 year old former hooper who is 6’5” 220 and slow as shit, and I see this all the time at the gym when all these jacked young athletic dudes want to play me 1-on-1. I destroy them. All of them. Height, size, and just knowing how to fundamentally play basketball. Now, these are non-basketball players who are athletes and in great shape, but have no discernible basketball skills. Now, when I run against any of the D1/D2/D3 types that show up an play, I am useless. They are just too quick and as BJ said, it is almost impossible to possess the ball against them — their hands and feet are too quick and I expend every ounce of energy trying to not get stripped or pick-pocketed. I am relegated to spot-up shooter and top of the key passer who occasionally grabs some rebounds.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Do you think he'd beat most Division 1 college players 1 on 1? Do you think Scal would? Do you think Muggsy would beat Scal one on one?
Current D1 college players? Probably not. They not only have youth, size, and athleticism, they also have legitimate plus plus basketball skill. I think Scal would beat most D1 guys. Scal would beat Muggsy one on one because he has size and elite basketball skill. Muggsy would wipe the floor with 6'3 200 lb Jimmy who plays at the Somerville Y.
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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I once stood in a batting cage against a machine throwing 96 mph. The first pitch made a thump against the mat behind the plate - I heard it, I didn't see it. The same thing for the next 3-4 more pitches before I finally started to "see" the ball come out of the machine. Then I started swinging. Of course I was ridiculously late. Then after a dozen pitches, I finally made contact. Then I started putting the ball in play. But it's only because the pitch came to the same place every time, at the same speed, and I basically had to start swinging before the machine released the ball.

I cannot even fathom what it takes to hit actual major-league pitching, with all the movement and deception and varying speeds and locations and pitch types. It seems utterly impossible.
I've actually hit against a former ML pitcher--Jeff Ware. Now he threw HARD, but it was the movement that gets you. I think I was 0-2, but my buddy managed a single off of him.

This was probably around 2000--so a few years after his appearance in the big leagues.
 

HomeRunBaker

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They say the hardest thing in all of sports is hitting a 95+ mph fastball.
I’d say velocity isn’t the issue for a hitter nearly as much as movement. Hitting a slider or a good breaking ball are much more challenging than a straight fastball. At least for me through HS it was and once you reach the professional level I’d imagine the movement and change of speed differences are dramatic.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Current D1 college players? Probably not. They not only have youth, size, and athleticism, they also have legitimate plus plus basketball skill. I think Scal would beat most D1 guys. Scal would beat Muggsy one on one because he has size and elite basketball skill. Muggsy would wipe the floor with 6'3 200 lb Jimmy who plays at the Somerville Y.
Yeah, this was my point. Scal is going to be incredibly hard to beat 1 on 1.

Plus, even if Muggsy would wiple he floor with Jimmy, Jimmy stands far more of a chance against Muggsy than Scal.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Yeah, this was my point. Scal is going to be incredibly hard to beat 1 on 1.

Plus, even if Muggsy would wiple he floor with Jimmy, Jimmy stands far more of a chance against Muggsy than Scal.
I don't know. I think we're talking 11-0 vs. 11-0, you're just getting there in different ways.

Edit: Assuming Muggsy has normal 56 year old ex-athlete strength and quickness. If he is so crippled by arthritic knees and can't move at this point I guess it would be easier against him than Scal in similar circumstances due to the size difference.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I don't know. I think we're talking 11-0 vs. 11-0, you're just getting there in different ways.
I could be way wrong but I'm guessing it would be far easier to get a shot off Muggsy than Scal. You don't actually ever have to dribble.

With Scal, you'd just be eating the basketball.
 

BaseballJones

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I could be way wrong but I'm guessing it would be far easier to get a shot off Muggsy than Scal. You don't actually ever have to dribble.

With Scal, you'd just be eating the basketball.
If we were playing 2-on-2, and I was being guarded by Muggsy, then I'd go right to the block and try to post him up. I beat a lot of really good high school players on the block - last week I even took a 6'4", 230 lb D2 player on the block and scored over and over again (though I got CRUSHED trying to defend him). So I'd like to think that on the block I could score *sometimes* on Bogues. But that would require playing a team game and getting the ball there to begin with. In a game of 1-on-1, I couldn't work my way to the block because he'd just steal it from me long before I got there.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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I could be way wrong but I'm guessing it would be far easier to get a shot off Muggsy than Scal. You don't actually ever have to dribble.

With Scal, you'd just be eating the basketball.
No I think that's fundamentally true, but I imagine Muggsy would still be a total pest and make difficult to shoot even if he isn't able to get a block. And if you try to put the ball on the floor once it's gone.
 

Cesar Crespo

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No I think that's fundamentally true, but I imagine Muggsy would still be a total pest and make difficult to shoot even if he isn't able to get a block. And if you try to put the ball on the floor once it's gone.
Right, but it also means you might luck into a point. You aren't going to luck into a point against Scal.
 

reggiecleveland

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I’d say velocity isn’t the issue for a hitter nearly as much as movement. Hitting a slider or a good breaking ball are much more challenging than a straight fastball. At least for me through HS it was and once you reach the professional level I’d imagine the movement and change of speed differences are dramatic.
Our esrtwhile Rf Trotman was an example if that. A guy like JJ Putz could throw 100mph and Trot would yank it foul, but he was lost by the movement of lefthanded pitching.
 

jose melendez

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I’d say velocity isn’t the issue for a hitter nearly as much as movement. Hitting a slider or a good breaking ball are much more challenging than a straight fastball. At least for me through HS it was and once you reach the professional level I’d imagine the movement and change of speed differences are dramatic.
We should ask Maalox.
 

jose melendez

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On ESPN radio this morning Mike Greenberg has been making me laugh so hard. They are working on the premise that Greenberg would buy the Dodgers and insert himself into the starting lineup on an every day basis. The question is: how many games would this cost the Dodgers and could they still win the WS with him playing everyday (and presumably playing most of every game and not being announced in the starting lineup and then immediately being removed...actually PLAYING like a starting regular).

They tried to figure out what position they could put him at. I guess DH wasn't an option being the Dodgers, but they really couldn't find one. He thought about first base and said basically, come on, I might not be able to handle hot smashes down the line but I can stand there and take throws from the infielders on grounders. And the other guys were like, no way - they throw 90 miles and hour across the diamond...no chance Mike.

So it got me thinking: What position at what sport do you think you could most likely play with the greatest success (understanding that this is laughable at that level, that for virtually all of us, it would be an unmitigated disaster no matter where you put us no matter the sport, even if we were really good high school or college athletes)?

For me, I was a college volleyball player, but I'm in my 50s now. I certainly couldn't be a hitter or even a setter. Could I be a libero and just play defense? Well...hahahaha I mean sure I could, but I would get smoked play after play. But I know I could make SOME plays in that position. Not most, and not many, but SOME. But otherwise, man, I can't think of a position in any sport where I'd actually have anything resembling a whiff of a chance of not getting utterly destroyed.
If i put in a ton of work, I wonder if I could have become a tolerable holder for place kicks.

I bet no.
 

scott bankheadcase

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About 10 years ago I played some games against a guy who had just been cut from a d-league team. I’m 6-3 and he was not much taller.

But his movement, though it didn’t seem it to the naked eye, was unbelievable. He always could get the angle right for a relatively easy shot and just crushed me.

I hit the luckiest hook shot possible to score once, the rest was utter domination by him.

and he couldn’t make the d-league. There’s no way to really describe how good these guys are until you get the slightest taste of it.
 

lexrageorge

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So it got me thinking: What position at what sport do you think you could most likely play with the greatest success (understanding that this is laughable at that level, that for virtually all of us, it would be an unmitigated disaster no matter where you put us no matter the sport, even if we were really good high school or college athletes)?
Curling. Not because I could do it; it just seems like a sport I could do without getting killed or maimed in the first 5 seconds of play.
 

CaptainLaddie

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About 10 years ago I played some games against a guy who had just been cut from a d-league team. I’m 6-3 and he was not much taller.

But his movement, though it didn’t seem it to the naked eye, was unbelievable. He always could get the angle right for a relatively easy shot and just crushed me.

I hit the luckiest hook shot possible to score once, the rest was utter domination by him.

and he couldn’t make the d-league. There’s no way to really describe how good these guys are until you get the slightest taste of it.
My cousin started and played D3 ball at a small school. He's 6'7" or so, around 275-300, about 50 now. He coaches high school ball now and he told me he gets challenged at the gym all the time by guys 25-30 years younger than him and he just throws them out the club (to use a Gronk term). Skills + a body + footwork, even at 50, and these guys can't beat him.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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On ESPN radio this morning Mike Greenberg has been making me laugh so hard. They are working on the premise that Greenberg would buy the Dodgers and insert himself into the starting lineup on an every day basis. The question is: how many games would this cost the Dodgers and could they still win the WS with him playing everyday (and presumably playing most of every game and not being announced in the starting lineup and then immediately being removed...actually PLAYING like a starting regular).

They tried to figure out what position they could put him at. I guess DH wasn't an option being the Dodgers, but they really couldn't find one. He thought about first base and said basically, come on, I might not be able to handle hot smashes down the line but I can stand there and take throws from the infielders on grounders. And the other guys were like, no way - they throw 90 miles and hour across the diamond...no chance Mike.

So it got me thinking: What position at what sport do you think you could most likely play with the greatest success (understanding that this is laughable at that level, that for virtually all of us, it would be an unmitigated disaster no matter where you put us no matter the sport, even if we were really good high school or college athletes)?

For me, I was a college volleyball player, but I'm in my 50s now. I certainly couldn't be a hitter or even a setter. Could I be a libero and just play defense? Well...hahahaha I mean sure I could, but I would get smoked play after play. But I know I could make SOME plays in that position. Not most, and not many, but SOME. But otherwise, man, I can't think of a position in any sport where I'd actually have anything resembling a whiff of a chance of not getting utterly destroyed.
That's a good question. I'm 5'6 145-150 so anything with contact and I'd get killed. I'd have to say NASCAR driver. I'd be DFL but I think I could handle the car after a few warmup laps.
 

mikeot

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Played special teams in high school football because I was relatively fast (small sample size) and fucking hated it, but loved defense; I'd be roadkill at any level above HS.
 

Cesar Crespo

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That's a good question. I'm 5'6 145-150 so anything with contact and I'd get killed. I'd have to say NASCAR driver. I'd be DFL but I think I could handle the car after a few warmup laps.
You could be a tall horse jockey. I don't know how much of the work the horse does.
 

BigSoxFan

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I once stood in a batting cage against a machine throwing 96 mph. The first pitch made a thump against the mat behind the plate - I heard it, I didn't see it. The same thing for the next 3-4 more pitches before I finally started to "see" the ball come out of the machine. Then I started swinging. Of course I was ridiculously late. Then after a dozen pitches, I finally made contact. Then I started putting the ball in play. But it's only because the pitch came to the same place every time, at the same speed, and I basically had to start swinging before the machine released the ball.

I cannot even fathom what it takes to hit actual major-league pitching, with all the movement and deception and varying speeds and locations and pitch types. It seems utterly impossible.
Yup. I played varsity baseball and was decent at it but the difference between 80s and 90s is immense. You don't really appreciate just how fast baseball pitchers throw until you're in the box or sitting close by. I have no idea how MLB hitters can prepare to hit 95+ and then make contact when the pitcher snaps off a 75 MPH curveball.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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On ESPN radio this morning Mike Greenberg has been making me laugh so hard. They are working on the premise that Greenberg would buy the Dodgers and insert himself into the starting lineup on an every day basis. The question is: how many games would this cost the Dodgers and could they still win the WS with him playing everyday (and presumably playing most of every game and not being announced in the starting lineup and then immediately being removed...actually PLAYING like a starting regular).

They tried to figure out what position they could put him at. I guess DH wasn't an option being the Dodgers, but they really couldn't find one. He thought about first base and said basically, come on, I might not be able to handle hot smashes down the line but I can stand there and take throws from the infielders on grounders. And the other guys were like, no way - they throw 90 miles and hour across the diamond...no chance Mike.

So it got me thinking: What position at what sport do you think you could most likely play with the greatest success (understanding that this is laughable at that level, that for virtually all of us, it would be an unmitigated disaster no matter where you put us no matter the sport, even if we were really good high school or college athletes)?

For me, I was a college volleyball player, but I'm in my 50s now. I certainly couldn't be a hitter or even a setter. Could I be a libero and just play defense? Well...hahahaha I mean sure I could, but I would get smoked play after play. But I know I could make SOME plays in that position. Not most, and not many, but SOME. But otherwise, man, I can't think of a position in any sport where I'd actually have anything resembling a whiff of a chance of not getting utterly destroyed.
40411
40412
 

johnmd20

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and he couldn’t make the d-league. There’s no way to really describe how good these guys are until you get the slightest taste of it.
This is very well said.

Until you actually see it up close, you cannot fathom how good professional athletes are. They are a different species altogether. Not a single person on this board could beat Mugsy in 1 on 1 and it's embarrassing to say otherwise.
 

Kliq

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Imagine just thinking you would post up Mugsy? As if he hasn't faced that question for 30+ years as he played at the highest level of basketball against the biggest, most athletic people are society has to offer? He would know every trick in the book, even at 50, to prevent you from just using a weight/height advantage.
 

TheWizard

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Scal also took on all 3 radio guys as part of the Scallenges at the same time and beat them like 11-2.
Scalabrine went 4-0 overall and outscored his opponents 44-6 during the Scallenges. One of the guy's he destroyed was Matt Tomaszweski, from New Hampshire, 6 foot 8 and was a walkon at Syracuse. Guy obviously had skills, even to be a walk on at high D-1 school like Syracuse.

Note Matt T rescued someone drowning at Seabrook beach a few years later after this, seems like a solid guy.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Imagine just thinking you would post up Mugsy? As if he hasn't faced that question for 30+ years as he played at the highest level of basketball against the biggest, most athletic people are society has to offer? He would know every trick in the book, even at 50, to prevent you from just using a weight/height advantage.
Reading this, I imagined him pulling the chair out from under me as I tried to back him down. /shudders
 

joe dokes

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I once stood in a batting cage against a machine throwing 96 mph. The first pitch made a thump against the mat behind the plate - I heard it, I didn't see it. The same thing for the next 3-4 more pitches before I finally started to "see" the ball come out of the machine. Then I started swinging. Of course I was ridiculously late. Then after a dozen pitches, I finally made contact. Then I started putting the ball in play. But it's only because the pitch came to the same place every time, at the same speed, and I basically had to start swinging before the machine released the ball.

I cannot even fathom what it takes to hit actual major-league pitching, with all the movement and deception and varying speeds and locations and pitch types. It seems utterly impossible.
The first time I sat behind home plate for a major league game was just about the last time I ever criticized a major league hitter for flailing at a quality slider or curve from a same-handed pitcher. In one AB at Fenway, Cal Ripken looked lost on a 1-1 curveball that started at his head. A couple of pitches later, the pitcher threw the same pitch. Ripken didn't flinch, waited, and literally "dropped the head of the bat" and drove a pitch from below his knees off the Wall with the ease of hitting a six iron at the driving range. It's one of those otherwise meaningless sports moments that stuck with me 25 years later.

About 10 years ago I played some games against a guy who had just been cut from a d-league team. I’m 6-3 and he was not much taller.
But his movement, though it didn’t seem it to the naked eye, was unbelievable. He always could get the angle right for a relatively easy shot and just crushed me.
I hit the luckiest hook shot possible to score once, the rest was utter domination by him.
and he couldn’t make the d-league. There’s no way to really describe how good these guys are until you get the slightest taste of it.
I once played on a lawyers league team with a guy who, during his undergrad days (4-7 years previous) sat on the bench for 3 years at NYU ("garbage time only."). I don't think he missed a shot all season.

Until you actually see it up close, you cannot fathom how good professional athletes are. They are a different species altogether. Not a single person on this board could beat Mugsy in 1 on 1 and it's embarrassing to say otherwise.
The "up close" part is key. I sat in the 2nd or 3rd row under the basket at an NBA game in the late 80s. (Bill Russell was coaching the Reggie Theus-Kenny Smith Kings). The size, strength and agility of those guys was jaw-dropping. And the brute physicality under the basket made me appreciate that there aren't fights every single time down the floor. As for the Greenberg scenario, the first pick I ran into would kill me. My team would be better 4-on-5.
 

HomeRunBaker

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Imagine just thinking you would post up Mugsy? As if he hasn't faced that question for 30+ years as he played at the highest level of basketball against the biggest, most athletic people are society has to offer? He would know every trick in the book, even at 50, to prevent you from just using a weight/height advantage.
Yeah just bc someone lacks size doesn’t mean they don’t know all the tricks both offensively and defensively. Kemba seems to take a charge every night while guys like Cassell, Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland were elite down on the low block whenever they felt they had a guy on them who wasn’t engaged.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Famously, in 1960 Ty Cobb was asked how he thought he'd fare against contemporary pitchers. When he said he figured he'd hit about .300, the sportswriter was stunned at Cobb's apparent humility -- Cobb was never one to be modest, and .300 would be sixty-six points shy of his lifetime average.

"But you've got to remember", Cobb added, "I'm seventy-three."
 

Kliq

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Yeah just bc someone lacks size doesn’t mean they don’t know all the tricks both offensively and defensively. Kemba seems to take a charge every night while guys like Cassell, Mark Jackson and Rod Strickland were elite down on the low block whenever they felt they had a guy on them who wasn’t engaged.
There was an OKC vs LAC playoff series where Durant kept trying to post-up CP3 but CP3 kept winning those battles. It was an unbelievable performance.
 

HomeRunBaker

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There was an OKC vs LAC playoff series where Durant kept trying to post-up CP3 but CP3 kept winning those battles. It was an unbelievable performance.
Yup he’s another one. Great defensive player maybe 5-10
 

jezza1918

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Imagine just thinking you would post up Mugsy? As if he hasn't faced that question for 30+ years as he played at the highest level of basketball against the biggest, most athletic people are society has to offer? He would know every trick in the book, even at 50, to prevent you from just using a weight/height advantage.
+1. I just talked to a friend of mine who is mid 30s, and in his mid-major D1 Hall of Fame for basketball. Still plays somewhat regularly and when I asked him about this he said, "Bogues would win 11-0. If I could go back 5 or 6 years and Mugsy was still 56 maybe 11-3ish."
 

Devizier

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Well, sure, if you want to go for a record. I was thinking more average-ish winning time :p
I like to think of it this way. My PR for a 10K is 39:26. I am very proud of it.

It puts me almost 10 minutes behind the women’s world record of 29:43.
 

OurF'ingCity

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So it got me thinking: What position at what sport do you think you could most likely play with the greatest success (understanding that this is laughable at that level, that for virtually all of us, it would be an unmitigated disaster no matter where you put us no matter the sport, even if we were really good high school or college athletes)?
Maybe a punter in the NFL? If we're just comparing relative levels of disaster, I feel like with some practice and a lot of stretching I could somewhat consistently at least kick the ball 30-40 yards downfield. Probably wouldn't have good hang time, wouldn't be able to do the coffin-corner or anything like that, and certainly wouldn't even bother trying to tackle or run after anyone on returns - but that's still probably the position I'd be "best" at.

Assuming we are talking the four major pro sports. Expanding to anything considered "pro" - I feel like if I devoted myself wholly to it I could be a solid pro cornhole player (granted that is probably true of most humans).
 

Cesar Crespo

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Bowling and billiards seem like good choices where one could compete with pros. Of course, I suck at both.

Darts is another one. I don't know if there are pro dart players though.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Maybe golf too. Wouldn’t ever remotely sniff a cut but could at least play the game and wouldn’t get hurt or killed trying to keep up with the pros.