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Is Rory McIlroy on course to becoming the greatest British sportsman ever?? Watch

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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Yes he has a chance but a lot can change between now and then.

    Ten years ago Wayne Rooney was on course for being the greatest English footballer of all time.

    After his first two years in F1 Lewis Hamilton was on course for being the greatest English F1 driver of all time.

    A couple of years ago Alastair Cook was on course for being the greatest English batsman of all time.
    He could grab his second WDC this season.

    Jackie Stewart has three WDC's, the highest of any British F1 driver. (I think)
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    (Original post by James A)
    He could grab his second WDC this season.

    Jackie Stewart has three WDC's, the highest of any British F1 driver. (I think)
    But can you call somebody a great driver because they are capable of winning a championship when a second a lap faster than everybody bar your team mate?
    For some reason people acted as if he was amazing yesterday by gaining 17 places in the race, while faster than everybody he had to pass
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    Those two are great? And I present to you: Max Woosnam.
    Sir Jackie Stewart? Sir Chris Hoy? Martin Johnson? Sir Ian Botham? Sir Bradley Wiggins? Paula Radcliffe? Sir Steve Redgrave? Tony McCoy? Phil Taylor? Stephen Hendry?
    AP, like Rory, is Northern Irish. Given that he sponsors his local GAA team I'm guessing he might identify as Irish rather than British though that's his business. Not that it's something to get too worked up about anyway.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    But can you call somebody a great driver because they are capable of winning a championship when a second a lap faster than everybody bar your team mate?
    For some reason people acted as if he was amazing yesterday by gaining 17 places in the race, while faster than everybody he had to pass
    I don't care what you say, but success is measured based on how many championships you have.


    OP is talking about the greatest sportsmen from Britain so you assume we are referring to success, right?
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    (Original post by James A)
    I don't care what you say, but success is measured based on how many championships you have.


    OP is talking about the greatest sportsmen from Britain so you assume we are referring to success, right?
    No, for example, you could have somebody that wins 1000 awards in their respective sport, but if they're the only competitor there is no achievement in it. When considering the greatest you have to consider the competition as well as the accolades.
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    No, for example, you could have somebody that wins 1000 awards in their respective sport, but if they're the only competitor there is no achievement in it. When considering the greatest you have to consider the competition as well as the accolades.
    Ok good point, but lets compare Schumi and Hammy (despite the different nationalities), one has seven world championships, the other has only one world championship. Schumi barely had competition throughout his career when he was winning races (ferrari in particular) but when you look at championships like 08 where Hammy won, you all of a sudden notice how more competitive F1 was then (seven different GP winners in 08) and how it still is tight now days (Rosberg and Hammy are allowed to race each other unlike Schumi and Rubens).

    Where do we draw the line in that scenario?
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    (Original post by James A)
    Ok good point, but lets compare Schumi and Hammy (despite the different nationalities), one has seven world championships, the other has only one world championship. Schumi barely had competition throughout his career when he was winning races (ferrari in particular) but when you look at championships like 08 where Hammy won, you all of a sudden notice how more competitive F1 was then (seven different GP winners in 08) and how it still is tight now days (Rosberg and Hammy are allowed to race each other unlike Schumi and Rubens).

    Where do we draw the line in that scenario?
    What you have to consider is, yes, Schumacher did have a very easy ride for most of his career, and yes, when he came back he didn't do so well, but he didn't go straight into one of the best cars (well, I suppose he did if you exclude his first race, but that seemed to be based on that first race) on the grid and qualified 7th at Spa, one of the hardest tracks, having only ridden the track on his bike and managed to finish third in his first full year, albeit in what, to my knowledge, was the second best car on the grid. Won six of the first seven races in '94 despite Senna. Along with Brawn, Todt and Byrne he is credited with turning Ferrari's fortunes around. etc

    And, while he may hold rather a lot of records, and have won 7 World Championships, and 5 consecutive championships while runner up for most wins has 5 totals, etc, I don't think many people consider him the greatest driver, he may be well up there, but not the very top. Similarly, Vettel is probably far from the top given how easy his championships were, but it's also hard to deny he is a good driver.
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    (Original post by James A)
    He could grab his second WDC this season.

    Jackie Stewart has three WDC's, the highest of any British F1 driver. (I think)
    Yes I think statistically he will achieve it, but, its a bit like Rooney will probably end his career as the all time top Man Utd scorer and all time top England scorer.

    With both of them there's still a feeling that they haven't quite gone on to do what they promised to do at the start.

    I remember the buzz around Hamilton early in his career, it was like he was going to take F1 to new levels and surpass everything Schumacher did.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    Yes I think statistically he will achieve it, but, its a bit like Rooney will probably end his career as the all time top Man Utd scorer and all time top England scorer.

    With both of them there's still a feeling that they haven't quite gone on to do what they promised to do at the start.

    I remember the buzz around Hamilton early in his career, it was like he was going to take F1 to new levels and surpass everything Schumacher did.
    But how much of that buzz is because he is a) British and b) showed some promise before going into F1?
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    I don't know. Has he started playing a sport recently then?
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    (Original post by Jammy Duel)
    But how much of that buzz is because he is a) British and b) showed some promise before going into F1?
    Mainly because of b, the British thing did help but F1 isn't as starved of British success as some other sports would be. I think the thing with Hamilton was, before he started racing people had been talking about 'immense talent, going to be the best yet' so there was both excitement and some healthy scepticism about is this guy overrated. Then when he started so well, nearly winning in 2007 and then winning in 2008, the scepticism turned to 'wow'.

    I think in general when sportsmen start their careers achieving so much early people expect them to continue at that rate throughout and it doesn't always happen.

    In tennis about 11/12 years ago there was this kind of hype about a young Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer, and only Federer lasted the course.
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Absolutely agree with your last statement. I don't see why we can't both share him. He's a product of Irish golf having represented them at amateur and boys level and will represent Ireland at the Olympics.

    He has spoken about both his feelings of Britishness and Irishness. The cynic in me says that he has half an eye on his commercial appeal but I'll take it-Northern Ireland needs a unifying figure.
    As far as I'm concerned he's Irish not British. He was anyway but once he decided to represent them in the Olympics that sealed it. There's nothing wrong with him doing that but that's how I see it.
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    It's Bradley Wiggins anyway
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    (Original post by Wilfred Little)
    As far as I'm concerned he's Irish not British. He was anyway but once he decided to represent them in the Olympics that sealed it. There's nothing wrong with him doing that but that's how I see it.
    Trust me- as an Irishman I'd love to claim McIlroy but the British have an equal claim to him, he identifies as both British and Irish. I'm cool with. But hey, if you wanna hand him back we'll take him!

    Loving your location by the way. "The place where all funky things come!"
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Trust me- as an Irishman I'd love to claim McIlroy but the British have an equal claim to him, he identifies as both British and Irish. I'm cool with. But hey, if you wanna hand him back we'll take him!

    Loving your location by the way. "The place where all funky things come!"
    I should say, my Granddad is from Belfast and identifies as Irish and has a burning hatred of the British so that might influence my thinking.

    I just think if he's from the island of Ireland, he's Irish. Same with Brits.
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    (Original post by Wilfred Little)
    I should say, my Granddad is from Belfast and identifies as Irish and has a burning hatred of the British so that might influence my thinking.

    I just think if he's from the island of Ireland, he's Irish. Same with Brits.
    Haha...

    I'm afraid that's overly simplistic though. Northern Ireland is a contested area, it's inhabitants can identify as British, Irish or both if they so wish. Somebody like McIlroy is a cause of cross-community, shared celebration which is what NI needs.

    Remember I'm saying this as an Irishman!
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    (Original post by DK_Tipp)
    Haha...

    I'm afraid that's overly simplistic though. Northern Ireland is a contested area, it's inhabitants can identify as British, Irish or both if they so wish. Somebody like McIlroy is a cause of cross-community, shared celebration which is what NI needs.

    Remember I'm saying this as an Irishman!
    I know it's simplistic but it's just how I feel. Plus he has chosen to represent Ireland in the Olympics.
 
 
 
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