Blog Entry

The Williams sisters

Posted on: July 4, 2009 12:34 pm
They just won their eighth Wimbledon this decade which seems to be a truly all-time historic sports feat.

For Monday, I'm putting together a top 10 list of the greatest American sports achievements ever accomplished and I'm thinking the Williams story just busted into the top 10.

A couple of others on my list: the Miracle on Ice is at second and the Black Sox scandal at five.

And do McGwire and Sosa belong on the list despite the obvious tainting of that great home run chase?

Post some of your thoughts here between eating those 28 hot dogs and hamburgers and shooting bottle rockets out of your behind.

Category: Tennis

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: July 5, 2009 4:50 pm

The Williams sisters

Now that I think about it, I bet I know who will be #1 - Jesse Owens.  Going into Hitler's place and smacking the Aryans around like he did, yeah, that works for me...

Good call!  That gets my vote for #1.  I'd leave out the USA basketball Dream Team, tho, because Mike Freeman could've coached that team to Olympic gold, and anything that Mikey can do well has no business in a top 10 list of accomplishments.Tongue out

Since: Jun 30, 2008
Posted on: July 5, 2009 2:25 pm

The Williams sisters

Hmm... I guess your list would have to depend on the context of the sporting event.

For example: if we're looking for the greatest achievements by Americans against Americans, then NFL, MLB, and NBA sporting events would exclusively top the list.

If we're looking for the greatest achievements by Americans against non-Americans, then things like the Miracle on Ice, Olympic events, and international sporting competitions would exclusively top the list.

I'm thinking (hoping) you're going for the latter.

A few that I thought of:

  1. Michael Phelps 8 USA gold medals
  2. The accomplishments of the USA Olympic Men's basketball team - the "Dream Team"
  3. Tiger Woods...Tiger Woods....Tiger Woods
  4. 1968 Olympics Black Power Salute
While I'm not sure 4 is an achievement in the traditional sense of the word, it may deserve a place on the list.

Hot dogs and hamburgers are so 1972.

Macaroni and cheese, steak, and grilled corn is what's up :)

Keep up with the times!

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 10:01 am

The Williams sisters on Ice

canuck23, a tad bickering but mostly preemptive.

Jesse Owens really should be #1.  You are absolutely right about the mood in the world and then going over to Berlin to what he did in front of the Master Race.  Who knows what Owens was thinking at the time but I would have to imagine the pressure on him was considerable.

With the Miracle on Ice, yes they were not as experienced as the USSR but in order to make it to the Olympics you have to be pretty good.  I just don't think that they get that kind of credit that they deserve.  The USA had an excellent team.  You have to in order to win the gold.  I watched that game live just like everyone else.  It was unbelievable.  Then they beat Finland for the gold.  The USA hockey team was not a bunch of rag tag schmucks  that just got lucky one day, they were extremely good. That's why now I believe it isn't as big of an upset as everyone else.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 8:27 am

The Williams sisters

I wouldn't be shocked to find Lance Armstrong's Tour wins as #1.  While it may not seem like such a big deal, the simple fact that he came back from cancer to win his titles makes it that much more of an achievement.  That being said, I can see where Armstrong might not be #1, but he'll definitely be on the list.  If he isn't in the top ten, Mike Freeman needs to be b!tch-slapped.

I agree with a previous poster - if this list truly is about "achievements" in American sports history, the Black Sox don't belong anywhere on this list.

And for Mr. Freeman - "no" to McGwire and Sosa.  While I'm a firm believer in "innocent until proven guilty," I'm also not that naive to think we haven't seen/heard enough evidence to convict them of using - ahem - "extra" help.  And definitely not Bonds, so let's not even go there.  Hank Aaron?  Yes - especially with all he had to go through as he approached Ruth's record.

Now that I think about it, I bet I know who will be #1 - Jesse Owens.  Going into Hitler's place and smacking the Aryans around like he did, yeah, that works for me...

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:11 am

The Williams sisters

Meant to put this in my previous post, but I forgot. Question for you Freeman - you said the column was about the greatest American sports achievements, I'm curious as to how you feel the Black Sock scandal fits into the mould of a "great American sports achievement"? Isn't it more of an embarassment?

It'll be interesting to see what your complete list is though as you haven't even posted the story yet and people are already bickering over it.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: July 5, 2009 1:08 am

The Williams sisters

Gretzky's Canadian Boomr, not American. Thus, he definitely won't be on Freeman's list.

Since: Aug 28, 2007
Posted on: July 4, 2009 11:09 pm

The Williams sisters

I definitely think the Williams sisters, Secretariat, Phelps, Gretzky, Miracle on Ice, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Hank Aaron, and Eric Heiden belong on the list, with Phelps, Heiden, Miracle and the Williams being the top 4 (not in the order listed tho). I think that Miracle should be maybe number 4 out of those listed. That's 9 of the 10 spots. Now, obviously I'm biased being a Sooner fan, but I personally think it's a very impressive feat to win 47 games in a row, something the Sooners did in the 1950's. I highly doubt anyone will beat that streak.

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: July 4, 2009 8:41 pm

The Williams sisters

What made the Miracle so great was the fact that the Russians had the hockey equivalent of the USA Olympic basketball "Dream Team" on their roster, whereas our team had a bunch of young college kids (including several homeboys from Minnesota, and anyone on this site will tell ya that Minnesotans are losers at everything:)  In terms of sports accomplishments, the Miracle was about as likely to happen as a bunch of white guys from Spain and Greece snatching Olympic gold from a lineup containing Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, KG and MJ.

I would add Man O'War to the top 10 contenders list because he was probably the greatest race horse in this planet's history, but would have little problem with Secretariat's triple crown performance overshadowing the other Big Red in a modern list.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: July 4, 2009 5:47 pm

The Williams sisters playing twister

What do you base Miracle being #1?  It makes no sense what-so-ever.  Yes, it was an incredible win.  USA beating the mighty that reasoning Rulon Gardner should be #1 because he beat the best wrestler of the modern era Alexander Karelin.  Karelin didn't lose in 13 years.  He had guys give up before he did anything to them.  If you're looking for an upset then Gardner over Karelin is bigger than Miracle.

Since: Aug 13, 2007
Posted on: July 4, 2009 4:47 pm

The Williams sisters

Miracle On Ice has gotta be #1.  Anyone who would put them at #2 either has a faulty sports resume, or is a racist who can't admit to white guys being #1 at something.Tongue out

The Williams sisters definitely belong in the top 10.  Phelps and Spitz belong in there (two for the price of one there) as does Eric Heiden.  I would add Secretariat high on the list, and Hank Aaron, the real HR champ, belongs in there.  Jean-Claude Killy and/or Pirmin Zurbriggen have a shot, as would Richard Petty and/or Dale Earnhardt.  No top 10 list would be complete without Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

And a warped call goes out to The Fabulous Moolah, who held the championship belt for an incredible 27 years, which would make her not only the greatest wrestler in history, but quite possibly the winningest athlete in all of sports.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or