True Intimidators

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Grizzled
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Chicago has been blessed during my lifetime with 3 guys I consider true intimidators in their sports. Beside amazing physical and mental skills at playing their sports, they had guys beat before they even stepped on the field. My 3 guys are:

Dick Butkus - acknowledged as the best or 2nd best traditional middle linebacker. Guys were afraid to catch a pass or run into his area of the field as Butkus would destroy them

Walter Payton: - as one all pro defender said in an interview, Walter had a look in his eye which alone made guys recoil from trying to hit him. He said Walter didn't shirk from plowing into defenders to knock them out of the way although he had the skills to juke guys out. Ferocious stiff-arm also which he didn't hesitate to use

Michael Jordan - he's do anything to win. When earilier in his career he got some grief about his defensive skills, he worked on them and became perhaps the best defensive player in the league (although I might agree with Pippen that he was the best). When he was getting older and couldn't drive to the basket as well as earlier in his career, he worked and worked until his jump shot became lethal. He rode his team mates to work together and become better. He was known for hitting the last shot (although he acknowledged missing numerous ones in his career) but wasn't afraid to take them. He also knew that teams would key on him for that last shot and famously passed off to other teammates for winning shots in Game 6's of the championship series'.
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The Marshall Plan
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Nice discussion!

Here are the three during my lifetime.

Michael Jordan - The GOAT. I read so many books about him when I was a teenager and his approach inspired my outlook things. He'd make a rival or an offense about anything and use it as motivation. The guy was just as motivated to win during the last title season as he was during his first year in the league. Just his very presence on the court intimidated people like the mere presence of some kind of alpha predator in the wild.

The best thing about Jordan too is that he adapted. The Pistons beat him up? He got stronger. He didn't sit around and accept failure and he justifiably demanded excellence from others.

This is one of my favorite descriptions of Michael Jordan.




Dennis Rodman - Before I start I actually got to meet Dennis Rodman. He was the nicest guy. I was a teenager and he was doing a signing in the middle of the second three peat. He signed a basketball for me. He had the Pearl Jam turned to 11, but he spent time talking to every single person.

Now the player. Rodman could get into anybody's head. Remember the Finals with the Sonics and Frank Brickowski? That guy probably spent time in an asylum after dealing with Rodman during that series. He infuriated Shaq. The entire Bulls team during his Bad Boy years. Anybody and everybody. At the same time, he was more than just a thug. So much more. Defensive Player Of The Year. Rebounding master. Then also remember his hysterical three point attempts when he was with the Bulls?

He had Karl Malone seeing red for both series against the Jazz.




Devin Hester - The greatest ST player of all time. When the other team is afraid to even let you have the ball in the first place, you've already intimidated the hell out of them. Then when they're dumb enough to kick the ball to you and you make them pay? That's Devin Hester.

Apparently this isn't good enough to get into the HOF, but to me it just proves we have fucking idiots in charge that aren't qualified to vote people into the HOF.

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Grizzled
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Gotta agree on Hester. Until they finally learned, how many teams did he score against after their coach said, in effect, "we're not afraid of Devin Hester, we'll force him to beat us" and then he did?

I really liked Rodman although I don't put him quite in this class. Great rebounder, motor that didn't stop, and, as you said, had a way of getting under players' skins.
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Otis Day
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Not sure if you were keeping it to Chicago players, but this guy was the ultimate intimidator and shit talker.

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Grizzled
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Not limited to Chicago - any sport, any team, any city. The Hick from French Lick was definitely one I was thinking about.

Bullet Bob Gibson - one of the fiercest competitors to every play baseball. God help the hitter who celebrated or other disrespected Gibson, he was liable to get a 95+ MPH fastball up and in his next at bat.

Wayne Gretzky - just because he was such an incredible scoring machine
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mmmc_35
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A lot of fighters in their prime. I think Tyson everyone can think of a Tyson knockout.

But dont forget about Roy Jones Jr. Dude in his prime was untouchable.

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The Marshall Plan
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mmmc_35 wrote: Wed Feb 23, 2022 4:22 pm A lot of fighters in their prime. I think Tyson everyone can think of a Tyson knockout.

But dont forget about Roy Jones Jr. Dude in his prime was untouchable.

Glad you brought up boxing. It hasn't been the same for me since Mayweather retired. I would say Mayweather was intimidating for a different reason. Not so much KO power, but just because you were going to lose.

Tyson is the beyond obvious one and perhaps maybe even THE MOST intimidating regardless of sport.

But yeah Roy Jones Jr. was great for a time being.
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mmmc_35
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I wouldn't call Mayweather intimidating per se. I get your point, but I would say more irritating. You can go rounds with bearly touching him. While he peppers you with that laser right. He philly shells amd shoulder rolls people into the grave.

I think you could add Anderson Silva or Chick Liddell in their prime to that intimidation category. Scary dudes.
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