About the author


Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

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    Tick Tock

    Your swimming expert writer needs to put the kool aid down before he chokes.
    Obviously he’s the greatest swimmer of all time. The greatest athlete ever ?,,, Puh-lease!
    Because he can swim faster than any one ever doesn’t make home the greatest athlete ever. Was Eric Heiden the greatest athlete ever then?
    Can Phelps take a pick 6 back 80 yards? Could he play in the NFL pro bowl and MLB all star game the same year? Can he hit a baseball 400 feet, or run Brian Bosworth over? Can he run a sub 4.4 40?
    Would he be able to guide a NBA team to multiple titles? Highly unlikely on all fronts.
    Greatest swimmer,,, sure.
    Greatest athlete,,,, negative.

    1. 1.1

      E. Asher Suplee

      Czabe, didn’t know you were on Yahoo Sports Radio … as your about the author notes.

      Isn’t the simplest answer generally the correct one? I’m going with PEDs. I’ve seen this story before with Lance.

    2. 1.2

      Dr. C.C.

      I’m not saying Phelps IS the greatest athlete ever, but I can’t agree with your logic either, Tick Tock.
      Phelps may not be able to do the things you mentioned, but Dieon Sanders never broke any world records in numerous olympic events either. Or blew the field away in the finals of one event, only to return and ANCHOR a team event a half hour later and win both.
      It’s all relative.
      What Bo Jackson could do on a field was nothing short of amazing. (War Eagle) But I believe what Phelps has been able to do over a 16 year period in the pool is just as amazing.
      I have no problem with anyone who wants to call Jordan, Bo, Deion, Ali, or even Babe Ruth the greatest athlete of all time. Everyone judges differently. BUT …. I can’t argue with anyone who says it’s Phelps either.
      I can tell you this. Like the Czabster, I only watch competitive swimming when the summer olympics roll around. That being said, Phelps in the pool has been more “must see TV” for me than Jordan, Deion, or anyone else has ever been.

    3. 1.3


      Tick Tock
      With all due respect, I think you need to put Phelps’ accomplishments in perspective…Greatest swimmer of all time-no doubt! greatest athlete of all time? I would say yes – at least with a good argument. Phelps has been at the top of the swimming world, setting records, winning golds, for TWENTY YEARS!! Can you imagine the work it takes to grind that out? to stay at that level for that long…
      Can your NFL player take a pick 6 back 80 yards for TWENTY YEARS?
      Did Eric Heiden own Speed Skating for TWENTY YEARS?
      Did Bo play in the Pro Bowl and MLB All Star Game for TWENTY YEARS?
      Could he (Bo) run over the Boz or hit a baseball 400 feet every year for TWENTY YEARS?
      Think about it…you are seeing an athletic accomplishment that will probably never be equaled…Give the man his props….

    4. 1.4


      It simply depends on what criteria you use to measure athletes across sports. It is indeed a monumental–if not impossible–task to compare athletes in different sports. The point is that what Phelps has done is perhaps* greater than any single athletic feat ever before witnessed. Considering the point of my email was not to debate the hierarchy of greatest athlete of all time, but rather to shed some light on why Phelps’s accomplishments were so historically significant, I would simply say that I don’t really drink Kool-aid, and thus, I have no problem in refraining from choking on it. Nevertheless, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, including those who would disagree with my assertion that Phelps should be considered in the discussion of greatest athlete of all time.

  2. 2


    Seems the writer was saying Phelps has dominated his sport unlike any other athlete has dominated theirs. It would be the NBA equivalent of leading the league in each category at the same time: scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and minutes played.

    To Tick Tock I would say, can Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson, Carl Lewis or Michael Jordan even qualify for the American swim team in the Olympics – much less for a span of 12 years? Yeah the guy went a little far with the greatest athlete hyperbole, but please, a little respect for Phelps amazing athleticism, because he IS in the discussion.


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