Athletes who are nowhere near the GOAT conversation.... but on their best day, they're better than the guys who are?

Jul 6, 2019
His indiscretions don’t count when he’s saving goals

But he fits the brief, on his day he could be the best in the world
Ah, I don't know enough about him to dispute how good he could be on his day.

I was just laughing at the suggestion you would rather have him than Buffon.

One guy is a milkshake drinking, Nazi, journeyman goalkeeper, who's claim to fame is being the worst keeper ever in a Manchester Derby.

The other is a model professional who's claim to fame is captaining his country to the world cup.

I also don't know for certain, but I'm guessing his best days are probably only as good as Buffon, or Kahn, or Schmeichel's regular days.


Jul 17, 2012
South London
imo he was a hell of a keeper, just a bit inconsistent and not behind a world class defence like the other guys mentioned.
May 23, 2013
Don't think Nadal would count. He's the best clay court player of all time and a contender for the GOAT in men's tennis.

It's between him, Fed, Novak, Laver, and Borg imo.

Stan Wawrinka would be a good shout in tennis though. He has blasted the big three off the court when he's on it, but he isn't consistent, focused, or rounded enough to compete regularly.
wow mate wait a second

tennis...... on his absolute best day : ilie nastase
Jun 14, 2012
Not an athlete but Gary Anderson the Scottish darts player. He's a very decorated player in his own right winning world titles back to back and a few of the other majors. Nobody is close to Phil Taylor's number of titles so he's the undisputed GOAT of the game.

Anderson though when in full flow was/is close to unbeatable on his day.


Bosomus Maximus
Jun 14, 2012
On the gridiron in Super Bowl XXI, QB Phil Simms of the NY Giants completed 22 of 25 pass attempts (with all three incomplete passes being dropped by his receivers) for 268 yards and three TDs, additionally threatening to break free for a rushing TD on a powerful 22 yard run. His passer rating of 150.92 remains a Super Bowl record through the first 54 games of that annual contest.

Pregame hype centered on whether or not Lawrence Taylor could effectively stop John Elway by rushing him, sacking Elway or halting John's noted rushing threat potential.

Denver Broncos QB John Elway was at the peak of his physical abilities at age 26, and in his fourth season as the starter did not choke in the big game, but got directly out dueled by Simms as Denver's halftime lead crumbled under a 17 point third quarter Giants onslaught, outscoring the Broncos with four TDs and a FG on the G-Men's first five possessions.

So in the first Super Bowl for both Lawrence Taylor and John Elway, Phil Simms owned everybody with what may still be the most dominant gun to gun performance by any ball handler in SB history.

Phil Simms in SB XXI perfectly meets the criteria for this thread, an athlete who is nowhere near the GOAT conversation, but on his best day was clearly superior to Lawrence Taylor and John Elway in the same game. (Taylor had four solo tackles and one assist. In fact his HOF LB teammate Harry Carson made more of the critical plays during their first SB winning playoff run, producing five solo tackles including a big stop on Denver's Gerald Wilhite for no gain during a first half goal line stand in that SB.)

For a single Super Bowl, I'll take what Phil Simms did at QB over what anybody else has ever done at that position during that game. As vaunted as Bill Belichick's legendary Big Blue Wrecking Crew defense was, it was Simms owning Elway and the Broncos defense which buried Denver in SB XXI. I've never seen a QB dominate a SB from beginning to end like that. (Early on, he and Elway were trading completions, and it seemed certain based on their reputations that John was simply too talented and blessed not to prevail after having won the AFC Title over the Browns with THE DRIVE. It was Joe Namath versus Earl Morrall in SB III all over again, only this time, Earl Morrall prevailed over the golden boy. Viewing the taped footage while knowing the outcome in advance is not the same as having watched the live broadcast unfold.)
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Reactions: Werety
May 18, 2013
Pretty much any golfer that ever won a tournament.

Golf is very much about "on the day" and to win, particularly a major, you will need to beat all the top players by turning it on for a short period.

Given the right course and conditions, a bit of form, and a bit of luck, any player can win.

The two best golfers of all time, Nicklaus and Woods, can be beaten even if they are on top form. (This is particularly true of other top players like Player or Watson).

They primary reason they are the best is because they can replicate their best form, or close to it, most consistently.

Ian Poulter would be a contender if you include match play. Nowhere near the best golfer, he hasn't even won a major, he regularly beats better players in match play golf. Especially at the Ryder Cup.

It seems the format, and direct competition, brings out the best in him.
I'll take Bubba Watson. When he's on his ability to shape shots is insane, plus the power to go with it. The best shot I've ever seen is his wedge out of the pine needles at Agusta that bent 90 degrees was insane

But yeah Ian Poulter is a great shout too
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Jul 29, 2012
Hard to come up with a name in basketball. So many guys who could have nights where they could score with or outscore Jordan or any GOAT candidate


Breakin it down.
May 16, 2013
The tree outside GABBY'S room
He makes my HW all-time top 5, and easily. Head to head at his best he is a monster and would present a huge challenge to anybody, and his overall legacy is very strong as well. I mean, over the guy's entire pro career start to finish, if you didn't spark him out with one punch then he beats you. And if you do catch him perfect and KO him, then he turns around and stops you in the rematch. He fought at the top level for years and years and was always successful. He could adapt to his opponent with intelligence - he blitzed Grant and Golota and KOed them before they could settle into the fight, and he spent 12 rounds using his jab to train prime David Tua and turn him into a toothless little puppy dog obediently following him around the ring. He demonstrated basically everything you could ask a top-3 ATG to show you.

That wasn't a prime Tua. Tua was weird after the Ibeabuchi fight. After he struggled with Rahman He put on a shitload of weight and wasn't anywhere near as aggressive with Lewis.
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No longer a new member!
Jan 28, 2013
Basketball: Dražen Petrović
Tennis: Marat Safin
Boxing: Tyson Fury
Football: Sebastian Deisler

Not in a sense that they are better than ATGs in their sport, but had/have the potential to beat ATG opponents on their best day..
Marat safin. Now theres a tennis connoisseurs answer. I applaud you
Jul 6, 2019
I'll take Bubba Watson. When he's on his ability to shape shots is insane, plus the power to go with it. The best shot I've ever seen is his wedge out of the pine needles at Agusta that bent 90 degrees was insane

But yeah Ian Poulter is a great shout too
Very good call on Bubba. When he's on form he can destroy courses.