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No. of Recommendations: 8
Maurice Greene gets beat.

I do believe he is the most obnoxious and arrogant man to ever set foot on the track.


Arrogant yes, obnoxious no.

It is pretty much axiomatic that sprinters have egos. Big egos. Big huge massive egos. Pardon my language, but there's no bigger dick-wagging event in track than the 100m dash.

The big reason is that this is the event that the media dub as the race for the Fastest Man On Earth. Never mind that the winner of the 200m dash actually runs faster over that distance than the 100m winner does at his, since all the elites run negative splits in the 200m. Forget that people who have run track and field generally consider the two most brutal events to be the 800m "run" (which is now really a "dash") and the 400m hurdles.

The 100m dash is the simplest, most straightforward event in track. It's the shortest distance, all on a straightaway, no obstacles, no exchanges, nothing. Just line 'em up and go. You can tell the whole way who's leading--no start staggers to take into account that leave most viewers mystified until the end of the race. It's short, simple, and easy to understand. It gets all the press. It gets all the glory.

And so it gets all the people who want the press and want the glory. There's a LONG line of pricks that have competed at the highest levels in the 100m dash. Even Carl Lewis--who is the greatest track athlete of recent times, and probably only second to Jesse Owens historically--had a hell of an ego on him.

Remember Ben Johnson? He crossed the finish line in Seoul in 1988 with his finger raised in the air. That's ego. (Of course, his ego caught up with him when he lost the medal after pissing out more horse hormones than Secretariat.)

Tim Montgomery, Leroy Burrell, Donovan Bailey, Linford Christie, blah blah blah. If you really wanted to, you could find plenty of egotistic quotes by any of them.

The big thing with Lewis is that not only did he so clearly dominate the sport for so long that it was hard to deny his greatness, but he also did a decent job of keeping his ego on the track and relatively private. Made him less obnoxious to the casual fan.

Maurice Green is one hell of a sprinter. Definitely one of the best in history. But his GOAT tattoo is an overstatement. I'd rate him down the list a ways.

--WP
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