Amazing and shocking photos from Iraq.
Michael Jordan was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Endowed with seemlessly endless athletic prowess, he was humbled by the intense hand-eye requirements of hitting a breaking ball. Rugby players, collegiate wrestlers, hoopsters, and armchair QB’s have long argued which sport is the most difficult. ESPN has set out to settle this issue once and for all.

Jim Caple described the challenge facing the committee:

What is the most important element in athletics, anyway?

Is it strength? Endurance? Speed and quickness? Hand-eye coordination? The ability to withstand physical pain and mental stress? Ability to block out nerves and fear to focus on the task at hand when 50,000 fans are screaming? A combination of all those? If so, what combination?… We polled Olympic trainers and multi-sport athletes. We created a spreadsheet ranking 60 sports and breaking each into 10 categories of athleticism. We asked players who they thought were the greatest athletes and what the most amazing thing they ever saw another athlete do (we heard a lot of Bo Jackson stories).

The athlete’s arguments for their sports are telling and poignant, and further reflects what a difficult task it is to quantify athletic prowess. So while ESPN.com has proven that boxing is the most difficult sport, and Jim Brown the greatest all-around athlete, I’d like to hear your views.