What Does G.O.A.T. Stand For?
G.O.A.T. is an acronym that stands for Greatest Of All Time. It first emerged and became popular in the early to mid 2000's, somewhere on the internet. It's generally used as a way to distinguish the most acclaimed person in a specific category, such as a sport or musical genre.
The "Greatest" in G.O.A.T. does not necessarily mean the person to achieve the highest points in a single sport or to sell the most albums in a musical genre. There is much debate about this, but it is widely accepted that "Greatest" pertains to a person who has achieved the most recognition for a particular talent or skill. For example, Wilt Chamberlain is well known by most professional basketball fans as the top scoring basketball player of all time (being the only player to score over 4000 points in a single season), but Michael Jordan is still regarded as "The Greatest". This is because Michael Jordan inspired millions of people and sparked a brand new interest in basketball for many people. He did more for the sport's recognition than any other player in history. There have been many boxers who have more wins and knockouts than Muhammad Ali, but Ali is the name most commonly associated with boxing when people talk about "The Greatest". This is for the same reasons why Jordan is considered the Greatest. I'm a Mike Tyson fan myself, and I think he was a much more ferocious boxer and difficult opponent to beat. But I still acknowledge Ali as being the greatest.
Tupac Shakur is widely considered to be the greatest rapper of all time. Many teens today may consider Eminem to be the greatest because he shares similar qualities to Shakur and because he's extremely lyrical. But they did not grow up during Tupac's era, so they do not quite understand the significance of Tupac's work, in relation to the history of rap. They also think that Tupac was not very famous until he was killed, and that this is the reason he is considered the greatest. Tupac was inspired by people who came before him, such as NWA and Rakim. But he was the first rap artist to have two #1 albums in a row, and the first one to do something like that while still being respected. Many rappers made it to #1 in the charts at least once, such as Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer, but they were not as widely accepted in the Hip Hop community like 2pac was. Eminem has made many great songs, but on the other hand, he has made many songs that he himself has admitted that he is not proud of. Tupac made over 300 songs, and you would have a hard time finding any fans who didn't like all of them. He was much more consistent in quality during his time. So while Eminem may be considered the best lyricist of all time, or at least the best mainstream lyricist of all time, he hasn't been significant enough to be awarded the crown of "greatest".
It seems that majority of the confusion over who is the Greatest of All Time, is mainly due to younger people that either do not understand the phrase, or simply don't care and vote for their favorites as the greatest. When speaking about the Greatest of All Time, it's important that a level of respect and mutual understanding is preserved. I have many baseball players on my list of favorites that I consider legendary. Nearly all of them are from my era though. If somebody were to ask me who the greatest baseball player of all time is, I would be obligated to say Babe Ruth, despite the fact that I'm not particularly a fan and did not grow up during his era. Most baseball fans would agree, but I'm sure you could find many teenage baseball fans who disagree. It seems that he level of mutual respect amongst generations is usually established early in adulthood as a person matures and begins to respect the past generations and their contributions.
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