The idea for this article came from a column in TIME Magazine (3/13/17). A story centered around Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange portraying Bette Davis and Joan Crawford for a television production. The interaction of the two older women had the making of a good story. It mentioned other famous pairings (eg, Jay Leno and David Letterman in their competition for late night television, and Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin who were roommates for a brief time).

I decided to create other pairings of famous individuals in the fields of sports, entertainment, history, etc. They are listed here. You can play a game with them. For each pairing, decide who you think would be “better” in their field. This is not a contest. There are no prizes. But if you must keep track of your choices, give yourself credit for a choice you think is correct. Have fun. You may think about people or issues and that’s the point.



Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio (pictured)         Nolan Ryan and Bob Feller

Albert Pujols and Jimmy Foxx         Honus Wagner and Derek Jeter

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer         Albert Pujols and Jimmy Foxx

David Ortiz and Edgar Martinez         Greg Maddux and Roger Clemens

Pedro Martinez and Steve Carlton         Frank Robinson and Roberto Clemente



Gale Sayers and Walter Payton (pictured)         Adrian Peterson and Jim Brown

J. Simpson and Barry Sanders         Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin

Calvin Johnson and Chris Carter         Joe Montana and Tom Brady

Reggie White and J. J. Watt         Lawrence Taylor and Jack Ham

Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus         Ray Nitschke and Jack Lambert



Michael Jordan and LeBron James         Magic Johnson and Larry Bird

Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain         Jerry West and Oscar Robertson

Julius Erving and Elgin Baylor (pictured)               Karl Malone and Charles Barkley

Kobe Bryant and Kareem Abdul-Jabber     Russell Westbrook and Steph Curry



Barbra Streisand and Audra McDonald (pictured)         Warren Zevon and Tom Waits

Gordon Lightfoot and Mary-Chapin Carpenter         The Eagles and The Band

The Rolling Stones and The Beatles         Elvis Presley and Pat Boone

Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon        Joni Mitchell and Annie Lennox

Lady Gaga and Adele



Groucho Marx and George Carlin (pictured)         Robin Williams and Richard Pryor



Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola         Dogs and Cats (pictured)












About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures above...it's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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