Who Wants To Be The GOAT? Frank Deford remarks on the evolution of the word "goat." What used to be an insult might now be the highest compliment in sports.
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Who Wants To Be The GOAT?

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Who Wants To Be The GOAT?

Who Wants To Be The GOAT?

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

And as they argue over the words hard, soft and flex, let's consider another sports term, goat, which has been on the mind of commentator Frank Deford.

FRANK DEFORD: Bill Gallo, the beloved New York Daily News cartoonist, would draw a portrait of the goat of every World Series game, depicting the poor stiff with horns for ears. In fact, I suspect the designation of the goat as the figure of ridicule derives from the medieval sign of the horn for a cuckolded husband.

GOAT: This is, of course, a subject that sports fans devour. Who's the best ever? Most recently, for example, it was pretty well settled that Michael Phelps had become the GOAT in swimming. But don't jump on the GOAT bandwagon too fast. Tiger Woods was the GOAT going-to-be in golf, but Jack Nicklaus still holds the crown. And remember when LeBron James?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DEFORD: So, it's undoubtedly a GOAT situation we've never had before - in any sport. We know the greatest tennis player of all time is playing right now; this week, in fact, at Wimbledon. We just don't know who he is.

INSKEEP: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

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