In the film "The Wizard of Oz", the scarecrow elucidates great thoughts and shows astute judgment throughout the movie but feels inadequate because he hasn't got a brain. The wizard hands him a diploma recognizing his academic prowess and he immediately is filled with an internal sense of erudition and wisdom.
What is it in athletic performance that signifies iconic greatness?
America loves winners, and ultimate greatness is conferred on players who perform dramatically in winning a championship. Whether it is a high school, collegiate or professional team and whether it is a league championship, a state championship, the Super Bowl or NBA championship, it is playing a critical role in bringing a team to penultimate achievement which defines "greatness."
Consider the curious case of Miami Heat star LeBron James. Here is a man who has dominated basketball play at every level. He has won three MVP awards as the best player in the NBA. He has played in eight All-Star games. He was the first pick in the 2003 Draft and Rookie of the Year.