Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras
They are warranted, because they are all engaged in a similar activity. Anytime you have a history of people involved in the same, or nearly the same, sport; you will always wonder how the best from different eras will match up. Even if it is impossible to determine an answer.
I keep a guideline in mind whenever I analyze match ups. Techniques change throughout eras, and so do conditioning methods. Instead of thinking of these match ups happening as they would era against era, I pretend both fighters would have the same knowledge available to learn from. I try to pretend they would be from the same time period, rather than saying so and so would be in better shape because he knew the importance of interval training. I try not to hold some of the old timer's sometimes different technique as the deciding factor, because if fighters are from the same period they will have similar technical knowledge to draw from.
I always remember that these match ups are strictly imaginary, and the outcomes never capable of proven.