First...a small bit of background for what I assume is the majority of you who were never into pro wrestling. Im not now...I was in the 80s. Because of that I am well acquainted with a man known as the Iron Sheik. He is now an old man who is just a parody of himself...in his prime he was an Olympic level wrestler for Iran....fled when they got all crazy in the 70s....has been here since.
His belief...both in character and in real life....is that the best way to create humble people...
Well I wont go all into it...urban dictionary does a good job here:
Here he is explaining it somewhat:
I dont think we require the....more colorful part...but the concept is clear. Physical domination to such an extent...you have made your opponent humble. My friends and I have long referenced people being made humble after moments of great sports related physical domination. We rank these humblings on a scale of 1 to 3 Sheiks. Why not 1-5? I dont think anyone survives something id call a 5 Sheik humbling. 4 is likely the utter ruination of your career.....think...the hit that put Jahvid best out for like 4 years with a concussion then he finally just retired still in his prime. Think Kermit Washington making Rudy T taste spinal fluid. Think LT on Joe Theisman. We are talking life altering moments that become ESPN specials. In the interests of keeping it as classy as this largely classless topic can be....ive chosen to exempt level 4 and 5 humblings.
Shaq was doling out 1-2 Sheik humblings on an almost weekly basis for at least 10 years straight and was known to delve into 3 Sheik territory several times a season. I'll start with the most obvious example....the first thing that came to your mind:
That there....is a textbook 3 Sheik humbling.
Brutal setup....great play....utter disregard for the victims well being and ability to later put bass in his voice when talking to his children. Shaq trebled his voice up mightily. He didnt actually hurt him....Dudley got up fine. Even threw the ball at Shaq which might suggest to some of you he wasnt as humbled as a 3 Sheik rating suggests....but no. That was humbling rage. That can happen before you have time to reflect. It went away and he went to the bench and sat and stared into space...humbled. Pissed....but humbled. The fact that he was brutalized but not actually injured keeps it valid and out of the 4-5 range that is just....too much for polite conversation.
So with that as a standard....I will present my evidence for Shaq as the #1 humbler of all time.
He had the Dudley humbling...one of the few 3 Sheiks of the entire era. But he also had this:
Which I have to consider...another 3 Sheiks.
David got abused....the move itself was great...he was left on the ground...and shrugged off Shaqs leg like a mild inconvenience. We have never officially decided that you must be on the ground at the end to be a level 3....but its a good indicator.
Pippen on Ewing? Ewing on the ground Pippen standing dominant over him. Clear 3 Sheiker. But Vince over the Frenchman? Dude standing unharmed...still a 3. So its a little subjective. Its like porn....hard to describe why all nudity on film isnt it....you just know it when you see it.
You know a 3 Sheik...and they wont all conform to one set of rules. But here I think its clear.
So...Shaq is at at least 2 3 Sheik plays.
But consider this as well:
Less violent....but he quite literally....rested his balls on dudes head. Granted...Shaq is much bigger...but the bully aspect has always been a factor. Huge and powerful athletes are just more likely....to make you humble.
He was minding his own business...Shaq jumps over him.....kills a putback one handed...and comes down as if dude wasnt there. The total disregard? I think that moves it into the realm of a 3 Sheik play. You know that guy had to go home and look in the mirror and convince himself he still mattered. Hes still got his scholarship. Hes gonna graduate...get a nice wife. Take care of his family. That play makes you go home and try to block out thoughts of it using the things that "really matter". You have to go rebuild your confidence...this man just put his balls on your head on tv. You were humbled.
Shaq arguably has a few more level 3s but im less confident about them. He does have maybe the meanest list of 1 and 2s of his time though. Plays like:
Where Dale Davis was humbled. I wont call it a 3....because Dale could have backed down...he stepped in and took that like a man. He was humbled no doubt....but he wasnt just....wiped out. He didnt need to go reevaluate his place in the cosmos or anything. Plus he stayed on his feet which im giving him credit for. Thats a 2. Maybe a 1 by Shaqs standards....2 by normal athlete.
This im giving a firm 2. You might glance and think 1....but you need the audio. Google it...from the 95 all star game when players still contested shots that weekend...
Also on Drob....but before the 3 Sheiker. He was working up to fully humble David...who he was known to have beef with. Shaq and Jordan were clowning Drob about it for some time im told.
This im not sure about....it may be the Bulls fan in me not wanting to admit that my 2 favorite players suffered a humbling but:
He got MJ and Pippen at the same time. But....he kinda split them....and they were unscathed. Would you give him a Sheik for that because its Jordan and Pippen? Id understand....but you wont get me to agree easily.
Would Shaq get your vote for the most humbling player of your time as a fan? And if not....who? I can see a case for Vince....Jordan...Kemp. Kobe broke a few backs...made some men humble.
But I dont think anyone can contend with Shaqs volume of legit 2 Sheikers and small handful of 3.
Most...even great players....dont have a single true 3 Sheik play. Note...I said play. Not dunk. I happen to be posting dunks since its Shaq....but there are other ways to make a man humble.
Wades between the legs crossover made quite a few men humble.
Some blocks do it.
some jumpers even but its tough. When Kobe made that like...triple pump fake on Hill and the Suns coach had to pay respect? He might...have made Grant a little humble. But its tough without the physical aspect.
Feel free to give me your evidence(dont have to post a gif if you dont feel like the trouble...ill likely remember anything you mention). I think in the end Shaq will stand tall and don the shirt of triumph: