Let me start off by saying I haven’t wrote in over a month. Maybe it has taken me that long to process my post World Series Dodger blues. Or maybe the heart-breaking tragic death of my childhood favorite Roy Halladay. I think I have too much invested in my beloved boys in blue to write a piece about them and the World Series. They could’ve done this, they could’ve done that…They should’ve started Alex Wood in Game 7 yada yada yada. Would any of that even mattered given the monstrosity of George Springer? Maybe, maybe not. Much love to the Astros, they earned it. Not a better time to bring glory to H-Town either, after the hurricaine. Life goes on, and the Dodgers will be back with a vengeance next season.
What inspired me to write today? I can’t really put a finger on it to be honest, but I do know it has something to do with my absolute love for sports. From Major League Baseball to the NHL, I love everything about sports. From the gut wrenching emotional roller coaster in Game 5 of the World Series, to a cold hard-hitting Monday Night Football AFC North showdown. And is it just me or does College Football have the most media hype and outside influence on the game of football. I thought the NBA was the center of attention in the pop culture of sports, but dear Lord after following the selection for the College Football playoff I have changed my mind. What’s the problem with a standard playoff system? Maybe take the top two teams from each conference and let the best teams battle for the title.
I have a smart TV, which to be honest I don’t find very smart. I can’t ever seem to get Netflix working, which actually has been a good thing in the last month. I say a good thing because it forced me to venture into the deep archive of YouTube documentaries that are available to watch. What have I stumbled across? Only some of my greatest childhood memories brought back to life. Those memories all attached to my favorite athletes and Super Bowls, NBA Finals and World Series Classics. Seeing that Barry Sanders respectfully handed the ball to the referee after every single touchdown he scored. I didn’t have the most serene childhood but I was able to escape and lose myself in the greatness that was Michael Jordan and Curt Schilling.
My first definite sports memory is the 1996 Super Bowl between the Cowboys and Steelers. I was living in Virginia at the time, and I remember watching Emmitt Smith run out of the tunnel and Phil Simms saying he was on his way to be the greatest running back to ever play the game. From that Super Bowl on I can remember all kinds of players, teams and championships.
Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and 19 year old Andruw Jones. The 1996 Braves were NL East Titans and their showdown with Yankees that year was fantastic. Not to mention the 2001 World Series. Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Andy Petite, Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Tony Womack. Destiny in the Desert. I would like to write a piece about that World Series alone, I’ll never forget that one. Between 1995 and 2003 the Yankees were the team to beat. At least that’s how I remember it, they were unstoppable which made it that much better when they fell to Arizona in 2001 and the Marlins in 2003. Alex Rodriguez was my favorite player during those years. I loved Griffey of course, but I was always let down by his injuries. Ken Griffey Jr., the most beautiful swing I have ever seen to this day. Fifteen years later, my favorite baseball player of all time is Derek Jeter, hands down. I could do another piece sometime about why the captain is my favorite.
Can I talk about Michael Jordan? I mean, the greatest basketball player of all time may be an understatement. MJ was a God amongst men. He never lost in the NBA finals, NEVER. I saw an interview with him and Ahmad Rashaw where he said he wanted to keep playing until he lost, but the Bulls weren’t able to work it out where the team could stay together. His career began with a game winning to shot to give UNC an NCAA Championship and finished with a shot to give the Bulls their 6th Championship. Not to mention Jordan retired following the tragic death of his Father, gave baseball a try and then came back only to 3peat like a BOSS. Even coming back with the Wizards, although strained by a bad knee MJ had multiple 40 plus games (including 51 against the Hornets). He also defensively shut down up and coming superstars Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, Paul Pierce and Latrell Sprewell. Michael was 38 years old at the time. Lebron who? Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player to ever set foot on the court. Russell Westbrook is the best player in the NBA right now.
Although the NBA, MLB and NFL are nothing like they were in the 90’s and early 2000’s, I still have an absolute love for the game. Watching the Dodger killer George Springer tear his way through the post season revamped my love for the game of baseball. I love baseball more than anything. Watching Russell Westbrook put up a triple-double against practically ever team in the NBA last year revamped my love for the game of basketball. Watching up and coming Running Backs like Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt scoot through defense’s this year has revamped my love for the NFL. I’d like to see the NFL turn back into a running league. I’d like to finish this entry off with a list of all the NFL players I can name who have had an impact on my life and shaped my love for Football from as far back as I can remember. Next time I will do an MLB list. No googling, no research just my heart and mind reminiscing. In no particular order, here it goes.
Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders, Terrell Davis, Marshall Faulk, Edggerin James, Jerome Bettis, Ladanian Tomlinson, Ricky Williams, Shaun Alexander, Clinton Portis, Ahmad Bradshaw, Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, TJ Duckett, Emitt Smith, Dorsey Levens, Corey Dillon, Willis Mcgahee, Ahman Green, Deshaun Foster, Tiki Barber, Priest Holmes, Jamal Anderson, Ray Rice, Demarco Murray, Felix Jones, Marshawn Lynch, Deuce Mcallister, Darren McFadden, Garrison Hearst, Darren Sproles, Lesean McCoy, Todd Gurley, Leveon Bell, Matt Forte, Torry Holt, Issaac Bruce, Keyshawn Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, Denniss Pitta, Steve Smith Sr., Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, Troy Brown, Heinz Ward, Plaxico Burress, Ed Mccaffery, Rod Smith, Donald Driver, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Antonio Gates, Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Dante Hall, Devin Hester, Antonio Brown, Golden Tate, Desean Jackson, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Michael Crabtree, Kevin Dyson, Stefon Diggs, Martavis Bryant, Aj Green, Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens, Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Marshall, Dallas Clark, Kordell Stweart, Rich Gannon, Tom Brady, MICHAEL VICK, Dante Culpepper, Donovan Mcnabb, Tommy Maddox, John Elway, Trent Green, Kurt Warner, Steve Mcnair, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Tony Romo, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Trent Dilfer, Alex Smith, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Marcus Mariota, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Jared Goff, Aaron Brooks, Cam Newton, Vinny Testaverde, Jeff Garcia, Carson Palmer, Carson Wentz, Ken Dorsey, Vince Young, Deshaun Watson, Joe Flacco, Matt Hasselback, Russell Wilson, Ronde Barber, Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks, Warren Sapp, Brian Dawkins, Leo Shepard, Ed Reed, Ty Law, Champ Bailey, Brian Urlacher, Teddy Bruschi, Troy Palomalu, Ray Lewis, Julius Peppers, Richard Sherman and the Legion of Boom, Reggie White, Ladarius Webb, Haloti Ngata, Adam Archuleta, Aqib Talib, Darrel Revis, Rodney Harrison, Pacman Jones, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Terrance Newman, Adam Vinateri, Justin Tucker.