I got a little grief for telling people that Tom Brady and LeBron James are not the greatest ever at their respective sports.
It is not the first time I have had this conversation and it might not be the last, but it is better than arguing politics.
Sports can be a very personal thing so I can understand people not being happy that I said Atlanta and Golden State committed some of the biggest choke jobs of all time.
I see why they might believe I am trying to diss their heroes but I am really not.
Brady and James get full credit for not giving up and taking advantage of the opportunity they were presented with.
Not everyone could or would have done what they did, but that doesn’t negate the choke job that Golden State and Atlanta have to live with.
They should have won their respective championships and they gave it away…shameful.
LeBron Isn’t The Greatest Ever
Bob Costas tells a story about a conversation about the greatest baseball player ever in which a bunch of old men say that if you didn’t see DiMaggio play you never saw the greatest ever.
When I was a kid it used to make me crazy to hear stuff like that because I thought the old guys were out of touch and maybe a little bit unfair to use age against me.
Ok, they weren’t really using age against me but it felt like it.
Sometimes I wonder if maybe I have turned into one of those old guys.
Airports and airplanes are great places for these discussions because you have a chunk of time to fill and not a lot of ways to fill it.
Sure you can bury your nose in a book or electronic device if you want, but you can also engage with a stranger who is 15 years younger than you.
So you know that when you talk about Magic, Bird and Jordan he didn’t see them in their prime and doesn’t remember what the level of talent was like.
You know he doesn’t agree that the East was weak and that helped LeBron get to the finals so many times in a row.
That doesn’t mean it is not impressive because it is and I agree in many ways he is amazing, but the greatest…nah.
Hell, it is funny because when I get accused of being a homer for saying it is Michael Jordan I laugh because I am a diehard Laker fan.
I want to say Magic, Shaq or Kobe. I wan to point out nobody could stop Cap and his Skyhook. Kareem was a force.
But Jordan, well if you didn’t see him play and didn’t live through the 80s…
Will You Ever Change Your Mind?
A day later I am thinking about how nice it was to have an intelligent debate and disagreement that dissolve into name calling.
When that guy asked me if I would ever change my mind I said probably not, but maybe.
Something might happen that makes me rethink and reevaluate my position. Hell, the 87 year-old I intend to be one day might argue with some kid about this.
I might tell them that LeBron was the greatest ever and that if you didn’t see him play you wouldn’t know enough to say different.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for it because the stats I use don’t give the man much hope to change my mind, but it is possible.
Wish I could say that I felt that optimistic about people and politics.
Wish I could say that I am confident that people will open their eyes and start thinking about their votes and not just go with whatever party they affiliate with.
But as of today, well I don’t see that happening.
You never know what the future might bring, but if you stick around long enough you might get to find out.