Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Joe Flacco, Britney Griner, LeBron James: Sports Quick Hits for 3-5-2013

Instead of “pontificating” in articles about sports topics, I thought sharing my thoughts in a “pithy” fashion would be more interesting, since I certainly don’t want to take 25 minutes out of my day to read a long blog post either.  So here we go:


Joe Flacco Gets paid

I am a Baltimore Ravens but enough is ENOUGH about “Is Joe Flacco an elite QB” or “Did he deserve 120 million dollars”.  Lets be realistic, there are atleast ten NFL teams that if they are honest about their circumstances they would immediately take Joe Flacco and have him as their starting QB.  We can all agree Joe Flacco is not one of the top four quarterbacks in the NFL (Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees).  So where does that leave Flacco?  Well from 2008-2012 Joe Flacco has more passing yards than Jay Cutler (17,633), fewer interceptions than Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Jay Cutler, and Eli Manning (56), and more regular season wins than Ben Roethlisberger, Rivers, Cutler, and Eli Manning (54).  On top of all of this, Flacco has been sacked 174 times, that is more than Rivers, Cutler,Eli  Manning, and Ryan but he has never led the NFL in interceptions, unlike Eli, Philip, or Jay.

So while I would not have payed Flacco 120 million over 6 years, he can definitely be considered a top 10 quarterback in the NFL today.  And for Baltimore fans, Flacco throwing 11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and winning Super Bowl might as well qualify him for the Hall of Fame considering the collection of “weak sauce” who have started at QB for the purple and black: Kyle Boller, Jeff Blake, Chris Redman, Anthony Wright, Elvis Grbac, and Tony Banks.  Also, there’s no more need for “We miss Trent Dilfer, what happened to that guy anyway? Remember when he was our Quarterback?” discussions.

Britney Griner is a living legend

She scored 50 points last night, a conference single game record.  She is on her way to the top three of every women’s college basketball statistical category.  She is 6’8” and is one of the most dominant female athletes in the history of sports.  But seriously, I do not care how she would do playing “against the boys” because that’s like comparing apples and lettuce!  Lets instead put her amazing college career into historical perspective by finding a male basketball comparison.  How about Wilt Chamberlin?  People forget how dominant while still raw Wilt was when he played for the University of Kansas decades ago.  While still learning how to maximize his skills, Chamberlin was a man among boys while playing in college.  Britney Griner is in college and she will be going pro and in the WNBA she will develop more and get better.  A scary thought for her future competition.  Unlike Wilt, there is no woman’s equivalent to Bill Russell playing in the WNBA who could slow down Griner.


Stop Trying to compare LeBron James to every NBA legend to quantify him

If LeBron James retired tomorrow he could be considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time.  So I do not understand the obsession with comparing him to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Oscar Robertson.  James is a special, unique athlete and a basketball player who has unique skills and natural abilities.  The closest comparison to James is Magic since they are both tall players who play like smaller guards.  But when I hear people say “Magic is a better leader and player than James could ever be” is a real insult to people’s intelligence.   Lets get some perspective:

When Magic was 20 years old, he helped lead his team to the NBA Finals and won his first title.  He was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, a franchise with a rich history of great NBA players.  He also won a National title while playing in college.  On that Lakers roster Magic player with two NBA Hall of Famers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes) and one of the top defensive guards of the 1980’s (Michael Cooper).
When LeBron was 22 years old, he helped lead his team to the NBA Finals and lost.  He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, a franchise with a mediocre basketball history.  He never played in college, went straight from high school to the pros.  On that Cavs roster that season there was NO hall of fame players, instead James had an oft-injured yet talented center (Zydrunas Ilgauskas), a hard working forward (Anderson Verajo), and three former first round picks who never played up to expectations (Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, and Donyell Marshall).

So, I say again, stop comparing LeBron to others and trying to decided how good he is and how other players were “better” than him.  James is a great player and we should just respect how talented and special a basketball player he is. 
As a side note, Im not a “LeBron fan”.  Instead, Im a Dwayne Wade fan.  Just laying all my cards on the table.

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