Monday, June 29, 2015
LEGACIES AND WHY NOBODY CARES
Every now and then an article pops up about how Deflategate will effect the "legacy" of
Tom Brady. I shook my head when Jackie McMullen of ESPN.com authored an article saying
the star of the New England Patriots' legacy will "survive" the scandal. (I've gone on record
saying this entire deflating of the football thing is the most ridiculous "scandal" in sports
OK, back to the subject of the whole legacy thing. First of all, legacies are media-driven
and that's it. 99 percent of people in this world have more things to worry about than the
"legacy" of someone else. Quite frankly, they could care less. But every time some athlete
gets caught doing something illegal, inappropriate, or just plain stupid, the million-and-one
idiots on sports talk radio and the eight different ESPN sports yelling shows bring up
Has any one of you thought of Bobby Bowden's legacy after the longtime Florida State
coach retired? If you have, you're probably one of those yahoos in the Sunshine State who
go in chat rooms to talk about that sophomore in high school who's on his way to becoming
a blue-chip prospect and is considering being a Seminole.
Even though Derek Jeter just retired after a spectacular 20-year career, I don't hear anybody
even mention his name anymore. Same goes for Reggie Jackson, Eric Dickerson, or Bobby Hull.
I don't hear anyone talking about their "legacy."
And it's funny how some people's legacies are tarnished while others get off scott-free.
Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice admitted during the Deflategate scandal he used stick-um
on his gloves while catching more than 1,000 passes during his career. Stick-um or sprays
were outlawed after Lester Hayes made a mess of himself with the stuff and was illegal
during Rice's entire career.
Nobody talked about putting an asterisk next to his record, called him a cheater, or
questioned his character. Oh, but suddenly, Brady is the worst person in the NFL and
all his Super Bowl titles and records are now tainted because he allegedly ordered a
code red and told a couple of clubhouse attendants to let a little air out of the footballs?
Seriously? Get a clue.
People make like those deflated footballs helped him read defenses, avoid heat-seeking
linebackers who want to rip his head off, and somehow, someway, guide the football
to its target like a smart-bomb. It's so ridiculous.
Several years ago, when Brett Favre rolled out and laid down in front of Michael Strahan
of the New York Giants to give him a sack that made him the all-time single-season leader
in that category. Nobody talked about how Favre smeared the "integrity of the game."
Strahan didn't earn the record, Favre gave it to him by falling down 5 yards behind the line
of scrimmage right in front of the Giants' defensive end.
People remember athletes how they choose to remember them. They are not going to
be impacted by some expert sports writer who never played any game, influence them.
Brady brought four Super Bowls to New England and has the all-time winningest
percentage as a quarterback.
Do you really think he did all that because of deflated footballs? Fans in New England
have watched him every single game for the last 14 years and realize the amount of
hard work he's put in to achieve his success. Seriously, and people want to say he's
a cheater and it all happened because of deflated footballs?
Aaron Rodgers has a Super Bowl title and MVP's on his resume but admitted he likes
footballs that are overinflated. Yet, nobody dares to call him a cheater nor credits his success
to overstuffed footballs. Why is that?
Perhaps, Lou Holtz, the former college football coach said it best, "Legacies? People
forget about you five minutes after your dead, anyway. So what's the big deal?"
You said it all, Lou.