Earlier this week, I presented a list of sports “stories” that I had heard enough about and expected to get commentary about things I omitted from the list. If you need or want to refresh your memory about my list, you can find it here. Then, as I sat down to compile those suggested additions, I came up with a couple more examples of stories that can be put on the shelf as far as I am concerned.
- Reader Tenacious P posted a comment saying that he had had enough of “NFL Power Rankings by position or by mother-in-law.” I can accept that.
- An e-mail response suggested that “MLB trade rumors and NHL season previews” had run their course. I suspect that our Canadian friends to the north might disagree with that second suggestion.
- An e-mail response expressed surprise that I did not include “All-Star Games” given my abhorrence of those spectacles. It was indeed an omission on my part and this is the communication that got me thinking about two additions to my list that should have been there in the first place.
Since I am limiting this compilation to sports stories, I think it is required that I find a sports-themed way to present two new entries to the list of things I have heard enough about. So, “Upon further review …”:
- The NFL Combine: This “event” is even less interesting than the NFL Draft which made my original list. Is it really necessary to stage a multi-day event with blanket media coverage to find out how fast a bunch of football players can run a 40-yard dash? This event has given rise to the boiler plate stories during that week about which players are “rocketing up the draft boards” and other players who did not impress. Ho-hum!
- Where Carmelo Anthony will play basketball next year: After he gets traded, tell me the parameters of the deal and give me some analysis of how the Knicks and his new team will be better or worse as a result of the deal. If he stays in NYC, wait until the day before the regular season starts and tell me then about the Knicks’ prospects for the 2017/18 season. However, unless talks heat up between the Knicks and the Washington Generals, keep your “news” to yourself, please.
Yesterday, Tom Brady celebrated his 40th birthday. That turn of the calendar prompted a smattering of stories about the possibility that his performance on the football field is about to crater. Central to a lot of those “analyses” was the fact that the Pats did not trade Jimmy Garoppolo in the off-season leading inevitably to the conclusion that the Pats’ coaches see signs of decline and are preparing for a “changing of the guard” so to speak. Slow down, Sparky; let’s try to inject a tad of rationality to the discussion here.
- Tom Brady has been in the NFL since he was 23 years old. Of course he is on the “back nine of his career”; if that were not the case, one would have to assume he will be playing until he is at least 57 years old and I am certain that even he would admit that playing to age 57 in the NFL is beyond reach.
- Brady operates as a passing QB; he is not now – and has never been – a “scrambler”. So, if his performance is about to “fall off a cliff”, have there been indications of that in recent seasons? I would argue that his performances in the past two years have shown no measurable decline.
- In 2015, Brady threw for 4770 yards in 16 games (298.1 yards per game). He led the league in TD passes (36) and had the lowest percentage of his passes intercepted (1.1%). He was 38 years old.
- In 2016, Brady threw for 2554 yards in 12 games (296.2 yards per game). The 4 games he missed were due to the Deflategate suspension. He threw 28 TD passes in those 12 games which is more per game than he threw in 2015 and his percentage of passes intercepted again led the league (0.5%). He was 39 years old.
- Father Time has never missed a tackle. Tom Brady will not play forever and it is very possible that when his time has come, his performance levels will drop like a rock. But if someone can see that impending disaster coming based on recent data, I will need some convincing.
By the way, Tom Brady is certainly not the first person to be a starting QB in the NFL north of 40 years old. It would take far too much time and energy to compile a complete list so let me go with a few names that come to mind who played QB in the NFL into their 40s:
- George Blanda
- Len Dawson
- Brett Favre
- Warren Moon
- Vinny Testaverde
- John Unitas
Finally, since I mentioned Tom Brady above, here is a comment from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times regarding one of Brady’s activities in the last off-season:
“Pats QB Tom Brady, making a visit to Japan, grappled with a sumo wrestler and then posed for a picture with a few of them, TMZ reported.
“The photo made Tom look, shall we say, a tad underinflated.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………