While sitting in front of the screen last night and witnessing the true greatness from my own eyes, I wondered to myself, “Will my kids be this lucky?” Growing up a child, there is the inevitable dream that falls upon us where we lace up the shoes of a famous superstar. We sit and wonder what it would be like to don those same qualities. However, the percentage of us being able to parlay that dream into a career is few and far between. Does it happen? Sure. But as we look at the vision with reality, the percentages remain slim.
I take away from this moment of thought and unparalleled hope, the question of greatness, and if the majority of the prime sports fan understands how unique this era truly is. There is no question Tom Brady’s legacy will forever be untarnished and unchallenged, but if you open up the storybook of success there are an abundance of gold-plated chapters just waiting to be told.
For example, let’s look at Wayne Gretzky. Arguably hockey’s greatest player, his storybook career included stints for the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers during his playing career. Over the course of two decades, he dominated the sport, setting a host of league records and winning multiple championships. His MVP performances were nothing short of breathtaking, and his professionalism would never be questioned.
As we trade in our puck for a basketball, we look at the sheer dominance of the Michael Jordan era. From the friendly confines of Chapel Hill to the United Center in Chicago, the Jordan rules of basketball will forever be tops in the NBA. From the exuberant reaction after a jump shot in Cleveland over Craig Ehlo to the last shot against Bryon Russell, “His Airness” dominated the NBA as we all were pinching ourselves hoping we were alive. The résumé of six championships, consisting of two three-peats, and individual accolades of five MVP awards, three All-Star Game MVP awards, 10 scoring titles, and six NBA Finals MVP awards continue to stand tall. Just another reason to rejoice.
Now it comes full circle with Tom Brady. Last night’s game was the perfect swansong to an already illustrious career. By no means am I saying this will be his last, but instead showing respect for the brilliance of a quarterback who will forever embody the mold of a Champion. Let’s all forget about Deflatgate and Spygate for a second and just realize the career we are a part of. Tom took every bullet shot his way this year and ended his season unscathed. As if there was any question as to who the greatest QB of all time was, his exclamation point was stamped down on that sentence last night.
Over the last 25 years, the world of sports has given us an diversion from our everyday lives to sit down and enjoy history-making performances and records that will forever stand still. We are the lucky souls who get to gather our families and friends around while witnessing the greatest of all time. Sure there are more than Gretzky, Jordan and Brady, but their accomplishments should remain untouched.
As we stroll through the never-ending timeline of sports, we have to sit back and realize what we have witnessed. Our job as a sports fan and follower is to partake in these accolades as if they were our own. The criticisms and debates against who is the best will forever be valid, but arguing the facts of history will never be accepted. Last night, the role of Brady was envied by every 9-13 year old who ever threw a football. Just because the chances of those dreams becoming a reality are slim, living in the moment of greatness cannot be underestimated. We all do not have to pinch ourselves this morning, as last night was real. So real, that it will never be duplicated. Our kids will have to rely on the internet to relive an era they will never see again. Hate the man, hate the team, but don’t take for granted how lucky you truly have been to be a part of this sports era.
As always you can stop by my Facebook page (FantasySportsAddiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly via the internet stream live at WengRadio every Monday at 4:00pm EST for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!