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Final Thoughts From A Favre Fan

 

Thanks
Thanks

I’ll admit right from the beginning that the FlyMaster is a bonafide Brett Favre fan.  It’s not his stats, both the good and the bad, or his exciting and often nerve-racking plays.  For me, Favre played football the way everyone should play games.  He went all out all the time and was always having fun.  Let’s face it, sports are games and games are meant to be fun.  Bottom line.  Nobody puts their 6 year old son in sports in the hopes of him becoming a Hall of Famer.  And for those of you who do that, shame on you.  No, we put our kids in sports so they can learn some values and also so we see them having fun.  Pure unadulterated fun.  As we age many of us lose that inner-child and we then stop playing games.  Brett Favre never let go of that inner-child and played the game like a 6 year old at the highest level. 

Let the pundits debate Favre’s credentials as a top tier quarterback or whether or not his high interception totals tarnish his legacy, or whether the one year in a Jets uniform did him a disservice.  While those curmudgeons argue, I’ll be sitting back revering a guy who played the game the same way I see kids playing in the street.  In fact, Brett Favre has taught me more about my own affinity for still competing and playing hard at the age of 34.  Times are depressing, but give me 30 minutes of a pickup basketball game, 45 minutes of running up a hill with my lungs on fire, or an hour of teaching martial arts and it’s all in perspective.  Play the game to play the game and play it right.  That’s the Favre legacy. 

Favre, unlike so many other major sports icons, possesses an everyman quality.  His wrangler commercials are believable.  His battle against painkiller addiction and his dogged determination to always go to work made him more like us than any other icon from this era.  It’s imagineable to see Favre getting an offseason job just to work for work’s sake.  It’s plausible to walk into an Hattiesburg bar and see Brett at the end of the bar holding court over a pitcher.  Can the same be said of Tom Brady?  What about Tiger Woods?  No way, those guys aren’t like us.  They’re openly better, and that’s okay.  Favre is the uber normal man.  This week we’ve seen some pretty low stories with A-Rod and Phelps, but quietly the “boy-man” Favre left the sports spotlight and I highly doubt there is anybody who can step into his role.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George W. Bush Ruined Baseball

Right Back At You Buddy!

Right Back At You Buddy!

The steroid ship sailed for me about four years ago.  At that point, I dropped my Bob Costas “For the Love of the Game” naivete and began thinking anyone in the game could have been a user.  No discrimination, no hesitation.  I viewed steroids and PED’s in baseball in the same way I viewed cocaine use in the mid-1970s.  Everyone was doing it, so don’t judge individuals.  Instead judge the era.  The latest A-Rod information isn’t such a big deal except for people who still thought of A-Rod as the savior who was going to erase the villainous Barry Bonds from the National Pastime’s ledger.  Well, too bad, and you folks who villify Bonds had better start spreading the hate around. 

 

From day one, Barry Bonds has been the prime target.  Even Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa have gotten treated with kid gloves compared to Barry Lamar.  Now Barry’s buddy A-Rod should share some heat.  But, instead of spreading the heat I suggest going to the source.  The source, you ask?  The source is one George Walker Bush.  Liberal cynicism?  Nope.  Kicking the cowboy while he’s down?  Nope.  Think about it.  Who stood up in front of the nation and gave Major League Baseball the come to Jesus talk as a part of the State of the Union address?  It was one, George Walker Bush.  Yet, which organization was at the forefront of steroid use when the era began in the mid-1990s?  The Texas Rangers.  Who was running the Texas Rangers at the time Canseco, Juan Gone, and Raffy Palmeiro were sticking each other in the booty?  That’s right, George Walker Bush.  Bush’s political legacy will take generations and gallons of “white out” to fix.  His social legacy needs to suffer as well.  How is the guy who “cowboyed” up to hunt down drugs in baseball going to be the actual source of the problem?  That shows how ridiculous this issue is.  The steroid ship has sailed.  Let’s sink it at sea and just admit that baseball has been screwed up for a long time.  Stop this damn posturing about who gets into the Hall of Fame.  If cats from this tainted era have the numbers, put them in the Hall.  Don’t sit there and not vote for McGwire because he didn’t say anything.  Do you want a Hall of Fame filled with Melky Cabrera’s and Steve Finley’s?  Vote for McGwire.  Vote for Bonds.  Vote for A-Rod.  But first vote for Pete Rose.  If not, the Hall will end up looking lamer than it already does.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

 

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Major League Baseball, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

RIP Kay Yow

It’s not often that the Sportsfly crew muses on women’s athletics, except to clown or hammer home a point of irrelevance, but today closes the uplifting yet sorrowful saga of North Carolina State Women’s Basketball Coach Kay Yow.  Yow’s Hall of Fame career has some amazing stats.  700+ wins.  Olympic gold medal coach.  Numerous NCAA Tournament appearances.  These stats and career moments pale in comparison to her real contribution to humanity.

Yow was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987 and battled the disease over the next 22 years of her life.  Yow’s initial response to being diagnosed was to go out and coach the Olympic team in 1988.  She beat the disease and continued coaching.  In 2004, the cancer returned, yet Yow faced it down again.  Indomitable spirit defined Kay Yow’s life experience.  In December 2008 Coach Yow took a leave of absence and said she would not return this season.  A week later, she checked into the hospital.  A week after that she passed away.  A fitting farewell to an inspirational figure.

All to often the true essence of sports gets lost.  Amongst media blitzes, over-dramaticized hyperbole, and overexposure the nature of sports dwells and unfortunately it takes stories like Kay Yow’s to bring that nature to the fore.  Competition breeds internal fire and that fire can be used to succeed, defy odds, perservere through adversity, stand humble in the face of success, and recognize one’s place in the greater scheme.  It’s fitting that both Kay Yow and her Wolfpack compatriot, Jim Valvano, lived and taught these principles as they faced an opponent that typically drains the spirit just as much as it drains the body.  To the end, Kay Yow remained resolute to not let cancer take her out of the game.  On the court she stood, even as her physical self dwindled away.  When she finally decided the fight was over, it ended.  That is the beauty of free will.  Kay Yow was laid to rest today, but her example and teachings resonate.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

Fight til the Fight is Done

Fight til the Fight is Done

January 30, 2009 Posted by | College Basketball, Features & Opinions, General | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rickey Henderson – Hall of Fame Linguist

Part Cobb, Part Satre

Part Cobb, Part Satre

The 2009 MLB Hall of Fame class will be announced later today and one thing is for certain; Mr. Rickey Henderson’s name will be announced.  Thank the heavens.  The numbers don’t lie.  First in all-time runs.  First in all-time steals.  First in leadoff homers.  First in third person references.  Before Rickey, the word “I” was the most common word used by athletes.   Now the time has come to salute Rickey.

Without Rickey’s groundbreaking reconstruction of the English language by means of shunning the first person where would the sports world be?  Bo Jackson would have just been a stuttering bull from the Deep South had Rickey not paved the way.  Manny Being Manny?  Rickey Being Rickey is the only “being” that matters.  Put all of the on-the-field excellence Rickey exuded aside and ponder how it really feels when someone you’re speaking to refers to themself in the third person.  It’s quite odd, and furthermore, it’s a little intimidating.  When a person answers a question in the third person it completely removes the question asker from the conversation.  Thus, it is no longer a conversation, but instead a monologue of the most disassociated sense.  Example: “How’ve you been?”  “FlyMaster’s been working on his type speed and FlyMaster’s font choices are improving.”  See, that just sounds cool, yet removed.

Rickey’s gifts to our cultural lexicon do not end with his mastery of the third.  No, he also made the non sequitor, the double entendre, malapropisms, and syllogistic arguments forms of art.  From standing in his New York condo and saying he could see the “Entire State Building,” to telling the A’s “if you want to pay me like Mike Gallego, I’ll play like Mike Gallego,” Rickey channeled the best of Ty Cobb and Jean-Paul Satre.  A philospher capable of creating poignancy from simplicity.  Who can’t appreciate a man who would stand in front of the mirror, nude and repeating “Rickey’s the best” for several minutes with the asceticism of St. Augustine before games.  That, my friends is a higher calling.  Rickey’s philosophical genius bears itself in his reaction to becoming Nolan Ryan’s 5,000th strikeout victim.  After fanning Rickey said “Ryan just blew it by me, but it’s an honor….Rickey will have another paragraph in the baseball books….Rickey already is in there three or four times.”  Genius, plain and simple. 

Here’s to the greatest leadoff player in history, the first left fielder to be inducted since Yaz, the man who could not recognize John Olerud after playing with him on two teams, and the “symbol of great base stealing.”  All hail Rickey.  Rickey hail Rickey.  FlyMaster can’t wait for the Hall of Fame speech.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

January 12, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, Major League Baseball, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taylor’s Injury Opens Door For MOJO in JAX

The time has come for Jacksonville Fans to bid adieu to their beloved, yet sometimes very absent halfback, Fred Taylor. The Jaguars announced today that Taylor will miss the rest of the season due to torn ligaments in his thumb. Although Fred Taylor has mounted (arguable) Hall of Fame numbers in his 11 year NFL career, the 32 year-old halfback’s job in Jacksonville may have come to an end. Plagued by injuries, Taylor has missed 25 starts in the last eight years, earning him the nickname “Fraglie Fred.” Taylor ranks 16th on the all-time rushing list with 11,271 yards.  As there have been talks though out the year that Taylor might not return to the Jags next year, the legitimacy of this rumor may have become bolstered by the recent injury. The injury in and of itself isn’t the straw to break the camel’s back, but it serves as a reminder that small market team such as Jacksonville can’t afford to keep around a 33 year old injury risk.

So what does this have to do with STATDRAGON’s Fantasy Football Advice??

Make way for Maurice Jones-Drew to join the upper eschelon of Fantasy running backs. The resilient, young, sure-handed back has already made quite a name for himself in the NFL. His 211 fantasy points this season (in a yahoo ppr league) better the likes of elite backs such as LaDainian Tomlinson, Ryan Grant and Joseph Addai who’s numbers aren’t affected by a dual-back system. Now (theoretically), give him the opportunity to carry the ball 100 (+) more per year, and you have got an absolute fantasy monster!

MJD Fantasy owners, who are still in the playoffs,  have struck gold with Fragile Fred’s seasonal departure. Jones-Drew looks at Green Bay and Indianapolis’ defense in the following two weeks who are ranked 27th and 25th, respectively.

December 12, 2008 Posted by | Fantasy Football, Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment