Loving the GOAT

John Granato: Del could not be more wrong; we need Tom Brady on that wall

The Super Bowl would suck without Tom Brady Elsa/Getty Images

I didn’t read it because our producer Del Olaleye wrote it. If you want to read his article here on Sportsmap about his hatred for Tom Brady you’ll have to find it yourself. I don’t want to get near it and accidently click on it.  But Del talked about it on the air and as usual he couldn’t have been more wrong.

We want Tom Brady in this Super Bowl. We need Tom Brady in this Super Bowl.

Can you imagine a Super Bowl Sunday with Blake Bortles taking on Nick Foles? Nothing against those guys. I’m sure they’re fine people. I just don’t want them on my TV this Sunday.

I want the GOAT.

I want the guy who’s taking on time and winning and saving a guy’s job even though he attacked Brady’s daughter with ugly words and even if Brady does kiss his son a little longer than people may like, I want that guy on my TV.

He wins big and that’s who we remember. That’s who we memorialize, who we revere. Ever see a statue of Trent Dilfer? No. Michael Jordan? Of course.

The Farmers Insurance Open was actually interesting to a lot of people who normally wouldn’t watch golf this past weekend for one reason: Tiger Woods. If you think he doesn’t make a difference ask The Golf Channel and CBS who seemingly showed every shot of his four rounds. Their leaderboard had the top seven golfers and then one notable who finished 23rd. Guess who. Why? We love greatness even when it’s not great anymore which Tiger clearly isn’t.

But there is that one glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, he can muster up that greatness one more time and come down the stretch on Sunday afternoon with the lead. So the next time he tees it up we’ll be back watching again. I’ll be watching anyway because I love golf and I don’t care who’s playing but the masses are all about star power. The players are too. More Tiger means more money for everyone. Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson are great young players but they don’t move the needle like Tiger. He changed the game.

How long did it take for basketball to rebound after Michael Jordan retired? It was a dark time for the NBA. Tim Duncan was a great guy and a great player but Shaq hit the nail on the head. “The Big Fundamental” was the perfect nickname. That’s a coach’s dream but not a casual fan’s. We want Showtime, Dr. J and The Splash Brothers.

The NFL isn’t any different. The game is better when there’s a great team to root for and against. The league took off thanks to the Packers of the 60’s, the Steelers of the 70’s, the 49ers of the 80’s, the Cowboys of the 70’s and 90’s and now these Patriots.

If Del had his way Jacksonville would have gotten by the Patriots and if they won this Sunday they’d be just another blip on the radar. It’d be great for Jacksonville but that’s about it. They would be just like Joe Flacco’s Ravens team or Brad Johnson’s Bucs team. Nothing against those teams but 50 years from now they’ll be nothing but footnotes.

We remember and still talk about Vince Lombardi, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Lawrence Taylor because they transcended their eras. They’re all long gone from the game but their legend lives on. Years after we’re all gone they will be talking about Tom Brady the same way.

Same goes for Wayne Gretzky, Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus and Babe Ruth. Brady will be right there with them. It won’t be long before he won’t be out there anymore and the generations to come will have missed out on seeing the GOAT.

But thankfully Del will be around to tell them how he once saw Tom Brady and how great he was. There will be a gleam in his eye and a faint smile remembering how Brady beat his Dolphins for the division title year in and year out. All that hate he’s had for all these years will one day turn into a bittersweet memory he can relate to the youngsters bouncing on his knee. They’ll look up and say “Thanks Uncle Del. You sure are a good loser. You’re a loser. But a good one.”   


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The Texans and Rockets are disasters, so bring on the Astros! Even if they weren't disasters, bring on the Astros! Their spring training opener is Sunday, their regular season opener one month from Monday. Alexander Pope wrote "hope springs eternal." I hear he played a pretty decent shortstop. All 30 Major League Baseball teams can be hopeful in March. The Astros have plenty to be hopeful about and plenty about which to be wary. A couple of early storylines: 1. Yuli Gurriel admitted he was unacceptably overweight last season. It would be great for the Astros if that explains most of Gurriel's pathetic performance as opposed to age catching up with him. 2. Jose Altuve is in great spirits and health. His MVP level days of 2016 and 2017 are likely gone for good, but getting the Altuve of 2018 or 2019 would be a tremendous boost. The Altuve of 2020 was one of the worst players in MLB.

And now to the dueling debacles…

Rough stretch for the Rockets

The Rockets are awful. They sit with 11 wins and 19 losses. Just three seasons ago they lost 17 games the entire season. They are routinely non-competitive. They lug a nine game losing streak to the court Friday night in Tampa against the Toronto Raptors. Among the losses are blowouts by 20, 22, 25, and 29 points. All of those routs came against teams with losing records. By NBA standards the Rockets' roster stinks. The injured Christian Wood is the only player they have who is or projects to be an average or better starter. John Wall's contract is an anvil.

That they are this bad is actually one of the few silver linings to the Rockets' near term future. The Rockets only retain their first round pick this summer if it falls in the top four of the draft. The Rockets currently have the fourth worst record in the NBA, just one half game ahead of third worst! Where the pick falls comes down to which draft lottery ping pong ball combination is drawn, but the worse their record the better shot the Rockets have of being in the top four. If not in the top four, the Rockets settle for the lowest of their own, Oklahoma City's, or Miami's first rounder. That's probably the Heat pick, and probably not in the top 15.

The longest losing streak in Rockets' franchise history is 17. During their expansion season the San Diego Rockets lost 17 straight. The longest losing streak in Houston Rockets' history is 15 games during the 2001-02 season. They finished the season 28-54. How many of their five most frequent 2001-02 starters can you name? Answer below.

The worst team in Rockets' history was the tanking and awful 1982-83 club that finished 14-68. Longest losing streak that season? 10. The first 10 games of the season.

Releasing JJ Watt might have been a mistake

The Texans are poised to add yet another feather to their dunce cap if J.J. Watt signs with the Packers, Bills, Titans, Roughnecks, Inmates (The Longest Yard) or anybody else for 15-plus million dollars per season. Such a deal would indicate at least one team would have been willing to give up a decent draft pick (say a third rounder) for Watt and the one year 17.5 million that was left on his contract. If the Texans think they score points for doing Watt "a solid" in setting him free they are absurdly mistaken. The Texans need all the draft capital they can get. J.J. Watt will always have a hallowed place in Texans' lore but they owed Watt nothing. Over the last five seasons he played just three seasons worth of football and was paid 82.5 million dollars for them.

More Deshaun Watson drama

Meanwhile, Deshaun Watson reportedly directly told new Texans Head Coach Edward Smith that Watson has no interest in playing for him. It's nothing personal against David Culley (Edward Smith captained the Titanic) but Watson wants the Texans' organization permanently in his rearview mirror. We'll see if Cal McNair and new General Manager Nick Caserio have the stomach to not trade Watson through the draft. If the Dolphins offer Tua Tagavailoa, the third and eighteenth picks in the first round, the fourth pick in the second round, and their first round pick in 2022, the Texans should make the trade and move on.

Buzzer Beaters:

1. Rockets' starters by most starts in 2001-02: Cuttino Mobley (74) Kelvin Cato (73) Kenny Thomas (71) Steve Francis (56) Moochie Norris (26).

2. It can't soothe Rocket fan nerves that the best bet for the Eastern Conference Final matchup is James Harden's Nets vs. Daryl Morey's 76ers.

3. Most frustrating 2021 Houston-visiting player appearances: Bronze-Harden the Net Wednesday Silver-George Springer the Blue Jay in May Gold-Watt the Titan this fall? Would he really sign with the Titans?

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