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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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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