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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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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