In sports, we all love the "old days." Especially the ones that are a part of our childhood. They are not only memories, but feelings. The feelings make the memory that much larger than life. Sports is one of the only places where that can happen. The place where we know EXACTLY what we were doing, EXACTLY where we were doing it, and EXACTLY how it made us feel. You get the who, what, when, where, why, and how moments your old 4th-grade english teacher used to drill into your head. And thats essentially what sports is: English, writing, expressiveness that promotes a direct emotion -- if you are a fan. But sometimes being such an avid fan can be the gift in the curse. Here are four ways we can alleviate those feelings.
1.Throw out the comparisons to older players.
Tom Brady just came off one of the more impressive Super Bowl's in NFL history. Not only did he go on to win his fourth title, but also his third Super Bowl MVP. He boasted his highest Quarterback Rating (101.1) per Football Reference since his 2004 Super Bowl title against the Philadelphia Eagles (110.4).
Except this game was even more dominant. He was 37-50 for 328 yards, and wore down what had been the number one ranked defense in the NFL for the past three seasons. An absolute clinic was taking place on the biggest stage. But after the game all of the numbers were lost, and here came the comparisons. Brady, to some, was considered the best ever -- others were adamant about not wanting him to surpass Joe Montana. This became the argument. Instead of just realizing these were two different generations of greats that deserve to be looked at in their own light.
2. Stop hating on Lebron James
Seriously, this has to stop. I mean -- what has he ever done besides say "he is taking his talents to South Beach?" And was that even anything at all? So far, LeBron has been squeaky clean and we just pick at things. Whether it be his Instagram, tweets or the way he pounds his chest after hitting a shot he's the most "over-criticized for no reason" player in sports.
He's never been in trouble -- not enough to pick on him, so we find things. Even on the court, which is nuts. Lets look at this year. Before he decided to take an eight-game hiatus to rest his body, James was averaging 25.2 points per-game 7.6 assist and 5.3 rebounds per Basketball Reference.
MVP numbers, no question. Yet, we were so quick to write him off as the best player in the world and not even top 4 in MVP voting. Name another player in the league who has those type of numbers who ISN'T at least in the conversation. Do you see how crazy we sound?
LeBron's numbers are still better than Curry's who is averaging 23.6 PPG 4.7 REBS and 7.6 AST. However, Curry is the frontrunner for MVP after his team improved to a leagues best 42-9. And rightfully so. Nonetheless, this year is proof of how much LeBron James has spoiled us during his career. He has given so much to the game, and we missed it. Why? Just because he wanted a little spring break in Miami. Think about it -- we let one of the greatest of any generation in his prime pass our eyes not because of his ego, but because of our false sense of entitlement.
3. If you didn't smell the flowers during their career don't try to smell them at the end.
The most annoying thing about the Jeter farewell tour were the ticket prices and the fair-weather-fans who were buying them. Everyone wanted to be a part of a "winning experience" even though they never followed his career and hated baseball. And lets not even mention the "outpouring of love" on Facebook and Twitter of all the millennials who reminisced on the first time they "ever saw Jeter." What they always failed to mention was the next time they saw him, which was probably that last season.
Point is, we always want to revere an athlete as transcendent, or great when they are on the way out. When they are a .220 hitter, and have no shot at a playoff spot. All of a sudden a light bulb goes off. "You know what, that Jeter sure is great." No. He actually sucks, now, his team sucks, too. Why is it that we are standing up every time he comes up to bat? It's FOR SURE a roll-over to the shortstop or third baseman. Your blocking my view, bro.
But do you follow? Look at even Kobe Bryant. The guy is damn near in hospice, and he's now appreciated. The '06 season starts to sound more and more like the MVP snub it was. You still get the obvious Kobe riff, but he's also become more amiable to people, because they know their hate was sometimes illegitimate or ill-informed.
4. Try not to be such a die-hard fan for one particular guy
We are in an era where players are friends. There arent't any real rivalries anymore. Charles Barkley constantly blames it on AAU sports and that might be true . Heck, I don't know -- but I'm done wasting my time arguing over who is better, or defending a player so heavily. It's too stressful.
And at the end of the day would they defend me like that? Doubt it. Athletes love playing patty-cake in between the lines now. Hey, to each its own.