Monday, February 05, 2007

a manning wins one

I'm glad the Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl. It's great that Tony Dungy became the first black coach to achieve this -- but of course, if the Bears had won, that honor would have fallen to Lovy Smith.

Less socially important, the win also lets Peyton Manning get that "not a winner" monkey off his back. It's absurd that American sports has become so obsessed with the idea that a player in a team sport has to win at least one championship before he can be validated as really great. John Elway is held in the highest regard, but before his two late-career championships with the Broncos, there were people muttering about how he "couldn't win the big one." Former New York Yankee firstbaseman Don Mattingly (grossly over-rated by the way, but that's a different question) is sometimes dismissed for never having won a World Series.

That's just stupid. Elway didn't play defense or block or kick the football for the Broncos, he was one (albeit the most important) player on a team of 40-something guys. He couldn't win it all. Mattingly (again, over-rated) had the misfortune of playing on the truly bad Yankee teams of the mid/late 1980s and early 1990s. He couldn't pitch, couldn't cover the entire field on defense, and could only bat once per every 9 hitters -- he couldn't win it all either.

There is no dishonor in never playing for a team that wins the whole shebang. Charles Barkley never won a championship in his NBA career, but he was still a fine fine player -- better than many that DID play for a "winner." Greg Maddux is one of the top ten pitchers in baseball's long history and I'm sorry, but the fact that no team he has played for won the World Series does NOT lessen him.

So, congratulations to Peyton Manning. Unlike his dad Archie, unlike greats like Maddux and Barkley and Mattingly (again, over-rated), Manning won't have to listen to the stupid whispers that he couldn't win the big one.



Blogger Paul said...

Greg Maddux won a World Series in 1995. :deedeedee:

2:34 AM  
Blogger Don Q Blogger said...

I stand corrected! OK, substitute another good name -- say, Ernie Banks.

5:04 AM  

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