At the races

Superbowl LI – Tom Brady is the GOAT

Well, that seals it.

Tom Brady is the GOAT.

Winning in dramatic fashion once again, Tom Brady and the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in a stunning comeback to capture Super Bowl LI yesterday. They were able to erase a 25 point lead with only three minutes left in the third quarter. It is the largest deficit any team has been able to overcome in Super Bowl history.

Oh, and the previous record of 10 points? That was achieved by the Patriots as well when they tied the record in Super Bowl XLIX.

Let’s run down a few of Brady’s achievements for the record:

  • Only quarterback in history to be victorious in five super Bowls.
  • Quarterbacked the Patriots for seven of their appearances in Super Bowls, the most for any NFL player in history.
  • Won four Super Bowl MVP awards, the most by any player.
  • Won the league’s Most Valuable Player award in both 2007 and 2010.
  • Taken the Patriots to more division titles (14) than any other quarterback in the history of the league.
  • Named to the Pro Bowl 12 times.

Not to mention he is third in career passer rating, fourth in career touchdown passes and career passing yards, has won more playoff games than any other pigskin tosser, built a career postseason record of 25 wins and nine losses, and has appeared in more playoff contests than any other player at any position on the field. If that wasn’t enough, his more than 200 regular-season and postseason wins are the most of any player in his position in the history of the NFL.

I think you can safely say that Tom Brady is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).

So why is he hated so much?

The obvious answer is that people hate winners. Football, and the NFL in particular, is a highly competitive, emotional game. People support their teams to the end of their days.

“US good! THEM bad!”

So when a particular player wins over and over, especially when they come back from a severe point deficit as many times as Brady has, it’s inevitable he will develop haters — simple competitive envy.

It’s painful when your team struggles year after year, only to end up with a losing record every time. Just ask Patriots fans. They sucked for years before they turned it around.

But with Brady and Bill Belichick, it’s more than that. Some people hate them because of their questionable tactics. Deflategate and Spygate stick in the craw.

Everybody like’s a winner, but that shine is lost if you cheated to get there. Like when the DNC conspired against Bernie Sanders to make sure Hillary Clinton got the nomination in the 2016 Presidential election.

You say winners take every advantage they can, and that’s what the Patriots do. You may be right, but the perception that the Patriots bend the rules too much hangs over their legacy.

Either way, you can’t deny Brady’s talent. He’s settled the debate with this Super Bowl win.

Peyton who? Joe who? Aaron who?

Tom Brady is the NFL’s GOAT.

 

At the races

3 More Fun Facts About the Cleveland Indians

The Indians ball club first played in 1894 in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. They moved to to Cleveland in 1900 and changed their name to the Cleveland Lake Shores. This name didn’t go over big with some local fans. One fan said, “Sure, Lake Shores. Why not? Very threatening. Ooh, I’m shaking in my boots. If we are going geographically-wise, why not call them the creek beds, or the river banks, yeah, the Cleveland Cuyahoga River River Banks. No? Of course not.”

Some newspapers called the Grand Rapids Rustlers the Rippers. One of their opponents was the Kansas City Blues, known by some papers as the Kansas City Cowboys. Did newspapers in the late 1800s and early 1900s make up names for teams willy nilly? A reporter from that era said, “Heck yeah, we tried to make up as crazy names as possible. Before they were called the Yankees, I always called them the Overpaids, and I called Boston the Beans, and referred to Philadelphia’s team as the Waiting Room before Retirements.”

The Indians were one of the first charter franchises of the American League in 1901. The other teams were the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Stockings, Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Americans. A league official said they looked at and rejected a bid from Akron, Ohio. A league official told the newspapers, “We had to reject Akron because they wanted to put bowling lanes for the fans at each level of their stadium. They guaranteed a sellout every home game, but the noise of the balls and the pins would have been too distracting.”

At the races

Ohio State vs. Michigan Fans Drunken Brawl | Joe Ditzel Vlog

Last year in Michigan, in July I think, two separate couples were riding the Jet Express, a commuter boat.

Two different couples — one was Ohio State fans and the other was Michigan fans.

It’s late at night on game day. Both are heading home.

They start talking.

Which eventually, somehow, escalates into an argument. Soon, the two women are pulling each other’s hair and, to defend their women, the men jump in, and start throwing punches. They start swinging — it’s not funny, stop laughing, you can’t be getting into fisticuffs.

But what started out as, I’m guessing, mild comments about the Ohio-State Michigan rivalry and who is better the better team, quickly escalated into a hair-pulling roundhouse swinging melee.

Here’s my question: How come it is always football?

How come you never hear about fans getting into hair pulling, fisticuff-flying melees about the college debate team? Or the badminton team. Or field hockey. It just doesn’t happen.

My guess is the people involved in the story had a few cocktails on the boat.

But you never hear about drunken melees because of the rivalry of the college field hockey teams.

Football team emotions run deep. Fan allegiances to their teams run deep, especially if they went to that college, or live in that city.

The guy who runs the Jet Express service told the newspapers he wasn’t shocked.

He said, well you know, people get passionate about their teams, and this particular scenario happened in the early morning hours, so he thought there were a few drinks involved.

Um, yeah.

At the races

3 Crazy Fun Facts About the Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are currently atop the American League Eastern Division. Here are 3 crazy fun facts about the “Jays.”

The Blue Jays were founded in 1977. So much was going on that year. Elvis Costello released his first record, “Less Than Zero.”

One local wag told me, “Yes, and that’s the exact number of wins the Blue Jays got that first year.”

The Blue Jays play at the Rogers Centre, originally called the SkyDome. It was built after the 1982 Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League Championship game, was played in a driving rainstorm, to this day known as the Rain Bowl.

A local man remembered: “I was there. It rained right in my damn beer. I was drinking 50 percent Labatt’s and 50 percent rainwater.”

The Blue Jays are the only team based outside of the US.

An MLB league official explains: “Well, we want more Canadian cities to join Major League Baseball, but the support isn’t always there. Heck, in Calgary, they’d rather watch stagecoach races. What’s that all about?”

At the races

3 Fun Facts About the Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians were formed in 1901. That was an interesting year. That year Pope Leo XIII published an official church document called Graves De Communi Re which said golfers could no longer use the Lord’s name in vain…after missing a 2-foot putt.

The Indians took on that name in 1914. Just before that, they were called the Cleveland Naps, named after player Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie. They almost changed the Indians name back to Naps in the mid 1980s, because the whole team seemed to be asleep at the wheel.

Anncr: “It’s a long fly ball”

Outfielder: “Zzzzzzzzzz….”

Anncr: “It’s going, going…”

Outfielder: “Zzzzzzzzzz….”

Anncr: “Oh! Off the fence and bounces into center field.”

Outfielder: “Zzzzzzzzzz….”

The Indians conduct spring training in Goodyear, Arizona. Yes, it is a town named after a tire company. An Indians spokesperson explained: “Yes, we also looked at Perelli, Texas; Michelin, Florida; and Bridgestone, California. We went with Goodyear because they made us some special baseball caps made out of a small tire. Small snow tires. It’s an all weather baseball cap.”

At the races

I’m Not Going to Make It!

Here’s one way I entertain myself while riding my bike. As I ride uphill past pedestrians or other cyclists, I look at them with crazy eyes and say loudly in a hoarse voice, “I’m not going to make it!”

Here is the breakdown of the most common four responses:

1. Keep staring straight ahead and hope I don’t talk to them anymore (35 percent).

2. Look of horror like I really am crying out for help (15 percent).

3. Laughter and giggling, sometimes followed by “You’re right” or “I don’t think you will!” (30 percent)

4. Suddenly they turn into Olympics coaches and start yelling “You CAN make it!” or “YOU GOT THIS!” (20 percent).

Today one old-timer about my age said, “If I can make it, YOU can make it.”

At the races

Crazy People: Miss Officious

I pulled my bike over to a safe spot off the road near OSU yesterday. Checking my phone under a bright blue sky, I noticed a car slowing to a stop as it turned in a driveway behind me leading to athletic fields.

I turned to look. A lady rolled down her window, peering at me through large sunglasses, saying slowly in a scolding tone, “That’s a bad place to stand!”

Huh? Who are you? Mind your own business, you nut. I’ve always been amused by dorks who feel they must advise everyone in their path how to live their lives. They rush around, acting as self-appointed busy bodies to save the rest of us.

My “Word a Day” email came in this morning with the perfect word: “Officious: Excessively eager in offering unwanted or unneeded advice or help.”

Suddenly Miss Officious realized the the GoPro on my helmet was recording away.

“You’ll have to delete that!” she said. “It’s my right!”

“Actually, you are wrong. You have no right to privacy in public,” I said. “But thanks for the unwanted advice!” I smiled. She sped off.

At the races

3 Amazing Fun Facts About The Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors were founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors. 1946 was a crazy year. That year “The Lost Weekend” won the Academy Award. “The movie was remade in 2009 as ‘The Hangover,'” a film historian explained.

In 1947 The Warriors won the very first Basketball Association of America Championship, now called the NBA Championship. They won it again in 1956, 1975 and 2015. They beat the Fort Wayne Pistons, now the Detroit Pistons, 3-1 to win the 1956 Championship. Fred Zollner, the owner of the Pistons, helped form the NBA by raising support from the phone next to his kitchen table. “He also ordered a Papa John’s Pizza from that same phone, which was just delivered this week, decades late, and it tasted just the same,” an NBA staffer said.

In 1962 the team first moved to San Francisco and became the San Francisco Warriors. A team official explained, “We considered and then rejected several name changes to go along with the move such as the San Francisco Outrageous Rents, the San Francisco 29 Degree Summers, and the San Francisco Democrat Strongholds.”

At the races

3 Wild Fun Facts About the Boston Celtics

The Celtics were founded in 1946. That year Pope Pius XII published the Quemadmodum. Wait, how do spell it? Whatever. Basically, it’s a Catholic document that limits you how long you can kneel in a hot church in July.

One priest said, “Kneeling is dangerous. Last Sunday we had three old ladies pass out from kneeling, so we dunked their heads in the baptismal and let them air out back in the parking lot out back until they revived.”

Currently the Celtics play homes games at the TD Garden. The Boston Bruins also play their home games there.

“Sometimes we schedule the Bruins games and Celtics game at the exact same time. You should see a 7-foot tall Celtics player sitting in the penalty box. They can barely fit in there. We have to open the penalty box door to let their feet stick out a bit,” said a team spokesperson.

The Celtics have an incredible 17 championships, a league record.

A Celtics fan said, “We should have 18! We would have beat the Lakers in 2010 but Rajon Rondo kept leaving the games to get hot dogs. That guy loves hot dogs.”

At the races

3 Crazy Fun Facts About the Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers were founded in 1947. That was an interesting year. The defribillator was invented that same year, a device that has come in handy for Lakers fans having heart attacks when they realize what they are paying for an average ticket.

Jerry, a longtime fan, said, “$600 for one ticket? For what? They’ve been terrible. Hell I can my whole family including my 15 cousins into thte state fair for that price, and we get to see a dinosaur in a battlle with a rodeo bull. I mean, it’s something.”

The LA Lakers started as the Minneapolis Lakers in Minnesota. The team name is in reference to the state’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

An Iowan named Chester commented, “Yeah, well that nickname was inspired by Iowa’s nickname: “Land of 10,000 Pigs That Can Sing the National Anthem.”

The Lakers had one of the biggest stars in the league of the time, George Mikan. Nicknamed “Mr. Basketball,” there is even a popular practice activity named after him called the Mikan Drill.

A local coach explained: “Now the Mikan Drill is when you get under the basket and cry because you were the biggest star in the league and got bupkus while today a benchwarming point guard for the 76ers gets $57 million.”