Everyone knows the saying: “it’s just a game”. Implying that it really doesn’t matter in the end. False.
Sports is just as much a part of our community, just as much a fabric of our lives as any other aspect of culture. I could spend most of my time here talking about the business aspect of the sporting industry, which is a $400 billion a year industry, clearly suggesting that sports is more than “just a game”. But I won’t because those numbers speak for themselves.
What I will say is that the impact of sports cannot be measured by dollars and cents. The treasure that we find in sports, from youth sports to professional leagues; is the teamwork, the life lessons, the camaraderie and the way sports allows us to vicariously live a separate life from the mundane-ness we experience daily. Some of my greatest memories as a kid are the summer days playing baseball in the yard, the early fall months of tossing the football around with the neighbors or even elementary school recess soccer. (I was so good, I think I missed my calling!)
Sports captures the creativity in us. Michael Jordan, Barry Sanders, Wayne Gretzky. These guys were just as much artists with their craft as they were athletes. Cal Ripken, Jr. is revered, for what? He just played a game. John Elway is a legend. Why? All he did was play a game right?
It’s not just a game. It’s the beat our hearts makes during the final seconds of overtime. It’s the beat our hearts make when we cling to the edge of our seats as the game-winning shot goes up. It’s the beat of our hearts when we watch a friendly softball game between friends go down to the wire. Sports is not simply a game. It is so much more. It’s the beat…
if the FANS don’t like you, neither will the sponsors. This is the difference between Michael and Lebron, Michael understood that even though he had God-given once-in-a-millennium talent, he had to portray himself as the guy who lives down the street. Heck, even Brett Favre understands that much! LeBron fancies himself as not just a basketball player, but a celebrity, an icon. No one likes athletes and celebrities who act simply because they can or simply because everyone is afraid to tell them no.
how do you replace a replace a legend who refuses to be replaced?
Michael Jordan will grace the cover of 2K Sport’s NBA 2k11 this fall… which is great for the fans, but bad if you are David Stern, Lebron James or any NBA star not named Kobe Bryant (who was on the 2K10 cover). This is a further indictment of the image problems the league continues to face. The most marketable star the 2K Sports people could find to be the lead for their product has been retired since the end of the 2002-03 season (though some could argue that the REAL MJ actually retired in 1998).
Yes Air Jordan is widely accepted as the Greatest of All Time, but we haven’t seen EA Sports come out with John Elway or Joe Montana on the cover of their hit MADDEN NFL series (though they did attempt to insert a “retired” Brett Favre on the cover before his comeback with the Jets a couple seasons ago, but that doesn’t really count does it?). 2K hasn’t produced THE SHOW with Barry Bonds (and never will) as it’s lead.
The point is, it is incredible that the current NBA 2-time MVP Lebron James is NOT on the cover. Further proof of the lack of star power that today’s NBA athlete truly has. Clearly self-promotion only gets you so far, right “King” James?? He can self-hype himself as KING and promote one-hour specials about himself, where he looks not the least bit comfortable or happy for that matter, but the simple truth is, if the FANS don’t like you, neither will the sponsors. This is the difference between Michael and Lebron, Michael understood that even though he had God-given once-in-a-millennium talent, he had to portray himself as the guy who lives down the street. Heck, even Brett Favre understands that much! LeBron fancies himself as not just a basketball player, but a celebrity, an icon. No one likes athletes and celebrities who act simply because they can or simply because everyone is afraid to tell them no.
The moral of the story remains the same. For all of the attempted “Next Jordan’s”, there is still no replacement for Air Jordan. Until today’s athlete learns to promote their public image like Michael Jordan, there never will be another Mike. At least… According to Me…
so i’ve been observing this summer of sports and a few conclusions i have come to:
1_ Lebron James is not and never has been who he proclaims himself to be. In order to be KING, you have to conquer something. so far.. epic fail in that context.
2_ Dwayne Wade is closer to Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant than Lebron. This is in regards to closer status. Not trying to hate on LBJ as much to give props to those deserving. Don’t forget about Paul Pierce. Lebron CAN do it, it just seems he doesn’t want to… which in no way do I understand.
3_ The Yankees will always be my favorite baseball team. Keep hating.
4_ The World Cup was amazing. What a world class event! However I would assume that without the USA going past the first round, we would not have cared whatsoever.
5_ The NFL is the real KING. Fantasy Football has me drooling for fall.