Like you, I am deeply saddened and perplexed by the awful news out of San Bernardino. As a sports fan, it’s times like these that make me thankful for 76ers games, because no one can shoot there. (Forgive me for attempting jokes, but this is how I and a lot of other people grieve. We laugh, or at least try to, in the proximity of horrors like this because it takes away their power, if only for a few seconds.)
We won’t judge you if this isn’t your thing and fully respect your right to punt on this one. All we ask in return is that you let us grieve our way, because we’re just as sad as you are. Unless you happen to be a Cleveland Browns fan, in which case you’ve definitely got us beat.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t solve the gun-control debate, partly because it’s a highly nuanced issue and mostly because I went to community college. But here are two arguments I’ll end right now that aren’t remotely as important, but will hopefully provide a brief escape.
Where Tiger and Kobe Rank in History
Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant are nearing the end of their storied careers. Tiger revealed this news to a group of reporters at his charity golf tournament. Kobe wrote a poem that never mentioned him skipping college, but served as a constant reminder nonetheless. Within seconds of their announcements, the arguments began over where they rank historically in their respective sports.
Was Tiger better than Jack Nicklaus? Was Kobe better than Michael Jordan? In short, no and no. But we have to have these talks, mainly because all ESPN does nowadays is rank things and promote future coverage of them ranking things.
Seriously. While all of you were wondering if Leonardo DiCaprio gets raped by a bear in his new movie, I was watching Mel Kiper Jr. rank the best bear sex scenes in film. Although I didn’t agree with his choices, (Yogi and Boo-Boo at six?) it was still nice to watch something on a sports network besides a Draft Kings commercial.
But back to golf, where Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear, was unequivocally the greatest golfer of all time. Not only does he lead Tiger in major championships 18 to 14, he finished second at 19 majors to Tiger’s six. And for all the talk of Tiger’s epic work at the Masters, Jack took home five green jackets in his 17-year prime and had 14 top ten finishes. Tiger won four times and had 13 top tens.
The only place Tiger has him beat is in prize money because the pots are much greater today. Jack had $5.7 million in career earnings. Tiger had $109 million. And he asked for all of it in singles.
On the hardwood, anybody who tells you Kobe was better than Michael should not be allowed to operate heavy machinery. His Airness was a five-time MVP to The Black Mamba’s one. He also leads in points per game, 30.1 to 25.3, as well as steals, assists, rebounds, and blocks.
On top of that, Jordan won six titles in 15 seasons to Kobe’s five in 20. And he was the finals MVP in all six championships. Shaquille O’Neal was the finals MVP for three of Kobe’s five championships. And I won’t even discuss Jordan’s superior defensive skills because Carmelo Anthony might be reading this, and then I’d have to explain to him what defense is.
Don’t Be Imprisoned in the Present
Repeat after me: Jack over Tiger and Michael over Kobe. Anyone who tells you differently is a prisoner of the moment who’s wrapped up in all the sentiment. This happens all the time when guys exit the stage in any medium.
Remember that brief window when Democrats were sad that Joe Biden didn’t run? Fast-forward a few hours and the dude was trailing Grumpy Cat in the polls. And no, that’s not my nickname for Hillary, but it kind of works.
Peyton Manning hasn’t verbalized any retirement plans but his play this year has said plenty. That being said, NFL analysts need to calm down about his replacement, Brock Osweiler. The guy has won two games! One was against the Bears, which is like playing Madden on rookie, and the other was an overtime win against the Patriots in which the officiating was so bad, people are now questioning the integrity of the refs and their Seeing Eye dogs.
Every analyst in the country is treating this guy like he’s Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl but I LOVE the San Diego Chargers this Sunday, at home, getting 4 (+4) against the Broncos. Sixty-two percent of the money is on Denver and, although going with the house doesn’t always work, I’m gonna need more than two games before I start Osweiler’s Hall of Fame bust.
Take the Chargers big and don’t feel like you have to congratulate me on Twitter when it wins. Save the congratulations for the Boston Red Sox, who signed David Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract. And it wasn’t the only big news for the Sox. Shortly after signing Price, they announced that their hot dog vendors will now offer five-year financing.
Congratulations are also in order for one of my favorite actresses, Anne Hathaway, who announced that she’s expecting her first child. Which means she’s now eating for one.
And finally, while I don’t have a pick in the Monday night game between the 3-8 Cowboys and the 5-6 Redskins, I have to applaud the NFL on their creative pricing option: All seats are now $20 to get in. And $50 to get out.