Posts Tagged ‘football’
We are only a few hours away from perhaps the biggest college football game this season (besides the BCS championship game). For the first time in history the #1 and #2 teams are both from both from the SEC and are meeting in regular season. This game, which may have national championship implications, will most certainly live up to all the hype.
#1 ranked Louisiana State sports the nation’s third best offense and 12th best defense and they have earned both rankings. Their strength of schedule thus far may have been the toughest in the country. They have played (and beat) no less than five teams that were ranked in the top 25. This includes wins against both Auburn and Oregon, and by handling both teams from last year’s championship game (by a combined score of 85-37), LSU has cemented their place atop the standings.
While LSU may be ranked number one, Alabama is a five point favorite heading into the match-up. How could this be? How could people believe that #2 is better than #1? Alabama has the best offense in the country and their defense is ranked 11th. While this is very impressive, the #2 ranking has to do with strength of schedule. Aside from an impressive win against West Virginia, Alabama simply hasn’t faced the same caliber of opponents as the Tigers. This isn’t to say that Alabama isn’t as good, just they haven’t been tested as much. Playing at Bryant-Denny Stadium, in front of a sea of crimson, may be enough to justify a five point edge.
Columnist Woody Paige had an excellent article in the Denver Post about Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow on Friday. Paige has a certain way with words that cannot always be seen during his appearances on ESPN’s Around the Horn. He is almost poetic in his writing and he truly paints a picture when he tells a story. But enough about the writer, let’s focus on his subject.
Tim Tebow, the darling of Denver, and perhaps the most polarizing quarterback in the NFL is the man in question. His jersey sales were through the roof before he played a single snap in Denver. His name has to be mentioned among the greatest college quarterbacks of all-time. On the other side of the coin, he has only started 3 NFL games, and his passing stats were marginal (right at 50 percent completion rate). Furthermore his throwing motion isn’t exactly a thing of beauty and some question (especially Merril Hoge) whether his skills will translate in the NFL.
In professional sports, most big time talents come with big time egos. Look at the recently “retired” Randy Moss. Moss may be the greatest deep threat receiver in the history of the NFL, but he would probably be the first to tell you that and has had more than his share of off-field issues. The talent is still there but since the lockout was lifted, teams that he was interested in joining have instead filled their WR voids with other controversial options. The Jets are giving Plaxico Burress a shot (pun intended) and the Patriots decided to 86 the idea of a Moss comeback and traded for 85 (Chad Ochocinco). Moss trained hard all summer and according to his agent, is in phenomenal shape. Then why retire? To be honest, Moss expected to be able to pick his destination, and it was unfathomable to him that he wasn’t wanted. His ego couldn’t take it. So instead of doing the smart thing, taking a 1 year deal for less money, proving he could be a team player and rebuilding his value; his ego decided to hang them up.
But this story is not about Moss. This story is not about any of the big
egos athletes that are holding out of camp right now (hello Chris Johnson). This story is about a star that would rather see his team shine than himself. That judges his success, not by monetary gain but instead by his ability to make those around him successful. I am talking about perhaps the man that is the top at his position in the league. Is a guaranteed first ballot hall of famer. He has a ring. He has the blood lines. But he doesn’t have the ego. I’m talking about Peyton Manning.