sports quick hits

1) sorry to harp on this, but T.O. is quoted as saying "god has cleared me to play". so did got not clear joe theismann or bo jackson when they had their career ending injury? you should never wish injury upon another player, but tonight i'll be praying to the same god asking him to have rodney harrison smash T.O.'s ankle into a million tiny pieces. i used to be completely on board with T.O., but as fredo has pointed out on several occasions, you can be entertaining and still be a sorry person. of course, this plays right into my hands, as i officially have 50 bucks on the pats to cover. i wonder if it's too late to get that up to 150? f the eagles.

2) it seems that no one wants to coach kobe. rudy t is stepping down and saying that bad health and the poor play of the lakers has caused him to step down as the coach of the lakers after tonight. all i know is that mitch kupchak and jerry buss have to be really regretting their recent basketball decisions over who to build the team around. all they had to do was trade kobe to the clips, and the clips get stuck with one of the worst team players of all time, while the daddy and the zen master lead the lake show back to the promised land. diesel 4-eva!

3) one of my childhood heroes and the greatest running back of all time (yeah, that includes a certain detroit lions running back), emmitt smith, will hopefully call it quits on thursday. it looks like he's going to do some ceremonial signing with the cowboys so that he can retire with the team that he won three super bowls with (how many did barry have?) and the team in which he broke the all time rushing record with (and by record, i mean that no one else in history has more yards than him, not even you know who). anyways, i really hope this happens. as soon as it does, the last two years will be forgotten immediately and emmitt can resume his duties as the greatest cowboy ever to tote the rock. although i have to admit, it's a little sorry that he's doing amidst the super bowl hoopla. the attention should be focused on the teams (and eventual spread coverers, new england patriots). but i've always said that emmitt has a little sorriness to him, but i've also always said, it doesn't at all diminish his career as one of the great football players of his era.


Erik said...

Look, don't get smarmy just because the man everyone knows is truly the greatest running back of all time went out like the mack he is -- at the pinnacle of his career -- while Smith decided to allow the talent that he did have waste away in Phoenix. Keep rattling off those stats, because that's all you've got.

You and everyone else knows that if Barry had continued for another 8 years past his prime, he'd still be running circles around Emmitt.

It's like Leno and Letterman. Everyone knows who's the better comedian, even if the other one gets the ratings. Or, if you prefer, Bob: Barry was to Emmitt as Seinfeld was to Allen.

Now get behind the Lions for next season like the rest of America. We're going to the Super Bowl, baby! WOO!

Anonymous said...

i've said it before and i'll say it again:

emmitt smith cannot hold a candle to barry sanders unless you count bullshit like touchdowns or rushing yards or championships or playoff performance or otherwise just showing up in big games.

The MB said...

PLEASE! Emmitt Smith couldn't run two yards carrying Barry Sanders' enormous jock. The weakness of all Detroit Lions teams in the past two decades only serves to illustrate Barry's greatness. Erik Love is about 5'2" and a buck 90, and HE could have gained almost as many yards as Emmitt playing for the Dallas Cowboys during the years he did.

Barry carried his entire team, and had opposing defenses focusing ENTIRELY on stopping him every single game. THere were no other threats. Emmitt spent the best years of his career stumbling through huge holes created by his offensive line, then doing wind sprints through a wide open secondary created by Aikman and Irvin. Barry had zero holes created by his front line, and had to fight through secondaries playing the run on EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. DOWN.

Bottom line, if you put Barry Sanders on the Dallas Cowboys for those years, he'd have 30,000 career rushing yards right now and teams would STILL be trying to knock Dallas out of the Superbowl today. You make Emmitt Smith play for the detroit lions, he'd be just another E. Smith in the phonebook.

Don't get me wrong, Emmitt Smith deserves a place in the hall of fame....at the beginning of the huge stairway that leads up to Barry.

The MB said...

Oh yeah -
Barry Sanders, 10 years playing on one of the shittiest teams in NFL history = 15,269 yards.

Emmitt Smith, 10 years playing on the greatest team of the 1990s = 13,963

Walter Payton on Barry Sanders: "He's better than I was. I was never that good."

Walter Payton on Emmitt Smith: "Emmitt who? My mama could average 5 yds/carry on that team!"

Anonymous said...

dear mrs. sanders:

first of all, emmitt had 17,162 yards for America's Team.

if dallas had barry sanders instead of emmitt, i doubt that they would have done much better than going from 1-15 to 7-9 in his first season. they didn't start becoming the Team of the 90's until #22 showed up. i doubt that they would've won many more games, much less super bowls, with #20 the quitter in his stead. hell, the cowboys would have likely exhausted themselves to overcome sanders' inability to play in big games and possibly won fewer super bowls, but who knows?

also, you're exaggerating the lions' ineptitude during sanders' career. they were actually mediocre to better than average: they went to the playoffs five times in his career. there were at least six or seven other teams worse off in that span, so stop crying.

The MB said...

Dear bastard love child of Emmitt Smith,

first of all, I know how many yards your dad had with cowboys. But, unfortunately for your argument, it took him 13 seasons with the cowboys to reach that total.

Barry Sanders on the other hand only played for 10 seasons total. So in order to make an even comparison, I tabulated your dad's yardage over his first 10 seasons, which left him over 1000 yards short of Sanders, even though Barry had to break more tackles in single play than your sperm-donor dad had to break in a season.

I realize it's hard for you and your hundreds of half-brothers and sisters out there whose only claim to fame is that a pro athlete tapped your mom once, but unfortunately the numbers don't lie. Maybe if you write Mr. Sanders a nice letter, he'd be willing to come over and poke your mom too, so you could at least be the half-brother to the son of a truly great back.

Bob said...

ok kids, there's no need to start taking cheap shots, you girlie hawaiian fucker. anyways, your 10 year comparison argument is a cop out. what if barry sanders doesn't retire? we would never know if he would have become just as ineffective as emmitt was in his last years. the point is, he quit. and it doesn't make any sense to penalize emmitt smith for the fact that barry sanders holds the record for number of times tackled for a loss, even despite having played fewer years.

the walter payton argument doesn't hold up. walter may have said that, but any jackass knows that he wanted emmitt to break the record because he knew he would be a better steward and because he knew that barry not being tough would never get him there.

anyways, this is basically an abortion debate. you stick with your quasi-statistics, i'll stick to the official record book that lists emmitt smith as number 1.

Anonymous said...

emmitt is my father. say it loud: i'm black and i'm proud. sorry, but there is just too woulda-coulda involved in the emotional barry sanders argument.

anyway, SI's Dr. Z, who knows a hell of a lot more football than any of us, ranked the two among the best of all time this way:

3. Emmitt Smith -- Forget what he looks like now. Remember, instead, what he used to be, a dynamic little cutback runner with an explosive power-burst. He lasted almost a whole career without a significant backup to share the load. The Cowboys would use him to close out a game and protect a lead, and he became energized as the defense sagged. His courage is legendary -- who can forget the overtime victory over the Giants in 1993, which got the Cowboys into the playoffs? Smith played most of the contest with a separated right shoulder, dazed with pain ("We had to get him up off the ground and lead him back to the huddle," guard Nate Newton said), but he ran 32 times for 168 yards and caught 10 passes for another 61 and set a club record for scrimmage plays (42) that day.

4. Barry Sanders -- A freak runner who probably would have broken all the records if he hadn't decided to retire at age 30 in 1998. No one ever has matched his crazy-legged, pinball style. No one ever had the balance he did. He is a one-man highlight reel of the most amazing runs in NFL history.

the parallel is clear. Emmitt = Michael Jordan; Barry = Dominique Wilkins.

Bob said...

more from a professional football writer on emmitt. SI's arash markazi writes:

on his place in football history:
The simple truth, however, is Smith is more than that. He is the greatest running back of all time.

on critics penalizing him for being on great teams:
Although Smith played on immensely talented teams with offensive lines stocked with Pro Bowlers, his accomplishments shouldn't be diminished. No one would dare penalize Joe Montana for playing amongst legends. Montana is widely considered the best quarterback ever, despite playing alongside Jerry Rice and Roger Craig, behind an All-Pro offensive line and in a Bill Walsh-inspired West Coast offense that turned Steve Young from a backup has-been into a Hall of Fame

on what makes him the greatest:
While Brown had the mystique, Sanders the highlights and Payton the reputation, Smith has the numbers, titles and intangibles that make him the Michael Jordan of ball carriers. His predecessors are certainly immortals in their own right -- but it's important to note that Smith never quit on his team, never failed to block for his quarterback, never finished a playoff game with negative rushing yards, never was replaced on goal-line or passing situations and never played on mediocre teams while he won rushing titles.

please note the "never quit on his team" part all of you detroit lions fans.

as long as we're breaking down only segments of people's career:
Smith had arguably the greatest five-year run of any player, regardless of position, in NFL history from '91 to '95. He won four rushing titles, becoming the first player to post five consecutive seasons of more than 1,400 yards rushing. His team won a record three Super Bowls in four years, as he became the first rushing champion to be on a Super Bowl championship team. He won a Super Bowl MVP and a league MVP in '93. At that point he was just beginning a streak that would make him the first player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in 11 consecutive seasons and the first to pass the 1,000 mark that many times in a career.

and why people sometimes perceive barry to be better when in fact, he isn't:
The fact Smith's resume is filled with the words first, most, greatest and record-breaking still don't impress many pundits, who crave flashier, more dynamic players. They want players with stories to tell. You know, the kind you sit down and tell your kids around the campfire one day. Well, if you're looking for folk-hero type tales, Smith has those too.

The MB said...

Wow, you guys can quote other people who have hard-ons for Emmitt Smith. That's great.

And you'll have to explain to me how the 10 yr comparison is a "cop out" you pussy Californian ass-hat. The 10-yr comparison HELPS Emmitt by not taking into account his shitty later years.

The bottom line is, these guys played in the same league for 10 years. They're numbers are easy to compare. Barry was better.

God said...

barry sanders had 99 rushing touchdowns, which is pretty good unless you consider the fact that the NFL's all-time leading rusher had more than that in only six of his highest scoring years ...but i guess touchdowns don't count toward winning games or anything.

barry racked up his yards playing in mostly meaningless games against a second-rate schedule. he may as well have been putting up numbers in some distant minor league where nothing matters.

at the beginning of barry's career, any nfl gm with a brain would rather have had emmitt smith and at the end, they would have preferred marshall faulk. ultimately, barry ran across the floors of silent seas. nothing he did mattered, which is exactly why he pales to emmitt smith.

it's nice that barry is your favorite player, but that doesn't make hime the best of all time. hell, eric dickerson was my favorite player. he was a great back, and like sanders, he piled up yards like a madman, but all those yards did not matter. emmitt's yards led somewhere; barry's (and dickerson's) did not.

an argument for sanders is pretty silly, just like the following.

greatest barrys of all time:
1 - bonds
2 - switzer
3 - white
4 - williams
5 - manilow
6 - gibb
7 - goldwater
9 - that barry guy in marketing
8 - sanders