Not Entertained?… Tough Crowd
By: Enrique Sierra, Jr.
I recently read an article on the upcoming season for the New York Mets. The piece took a look at their roster and the lack of change it underwent over the off-season; seriously, they added zero players. Trust me, this will not be about the Mets, I hate them something fierce and their fanbase’s asinine arrogance can only be matched by the dumbass front office whose “big” off-season acquisitions included resigning a player they already had (Yoenis “La Potencia” Cespedes) and encouraging the baseball renaissance of one Timothy Richard Tebow. Outstanding Cuban nicknames aside, I’m way more interested in discussing the latter. I don’t particularly give a shit about Tebow or the gravitational pull he seems to have for media attention. In fact, the prodigal son’s return to the diamond has been a bit underwhelming if you actually expected some divine intervention to push him through the ranks of Major League Baseball. However, I cannot help but feel like we’re too opinionated one way or the other to consider what is actually happening.
In my lifetime, I believe two things have been incomprehensibly under-covered. The first: Michael Jackson was born black and died white, people! How in the holy hell does this bit of mysterious witchcraft not lead the A-block of the evening news every single day?! The second is the absolute ridiculous ability certain athletes possess to deem them capable enough to succeed at multiple professional sports. Lost in the sea of Internet memes and endless trolling that bombards the polarizing Tebow every day is the fact that he still has crazy physical gifts and talents. I’m totally guilty of this as well, but we grade these guys on a curve. The former Florida Gators QB might be the greatest college football player of all time, and though his pro-football career left something to be desired, he had his years. Even taking into account his name recognition and place in life, all he did was pick up a bat and glove for the first time in more than a decade and get picked up by a MLB franchise. That is nothing short of impressive. Likewise, Brandon Weeden has been the punch line of so many jokes over the years, yet this guy was drafted in the second round of the 2002 MLB Draft and the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Holy shit, I would give up my left testicle for either one of those options, let alone both of them. Sure, both careers were disappointing for Weeden considering his high initial assessments, but it doesn’t make those accomplishments go away or any less remarkable. He now leads the cushy life of a NFL backup QB and will ride the bench straight into the bank for years, I’d easily give up my other testicle for that.
Russell Wilson is another name that comes to mind as someone who played two sports professionally, although his baseball career was a little lackluster as well. Furthermore, we often hear about the guys who could have been athletes, and maybe even stars, at other sports. Lebron James has always been regarded as an NFL Tight End talent, Giancarlo Stanton had a full scholarship to play WR/CB for the University of Southern California Trojans, and, like them, many others. Honestly, considering the unbelievable talents and athleticism of the larger-than-life individuals we marvel at, it is to be expected that their abilities would transcend just the one sport. However, what about the ones who actually did it? Seriously. How about the guys who actually pulled it off?
If possessing the ability to be a professional multi-sport athlete is extraordinary, then actually going through with it and succeeding deserves another adjective altogether. Legendarily, Bo Jackson remains the only athlete to be named an All-Star in both baseball and football. I mean, what the fuck?! How is that even possible? If Michael Jackson gets the A-block, then Bo needs to headline the B. It is such an exclusive, upper echelon type of feat to merely make it in professional sports, this son of a bitch actually managed to become the top 1% of the top 1% in two separate sports! Call up SportsCenter, goddamn it! THIS NEEDS MORE AIRTIME! Deion Sanders is the other one that stands out to me. Prime Time might very well be the best CB in the history of the NFL. Drafted 5th overall in 1989, Sanders actually had to forego his scholarship in his senior season at Florida State because he went to play professional baseball. He was drafted twice in MLB and holds the accolade for being the only athlete to play a game in both sports respectively on the same day. An absurd sports resume highlighted by part-time dedication to two major sports, punt returns, interceptions, stolen bases, and one fantastic 1992 World Series, Sanders is a complete anomaly amongst even the best.
So, here’s the moral of the story… For the love of Billie Jean, somebody please explain to me how the fuck Michael Jackson did it and why no one seems to give a shit! But on the matter of stars, I certainly understand the over-saturation of talent we intake regularly and can even accept becoming desensitized to it a bit. It does not, however, blind me from recognizing the incredible achievements of these athletes. Even in the upbringing of players, children and young adults are now pigeon-holed into specialties and forced to dedicate solely to one sport. It only makes it that much more notable when individuals are able to break through multiple thresholds at the highest level.
The Lemon Drop is a weekly segment entertaining whatever the hell comes to the mind of Enrique Sierra, Jr. (Hipster Rick). Simply a sports lover who cannot help but appreciate overwhelming talent and pigmentation transformations. Please click back next Tuesday for more and feel free to comment or engage us through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.