Before the sun set on Belmont Park, after American Pharaoh became the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, on the web, in chat rooms, and on blogs and news sites there were overloads of statistical data. Even a recreated side-by-side video that showed Secretariat would have beaten the new winner by a dozen lengths.
The Chicago Blackhawks had barely skated off with their third Stanley Cup in six years and radio call ins were debating if they were a dynasty yet, certainly not compared to the Montreal Canadiens run once upon a time.
LeBron James has a third of the titles Michael Jordan has, so even though he was single handedly keeping Cleveland in the Finals against Golden State, after key injuries to key supporting stars, he isn’t the best ever so said some pundits.
Chris Weidman has beaten Anderson Silva (the consensus best all-time) twice and he is undefeated so far, “so is he one of the best ever?” a sports talk show host asked with a sense of immediacy.
It doesn’t matter the sport, it’s about the time. And the time is NOW. That was spectacular, really and truly but how does it rank in this decade; in this year and of course where is this athlete or team in terms of greatest ever?
The 24 hour news cycle and tweets becoming a press release are understandable in the “gotta have now, not always correct, but give us something culture”. The microwavable generation, morphing into the video gamers, into the owners of personal drones. We are entitled to judge everything for ourselves and history is limited to days sometimes in what really matters.
There is a ridiculous lack of savoring anything any more. Ironic with so many chefs becoming famous via channels devoted to food that few things out there are allowed to marinate.
Seems about the time quinoa became the best ever healthy food for you, just after kale had been the best ever healthy food for you, the sports society has lost all patience for appreciation of a moment. Hmmm, too much fiber perhaps, is not a good thing. Well, there’s got to be some theory.
It does beg more than a simple question as to the contradiction with wanting it all on the spot and deciding then where it will stand in the annals of times, yet there are certain icons that will be just as quickly protected regardless of the era. Secretariat, Jordan, Ali would all fit into that highest of echelons. The list of all list group.
It is fun to debate, compare your list against your friend because, of course you will know more. But it is impossible to get a consensus outside of that aforementioned group. That is why there are sports fans, to take our mind off the real serious part of life and enjoy those who were talented enough to still play a game long after our days be it middle school, high school, or college, are over.
Yet to be a fan there has to be respect more than protection of the sport. The best among the best don’t need, or likely wouldn’t want someone on the air, on paper, or on the Internet to rush to qualifying a recent incredible athlete or moment with one prior.
It’s nice to say you saw something extra special, the play, the fight, the race, something never to be forgotten. If you have that, then it’s enough and you don’t need justification from others because it’s your moment. Everything doesn’t have to be etched in stone so quickly.
There’s plenty time for that, so enjoy the present. The past will always be there and you just know the future will bring something else that will amaze. No rush, it’s coming.
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