Even though I’m an unrepentant homer, I also have a soft spot for brilliant performances by legendary players from teams that I don’t root for. I like it when someone who is hyped beyond all possibilities of hype does something special that makes me think, ‘that’s worthy of the hype!’ I remember when David Beckham, who has a movie named after the way he bends a soccer ball, did it exactly like the movie in a World Cup game–I wanna say it was 2010–and then went running around the field with a silly grin on his face that said, “hell yeah, I just bent it like Beckham!” Another good one is when Barry Bonds would grimace after hitting a home run, shaking his head so as to say, “why did you even think you could throw that pitch to me because you know I’m going to hit it into the water.” (Oh right–he is someone I root for, and that was yet another gratuitously unnecessary and irrelevant mention of a Barry Bonds moment).
Today, I was impressed by three great oldies. Actually, I was primarily just impressed by one, but since everyone is already posting about it on their sports blogs, and I need to offer something different, I’m going with three. And I bet I can guarantee that I’ll be the only one combining these three into one blogpost which will show that the spirit of true singular originality in this world still exists.
First, Peyton Manning. This is the motivation of the post and its not an original observation at all. But sitting alone on my couch, I made an audible gasp and immediately texted Mark after Peyton drove 80 yards in 40 seconds on the road against the best defense in the NFL in front of the loudest crowd in the NFL, and then tied the game by throwing on Richard “You Avoided Me, Didn’t You?’ Sherman. It was awesome. I’ve never been a big Peyton fan, nor a Peyton detractor. I even like the Seahawks because of the uniforms, the cool city, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch. And I know Peyton’s likely done better things in his career. But for me, this was his best moment.
Second, Frank Lampard. Not only did the New York City FC star score the tying goal for Man City against Chelsea, doing it with his team down a man in a huge EPL game, but he didn’t celebrate his goal. The longtime Chelsea legend chose not to celebrate a goal that tied the game against his beloved blues. How amazingly classy. Is there a similar example in American sports of such sportsmanship? Maybe Ray Bourque and Boston fans after he won the Stanley Cup with Colorado, but that wasn’t in a game–any examples
from my thousands, dozens of readers Mark? You have any examples?
Third–and bear with me here, but it’s my day and my experiences and remember that I’m trying to be uniquely singular in a universe far too big to actually produce anything but sub-level cliches–Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows. After a week of cringing every time I see/hear U2 (the band–I’m switching here from sports to music) trying so hard to act relevant in their embarrassing iTunes commercial, its nice to hear a song that shows a guy reinvigorating himself with renewed creativity that harkens back to his own days of a sound that at least was approximating amazing. The song “Possibility Days” both conjures up “Round Here” (his first and best song on his first and best album) and shows him actually being heartfelt and not just going through the motions. It’s like when I was dragged by some friends (who are, not un-coincidentally no longer friends) to an Eagles concert a few years ago: I hated the first 90 percent of the show, sitting there with everyone standing around me “rocking out” to muzak classics like “Take it Easy” when all of a sudden–I think it might have actually been a Joe Walsh song–I rose to my feet in admiration the real spirit and power of their performance. For a moment, I saw the magic that everyone talked about. Actually, it’s not like that at all, because I appreciate the Counting Crows and still don’t like the Eagles.
Ok, that’s my day.