Posted by Mike Wendt on June 22, 2010 Jump To Comments
So while I was at work today I tried to come up with a topic to write about when I got back to my house. As we all know, not many things are going on in the world of sports right now, except Major League Baseball and vuevuezelas in South Africa. I still hadn’t thought of anything to write about by the end of the workday, so I jumped into my car and started to head home. I was rocking out to some good ole’ country music when a country classic came on. It was Kenny Rodgers’ “The Gambler”, and as I listened to the song, an idea popped into my head. If you’re not familiar with the song, here’s a link to it, but the chorus goes like this:
“You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
When I heard Kenny sing, “know when to walk away” I began to think about Brent and if he would ever realize when it was time to walk away. But the thing with Favre is, he’s still got enough in the tank that he doesn’t need to walk away just yet. Based on the four lines in chorus, I came up with a few guys who’ve been in the news lately that embody each part, so we’ll start at the beginning.
“You gotta know when to hold ‘em” – Brett Favre.
The dude’s still got it. He threw for over 4,000 yards last season and had a very impressive 33-7 Touchdown-Interception ratio. Sure we all know how the playoff game ended, he tried to be the hero and ended up falling flat on his face, but the Vikings couldn’t have made it to the NFC championship game without him. He’ll take his time coming back this season, but the Vikings aren’t complaining. They’ll deal with his drama if it gets them back to the postseason. Keep playing Brett, you still got enough gas left in the tank.
“Know when to fold ‘em” – Chipper Jones
Earlier this week we learned that Chipper Jones was contemplating hanging up his cleats for good. Jones, who in 2008 hit .364 and won the National League batting title, is currently hitting .250 with only four home runs this season. He’s a future Hall of Famer who wants to be remembered as exactly that, not someone who stuck around too long when he got old. Chipper is in his 17th season with the Braves and he still has two years left on his contract after this season, so if he does retire he’ll walk away from the $28 million dollars he would be paid if he played through 2012. But I don’t think Chipper wants to hang around that long. In an interview with the New York Times, Chipper said “Money will not keep me in the game”, and since he’s been with the Braves his whole career I don’t think he wants to take money away from them if he can’t preform to the standards he’s set for himself throughout his tenure in Atlanta. Hang ‘em up with pride Chipper.
“Know when to walk away” – Kurt Warner
Warner and Favre are a lot like one another. Both of them are like a fine wine, and have gotten better as they’ve aged. Packers fans saw Warner’s ability first hand in the Divisional Playoffs in 2009, and I don’t think anybody would want to play the Cardinals with Warner at the helm. Kurt decided to walk away from football not because his ability was gone, but because he saw a bigger picture in life. Anybody who has seen one of his press conferences or listened to one of his post-game interviews knows that there are two very important things in Warner’s life, and neither of them have to do with football. Warner is very family-orientated, and very religious. He always thanks his family for the support they give him on a daily basis, and he always thanks God for having blessed him with every opportunity he has in his life. Warner said in his retirement speech that he wanted to do some preaching and watch his kids grow up. He’s got his priorities in order, nobody blames him from walking away from the NFL.
“Know when to run” -Ken Griffey Jr.
I grew up a big baseball fan, and The Kid has always been my favorite player. I liked him in Seattle, but I really started following him when he joined the Reds, because they played the Milwaukee Brewers on a routine basis. I watched him battle through injuries and climb up the all-time home run list. If he wasn’t injured, it didn’t matter what jersey he was wearing because he always wore a smile. He always seemed to be having fun, and although he was embraced by Mariners fans when he returned to Seattle in 2009, his career took a turn for the worse in 2010. He struggled at the plate, only mustering a .184 batting average, and he lost his starting job. Then came the rumor that he fell asleep in the clubhouse during a game, and it created a media frenzy that he didn’t need. Griffey retired on June 3rd this season, and I don’t blame him. He had a hell of a career, and he doesn’t need the press ragging on him. Run away Griff, you’ve done enough for the game of baseball, you deserve better than to become a punchline for a few members in the media.
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