I never took Peyton Manning’s time as a professional football player for granted.
When he played for the Colts it was appointment TV, and when he played in Denver it was still a must watch event every single week. He flashed his way to the record books and to a pair of Super Bowls. A total of five NFL MVP awards, and numerous fourth quarter comebacks.
With that being said, I would do anything to have the opportunity to go back and watch Michael Jordan play in real time.
This is not a debate whether ‘Air Jordan’ is the greatest player of all time. However, I do urge everyone to not take for granted athletes like LeBron James, Mike Trout, and Patrick Mahomes. Each of them are at the top of their sport, and unique in there own way.
After watching ‘The Last Dance,’ there was one specific thing that I took away from Michael Jordan’s game that I didn’t know before.
He did everything so effortlessly. He smoked and drank after games, spent off days on the golf course and at the casino, and on the hardwood he was the best player without even trying.
And when he wanted to accomplish something?
Nothing stood in his way. He had a motor and a will to win like no athlete I’ve ever witnessed. Every athlete wants to succeed, but very few have the drive to do what is necessary to accomplish it. Michael Jordan is one of the elite that had both the drive and the skill set to be great at anything he wanted to be.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Michael Jordan could have been a Major League Baseball player, and as far as a seventh championship with the Bulls?
Come on now, he would have found a way. Because that’s who Michael Jordan was. He achieved greatness like few other athletes that we’ve seen.
While it’s nice to go back and reminisce on Michael Jordan’s playing days, I hope it doesn’t deter us away from the athletes’ careers that are flashing before our eyes.
LeBron James was touted as the next Michael Jordan when he was just 17 years old, and if you think he’s failed to live up to his end of the bargain, you don’t know sports.
Mike Trout’s career batting average is .305, if you think he’s not accomplished because his team can’t make the postseason, then you’re wasting your time watching the Yankees and their want to be stars.
Patrick Mahomes threw 50 touchdowns in his first year as a NFL starting quarterback, and won a Super Bowl the next year. If you are too worried about those already comparing him to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, then go ahead, but you might miss the closest player we will ever see, or even better yet, the one who surpasses them both.
Now for my opinion, because I love to give it.
Here’s my Mount Rushmore of all-time athletes. These three are a given.
Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods.
As far as the fourth athlete, I’ll let you decide. Here are some to consider.
Hank Aaron, Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Richard Petty, Serena Williams...
Whoever it is, I hope you didn’t waste their prime by comparing them to another athlete you thought was better, and I hope you won’t ever do it again.
Enjoy today’s stars, because just as the days we are living in, their time as athletes can change in an instant.
Jared McMurry was born and raised in Montgomery County and is the Sports Editor of the Journal Review. He can be reached by email at email@example.com and by phone at 765-918-8656. Follow him on Twitter @jaredmac26