The Bleacher Creature

Tebow Time

He’s back, ladies and gentlemen! Tim Tebow isn’t running around shirtless on the practice field anymore and will probably never return to the NFL, but God’s favorite football player is now trying his hand at baseball.

Opinions about how good the guy actually is are mixed. his plate discipline has been praised and his power graded at the highest level (80) by at least one scout, while his ability to actually make contact seems comically low by major league standards. I personally love the fact that he’s giving it a go. Stuffy baseball pundits and traditionalists are trying to make a bigger deal out of this than what it is, insisting like they always do that it’s a publicity stunt and harmful to the integrity of the game. Puh-lease, let the guy have some fun out there, I promise that Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb aren’t spinning in their grave.

Besides, the overwhelming odds are that this whole story will amount to nothing and Tebow will never play in MLB. The guy hasn’t even played competitive baseball since high school, and he lacks the freak athleticism of a crossover star like Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders, so really what are his chances? Then again, people said the same things about his ability at quarterback and Tebow still managed to will the Broncos into the playoffs back in 2012 behind some combination of black magic, deer antler spray and good-old-fashioned prayer. Who’s to say he won’t summon up some of the old mojo again?

Serena’s Not that Great

You may have seen the Nike ads recently that proclaim tennis superstar Serena Williams as the greatest female athlete ever, only to scratch out the modifier and identify her as the GOAT of all sports. It’s a positive message and a reminder that when discussing the accomplishments of an athlete (or indeed any individual), we don’t need to first qualify their gender as a way of ranking how important they are. But good intentions aside, can we stop pretending that Serena has any sort of claim to being the best athlete ever?

I don’t even see this as an opinion so much as it is an objective fact, and let me break down why. There are basically two schools of thought in determining how good an athlete someone is. One looks at the physical feats a person is able to perform that have been traditionally classified as “athletic,” things like how high they can jump, how fast they can run, and how strong they are. The other simply takes into account how good a person is at their respective sport(s). So in other words, by the first measure Tom Brady might be one of the worst athletes in American professional sports history while by the second, he is indisputably one of the greatest.

Now as for Serena, neither she nor any other woman can possibly claim to be the greatest athlete by the first standard as a simple matter of biology. No woman has ever been born or ever will be born that could measure up to the physical dominance of a Wilt Chamberlain or a Usain Bolt. It is then by the second measure that Nike and others insist she is the greatest athlete ever, and while that opinion may be argued slightly more convincingly than the first, it is still a demonstrably false one. Dominating the way she has in the most competitive era in tennis history might make her the best player in her sport ever, but even that is far from an undisputed reality, as she lacks the records for either most career singles victories or most career Grand Slams (Margaret Court Smith holds both with 192 and 24 respectively).

By my count, the title of best athlete ever can only be debated between three people: Wayne Gretzky, who would have been the NHL’s all-time points leader if he never scored a single goal in his entire career, then insisted on being the all-time goal scorer for good measure; Don Bradman, whose test cricket career average of 99.4 (out of 100) is nearly double the next best career average and the approximate equivalent of a baseball player hitting .700 over the course of his career; and Aleksandr Karelin, the Russian Greco-Roman wrestling legend who went 887-2 over his career, won three consecutive Olympic golds, and once went six years without giving up so much as a single point. No disrespect to Serena, but all three were far more dominant than she could ever hope to be.

Are You Ready for Some (Fantasy) Football?

It’s that time of year again! No, not the start of the NFL, the return of fantasy football, possibly the most addictive and legal means of gambling we currently have available to us in this country.

Here are some quick pointers for your season: Pick Antonio Brown first overall. I don’t care if you are playing standard or PPR, the guy is one of the most talented WRs ever who has seemingly telepathic chemistry with a terrific quarterback in a pass-happy offense, and he’s going to break some records in 2016….Stay away from Adrian Peterson, especially in PPR. He’s an all-time great and a guarantee to get fed the rock, but AD is 31 years old and will be facing nothing but stacked boxes now that Teddy Bridgewater is done for the season. You never want to own a stud the year he crashes back to Earth, and I fear that this could be that time for Peterson….Ameer Abdullah was for some reason labeled a bust even though he averaged 4.2 yards per carry playing on a terrible team behind an abysmal offensive line. The Lions made lots of improvements across the board and the explosive Abdullah is primed to benefit big-time from them. He is a terrific value at his current draft position….There is no better handcuff to own this year than Alfred Morris, who despite feeling like he has been in the league forever, is only 27 and now playing behind the Cowboys’ vaunted OL. Rookie Ezekiel Elliott will get the first crack at the starting job and is for sure the guy to own in the long run, but should something happen and the team feel the need to protect their prized investment, Morris will be right there to pick up the slack. An injury to Elliot would instantly make him a top-10 RB….Josh Gordon is back after a long absence, but before you expect him to replicate his historically great 2013 season, remember that a return to form after almost two full seasons of injury-free time away from the game would be pretty much unprecedented. Make sure to temper your expecta…aw, who am I kidding. Hop on board the hype train, baby! 2,500 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns here we come!!!

Post Author: tucollegian

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