Friday Fire: Past or Present, Any Sport…What Player Starts Your Franchise?

Combined 4784 yards from scrimmage and 38 touchdowns in first season

Been out of commission all week with something or other that made my head feel like a frozen pineapple and I’m still am not totally right, but I’m in the land of the living so no complaints.

Let’s get to it. You are the brand new owner of a sports franchise playing its first season. Throwing money everywhere to get the word out. Tweeting till your silver spoon grabbing fingers cramp up, eyes red as hell and your significant other screaming up to your office to get off the damn computer and come to bed. The draft is a few days away and you’re excited…

Excited because there’s a once in a generation stud on the board everyone is clamoring for…but you have the first pick. You have the chance to make hundreds of millions over the course of his career because he’s just that athlete.

GM’s all over the place are calling you, texting you, hell…little girls selling girl scout cookies are passing you their Dad’s card all the while with their hands out because they know you’re rich…

But all you can think about is this player. You know he’s can’t miss and would be a dumbass to not pick him. He’s the perfect athlete on and off the field. Madison avenue is signing this kid to 8 figure endorsement deals before he signs his first pro contract. You have to take him right?

In a perfect world the athlete I speak of is Cam Newton. I’m going with him. What he did this year in his first season is as incredible and explosive as any rookie pro athlete I’ve ever seen and there’s not an athlete alive with as much promise ahead of him at his age. Can you think of one? If so write it down.

To be clear, your pick can be anyone who has ever played any sport of your choosing. Would it be Michael Jordan? Jim Brown? Ronaldinho? Serena or Venus Williams? Lawrence Taylor? Peyton Manning? Alex Rodriquez? Julius Erving? Wilt Chamberlain? Anfernee Hardaway? Chris Webber? Ken Griffey Jr.? Albert Belle? Randall Cunningham? Michael Vick? Thierry Henry? Joe DiMaggio? Wayne Gretzky? Adrian Peterson? Jerry Rice? Frank Lampard? Kaka? Fritz Pollard? Tim Tebow? Reggie Jackson? Candace Parker? Bob Gibson? Larry Bird? LeBron James? Brittney Yevette Griner? Reggie White? John Elway? Dirk Nowitzki? Mickey Mantle? Bill Russell? Willie Mays? David Beckham? Barry Bonds? Josh Hamilton? Kobe Bryant? Derrick Rose? AJ Green? Bo Jackson?

I’m just throwing names out there. How about Tom Brady? Pele? Allen Iverson? Cristiano Ronaldo? Ndamakong Suh? His teammate Calvin Johnson? Walter Payton? Josh Gibson? Oscar Charleston? Satchel Paige? John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil? Troy Aikman? Randy Moss? Miguel Cabrera? Dwight Gooden? Yao Ming? Jim Plunkett? Robert Griffin III? Lionel Messi? Andrew Luck? Charles Woodson? Patrick Peterson? Pat Tillman? Alexander Mikhaylovich Ovechkin? Dan Marino? Stephen Strasburg?

The kid your neighbor is throwing a ball to right now who is catching everything and running over toddlers at age three?

Who? The choice is yours? Try not to go with the easy ones. Make it creative. Make a case for current athletes as well as the icons? This thread should go on for years like this one…you know the one in the TSF Hall of Fame.

Have a great weekend. I have some good stuff coming next week. Be peace…

11 Responses to “Friday Fire: Past or Present, Any Sport…What Player Starts Your Franchise?”

  1. Okori says:

    honorable mention for me is from the past and it’s Joe DiMaggio. I have to look at more than just on-field production when you do things like this. He represented himself, his team, and his sport with a kind of class and distinction you need to be the face of a franchise.

    But, to me, the best answer is Willie Mays. There was nothing in the sport he could not do, and his career was harmed (as much as you can be harmed when you hit 660 home runs) by 2 factors he had absolutely nothing to do with: Home runs were taken away from him in both the Polo Grounds and Candlestick Park, and he had to play in the same division with the Koufax and Drysdale Dodgers and the Gibson Cardinals.

    Since I’m working on the rudiments of a baseball post, i’m baseball-obsessed at the moment.

  2. Temple3 says:

    “He is a veritable superman.” – Walter Camp

    I’m going to take a young Paul Robeson out of Rutgers University. I’m hoping that he has a great career as a two-way player. I’m going to put him in at QB and DE. I’m pretty sure he could do it. Then I’m going to let him coach the team and lead the prayer circle. He’ll even lead the on-field chants, sing incredible songs, and make great promos/movies for the team. After he’s done, I’m going to give him seed money to fulfill his life’s goals and take it from there.

    Excerpt from the link below: “Paul Robeson entered Rutgers in 1915. A small private college marked by an atmosphere of racial hostility, he was the third Black student ever to attend, and one of only two Blacks on campus during his entire four years. Excluded from the dormitory, he lived with a Black family in New Brunswick. His athletic prowess was apparent, but during his tryout for the football team he sustained injuries because of the continuous and calculated aggressive attacks on him. Although he required hospitalization, his brother Ben urged him not to quit explaining he had a responsibility to his race. Returning to team practice, his hand was purposefully stomped on by the star halfback between plays. As the next play unfolded, Paul tackled his assailant and swung him up over his head. Fearing for the halfback’s life, Coach Sandford screamed: “Robeson! You’re on the team.” Although he became a star of the team, his locker stood separate from the others, and he roomed with as assistant coach when the team traveled.”

    Paul Robeson did everything that every athlete we’ll name did — at least 30 years before they did it. He was tremendous on the field and legendary off the field. Athlete, actor, singer, humanitarian, author, leader, legend. He was Jim Brown before Jim Brown’s daddy knew what a Jim Brown was. He was a master showman before Deion went Neon. He was an international celebrity before Michael Jordan or Muhammad Ali. He was political before Jackie Robinson, and he was WHITE-listed long before Mahmoud Adbur Rauf or Craig Hodges or Tommy Smith or John Carlos. He was “super” before Mr. O’Neal or Mr. Howard or Mr. Newton.

    He split atoms with this mind, melted hearts with his voice, restored race pride with his dignity, and never missed a beat.

    He’s the prototype for all the typing and hyping that has come down the pipeline…

    The Face of the T3 Franchise!

    http://www.paulrobesonfoundation.org/

  3. Damn man. That’s a monster pick. I think I’m gonna read his auto bio again just because…

  4. Temple3 says:

    “In January 1938 Robeson, Eslanda Goode and Charlotte Haldane visited the International Brigades fighting in Spain. While there he heard about Oliver Law of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion who had been killed at Brunete in July 1937. During the offensive Law became the first African-American officer in history to lead an integrated military force. Robeson decided to make a film about Law and “all of the American Negro comrades who have come to fight and die for Spain.” Over the next few years Robeson tried several times to raise the money to make the film. He later complained that “the same money interests that block every effort to help Spain, control the Motion Picture industry, and so refuse to allow such a story.”

    Even his failures were epic! And the truth of this statement in 1937 should awaken even the most dormant of men and women. What Robeson saw 75 years ago has not changed.

    “the same money interests…”
    “the same money interests…”
    “the same money interests…”

    TSF Family — If you have your own money, don’t start your own franchise with a foot-shufflin’ Negro….please. Bask in the freedom of the moment and choose someone that you could reasonably expect to, ahem, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097216/.

  5. Temple3 says:

    Mizzo:

    Thank you, in a heartfelt way, for raising the question…for continuing to contribute because this work matters. I appreciate it…and it’s always my pleasure to add to the vibe.

  6. An that you firmly and consistently with intelligence do. Thank you.

  7. MODI says:

    Godd post Miz, and thanks for comments and links T3…

    I am predisposed to choose a boxer because I have more respect for boxers than any other athlete. Other athletes are allowed to have glaring weaknesses and still be great. Ted Williams could be a brilliant hitter, but a poor fielder and still be all-time great. In boxing, such shortcoming will leave you on the canvas. The greatest boxers must be at the height of physical, mental, and emotional dominance. A guy like Wilt had peak physical and mental but was missing the emotional aspect. The greatest boxers are all physically gifted, but are ring scientists. And even the greatest had a glaring weakness.

    Roy Jones had ridiculous speed, but when he slowed we learned he never had the chin. B-Hop maximizes every inch of his ability through science, guile, discipline, and craft, but he still has physical limitations of both power and speed when compared to the greats of all-time. Mayweather is a defensive genius, but lacks power and relies on counterpunching. Klitchko and Lennox Lewis are physical marvels, but neither have a chin. Foreman had supreme power, but little technique (or discipline). A prime Tyson had power and technique, but we soon learned he had no guts. And even the gutsiest like Duran lost their guts on their worst day. Boxing is unforgiving…

    Now while Ali had all of the above (didn’t have power, but made up with blinding speed), even he had one small weakness if we could nitpick. He was suceptible to the left hook. Of course, that’s Fraziers very best punch, but all of Ali’s career knockdowns came against the left hook including Henry Cooper and Sonny Banks in his young days.

    While exempting many of the early boxers in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s because I just haven’t seen quality tape, there is only one athlete that I would choose…

  8. MODI says:

    Sugar Ray Robinson

  9. Temple3 says:

    According to PFR.com, Robeson played with Fritz Pollard for 2 years on two different teams (Akron and Milwaukee) in the 20′s.

  10. Miranda says:

    Hey Mizzo….(off topic somewhat)…but did you hear about this movie being made about Marlin Briscoe?

    http://www.marlinbriscoemovie.com/

  11. Thanks Miranda. I was unaware. This is great. I’ll look into it.

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