Monday, February 18, 2013
Are we there yet? (and other Monday morning musings)
Remember Wayne Gretzky's 50th birthday? Me neither. How about when Joe Montana turned the big five-oh? I got nothin'. They were the greatest champions of their generation in their respective sports, but they reached the middle-age milestone in relative obscurity. Not so Michael Jordan, whose 50th birthday yesterday was the culmination of an entire week saturated with media retrospectives celebrating an athlete who hasn't played competitively in nearly a decade. Despite a private life marred by scandal and a petty, bitter Hall of Fame induction speech that arguably tainted his legacy, Jordan was and remains a global phenomenon without equal in the world of sports. Tiger Woods is the only other athlete who comes close to Jordan's stature, and even Tiger is playing catch-up...For the sake of certainty, news of Canadiens rookie Brendan Gallagher's concussion could hardly have been worse if he'd suffered torn knee ligaments or a dislocated shoulder. There are specific medical remedies and defined recovery periods for nearly every other major injury, but the science of sports-related brain trauma is still fraught with guesswork, and it seems the more the medical community learns about concussions, the bleaker the prognosis for anybody who sustains one...Not that it makes any difference in my life one way or the other, but wouldn't the NBA All Star slam dunk contest be more challenging as a one-on-one competition? The current format is akin to a hockey shootout without a goaltender...Danica Patrick made NASCAR history by becoming the first woman to win pole position for the Daytona 500 in only her sixth career Sprint Cup race. Perhaps not coincidentally, it was also the first time she didn't stop to pee and ask for directions during qualifying.