By Josh Kramer
It has been a wild past 48 hours. So many big time stories going on. Plaxico, Tressel, French Open finale, playoffs, and more. The following are the main items that have caught my attention.
The second coming of Michael Vick?
If you are not living in a box, you have probably heard something about Plaxico Burress finally being released from prison. After 21 months, the former Super Bowl champion, and one of the League’s most electric receivers will finally have an opportunity to finish his career off right. Or it at least appears that way.
Roger Goodell has had a history of going soft on guys returning to the game from prison. I completely agree with his treatment of these types of situations historically. If a guy does his time in prison, he has done his time and is deserving of a return to football. And there are not too many storylines that were more heart felt than Michael Vick’s triumphant return last year. Will Plaxico be the second coming?
Sadly, I do not see as seamless of a return occurring. Now Plaxico has a good situation going right now in that he gets some much needed time with his family. After nearly two years away from his loved ones, this lockout is great in the respect that he has free time. In addition, Plaxico has never been a guy who depended on raw speed or athleticism to make plays. He has always been a guy who just knows how to go up and get it. Plaxico lives on determination and effort. So if his desire and work ethic are still there, he should not lose too much from his former abilities.
But the lockout is also bad for Plaxico. He does not have the ability to work out for and/or get signed by teams. Remember, Burress has been out of football for two years now. Not only does he not have playing experience, but he also does not know what team he will be playing for. Therefore, he does not know the team’s respective system. NFL playbooks are no easy task to learn. The longer this lockout drags on, the less time Plaxico will have to get signed and learn a new system. Lastly, Burress is 34 years old now. Vick when he returned was 29. There is a huge difference between late 20s and mid 30s in the football world. The average NFL career generally goes a little over three years. There is a reason why this is the case. 34 is definitely not young in this League.
If I had to take a guess at this point, I would see Plaxico swimming to Miami. The Dolphins are an early favorite in the “Burress Sweepstakes.” The dark horse would be his original home, the home of the black and yellow (Steelers).
Tressel love never dies
Hundreds of die hard Buckeye fans gathered at their former coaches home recently. It is clear that Buckeye Nation still loves their former leader. And are you really surprised? I mean the guy won a National Championship, appeared in three National Championship games, won 7 Big Ten titles, and defeated the hated Wolverines 9 of 10 times.
Sure the man made some big mistakes. But he will forever be a part of Buckeye immortality no matter what he does. The love will never die, regardless of it is not quite as strong as it once was.
On Sunday, Rafael Nadal claimed his 6th French Open title over his arch nemisis, Roger Federer. It was the 19th time these two all time greats have gone toe to toe in a finals match. And after watching this match, I cannot imagine that Bjorn Borg was better than Nadal on the clay. I would really go as far to say that Nadal is the greatest clay court player of all time (yes better than Bjorn).
In the era of “the possible greatest player of all time” Roger Federer, Nadal has dominated the clay unlike any other. He truly has turned Roland Garros into his playground. Now I realize that Borg played in the era of McEnroe and Connors, but do either of these two guys truly compare to Roger Federer? I know the scope of the tennis world is entirely different than it was during the 70s and early 80s, but I cannot imagine any player more comfortable on the orange clay of Philippe Chatrier.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.