As I have mentioned in this space before, my Dad is one of the more irrational human beings when it comes to arguing his allegiances in life, politics, etc.
Sports is also a curious source of contention when having a conversation with Dad.
He shows a significant disdain for some of the elite athletes of our time. For example, golfer Tiger Woods and NBA great Michael Jordan are/were “overhyped” according to Dad. Let’s see: Woods has done more before the age of 30 than most PGA greats have done in twenty-plus years on tour. Jordan? He only led his team to six NBA titles. Those players are a dime-a-dozen I suppose.
Amazingly, Dad never grew weary of the constant adulation that surrounded the brilliant NFL wide receiver Jerry Rice. It probably had nothing to do with the fact that Rice spent 16 seasons as a member of Dad’s favorite team, the San Francisco 49ers, did it? Huh. I just can’t put a finger on that one.
Anyhow, the New England Patriots have most recently drawn Dad’s ire. Their three Super Bowl titles in a four year span (2001-04) resulted in their QB, Tom Brady, being mentioned in the same breath as Joe Montana. That more than anything is what has Dad in such a twist. Montana also achieved his great success as a member of the 49ers. Also, the Niners have won five Super Bowls (including one victory engineered by QB Steve Young). Any threat to the legacy of Dad’s favorites causes him to make some of the more asinine arguments. After the Pats won their third title in 2004, Dad protested “Yeah, well they’ve only won each game by three points. So they’re not that good.” Ah, news flash there, Dad. A team has to go through 16 regular season games and a minimum of two post season games just to get to the Super Bowl. Actually getting there is no small feat. So to discredit a team for not winning the big game in convincing fashion? Pretty weak.
Oh, and here’s another...uh…”inconvenient truth”: Brady led his club to three Super Bowl wins within his first five NFL seasons. Montana? It took him ten years to bag three.
Of course, Dad will argue that Montana won four titles as opposed to Brady’s mere three. However, after today’s big win over the San Diego Chargers, Brady’s Patriots are poised to win a fourth.
(Sigh) Here we go again. Last year’s Super Bowl became a source of tension between my Dad and me (The Pittsburgh Steelers won their fifth, matching the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys). Having said that, a Patriots championship will result in my not talking to Dad until Spring. He’ll still be stewing over the fact that Brady’s career success in Super Bowls has equaled Montana’s.
Of course, I’ll have to call him prior to April 2. That is the date when Tiger Woods will begin his quest of winning another Masters title.