Reasons we love sports, Vols. 1 and 2: Fruit baskets and breakups (video)

Listen to the next few stories and follow along, as if you haven’t already.  They might help you sports fans on the fringe understand why so many of us on the other end of that spectrum tailgate on Saturdays, huddle up on Sundays, stuff our face with wings on Mondays and spend our hard earned dollars to see the best of the best… play ball.

Reason Number One: Humility

In this day and age of athletes running off at the mouth, it’s refreshing when someone actually acts the way they’re supposed to.  That’s exactly what happened in Houston last week.

Texans running back Arian Foster hit the lottery, signing a well-deserved, five-year, $43.5 million contract to stay in a Houston uniform.

In his teary-eyed press conference (you’ve been warned), Foster recalled tougher times, as a child, and what his mom had to go through just to put food on the dinner table.

Foster reminded us of the importance of love, life, family and humility.

Reason Number Two: Graciousness

Breaking up is hard to do.  Don’t we all know it?  Yet when a difficult decision needed to be made in Indianapolis, Colts owner Jim Irsay and his former quarterback Peyton Manning (sounds weird, doesn’t it?) reminded us that exes can still be friends, making choices with their heads rather than their hearts.

In his parting press conference, Manning thanked Irsay, the organization and most importantly, the fans of Indianapolis in a sincere, heartfelt moment that reminded us the importance of maturity, level-headedness and graciousness.

Personally, I’ve never been so inclined.  I’ve had breakups before.  NONE were as amicable as Manning-Irsay.  Quite the contrary.  Perhaps when they’re done with football, these two should write a book on conflict resolution.  There was no shouting, name-calling or throwing of furniture, just two mature adults making a business decision to benefit them both.  What the hell kind of break-up is that?

They now begin anew, Irsay with Andrew Luck and Peyton finding refuge in the uniform of another.  Either way, the whole thing was handled with class and reminded us that breaking up might not be that hard to do after all.

Yeah, right.

33 thoughts on “Reasons we love sports, Vols. 1 and 2: Fruit baskets and breakups (video)

  1. Pingback: Reasons we love sports, Vols. 1 and 2: Fruit baskets and breakups (video) - BallHyped, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. I think that Arian Foster was very sincere but I never believed for a minute that Payton Manning was being honest. If I could have been a fly on Manning’s brain, I think I would have heard, “How can you think about dumping me just because I was out with an injury”? and,”I’ll show them that I still have it. I’ll go somewhere else and prove it to them”. This is going to be like Brett Favre all over again. After earning in excess of $200 million in his career, maybe he should have just retired and become the Colts QB coach or some front office job. I long for the good old days when a player stayed with one team and the leagues weren’t run like a business but rather like a sport. When competing and having fun was more important that making money.

  3. Well, Snake, this breakup is a lot more amicable than Favre and Green Bay. Do you remember how long that crap went on?

    At least this was a pretty clean break. And I don’t think anyone in their right mind, not even the most ardent Colts fan, can argue that this wasn’t the right move for the franchise.

    Gotta think long term.

    I do think Peyton was sincere, and shaken, in the sense that his future is still uncertain. Again, he was with that team and in that city for a long time.

    So why wouldn’t he be at least a little moved?

  4. Towards the end of this I had boy’s II Men playing in my head “it’s so hard to say goodbye”. Looks like the Dubs might make me say goodbye to monta sometime in the near future, and the A’s well, we say goodbye to everyone before we get used to them on the team…

  5. Chap…

    I actually saw a few Boyz II Men remixes of the Peyton saga. Impossible song to sing on karaoke night by the way.

    It looks like the Magic are doing their best to hold on to Dwight, including going after your boy Monta but according to Chris Broussard, Golden State has no interest in trading him… which means he’ll probably be gone by Thursday.

  6. Snake…

    There’s no denying Manning wanted to finish his career in Indy but it wasn’t in the cards.

    Trust me, he’s better off for leaving. In that sense, he won’t have to deal with all the “When are they finally going to play Andrew Luck” talk that would have been there at Day One.

  7. Wouldn’t it be a bit of bad karma if Luck bombed out? Anything can happen from injury to poor performance. In any sport, being #1 is never a lock on greatness. Just ask Greg Oden or Michael Olowokandi. I’m a big believer in going home with the one who brought you.

  8. I thought Fosters soundbite was very raw & very real.

    But I sure hope it doesn’t encourage others to start talking about Albertsons, penny roles or cashing in bottles! :O

    U know who U R. hee hee 🙂

    Another great post SC. Nicely written. Great work.

    M

  9. That’s fine, Snake, but Luck is no Oden or Olowokandi.

    You may recall my Heisman post a few months back. Bringing home that hardware or being picked number one is no guarantee.

    But Luck is supposed to be the second coming. In this day and age in the NFL, you pretty much have to have a franchise quarterback if you’re going to amount to anything. And Luck will be their guy.

    One million analysts can’t be wrong, can they?

  10. Poor Peyton, maybe he can live on Eli’s couch. Sike he’s probably going to be making 10m+ a year and who even know he’s healthy enough to play

  11. Chris, nice piece.

    Both guys are a class act. One is the greatest to ever play his position and the other an undrafted rookie making all the NFL suits look foolish as he makes his team a contender.

    Jim Reese

  12. Glad you were the first to bring that up about Arian, Jimmy.

    As amazing as that sounds in this day and age, Victor Cruz excluded of course, how is it that scouts miss on guys like Foster. I mean, it’s not like there’s not eighty rounds in the NFL draft.

    And to hear a guy like you say Peyton was “the greatest ever to play his position” holds a little more standing.

    Although perhaps youve’ never heard of a certain Minnesota Golden Gopher QB from way back in the day. Kid could really hurl… and I’m not just talking about at frat parties.

  13. Just wait until Irsay says something stupid again on Twitter, or one or both of them writes the “tell all” book.

  14. Chris

    Foster and Manning have always been classy individuals and that’s what we tend not to see too often nowadays in sports . Everything seems to be about creating an image rather than many of these athletes simply letting their talent do “the talking ” !

    Damn , I miss the old days of Hagler in boxing when he was always civil, albeit that his loss to “Sugar” Ray Leonard ( there’ll only ever be one ” Sugar Ray ” and that’s Ray Robinson ____ ‘nough said) created a great deal of controversy and acrimony that led to him retiring from the sport . Leonard went on to be a great champion but in the latter stages of his career the fact that titles were simply handed to him (fought Donny Lalonde for the then little known world WBO lt heavyweight title _ [think of Lalonde as the poor man’s Gerry Cooney ] ) was something of a joke rather than him earning those titles with meaningful fights .

    tophatal ……….

  15. Even though Peyton and Jim didn’t earn any PR awards at all for how they handled the situation up to the breakup, they presented an inspirational and almost spiritual exit image. My own opinion is Peyton’s message was heartfelt for a couple of reasons…he did not want to leave Indy…and he knows his playing football ever again is very shaky. As for Arian, I don’t doubt his sincerity at all. Sometimes we forget how far “up” these athletes come from…which is unfortunate because there are millions of folks who live daily in the same situation and aren’t going to be getting sports and entertainment dollars thrust upon them. While we celebrate one guy beating the odds, let us not forget the majority of men, women and children still in need to help get “up.”

  16. J-Dub…

    Speaking of tell-all books, whatever happened to the aftermath of that Phil Jackson book he wrote about the Kobe-Shaq years?

    Wasn’t that huge news back in the day, exposing the negative dynamic between the two?

    Funny how that all got swept under the rug. Was that a work of fiction or had Phil smoked one too many before telling his recollection of those events?

  17. Al…

    The Bucs had to make some moves to keep their fan base somewhat happy.

    Season ticket sales are few and far between, plus they had the money to spend.

    If they didn’t make a splash in this free agent market when they were one of the only teams really available to spend big cash, well, let’s just say RayJay would be a helluva lot more empty than it already is.

  18. Hey man, really appreciate you showing me this A. Foster video. I haven’t and I am glad I did. Aside the fact that I would bet on Arian Foster any day of the week in terms of his ability, you can tell that the words that were coming out of his mouth were genuine. One of the guys that truly deserve his contract.

  19. Chris,

    We don’t know where Peyton will wind up but it looks like Denver and Arizona are strongly in the mix.
    The first criteria for him is protection. Sacked only sixteen times in 2010, he thrives in a protected environment and now more than ever, given his physical situation, needs to know he has a team that can do just that.
    Arizona has given up more sacks than any NFL team over the past two years.
    Denver gave up less than two sacks per game last year when Kyle Orton was the quarterback. They averaged three sacks when Tim Tebow was the starter. Given Tebow’s proclivity to run, that number is not surprising.
    Given Denver’s ability to protect a pocket passer plus having the league’s best running attack, I think it’s clear the Broncos edge the Cardinals for Manning’s services.
    Now let’s see what Tennessee or others have to say.
    Jim

  20. AND, he’s gone! I think the Warriors weren’t interested in trading him for someone like Ryan Anderson or anyone else on the Magic roster not named Dwight Howard. I bet they would’ve done it for Gortat…

  21. SA…

    And still we wait to find out where Peyton signs.

    If only we could be behind closed doors, a fly on the wall, to see what these franchises are offering him.

  22. Agreed, BS.

    If only Schaub could stay healthy for a season. With Peyton out of Indy, I’d like to see what a healthy Houston team could do in the playoffs.

    Is next year their year?

  23. Jim…

    I was listening to JT the Brick on the ride home from work tonight and they were talking about the 2012 schedules for Arizona, Denver and the rest of the teams looking to land Peyton.

    Do you think that’s something that he’s actually looking at? Next year’s schedules? I mean, he’s looking to sign a three year deal so what good does looking one year out do?

    I agree with you. He’s gotta look at his weapons and his O-Line, first and foremost.

  24. Chris First off props to Stan Heath and the boys of USF ! That was an almighty a#s kicking that they applied to the Cal Bears . I just simply wanted the Bulls stomp on the necks of the Bears rather than letting up off the gas pedal ! As to the Bucs that’s one almighty outlay and commitment Dominik and the front office of the organization . Over $145 million solely three players . Wow ! Did you by any chance hear the squeaking of the pocket and check books upon their opening by the Glazers once that decision was made ? Holla back , man ! If at all interested ? Simply Looking For A Few Good Men …. Can You Handle The Truth ? Stress Test Baseball And See Where That Takes You ? So ‘melo is saying that he’s not the issue that led to the resignation of DAntoni from the Knicks ? It’s funny but I was always under the impression that the “coddled ” and infantile NBA ” superstars ” had balls . That locker room spat between the two must’ve been over something else than ‘melo’s presumed role on the Knicks ? Let’s face it Lin-sanity was merely a passing fad just like the pet rock . That team is woeully ….. inept in spite of the victory over the Trailblazers last night . tophatal ………..

  25. Al…

    I was listening to Heath’s pre-game interview last night on the way into work. He said his team had had the best practice it had all year.

    The Bulls didn’t need the motivation of being slighted by only invited being to the play-in game. They clearly should have qualified on their own.

    They just wanted to represent the program well, which is exactly what they did.

    You’re right. Ass-kicking. Only allowing your opponent to score 14 in the first half? Ouch! But I saw that coming. And Temple better be careful before they get a dose of that as well. At least let’s hope so.

    And D’Antoni? Let’s just say it’ll probably be a while before he finds himself another head coaching gig in the league.

  26. Chris,

    Houston could indeed be the top team in the division with Peyton out and Schaub healthy. Add a great D under Wade Phillips and a running game featuring Arian Foster and they are a force to go deep into the playoffs.

    Jim

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