Posts Tagged ‘Shaquille O’Niel’

So how about the new reality TV show, Shaq vs.? I enjoyed watching Ben Rothlisberger and Shaq go at it, but in today’s day and age, reality shows are like secrets, everybody’s got one. Which gives me all the reason to watch something ELSE on television.

But everyone isn’t Shaq…

The one of a kind, legendary big man who’s at the dusk of an epic career, has arguably more personality than anyone who has ever played the game. I mean hey, he’s got just as many aliases as he has rings.
The Big Cactus a.k.a, The Big Aristotle, a.k.a The Big JabbaWokee, a.k.a the Big Everything Else lol, couldn’t have picked a better time to latch on to the reality show movement, and remind the world how much he has meant to not only the game of basketball, but the world of sports itself.

So you’re probably asking, “What the does Shaq’s career have to do with Brett Favre?”

My question to you is, “what do Brett Favre and the Big Aristotle have in common?” or should I say “what don’t they have in common?” Aside from the obvious, (ethnicity, height, professions etc…) as it pertains to sports, there are more parallels than polarities that reside between the two.

For Example…

Age/Longevity:

Favre age and long 3
The Atlanta Falcons drafted Brett Favre in 1991 at 22years of age. The gunslinger from southern Mississippi (Gulfport) has been playing professional football for 18 straight seasons, 19 if you include this year. I don’t know about you, but 19 years ago, I was still in preschool playing hide and go seek and reading Dr. Seuss books… But as for Bret Favre, he’s been holding his own for practically 2 DECADES in the Nation Football League, which goes to show you how much of a VIKING he really is.
At 39 years of age, Favre has battled trough some nagging injuries and has always been an “all or nothing” type of guy. A Joe Namath/Montana-esc type of player come crunch time. A man who’s never afraid of taking the long shot down the field in the closing seconds of a game. Unfortunately, he’s has some awful interceptions to lose a close one or 2.. Or 3… Ok maybe a season… But nevertheless, Brett Favre has made his mark in the league by having the heart to take those risks, and make those decisions. At any rate, Brett Favre has spent practically half of his life playing (professional) football, 2 decades in the NFL? Now that’s longevity for you…

Shaq on the other hand is no different. Like Brett Favre, Shaquille O’Neal has lasted quite some time in the NBA. Ever since he’s won his 4th Championship with Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat, the talk of retirement has always been the speculation surrounding him. He’s dealt with injuries and always seemed to have difficulties with his conditioning. But just when you think that he’s finished, the Big Man just keeps coming back..

Shaq age long 2
Drafted by the Orlando Magic in 1992, the 20-year-old Shaquille O’Neal took the league by storm. Exhibiting the essentials every big man should possess; dominance, ferocity, and raw talent. Based on his size and potential alone, sports analyst and fans alike were placing Shaq in the class of the big men superiors, right along with Wilt-the Stilt-Chamberlain and Bill Russell. In fact, Shaq was, and still is such an impermeable force, that he changed the dynamics of the game. Due to his massive girth, strength and overwhelming dominance, teams, officials, and league rules were forced to acquiesce to Shaq’s presence. Hence, the hack-a-shack strategy, engineered by San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich… Many NBA coaches utilize this method today, but Pop is the guru who coined this strategy, which it so pervasive. Ultimately, Shaq spent the bulk/pentacle of his career in LA with Kobe and the Los Angeles Lakers (9 years). Since then, Shaquille has played for three teams (Heat, Suns and Cavs), which has helped him maintain the career that literally has outlasted the life span of your average household pet (16 years)..

Success:
Despite the fact that Brett Favre and Shaq are in the latter stages of their careers, and should probably hang it up, they are still what I like to call PPWP’s; Players Playing With a Purpose…

Most professional athletes are satisfied with doing what they love and in the meantime, getting rich while doing it. But as for the great ones, the numbers in the win column are their only source of gratification. Winning brings in the hardware, and the hardware ultimately symbolizes/solidifies one’s success through out his career.

favre success

Brett Favre having earned the honors of being called a NFL champion, winning his well deserved and fine piece of jewelry, for defeating the New England Patriots in Superbowl 31 (1997). Despite the fact that SB 31 is Favre’s only championship victory, through out his career he’s led the Green Bay Packers to 7 division champions and 4 NFC championships (winning 2), and has been named the leagues most valuable player 3 consecutive years in a row (95-97). The resume speaks for itself people…

Already earning his spot in the fraternity of the top 50 players of the National Basketball Association, currently at no. 4, Shaq Daddy resides at the crescendo of  the more successful careers that have been cultivated by the NBA. Having won 4 championships (3 with Kobe and the Lakers, and 1 with D. Wade and the Miami Heat), Shaq has a legacy that will be virtually impossible for individuals of the later generations to parallel. Not to mention that Shaquille has multiple MVP’s coming from the all-star, regular season, and NBA final performances that he’s bestowed through out the years. There’s no denying what this man has accomplished during his declining, but nevertheless ongoing career.

Shaq successful

New Opportunity:
With Brett Favre going to Minnesota Vikings and Shaq going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the old timers now have the chance to add to their resumes. The middle aged veterans have had a change of scenery, but getting themselves acclimated to their new rosters, by which are saturated with talent, should be a seamless transition; in theory…

Bret New Opportunity

If you haven’t heard about this kid Adrian Peterson, then you’ve not been watching football these past few years. As a rookie at the running back position, Adrian Peterson has shattered records left and right. He’s a combination of pure speed and strength; a work horse/play maker hybrid that is every coaches dream. His upside is ridiculous, and he’s only going to get better. With Peterson in the backfield, opposing defenses will have to pick their poison. Now, Brett Favre at 39 years of age, isn’t going to scramble in the pocket like a young Randal Cunningham, but he has the guts to stand pat, take the blow and deliver the pass down the field. This opens up an array of options for the Minnesota Vikings, and with exceptional offensive play, and the defensive consistency they’re known for, Brett Favre can make big things happen while wearing purple and gold…

Speaking of which, Shaq finds himself in a similar situation. Now apart of the Cavs roster, alongside Lebron James and co. he can potentially win his 5th NBA Championship. We all know what the new-age no. 23 is capable of, and how he hasn’t had that second superstar to fill his voids. So here is say, Superman is here to save the day!

Shaq-aka-The-Cleveland-Steamer

At least he hopes to, I mean after all the Big Cactus hasn’t held up these past couple of seasons, and doesn’t seem to like back to backs during the course of a road trip. I’m not sure if it’s conditioning, or just his old age that isn’t allowing his body to hold up. After all, Shaq is a large man, and we know they are usually the first to retire. Generally speaking, the big men of the league tend to be more injury prone than the more durable, prototypical guards/forwards of the NBA.

However, the living legends are in the best situations possible. Tailor made for their overall success

From a superficial perspective, these two guys who seem to be from opposite ends of the spectrum, but beneath the surface, they actually have more in common that not. The only significance element that may separate Brett Favre and Shaquille O’Neil from eachother, are their reason for coming back. One is trying to beat show up an organization and the other is trying one up a friend who turned foe. I’ll leave it up to you to fill in the blank…

As for me, I’m signing off, but talk about a great theme for a reality show!

Ya Boy,
Mike Ferg.