Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Life in General, Music, NFL Football

“Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you…”  Lyrics from the Simon &  Garfunkel mega-hit Mrs. Robinson  and I once again had those words run through my head as I watched Peyton Manning’s press conference where he was released by the Indianapolis Colts.  Just a couple months ago I felt the same, empty feeling when Albert Pujols wasn’t re-signed by the St. Louis Cardinals.  Two sports pillars, two exceptionally talented guys, two icons who are now moving on to other professional franchises.

I don’t know about other cities, but St. Louis is built on tradition with its sports clubs.  Names like Enos Slaughter, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Dizzy Dean, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ted Simmons, Ozzie Smith are held to pope-like standards.  These are some of the baseball untouchables in this sports city and piss on anyone who says players of today are better than that group.  Well, I hate to tell this town, but Albert Pujols was the best of them all and now he’s playing in California.

This is how many in Indianapolis probably feel tonight.  After 14 seasons of generosity, of sweat, of pain, of winning, the great Peyton Manning will now be someone else’s quarterback.  Perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time is being sent away from the only club he’s ever known.  Sure he’s had a health concern but many players come back from just the same procedure.  Many of them are hard-hitting linebackers and safeties who don’t wind up in a wheelchair.  Manning had fusion surgery on his neck and both doctors who performed the operation have given him a 100% clear sign to play again.

Gone are the days where a player spends his entire career with one team.  Oh yes, there are a few, but they are extremely rare.  The latest to do so is New York Yankee stud shortstop, #2, Derek Jeter.   These types of situations are soon to be extinct in the sports world of today.  Traditionalists will bemoan that fact.  People in St. Louis cry that “it’s just not the way it used to be”.  True, it’s not, but that is the machine that has been created with the advent of salary caps, enormous salaries and huge television deals.  Certainly it’s sad, I feel as though things just aren’t good, but the bottom lines of many franchises and television networks says differently.

I’m a Peyton Manning fan.  I think what he’s done in this league is unprecedented.  I’ll enjoy watching him play the remainder of his career in Miami, Arizona, Seattle or whereever.  It will be odd, just as it’s odd seeing Pujols running around with a big ‘A’ on his hat.    I feel we as sportsfans lost a little bit today, actually a little bit more.  We’re the ones who are impacted the most, the rabid fanatics who spend big bucks on jerseys, hats, car magnets, tailgating grills, etc., etc..  Yeah, things aren’t the same and we have to get used to it.

We won’t see this anymore…..

#18....the best I've ever seen

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