His lifetime record certainly speaks for itself. In every single contest, he’s undefeated. Father Time has never lost a game.
Now in the bottom of the ninth inning and with just a few seconds left in the fourth quarter, he’s ready to add Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter to that long list of holdouts, who eventually succumb to the enevitable.
Just another notch in the bedpost. It’s been real, now it’s time for you to go.
In this generation, both Bryant and Jeter are gods in their respective sports. However, once thought of as immortal champions, they’ve been reduced to injury plagued liabilities on not so great teams. In the twilight of their careers, catastrophic injuries have derailed their sporting livelihood, which was ultimately followed by diligent rehab, a well earned return, only to be injured shortly after.
After fracturing his ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS, Jeter’s ankle has gone from “He should be ready by Opening Day (2013)” to “Will he ever be the same?”. Only appearing in a handful of games last year, the once active and nimble shortstop transformed into an old man showing barely any signs of spry baseball movement seemingly in the blink of an eye.
As for Kobe, his minutes intake throughout the years finally caught up with him. It’s sad to say, but a major injury seemed like a formality. When he tore his ACL in April of last year he had played in seven consecutive quarters of at least 40 minutes for seven consecutive games.
In Mamba fashion soaked with almost sinister like motivation only few athletes posses, he made it back to the hardwood this year, only to be sidelined yesterday with a fracture in his left knee that will leave him on the bench for six weeks.
As the clock ticks down for both, they have to begin the disconcerting process of devising a serious game plan. Maybe even an unthinkable “exit strategy” if you will.
Both are private athletes that probably won’t miss the limelight as much as some would, but both are well versed in the importance of professional legacies.
They’ve won five championships a piece and are sure fire first ballot hall of famers. The competitor juices that flow through both men are unrivaled by most.
At this stage, Jeter and Kobe should dig deep down and give it one last “college try”. Ironically, neither actually attended college, but their intelligence on how to handle a situation (outside of Eagle,Colorado) is like that of a Rhode scholar.
But, no one, including themselves, want to see them in another uniform and try to hold on to something that is clearly no longer there. All the while Father Time is looming, lurking, and waiting.
One more time fellas. A chance to go out on your own terms.
One more time.