The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


AdMIT it with GRACE: Too Old to Play?

     Whether it’s MSJ Warriors or the Golden State Warriors, look to us to keep you updated on the latest news from the world of sports. We’ll be giving you our take on various topics and we promise to stay true to our opinions. Whatever the issue, don’t be afraid to step up and speak the truth.

     There is a difference between a veteran and a player who is too old to play. Athletes who can never call it quits not only harm the sport by holding playing time from talented rookies, but also hurt their own legacies with year after year of declining numbers. There comes a point in an athlete’s career when it’s time to hand their legacy to someone else.

Shaquille O’Neal
     Shaq has been playing since 1992. After his golden years in LA and his championship in Miami, his ability to productively help his team has vanished with age. At 38 years old, he has bounced around from Miami to Phoenix to Cleveland and now to Boston with no 5th championship ring on his fingers. While he was at Phoenix, he held them back from advancing in the playoffs by falling victim to the famous Hack a Shaq technique, where teams fouled him in an effort to force him to shoot free throws. In Cleveland, he took away playing time from fellow center Zydrunas Illgauskas and prohibited the advancement of JJ Hickson. Now he has teamed up with the Boston Celtics, a team that is used to giving veterans a legitimate shot at a championship. There, he will join the Celtics “Big Three” of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen, who are also already past their glory days.

Brett Favre
     “I am officially retiring from the NFL.”
So much for that statement; it’s been two years since the famous football warrior proclaimed his supposed exit from the game he loved so well. Its all small talk now, but Mr. Brett “Ironman” Favre will soon officially begin his 20th NFL season. Backed by his indomitable spirit, Favre has managed to last two decades playing a sport where even the toughest are made weak in their strength. But is it right to continue extending his career, stirring up controversy about his return every season while skipping out on offseason training camp at the same time? This year, it took three of Favre’s teammates to fly down to his home in Mississippi to persuade him to return for another shot at a Superbowl title. If Favre continues resorting to these tactics, he is only tarnishing his reputation as a legend and hurting his once adoring fans.

     There comes a time when veterans need to step down and humbly leave the game. When a player takes a selfish turn and decides to stick around, he not only harms young talent but also keeps his team and the league from developing.


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