facebook-24x24

I have been a sports fan for as long as I can remember. When I was younger it was professional football and basketball that caught my attention the most but I have followed college sports, and now, golf, the Olympics, even baseball. I became a Minnesota Vikings fan around five or six years old and we have no ties to the state of Minnesota or to the football team. But I have been a fan for almost 50 years.

I played sports through high school and into college and I have seen the changes that have occurred over the years, especially with training, nutrition, and the availability of off-season activities. Back in my day we just practiced during the season and with football we maybe practiced in the spring. There would be an open gym for basketball in the summer, but we rarely had traveling teams or year-round activities. Little League baseball lasted for about a month in the summer and then there would be some All-Star teams but that was about it.

But these days if you are playing a particular sport, almost any sport, you can play year-round. There are leagues and teams not only for basketball but also for volleyball, baseball, soccer, softball, almost anything you want to play. We also understand the role of nutrition and training much better than we did 30 or 40 years ago. That has resulted in better athletes playing almost every sport. It is also resulted in increased longevity.

Just look at how many football and basketball players have professional careers that extend beyond 15 to 20 years. Kobe Bryant played in the NBA for 20 years and he was not alone. Tom Brady could be the first 40-year-old quarterback to start a Super Bowl and he is still playing at the highest level. All of this was unheard of even 10 years ago.

But, with all of the participation available, the improved training methods, better nutrition and year-round dedication to the craft, it seems that we have fewer and fewer really good players. There are a number of examples but look at the quarterback position in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is hurt early in the season and his backup, Brent Hundley, looks like he just took up the game of football.

The Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, is out due to injury and his backup, Nick Foles, has people saying that the Eagles might not even make the playoffs now. I’ve watched it with the Minnesota Vikings over the last few years, this year being a very notable exception, especially with the offensive line. Injuries to starters brought in the backups, who look like somebody walked out on the street and said, “you’re kind of big. Put on this jersey and get on the field.”

Why is it that the backups on just about every team at just about every position are not very good? Maybe I’m just more aware now than I was 20 or 30 years ago; maybe the backups weren’t that good back then either. But with all of the aforementioned advantages that athletes have today, wouldn’t you expect the backup players to perform at a much higher level?

Maybe it’s because they don’t practice as much. That would be the one significant difference that I see at almost every level of sports. Practice time is limited and actual simulation of game conditions, such as hitting and tackling in football, are almost nonexistent during practice. The backups don't really get any practice time, especially in simulated game conditions, so they're not ready to perform at a high level. Maybe we've been taking it too easy on them; but now I'm sounding like the old man that screams at people to get off his lawn, so I'll stop there.

Live from Silver City

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
captcha 
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Editor's Note

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at http://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as the editor.

Welcome to our new version of classified ads.  We invite you our readers to post your own classifieds, which are available for viewing 24/7 and are very reasonable in price.

We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. It's a software problem, not easily fixable, other than showing fewer articles per summary page. If you are a frequent visitor, you might not mind fewer articles per page, but if you only come once in a while, you likely want to see more articles to browse. Write me at editor@grantcountybeat.com to let me know your feelings on this issue. 

Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

WARNING:

All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com