WE don’t normally talk about sports here. There are people who do it every day quite skillfully in other sections of the paper.
But after watching the Super Bowl Sunday night, we felt compelled to make a couple statements — about competition and sportsmanship.
Or the lack thereof.
As we are sure almost all of you are aware, the Philadelphia Eagles won their first-ever Lombardi Trophy.
They were touched, and humble in victory.
It was a pleasure to celebrate with them and to watch just how much bringing home that championship meant to them.
Contrast that with the five-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Their star quarterback, the one who got most of the mentions and the attention before and during the game, Tom Brady, walked off the field.
He did not shake a hand or congratulate a player. He did not allow players who beat his team legitimately with heart and skill have their moment.
He could have been a leader.
He could have been a role model for young athletes who find themselves in similar situations.
He could have shown some class.
Instead, he behaved like a sullen, spoiled, arrogant brat.
When you talk about greatness, you are not just referring to athletic skill.
The best of all time have something else, heart and soul.
They want to win, sure, but how they win matters almost as much as the final score.
They know their children are watching and that other people’s children are watching.
On that same Super Bowl field, JJ Watt of the Houston Texans accepted the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
When his city was hit by a terrible hurricane, Watt could have just stayed safe somewhere else.
In fact, he was somewhere else, unable to get to Houston.
He could have issued a statement and put a ribbon on his uniform.
He could have done interviews and offered sympathy to those whose lives were devastated by the flooding.
But that was not enough.
He organized a fundraiser, at first, just to raise a little money.
It ended up raising $37 million.
But that wasn’t enough.
Watt and his teammates have been present in their city, helping put their town back together.
He said that if he is remembered only as a great football player, he has not lived his life properly.
That is class.
The award he received is named in honor of a man who felt the same way.
Contrast the two people on that field Sunday.
One has won five Super Bowl rings, yet has learned very little about good sportsmanship.
The other is a star, too, maybe not quite as bright, famous or storied.
But he made a difference for hundreds of thousands of people.
Brady’s star as a football player has not been tarnished by one Super Bowl loss.
But his star as a human being is a little less shiny.
Watt’s star shines brightly.
As so do the stars of the Philadelphia Eagles players, who earned that trophy, behaved like gentlemen in victory, and made their families and their city proud.
So who is really the greatest of all time and who is the goat?
We will leave it to you to decide.