The Nation's Tears Are Still Here

CantKeepmedown

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Chris Simms wants some attention. The whole thread is something else.


I love him. Just don’t think he is best of all time. Also he should of never took the rules of the game into his own hands and cheated. He is awesome. Didn’t need to take the air out of the balls.
 

Leather

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I'm sure he has no shortage of leftover ill-will toward the Bucs, either, so this is sort of a perfect storm for his nonsense.
 

BaseballJones

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I mean, honestly, what QBs can *seriously* be considered in the GOAT conversation, even if we're being generous? Let's leave people like YA Tittle and Otto Graham out of it because it was a completely different sport back then.

Here are the only legitimate contenders:

- Joe Montana: 2x MVP, 4x SB champ (4-0 record), 8x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 117-47 record (.713), 16-7 playoff record (.695)
- Peyton Manning: 5x MVP, 2x SB champ (2-2 record), 14x Pro Bowl, 7x All-Pro, 186-79 record (.702), 14-13 playoff record (.519); holds many NFL passing records, tops all-time in AV
- Aaron Rodgers: 3x MVP, 1x SB champ (1-0 record), 9x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 126-63 record (.667), 12-9 playoff record (.571); has had some of the greatest single seasons in NFL history
- Drew Brees: 1x SB champ (1-0 record), 13x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 172-114 record (.601), 9-9 playoff record (.500); holds some all-time NFL passing records
- Johnny Unitas: 3x MVP, 3x NFL champ, 10x Pro Bowl, 5x All-Pro, 118-63 record (.652), 6-3 playoff record (.667)

There's no other serious candidate, right? Nobody REALLY considers Marino or Bradshaw or Elway or Fouts or Moon or Tarkenton or Kelly or Aikman to be the greatest, right? And though he's immensely talented and already so accomplished, nobody REALLY could in good conscience put Patrick Mahomes anywhere near this list yet, right?

So those are the other candidates. And then there's Thomas Edward Patrick Brady:

- Tom Brady: 3x MVP, 7x SB champ, 14x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 230-69 record (.769), 34-11 playoff record (.756), has had some of the greatest single seasons in NFL history; will retire holding most of the major passing records; already holds all the major Super Bowl passing records; has better passer rating numbers than Manning or Brees does in any type of stadium (indoor, outdoor); is objectively the game's greatest WINNER, and most accomplished champion; also has elite passing statistics; PLUS he has longevity that nobody else in the history of the game has had


I mean, look at that frigging resumé. It DWARFS the other guys. Peyton has more MVPs but Brady will retire with better overall numbers and was a FAR greater winner of games and championships. Rodgers has better rate stats but Brady crushes him in winning and overall career numbers. Brees has a better passer rating overall but Brady stomps him in any stadium situation (it's only because Brees has played most of his games indoors that his overall passer rating is better than Brady's). Montana has better Super Bowl passing stats and is 4-0, but Brady crushes him everywhere else including having gone to more than twice the number of Super Bowls and winning nearly double. I mean, I can't believe there are still people out there that think Brady isn't the GOAT. It's mind-boggling.
 

Kliq

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I mean, honestly, what QBs can *seriously* be considered in the GOAT conversation, even if we're being generous? Let's leave people like YA Tittle and Otto Graham out of it because it was a completely different sport back then.

Here are the only legitimate contenders:

- Joe Montana: 2x MVP, 4x SB champ (4-0 record), 8x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 117-47 record (.713), 16-7 playoff record (.695)
- Peyton Manning: 5x MVP, 2x SB champ (2-2 record), 14x Pro Bowl, 7x All-Pro, 186-79 record (.702), 14-13 playoff record (.519); holds many NFL passing records, tops all-time in AV
- Aaron Rodgers: 3x MVP, 1x SB champ (1-0 record), 9x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 126-63 record (.667), 12-9 playoff record (.571); has had some of the greatest single seasons in NFL history
- Drew Brees: 1x SB champ (1-0 record), 13x Pro Bowl, 1x All-Pro, 172-114 record (.601), 9-9 playoff record (.500); holds some all-time NFL passing records
- Johnny Unitas: 3x MVP, 3x NFL champ, 10x Pro Bowl, 5x All-Pro, 118-63 record (.652), 6-3 playoff record (.667)

There's no other serious candidate, right? Nobody REALLY considers Marino or Bradshaw or Elway or Fouts or Moon or Tarkenton or Kelly or Aikman to be the greatest, right? And though he's immensely talented and already so accomplished, nobody REALLY could in good conscience put Patrick Mahomes anywhere near this list yet, right?

So those are the other candidates. And then there's Thomas Edward Patrick Brady:

- Tom Brady: 3x MVP, 7x SB champ, 14x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro, 230-69 record (.769), 34-11 playoff record (.756), has had some of the greatest single seasons in NFL history; will retire holding most of the major passing records; already holds all the major Super Bowl passing records; has better passer rating numbers than Manning or Brees does in any type of stadium (indoor, outdoor); is objectively the game's greatest WINNER, and most accomplished champion; also has elite passing statistics; PLUS he has longevity that nobody else in the history of the game has had


I mean, look at that frigging resumé. It DWARFS the other guys. Peyton has more MVPs but Brady will retire with better overall numbers and was a FAR greater winner of games and championships. Rodgers has better rate stats but Brady crushes him in winning and overall career numbers. Brees has a better passer rating overall but Brady stomps him in any stadium situation (it's only because Brees has played most of his games indoors that his overall passer rating is better than Brady's). Montana has better Super Bowl passing stats and is 4-0, but Brady crushes him everywhere else including having gone to more than twice the number of Super Bowls and winning nearly double. I mean, I can't believe there are still people out there that think Brady isn't the GOAT. It's mind-boggling.
Pro Football Reference disagrees:

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/peyton-manning-not-tom-brady-is-actually-the-goat-according-to-pfrs-hall-of-fame-monitor-metric/
 

Kliq

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Brady will pass Manning there next year too.
I know, but I do find it funny. Brady is so clearly the GOAT that any metric that determines that he ISN'T the GOAT would immediately make me question what went wrong with the equation that caused it to spit out an answer that wasn't Tom Brady.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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It's a bit of a self-perpetuating statistic, isn't it? Manning plays indoors with All-Pro WRs, so he gets bigger stats. Bigger stats earn him more awards. Winning awards makes him more likely to win more awards (look at his 2008 MVP season - is there any reason at all he won that award other than being the default recipient without any obvious standout?)

So even though the underlying statistics only happen once, using this PFR stat keeps giving him credit for it on multiple levels.
 

tims4wins

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How does Brady only have 3 all-pros, that is shocking.
There is only one all-pro QB each year, it's not like the Pro Bowl. Then there is a second team as well. He's probably only been the best QB in the league a few times in his career, in terms of individual seasons.
 

Kliq

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The media has really come around on Brady; but for a very long time in his career, his success was consistently contributed to playing on an awesome team with the greatest head coach in the game and while everyone acknowledged that he was a good player a very clutch QB, he was not thought of as the pure, idyllic version of a QB like Manning. There also was kind of this assumption, honestly because Brady actually WON his playoff games, that Brady's teams were really loaded and he didn't have to do a lot. Some of those teams were loaded, but in the early years that was all on the defensive side of the ball, nobody on the Pats offense those first three SB years is sniffing the HoF except Brady (and maybe Corey Dillon). Manning was the guy that was dragging his team to the playoffs and if only he played in New England, he would have a fistful of rings as well.
 

Old Fart Tree

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In Denver they still swear that Elway was better, and if he had a better coach he'd have won all the rings. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

E5 Yaz

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Simms and Rob ("Brady is basically Robert Horry") Parker are in a death-match struggle over who will be the last man on that wall
 

Leather

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At least Rob Parker knows that's his schtick so he goes over the top with the bullshit, Simms takes it way too personally, it's so weird.
Any idea if there’s some incident or event during Simms’ tenure as a Pats offensive coach? Did Brady tell him to work harder on film breakdown or something? There’s gotta be, right?
 

BaseballJones

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Other than jealousy, it's really hard for me to understand why people don't like Brady. Works his ass off, his teammates and coaches love him, all he does is win, and other than a stupid made-up thing (Deflategate), there's never been a controversy about him.
 

BigSoxFan

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Other than jealousy, it's really hard for me to understand why people don't like Brady. Works his ass off, his teammates and coaches love him, all he does is win, and other than a stupid made-up thing (Deflategate), there's never been a controversy about him.
Yeah, it's pretty much just jealousy. He:

1. Is married to former model
2. Is insanely rich
3. Wins almost all the time and played for a team people hated
4. Has likely beaten fan X's or player Y's team at some point and left some sports scars
5. Kind of has developed that smug persona that rubs people the wrong way (i.e., his videos with Gronk...kind of obnoxious but I liked them when he was my QB)
 

rodderick

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Any idea if there’s some incident or event during Simms’ tenure as a Pats offensive coach? Did Brady tell him to work harder on film breakdown or something? There’s gotta be, right?
I do believe something happened there, it has to be personal for him to behave like a Twitter troll and take things directly to "cheater!11!" after being called out for questioning Tom. Not even guys like Scott Kacsmar behave that way.
 

DourDoerr

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Other than jealousy, it's really hard for me to understand why people don't like Brady. Works his ass off, his teammates and coaches love him, all he does is win, and other than a stupid made-up thing (Deflategate), there's never been a controversy about him.
I'll add that Brady's a self-made man. He didn't have the best tools, didn't have any NFL lineage, was a backup in college, drafted in the 6th round and fought his way to starter and eventually champion multiple times. It's the equivalent of a blue collar classic underdog Hollywood story. Yet P. Manning is the people's hero. Drafted 1st. Son of an NFL quarterback. Had a #metoo moment. Choked in big games. Yet here we are.
 

BaseballJones

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I'll add that Brady's a self-made man. He didn't have the best tools, didn't have any NFL lineage, was a backup in college, drafted in the 6th round and fought his way to starter and eventually champion multiple times. It's the equivalent of a blue collar classic underdog Hollywood story. Yet P. Manning is the people's hero. Drafted 1st. Son of an NFL quarterback. Had a #metoo moment. Choked in big games. Yet here we are.
I know that's all totally true and it's crazy. Honestly, it's because Peyton is from the south and talks like a bit of a goober and engages in self-deprecating humor. That makes him "lovable" and "down to earth". Now I do like Peyton and think he's funny so maybe I fall into that trap a little. But I think that's why he's the people's hero.
 

DourDoerr

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I guess I'm just tired of bullshit. He may project himself as the guy on the next barstool - and I think you're correct on why he's embraced - but Manning is really the guy who sticks his balls in an unsuspecting woman's face. There's more to that story, but that's more than enough for me. He's a pure asshole and the everyman projection is an act. Not sure how anyone can like that, but to each his own I guess (and, of course, I'm not implying that you condone the sexual assault).
 

Royal Reader

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Yeah, it's pretty much just jealousy. He:

1. Is married to former model
2. Is insanely rich
3. Wins almost all the time and played for a team people hated
4. Has likely beaten fan X's or player Y's team at some point and left some sports scars
5. Kind of has developed that smug persona that rubs people the wrong way (i.e., his videos with Gronk...kind of obnoxious but I liked them when he was my QB)
The sports discussion group I'm in loathes him. It doesn't seem to be anything but 4. on your list. The commonly cited issues are:

First by a mile: Friendship with Trump. "The patriots are basically Team Trump."
Second: Spygate/deflategate - "He's a cheater"
Third: The TB12 method "He promotes and profits off of pseudoscience"
Four: Antonio Brown
 

Marciano490

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I'll add that Brady's a self-made man. He didn't have the best tools, didn't have any NFL lineage, was a backup in college, drafted in the 6th round and fought his way to starter and eventually champion multiple times. It's the equivalent of a blue collar classic underdog Hollywood story. Yet P. Manning is the people's hero. Drafted 1st. Son of an NFL quarterback. Had a #metoo moment. Choked in big games. Yet here we are.
Well... he grew up in a well-to-do family when a lot of other NFL players have to overcome a fair amount of adversity to get to the top. It’s hard to call him self made in that sense. I imagine he wasn’t forced to work or deal with malnutrition or food insecurity or gangs the way others were.
 

brandonchristensen

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One thing about Peyton is that he’s always been funny. He used his fame to get on SNL and build himself as the regular joe with a sense of humor.

Brady was more guarded.

But since Brady has gotten (and absolutely CRUSHED) social media, the perception of him from fans of all teams has changed drastically.
 

Super Nomario

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Well... he grew up in a well-to-do family when a lot of other NFL players have to overcome a fair amount of adversity to get to the top. It’s hard to call him self made in that sense. I imagine he wasn’t forced to work or deal with malnutrition or food insecurity or gangs the way others were.
I'm sure a lot of NFL players overcome that kind of adversity to make it to the top, but that's not typical for quarterbacks. Russell Wilson's father was a lawyer; his grandfather was a college president. Both of Drew Brees' parents were lawyers. Aaron Rodgers' father is a chiropractor. Mahomes' father was a pro baseball player, so was Jared Goff's; Archie Manning was obviously an NFL player. Lamar Jackson does appear to have grown up struggling, but Brady's story is more typical.
 

8slim

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I'll add that Brady's a self-made man. He didn't have the best tools, didn't have any NFL lineage, was a backup in college, drafted in the 6th round and fought his way to starter and eventually champion multiple times. It's the equivalent of a blue collar classic underdog Hollywood story. Yet P. Manning is the people's hero. Drafted 1st. Son of an NFL quarterback. Had a #metoo moment. Choked in big games. Yet here we are.
Don't forget that Peyton did PEDs... unless we believe that it was really his wife who was super into HGH.

If that doesn't say it all -- Peyton has HGH delivered *to his house* and the NFL sweeps it away. Brady threw some footballs that lost a tick of pressure due to the cold, and he's branded a cheater for life.
 

BaseballJones

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That story was just amazing to see unfold. Peyton was recovering from major surgery - career-threatening stuff. Peyton works with a highly-sketchy group called the Guyer Institute, which has a history of PED clients. Charlie Sly of Guyer has HGH delivered to Peyton's house. And then Peyton's lawyer sends people to the offices and rifle through the files.

But Peyton simply says it was for his wife, and the NFL decides it can't do anything about that. So Peyton gets cleared.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady gets suspended four games and gets fined, and the Pats lose draft picks and get fined, because the NFL didn't understand the laws of physics.

It's incredible.
 

Preacher

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That story was just amazing to see unfold. Peyton was recovering from major surgery - career-threatening stuff. Peyton works with a highly-sketchy group called the Guyer Institute, which has a history of PED clients. Charlie Sly of Guyer has HGH delivered to Peyton's house. And then Peyton's lawyer sends people to the offices and rifle through the files.

But Peyton simply says it was for his wife, and the NFL decides it can't do anything about that. So Peyton gets cleared.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady gets suspended four games and gets fined, and the Pats lose draft picks and get fined, because the NFL didn't understand the laws of physics.

It's incredible.
He should have just said his wife deflated those balls, maybe?
 

lexrageorge

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Any idea if there’s some incident or event during Simms’ tenure as a Pats offensive coach? Did Brady tell him to work harder on film breakdown or something? There’s gotta be, right?
What's amusing is that practically every single player, coach, or assistant that has played with or worked with Brady has had nothing but good things to say about him. The Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of DeflateGate did prove that people may have gotten pissed at him sometimes, but never has any former contact of Brady's attacked him as much as Chris Simms. Bottom line is that it is almost certainly personal, and it's almost certainly a Chris Simms problem.
 

Pandemonium67

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On the plus side, Simms' tears are the sweetest of the sweet. Reading his whines is like licking a trickle of nectar off Aprhrodite's bare shoulder.
 

Jimbodandy

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Don't forget that Peyton did PEDs... unless we believe that it was really his wife who was super into HGH.

If that doesn't say it all -- Peyton has HGH delivered *to his house* and the NFL sweeps it away. Brady threw some footballs that lost a tick of pressure due to the cold, and he's branded a cheater for life.
That's not even the worst stuff that Manning has done. His Opie Cunningham routine notwithstanding, he's a rotten person.
 

Fishercat

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As an unimportant aside, HOF Monitor isn't about greatness, just likeliness of making the HoF for PFR says as much. CBS is conflating that for headlines. The baseball version (Bill James' HOF Monitor) has Stan Musial as #1, and I don't think anyone is arguing Stan the Man as the best baseball player ever. Jerry Rice is #1 by a country mile for football. Tom Brady did gain like 25 points this season so BaseballJones is right in likelihood of passing. With that said, I'm at the point with Brady that if anyone argues any other QB as the greatest they're getting ignored unless they're going for some odd pre-SB era type argument where the game was entirely different. No honest person could look at these comparisons and say they want any of those careers over Brady's statistically, results wise, or otherwise. Like even in stats that supported Manning, Brady has now passed him in basics like yards and QB Rating, TDs, etc. Fun note, Peyton Manning still has about 60 more INTs than Tom Brady has and he's been out of the leader for half a decade. The argument for Manning doesn't exist any more and I think any reasonable discussion probably has to be Rodgers/Mahomes in the future, but not now. The myriad of excuses (doesn't have the counting numbers, doesn't have the exceptional years, doesn't have the longevity, hasn't done it without a top flight defense, hasn't done it without Belichick) have all fallen.

There are plenty of valid reasons to dislike Brady but increasingly few of them appear on a football field and they're more personal things you might dislike about your neighbor as opposed to athlete dislikes.

Also Chris Simms is the saddest of all the haters. It's just really depressing.
 

DourDoerr

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Well... he grew up in a well-to-do family when a lot of other NFL players have to overcome a fair amount of adversity to get to the top. It’s hard to call him self made in that sense. I imagine he wasn’t forced to work or deal with malnutrition or food insecurity or gangs the way others were.
Point taken. I meant more that he pushed himself to overcome a lack of apparent tools - big arm, speed, etc. - to get on coaches' radar. He didn't have a name either, so he was forced to start from scratch (upon an acknowledged foundation of relative financial wealth) in building his name.
 

dynomite

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I'm sure a lot of NFL players overcome that kind of adversity to make it to the top, but that's not typical for quarterbacks. Russell Wilson's father was a lawyer; his grandfather was a college president. Both of Drew Brees' parents were lawyers. Aaron Rodgers' father is a chiropractor. Mahomes' father was a pro baseball player, so was Jared Goff's; Archie Manning was obviously an NFL player. Lamar Jackson does appear to have grown up struggling, but Brady's story is more typical.
Didn’t know that about Wilson’s grandfather. Interesting!

Anyway, to continue this tangent, your post reminded me of a dynamic I find fascinating, which speaks to the larger trends in the country -- the massively escalating costs of... everything -- as well as the insidious, somewhat hidden biases, barriers, and systemic racism that leads to guys with white-collar parents and the children of pro athletes having an enormous advantage. That's why it's so unlikely for a young athlete like Lamar Jackson to end up as an NFL QB in particular. The backgrounds you mention aren't a coincidence -- they're actually almost required when the families of young QB prospects these days have to spend $15,000+ a year to develop them, pay for specialized coaching, travel teams, college visits, and the like. I'm sure similar things are happening in other sports.

Great recent article in The Athletic about this: "The cost of raising a blue-chip QB: 'Gosh dang, that is a lot of money.'"

Bryce had only been playing football for two years, but as his father, Craig, watched him perform week after week in the YMCA Leagues of Pasadena, Calif., he came to believe his son was special. ... At the time, Bryce was 5 years old.

Craig Young is doing some tablecloth math.

“We’ll just average the QB coach to $100 a week, which is on the low end,” he says. “That’s $400. We’ll add another $100 for speed and weight training. Let’s say that’s $800 to $1,000 a month on training. So we could say about $1,000 a month on training. So if we add that up to a year, that’s going to be about $12,000.”
...
Craig Young estimates that his family spent upwards of $15,000 a year on football training and participation for Bryce, with most of that spending coming during his high school years, and some in middle school.
...
Unofficial visits to colleges like the one Oregon pushed for are one of the lesser-known costs of bringing along a QB prospect. Schools push hard to get prospects to attend their summer camps so they can evaluate them up close. Bryce Young went on nearly 10 unofficial visits and attended at least three out-of-state camps.
...
In August, four-star QB prospect Jake Garcia and his father, Randy moved from Southern California to Georgia so Jake could play his senior season at Valdosta High School. ... It became a national story, particularly after Randy revealed to ESPN that he and his wife legally dissolved their marriage (with plans to remarry) so Garcia could be eligible to meet Georgia’s transfer guidelines. (Garcia’s mother remained in California.)
 

Kliq

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Didn’t know that about Wilson’s grandfather. Interesting!

Anyway, to continue this tangent, your post reminded me of a dynamic I find fascinating, which speaks to the larger trends in the country -- the massively escalating costs of... everything -- as well as the insidious, somewhat hidden biases, barriers, and systemic racism that leads to guys with white-collar parents and the children of pro athletes having an enormous advantage. That's why it's so unlikely for a young athlete like Lamar Jackson to end up as an NFL QB in particular. The backgrounds you mention aren't a coincidence -- they're actually almost required when the families of young QB prospects these days have to spend $15,000+ a year to develop them, pay for specialized coaching, travel teams, college visits, and the like. I'm sure similar things are happening in other sports.

Great recent article in The Athletic about this: "The cost of raising a blue-chip QB: 'Gosh dang, that is a lot of money.'"
This is true for pretty much any sport now. It might be more common with "suburban sports" like ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer, and is in some ways more prevalent in women's sports than men's, but pretty much every sport in America has the guise that you have to spend thousands and thousands on your kid if you want them to have a chance at competing at a high level. The only sport that I can think of that might be somewhat of an exception in basketball; which is due to a general lack of capable players due to genetics (you have to basically be 6'3" or taller to get looked at by recruiters) and the sneaker companies being involved heavily at the grassroots level and there will also be a spot for a talented kid who comes from very little.

I'm sure if you looked at the backgrounds for a lot of MLB players, NHL players, MLS players, swimmers, gymnasts, etc. you would see a similar trend of parents or someone else spending big money to develop those athletes.
 

dynomite

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This is true for pretty much any sport now. It might be more common with "suburban sports" like ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer, and is in some ways more prevalent in women's sports than men's, but pretty much every sport in America has the guise that you have to spend thousands and thousands on your kid if you want them to have a chance at competing at a high level. The only sport that I can think of that might be somewhat of an exception in basketball; which is due to a general lack of capable players due to genetics (you have to basically be 6'3" or taller to get looked at by recruiters) and the sneaker companies being involved heavily at the grassroots level and there will also be a spot for a talented kid who comes from very little.

I'm sure if you looked at the backgrounds for a lot of MLB players, NHL players, MLS players, swimmers, gymnasts, etc. you would see a similar trend of parents or someone else spending big money to develop those athletes.
Right, absolutely. I know gymnastics are a prime example from a law school friend who was pretty high level when younger. She came from a middle class background with a single mom and talked about what they had to sacrifice for her training costs, travel to competitions, entrance fees, summer coaching camps, etc.

The international component of this in baseball is fascinating as well in countries like the D.R., Cuba, Japan and Korea. I know less about the international pipelines for basketball, although I imagine soccer is an insane and sprawling universe unto itself.
 

Kliq

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Right, absolutely. I know gymnastics are a prime example from a law school friend who was pretty high level when younger. She came from a middle class background with a single mom and talked about what they had to sacrifice for her training costs, travel to competitions, entrance fees, summer coaching camps, etc.

The international component of this in baseball is fascinating as well in countries like the D.R., Cuba, Japan and Korea. I know less about the international pipelines for basketball, although I imagine soccer is an insane and sprawling universe unto itself.
I'm not super familiar with how it works in other countries. I imagine in baseball hotbeds like the DR and Cuba, you have an insane level of investment from professional organizations and clubs that are always looking for talent, because they know you can find it. Scouts know they can scout the backlots of Santo Domingo or Havana and legitimately find major league prospects.

Other posters will know more about it the specifics of it, but the American youth sports model is very different than most countries in Europe. My limited understanding is that there is much more of an investment in youth development by professional clubs (in England for example, they have competitive teams for children under the age of 10, so an 8 year old can "play" for Arsenal, or Manchester United, etc.) and that parents are not expected to foot the bill to the degree that they do in America. I'm not sure the European model could work as well in America, given the size and sprawling nature of the population. They also don't have high school and college sports in anywhere near the capacity that America does.

In soccer, my experience is that the challenging nature of talent development comes from how the elite coaching and competition is kept separate from the cheaper options. In soccer, you can play youth/travel soccer in most Massachusetts communities for very little money, I think it was like $100 a season when I played for Waltham in the 2000s/2010s. You can also play at the high school level, which was free. However, if you are a soccer player with collegiate/professional aspirations, you basically can't play travel soccer or high school soccer. You have to play "club soccer" which is very expensive and requires exorbitant travel costs; but gives you the best coaching and the best competition. If you looked at MLS players, I would bet there isn't a single American player that did not play club soccer. I imagine for truly incredible talents, there are scholarships and ways to get them onto competitive club teams if they don't have the means, but it has been cited as a critical stumbling block when it comes to the US developing soccer talent at the international level.
 

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I'm not super familiar with how it works in other countries. I imagine in baseball hotbeds like the DR and Cuba, you have an insane level of investment from professional organizations and clubs that are always looking for talent, because they know you can find it. Scouts know they can scout the backlots of Santo Domingo or Havana and legitimately find major league prospects.

Other posters will know more about it the specifics of it, but the American youth sports model is very different than most countries in Europe. My limited understanding is that there is much more of an investment in youth development by professional clubs (in England for example, they have competitive teams for children under the age of 10, so an 8 year old can "play" for Arsenal, or Manchester United, etc.) and that parents are not expected to foot the bill to the degree that they do in America. I'm not sure the European model could work as well in America, given the size and sprawling nature of the population. They also don't have high school and college sports in anywhere near the capacity that America does.

In soccer, my experience is that the challenging nature of talent development comes from how the elite coaching and competition is kept separate from the cheaper options. In soccer, you can play youth/travel soccer in most Massachusetts communities for very little money, I think it was like $100 a season when I played for Waltham in the 2000s/2010s. You can also play at the high school level, which was free. However, if you are a soccer player with collegiate/professional aspirations, you basically can't play travel soccer or high school soccer. You have to play "club soccer" which is very expensive and requires exorbitant travel costs; but gives you the best coaching and the best competition. If you looked at MLS players, I would bet there isn't a single American player that did not play club soccer. I imagine for truly incredible talents, there are scholarships and ways to get them onto competitive club teams if they don't have the means, but it has been cited as a critical stumbling block when it comes to the US developing soccer talent at the international level.
Outside of the US and Canada most western nations have clubs that specialize ina sport and it is outside of the school system. Most of these clubs will have a pro team at the top, and their are varying divisions. Hoops is what I know best so here is an outline of the many basketball clubs across Europe, Oceania, Parts of the middle east, Asia as well.

Top Level pro team will have 2 imports. Div 1 in Europe is anyone in Eurpean union and all these guys are full time pros, getting signed traded, etc. Not a small number of naturized Americans play as nonimports in these leagues.
There are various Divisions, Div is next to NBA especially in Spain, Italy, France. Div 2 can be close to G-league in places like Russia, Lithuania, Italy, France, etc where the local talent is high.

Age Group team Usually u19. These are usually local guys but big clubs will bring in top talent from that nation. These guys play schedule almost as intense as the pros, have a full time staff, this is serious ball. Rather than competitive leagues under this age the stars as young as 14/15 may play with this team, or train with them.
Local Age group teams. Basically high school aged teams. The club will run a league, every team will have 3/4 former pros coaching. My nephew played pro in Sweden and he said the league was very comparable to Canadian highschool except every coach was good, and there were almost no players under 6 feet tall. (Scandanavia. My nephew is 6'8 and he bought clothes that fit everwhere in Sweden). Huge amount of time spent on skills play games usually on weekends. This the big difference from USA/Canada winning is not as big a deal, though the games are intense. Coaches are recognized for producing players, not wins. Kobe for example hated the focus on winning in high school and especially AAU in the USA. Most of these kids will play just one sport and hoop 12 months a year. Talented kids will be moved up an age group, rather than starting competitive leagues for kids.
Under 12. will be skills , skills, skills much like a basketball camp. Again almost all of the coaches are former pros, or at least guys that made it to elite u19 level. My nephew said the 10 year olds in Sweden were making 50fts, 50 jumpers every day.

Here is the big thing.
These clubs are well funded often by the government. But the structure below the pro team is part of the deal.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
2,206
Worcester
I am going to start a new thread in the general sports forum for the cost of athletics... I think it is a great topic of discussion. And the mods are always saying more threads are better...