Stop the press...Tom Brady has fallen, and he's yet to get up.
The world came to a screeching halt this past Sunday afternoon when NFL superstar and third world ambassador Tom Brady's knee buckled in Kansas City, tearing apart his ACL, MCL and his dreams of quarterbacking the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl...again. The week following has rivaled the Kennedy Assassination in press coverage, and has sparked many debates over who can possibly take over the position of Tom Brady...I mean, Patriots quarterback.
But as we wonder how one of the most successful sports franchises in recent memory fares in the coming weeks, another debate comes to fruition...
Is QB the single most important position in all of sports?
There's no doubting the importance of the quarterback. He's in the spotlight, runs the offense, is responsible for changes plays on the fly, and then convert. He's a mentor, a father-figure, and a fire-starter. Rarely you find an inferior quarterback on the podium holding the Lombardi trophy high while donning a brand new hat and t-shirt exclaiming he is a champion (like we've been so used to seeing Brady do).
But there's one position where it's even more uncommon that a relative no-name can hold a position of such prominence that of a quarterback and take his team to a championship...or should I say, a Cup.
A Stanley Cup.
Yep, my vote goes to the goaltender. And sorry soccer enthusiasts, that kind of goaltender doesn't count. I'm talking about the Sawchucks and Broduers of the world.
A goalie, similar to a quarterback, must be athletic, aware, talented, and extremely savvy. But the one eccentric aspect to a goalie's game, versus a quarterback's game, is total responsibility. It's their job, solely, to keep their opponent out of the box score. Goalies don't have a running game to fall back on at times. There's no off-time between possessions to flip through black and white photos of how the other team fore-checked when they saw the defensemen pinch on the blue-line. It takes excellence in every aspect of what the human body is capable of. From hand-eye coordination to flexibility and strength to mental stability, a goalie needs to be almost flawless in all these areas to be successful.
Take a gander at the goalies who have gone on to win Cups...whether a handful of championships or just one ring on the hand for style, those players will go down as some of the best to play their position at that era. You won't hear any names like Doug Peterson, Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson...rather you'll get the likes of Jean-Sebastian Giguere, Martin Broduer, and Patrick Roy.
I do think the quarterback holds an oh-so close second as the most important position in sports, but when I break it down to all the intangibles and miniscule factors, a hockey goalie holds the most responsibilty, as well as pressure, in sports today.