I had already planned this article out in my head. I would start with this funny joke about 3 old men sitting on a bench complaining about things they can’t do anymore. It was a little crass but still funny. The article was supposed to be about the limitations of Jamaal Charles, Mashawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson for Fantasy Football. I would go into each of their injuries and their roles on the new teams. The fact that each has much younger competition behind them. Then something happened yesterday that made Pop re-think the article and my outlook on each of these men.
My third Grand child was born yesterday. He is a healthy boy 7lbs 14 oz. Baby and Mom are both doing well and I can’t wait to start teaching him about Sports and life. “That’s great Pop, congratulations, so how does that tie into the 3 old guys?” Well, I will tell you. It’s like this, I am an OLD guy. None of us on this planet knows what is beyond this mortal realm. Depending on your belief system you might say we go to a golden cloud or we become a drop of rain or maybe we are reborn into another body. I am not going to get into all of that because none of us truly knows what lays beyond. We each try to leave our mark on this planet the best we can. You may be a captain of industry, or philanthropist. You may solve some world problem that saves countless lives, but let’s be honest more than likely most of us will pass on without a great impact to the World at large. The one thing that we can do is affect the lives of the ones we love. To make sure that they are our legacy.
I did not have children of my own flesh; however, I was fortunate to meet a woman who puts up with all my issues and her son DeAndre to who I am Dad and I plan to adapt legally this year. Her family who has excepted me and my faults and to them I am Pop. Xavier is the third Grandchild that has born since me and my wife married. His older sister clings to me like a tick and gets very upset if I am not where she expects me to be. They are my legacy. I dream that when I pass on that no one thinks about my limitations but how I was as a person, Husband, Father and Grandfather.
All three of these players should one day be enshrined in Canton. Someone they care about will say some nice words. They will help him on with the gold jacket and then uncover the bronze bust. As you age the body fails before the mind does. It tells you, that you can do it but the body doesn’t respond. You tell yourself I just need to push harder, but the body doesn’t respond. Each of them have different motivations, I am sure. I also think that at the core of those motivations is they don’t want to go out like this. Who would? Everyone wants to go out on top. Manning and Elway both were very fortunate to end on the note that they did, lifting the Lombardi Trophy above their heads in victory. Let’s be honest both of those player won because they had a great TEAM. Peyton struggled through most of the 2015 season, and John relied on a fantastic run game. The 3 guys from this year play the most demanding position, physically, in football.
To my 52 years all three of these guys are young whippersnappers, but everything is sped up for a NFL running back. If you get 5 seasons that is great. These men have played the hardest position in football at the very highest levels for many years. Each producing memories that will go down in the archives, but the mind still calls out to the body, you can do it. I am sure for short stretches each of them will have some level of success. We will catch a glimpse of Beastmode. Peterson will blow by some slow-footed Linebacker and take one to the house. Charles will use those silky hands to snag one he should have never been able to catch and turn the corner and be gone. The fans in Denver, Oakland and New Orleans will cheer for them. They will sell loads of Jerseys and sign lots and lots of autographs.
I am hoping beyond hope that each of these guy’s laydown incredible numbers. Peterson rushes for 2000, Charles has 1000 rushing and 1000 receiving. Lynch has 20 TDs. If they do that or even half of that then it will be a victory for every old man who struggled to get out of bed. Who had to ice down his knees, who looked at the young guys playing ball and wanted to join them. Or simply thought about how things could have been.
I spoke of my legacy, my Son and my Grandchildren, football is the legacy for each of these men they have given everything they have to play this game and they each want to be remembered not for blown out knees and bad backs. Their minds say they are good to go but Father Time is undefeated.
I have said in other articles that Fantasy is a bit cold. You need to detach yourself from feelings and just look at the facts. These are the facts as I see them for each of these men.
Peterson – With the loss of Max Unger, New Orleans center, they will struggle to be as effective in the run game. They still have the 27-year-old Mark Ingram, and they drafted Alvin Kamara from Tennessee. A pass catching back who should fit in nicely to the team that throws the most to their backs. Peterson will get a chance but at best he will split carries with Ingram. He could see a fair amount of goal line touches which will give him some numbers. My recommendation in Standard is your number three back. In PPR even lower.
Charles – I won’t go to deep into Charles for this year since I have already done that in my article Mile High Disappointment. The short version is to avoid the Denver backfield all together. Let someone else deal with the headache.
Lynch – Marshawn is the only one of these backs I feel somewhat ok with. He has two younger backs behind him, but both are small frame guys. Lynch should monopolize the goal line carries and should put up good number for the first half of the year. My recommendation is draft him if you can, about 3rd or 4th round. Then when he throws up 3 big games trade him.
As a fellow old guy who has more years to his stern than he has to his bow. I know what they are going through. We all want our legacy to be pristine. We want to be remembered for our greatness and not our short comings. As I stared at Xavier sleeping in my arms. I thought about how I will be remembered. I pray they remember me fondly and I pray we all remember the 3 old men on the bench fondly as well.