Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Two Quiet Cities, Two Quiet Superstars

Last month during one of the timeouts at the Bulls-Spurs game, they flashed a shot of Albert Pujols on the jumbo tron.  Most people didn't know who it was, he probably just looked like any other Hispanic guy at a Spurs game. And really that's probably how Phat Albert wanted it.  He's never been a look at me guy, which from a marketing sense is unfortunate, because if he wanted to be, Albert Pujols could be the biggest star in baseball thanks to his incredible talent and near flawless reputation (well there was this awesome SportsCenter commercial).  But that's not how he wants it and whether he knew it or not, Albert Pujols courtside at a Spurs game made perfect sense.

Pujols was in town for his former teammate Mike Koolbaugh's Memorial Golf Tournament (Coolbaugh died after being hit in the head by a line drive during a minor league game). He was watching another quiet superstar in Tim Duncan.  That night, Duncan didn't do anything flashy but finished 16 points, 18 boards and 5 assists.  Not much was said about it after the game on SportsCenter, even if it was the Spurs 9th win in a row.  Now I want you to remember I said this in the spring or summer when Albert Pujols is doing fantastic things on the baseball field, but the media is largely ignoring him because he doesn't play on the East Coast and because he's been so great for so long, it tends to get lost writers and ESPN talking heads (sound familiar, Spurs fans?").

When I intially started writing this Pujols had just missed out on his 3rd straight season for no other reason then Joey Votto is a better story this year and Pujols' numbers would have had to blow everyone else's out of the water for him to get that MVP. 

I lived in St. Louis for five years and really came to appreciate that city's love for baseball and their not so flashy star.  It reminds me of how this city fell in love with David Robinson and then Tim Duncan.  The quiet, awesome consistency that defines all of their careers.  Now as I finish writing this, I keep reading about how the Cardinals may not extend Pujols.  I don't buy it for a minute but if it is, I hope the Cardinals front office understands, like the Spurs have with Duncan every time his contract comes up, that a player and man like Pujols comes across once in a generation and when that happens you do whatever you can to keep him in the fold.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Two quiet legends....