Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blood: Thicker Than Water ... Eww, Messy

(Drafted in late February, finally finished exactly four months later.)

Back when I wrote about the sibling rivalry matches between Peyton and Eli Manning, a lot of things have come up in sports about the whole idea of family... Just think about it--ever notice how it isn't just sons upholding the family name anymore, but it's cousins and brothers now? Like the saying says, blood is indeed thicker than water (figuratively and literally). This supposed "blood" is being smeared all around sports, a kind of "sharing of the wealth" from lineage and legends.

Sure, you might have that luck when the child or brother totally sucks and makes the parent (or other sibling) look like total crap, but those are rare cases.

[Note: I'm not including godparents. That's just flat-out silly.]

Anyway, let's look at what the world of sports have to offer us: We've had the Ripkens, the Griffeys, the Mannings, the Hasslebecks, and many more. Even the whole father-son combo has been done and everybody thought that was cute because it was daddy playing ball with his kid and they were wiping the floor with the competition. Of course in baseball, you don't really see that anymore since most of these sons are usually the younger ones in the bunch and don't get out of college until the father retires. In football, there's a really strong chance that you won't ever see it because of the low retirement age in the NFL (unless if you're Brett Favre, then that's nothing). Today, you're more likely to see brothers and cousins going head-to-head.

Right now, you're probably thinking: "Why did you bother writing about something as common as families in sports?" I'd be more than happy to answer that for you. It's not exactly as common as you would think. Sometimes brothers or cousins who play in high school or in college may get dropped by the draft because of the whole "survival of the fittest" complex; that, or the unfortunate brother/cousin will stay in a minor league system and never progress any further. However, there is the rare instance that the clan will stay intact due to their equal amount of skill and credentials.

For example...
Just look at the Super Molina Bros: Jose, Yadier, and Bengie are all catchers in the MLB. How cute is that? I believe they've all won rings too. D'awww, brotherly love right there, folks.
I could care less that this is an outdated photo.

You also have brothers that are quarterbacks on the same team. Sure, the Bengals did do that well, but they have Jordan and Carson Palmer sitting on the bench being brothers!!

Titans safety Michael Griffin and former NFL player Marcus Griffin are identical twins. Mind. Blown.

It's become very commonplace to see a common last name on a jersey with a first initial.  It's also quite difficult for the parents to decide which jerseys to wear on game days. There is also the saying that a family presence will make the player stronger. When there is that much of a connection made, the best is brought out in both players.

However, there might be the sense of pressure that comes about when there is a legacy left in a family. Say for instance that your grandfather and father were professional sportsmen and they're practically expecting you to join the cavalry and continue the dynasty in the family. What if you would much rather be a doctor or something? I guess that's why athletes have like...more than three kids after they come back home from the season.

But hey, you never know, you might actually see the family dynasty explode and stretch into other sports. The great Wayne Gretzky has a son named Trevor that was actually drafted this year by the Chicago Cubs (our of high school, too)!

Families share the wealth in so many ways in sports. They don't just stay in one spot--they like to create and continue a legacy that has lasted for many years.

One last thing--don't just think that it's just the guys--it can be girls too. Hello? Williams sisters? That's what I thought.

Sports is obviously in the genes.
Siblings always provide the best competition. Or joy. Or happiness. Or strength. Or blackmail. Ha.

Take it from sister is a blogger too.