Salute to two of the greatest sporting figures of the past 100 years, both of whom’s legacy will last the next 100 years and beyond.
Turning 51 and 78 today respectively , Michael Jordan and Jim Brown are a perfect study in compare and contrast — both are among the greatest examples of singular athletic talent there have ever been and are widely seen as the best talents their respective sports have produced.
Both Jordan and Brown are champions who at one point stepped away from their sports at the height of their powers. Both have starred in movies, both have earned their fair share of embarrassing headlines off the field. Both have freely exhibited elements of narcissism and emotional brutality (Jim also has dabbled in the physical as well) that undercut the brilliance of their athletic feats while at the same time allowing the public to understand more deeply the kind of flaws that can go hand in hand with transcendent ability.
It is off the field too where the great contrasts occur — Jordan, of course, has been famously apolitical in his public stances while Brown has been and continues to be the standard-bearer when it comes to outspokenness and taking apathy in the black athlete to task.
Despite their field’s worth of notable similarities and differences, destiny found it necessary to have them share the same birthday. Funny how that kind of thing works out. The examples Jordan and Brown have set are mutually exclusive, but either one works if you ask me, that’s why this is such a special day. If you share this born day with them you can be proud as a person and as a sports fan. If you don’t, maybe you can hope your next kid falls on this day, there’d be reason to expect good things.
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