Two seasons ago, New England Patriots star Tom Brady and Indianapolis Colts phenom Peyton Manning were in a league of their own. Peyton Manning was coming off of a Super Bowl victory and Tom Brady was introduced to a new, valuable friend in Randy Moss. Brady and Manning were the cream of the crop. They were 1 and 1A. 

Well, it is time for people to give a new man props and that’s Drew Brees. Don’t get me wrong, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are still phenomenal quarterbacks and I’d take them on my team anyday, but look at what Drew Brees has done on the New Orleans Saints the past three seasons.

In each of his three seasons with the Saints, Brees has thrown for over 4,000 yards and averaged at least 29 TDs. Last season, Brees came up just 16 yards short of breaking Dan Marino’s single season record for passing yards. Brees finished with a fat 5,069 yards…the second greatest total in NFL History.

So how has Brees followed up his near historic season? He has thrown for 9 touchdowns in his first two games and is on pace for 72 this season. To put that in perspective, Tom Brady holds the record with 50 TDs in one season where the Patriots went 16-0.

Drew Brees needs to win and play well in the playoffs. I get that.  Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have won Super Bowls…I hear ya. But that doesn’t mean the media and public can’t give this man some love for his personal achievements.

Do you think Entourage regrets not having Brees instead of Brady come on the show? I hear Brees is a big hitter on the golf course…

-Tommy T

Red Sox Pitcher Jon Lester Pitches No-Hitter

By: Sean Speirs

As Boston Celtics fans had a sigh of relief this past weekend, Red Sox fans were witnessing poetry in motion.

 

Last night, 24-year-old Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester proved once again that he is not done pulling off miracles, as he threw a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals in a 7-0 win at Boston’s Fenway Park.  Lester, who has a win-loss record of 3-2 and a 3.14 ERA, ended the night with nine strikeouts, two walks and one error with a total of 103 pitches thrown.

 Jon Lester Pitching Against Royals--MSNBC.com

Lester’s shut-out marked the 18th no-hitter in Red Sox history, which is the second most shutouts by any team. However, this accomplishment is not the only feat that this pitcher has pulled off in his life. 

 

In 2006, Lester was diagnosed with cancer, most notably a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Throughout the following year, Lester continued to condition himself into proper pitching form as he was getting chemotherapy treatment.  With such dedication and multiple treatments, Lester conquered this rare disease, which was completely cured.

 

After a full recovery, the young lefty pitcher proved his true heart and strength to the fans of Boston last October, when he had his first Red Sox postseason start against the Colorado Rockies in Game 4 of the World Series.  Lester threw five shutout innings to win the game and seal another championship season for the Boson Red Sox.

 

In conjunction with Lester’s pitching streak against the Royals last night, much credit still goes to the rest of the Boston Red Sox team, as outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, shortstop Julio Lugo, and first-baseman Kevin Youkilis backed up Lester with impressive fielding plays that kept the shut-out game going.

 

Once Lester’s final pitch, clocked at 96 mph (the fastest pitch of the night), struck out Royals’ second-baseman Alberto Callaspo, the Red Sox team came together and lifted Lester in the air as fans congratulated him with a standing ovation that was ongoing since the seventh-inning.

 

While Lester puts down another astonishing achievement within his list of life accomplishments, this game will not only forever be remembered by Boston fans as another reason why the Boston Red Sox are “the best in the league”, but it will also be rightly viewed as an inspirational story for any athlete playing in a competitive sport while juggling life’s obstacles. 

 Lester after pitching no-hitter--YahooSports.com

According to columnist Jeff Passan, during the news conference after the game, Lester said, “I threw a couple [no-hitters] in high school…but [this] one is a little different.”

 

Little does he know, this game will never compare to any others he has pitched.  The road Lester had to endure to reach such a life career will be one of the top encouraging stories in sports history. 

 

If anything, Lester’s tale teaches those to never give up; something that all athletes need to understand when standing toe-to-toe with competition.

 

Sean Speirs

 

SportsZone Fact:  Unfortunately, for the Kansas City Royals, this is not the first time they have been told “no-no” from a pitcher.  Their first given shutout was delivered by pitcher Nolan Ryan in 1973 when he played for the California Angels.  That same no-hitter game was marked the first out of seven no-hitters Ryan will go on to pitch throughout his career.

 

Images Courtesy of MSNBC.COM and YAHOOSPORTS.COM