Whenever one needs to test somebody’s overall sports knowledge, ask them about Carmelo Anthony and Eli Manning and see what happens.
He or she fails as a sports pundit if:
- He believes Melo is a top 50 all-time NBA player.
- He believes Melo is a top five all-time New York Knicks player.
- He believes Melo didn’t mesh well with the Oklahoma City Thunder purely due to circumstance.
He or she passes the sports knowledge test if:
- He believes Melo once represented one of the most dangerous one-on-one scorers of all-time, but has severely remained overrated his entire career.
- He believes Melo is now a net-negative for any team at this current stage of the game.
- He believes the Houston Rockets are much better off without Melo.
Carmelo Anthony is, absolutely, a Hall of Fame basketball player. Based on his pure scoring of the basketball alone, he makes the cut.
This doesn’t mean the overrated nature of his game and purely scoring the basketball hasn’t devastatingly hurt the clubs he’s played on.
Next is Eli Manning.
The Eli half of the test didn’t really get started until recently, over the last few seasons. Due to the nature of the New York Giants offensive struggles, many believe Mr. Manning is done as an NFL quarterback. This large group is under the strong, stubborn belief that the 37-year-old QB can’t play in the league anymore.
If that’s the absolute truth, how in the world could he even think about knocking off even a bad team in the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football? Quarterbacks whose arms are toast wouldn’t even have a chance to do so.
He or she fails the Eli Manning part of the test if:
- He believes Eli can’t play the position anymore.
- He believes Eli should be avoiding sacks based on mobility.
- He believes Eli is holding Odell Beckham Jr. back.
He or she passes the Eli Manning part of the test if:
- He understands Eli isn’t the same spry kid he once was, but understands he’s not the root cause of the team’s offensive issues. That label goes to the O-line.
- He believes Eli is and always has been a strange QB who performs best when things are at its most chaotic (clutch, desperate).
- He believes Eli and the Giants should part ways, but not because the man is “toast.”
Think about it. Is Manning’s arm so bad it’s to the point he can’t make every throw? I don’t see that. The man can still make every throw. Has he slowed down to the point his already slow mobility is crushing the offense? No. When given a chance to move a little in San Fran, he did so.
Being “done” and having no success due to uncontrollable surrounding circumstances are two very different things and it’s a great way to find out if your target in question really knows sports or not. That’s what nearly half of the offense will do (five-of-seven). When the offensive line is involved, things get tricky and the true cream rises to the crop.
Both Carmelo Anthony and Eli Manning, right now, act as the perfect subjects of the greatest sports knowledge test in quite some time.