‘It ain’t over ‘til it’s over’

E9: What you wouldn’t believe about sports.

Sam L. Jaime

Sam L. Jaime

Sam L. Jaime, Sports Editor

As Marshawn Lynch readies to don the silver and black of the Raiders after a two-year sabbatical retirement, I can’t help but consider his chances of success. I’ve seen my share of hangers-on and the gone-too-soon. I’m old enough to remember when Michael Jordan came out of retirement in the early parts of this century, and Brett Farve refused to go quietly into the night, making things awkward in Green Bay. It was a joy to see both return, despite Jordan playing for the abysmal Washington Wizards instead of the Chicago Bulls, and Farve being exiled from Green Bay, finishing his career in Minnesota.

Jordan came back for the 2000-2001 season, he was 38, a full 11 years older than the league average of 27.4. He averaged over 21 points per game throughout his twoseason return, securing a few “oldest to”-type of records, and an easy selection to two all-star teams. Of course, who doesn’t want to be like Mike, even in his 40’s? It’s crazy that a decade has passed since Farve took snaps as a Packer. Farve’s retirement stints lasted a few seconds when compared to the three entire seasons Jordan sat out, especially because they were only a few days or weeks.

Unlike Jordan though, Farve was able to make a return to the postseason, taking Minnesota to the second round in 2009. But the game caught up with him, as it always does. Injuries became too much, and his career became final in 2010 at 41-years-old. Lynch is 31.

Obviously coming back on the wrong side of 30 doesn’t do Lynch any favors, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is anything other than a win-now type of move by the Raiders anyhow. Lynch is not the halfback of the future for the Raiders; this is a two-year loan. Nobody should question Lynch’s ability to excel in the team’s offensive scheme. While the Raiders ground-game wasn’t terrible last season, ranking sixth in the league with 120.1 rushing yards per game, adding Lynch will help their cause, considering he averaged 81.6 yards per game in 2014 and 59.6 yards per game in 2015. As Lynch played in Seattle where quarterback Russell Wilson is known to moonlight as a halfback himself, amassing 1,402 rushing yards during the same span.

Lynch won’t rank among the top rushers next season, his carries and yardage will undoubtedly increase; and might be the final piece in a Raiders Super Bowl championship. Yet, despite any amount of resurgent talent left in Lynch’s proverbial tank, father time will still remain undefeated, continuing to reign as the universe’s most effective prize fighter.

These moments, when our displaced heroes again step into the limelight, are fleeting. Perhaps that’s why we do our best to savor them, grasping at what was, in hopes that their defiance of time’s regression might yield a few more drops of magic from the bottom of the bottle. For time is a funny thing, one that gives and takes in such odd proportion. Eventually we must all walk away, whether it’s from a sport, a job, or even a column. Goodbyes might be the hardest thing we have to give or receive, but like everything else, this too shall pass.