John Brodies determination as an athlete allowed him toexcel professionally as both a football player and a golfer.Now that same determination allows Brodie to surpass whathis doctor ever thought he could when Brodie suffered a severe stroke 12 yearsago.The doctor said he wont walk again, Brodies daughter,Cammie said. His speech is gone.Brodie now walks and can speak, although his vocabulary islimited.The one thing Ive learned the most from my father isstrength and determination through adversity, Cammie said. Hes just nevergiven up.That strength and determination she speaks up first allowedBrodie to play both football and golf at Stanford, a multi-sport combination hecontinued even as a professional.In 1958, Brodies second season as the 49ers quarterback,he won the Northern California Amateur golf tournament. The next year Brodiequalified for the 1959 U.S. Open. He did so again in 1981, a record for thelongest gap between Open appearances that still stands.Split in between those U.S. Open appearances, Brodie wasnamed the 1970 NFL MVP. That same year, he won the Bing Crosby National Pro-Amwith golfer Bob Rosburg.John loved to play for money and loved to play for pressurewhether he was behind seven points with a minute to go or whether he was down acouple of holes in a match play, sportswriter Art Spander said.Brodie retired from football in 1973 after 17 seasons, allof them with the 49ers. He made two Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Proonce. Brodies 31,548 career passing yards are second-most in 49ers historybehind only Joe Montana.After retiring, Brodie went into broadcasting with NBC for11 years. He did golf commentary as well as four Super Bowl telecasts. ButBrodies love for playing the games was too strong to allow him to simple watchand commentate, so in 1986 he joined the Champions Tour.In 1991 Brodies determination and inability to leaveplaying days behind paid off as he won the Security Pacific Senior Classic. Hebecame the first athlete from another sport to win on the Champions Tour.Now 76, Brodie dreams of golfing again.Hes looking out at the golf course and I see him start toget kind of like sad, Cammie said. Dad, whats up? He goes, Me. Im goingto play golf again. I said, Yes, Dad, youre going to play golf again. AndI thought, Wow, you know what? If you think you can do something, you can doanything.Brodies inability to give in to challenges, whether achievingsuccess in two sports in his playing days or overcoming the difficulties of adebilitating stroke, inspires those around him.Im the luckiest girl in the world, Cammie said. When Imwith him, I feel stronger. There are a certain amount of people who step up ina hard situation with adversity, and there are some people who dont have thecapacity to do that. My dads one of those people who does.
Around and around we go.
Almost any other wide receiver who burned as many bridges as Antonio Brown has over the last two years would never draw interest from another NFL team ever again. But due to his tantalizing talent and prolific production, he continues to get the benefit of the doubt.
He doesn't deserve it, but it's understandable. Forget receivers, when Brown is on the field, there are few offensive players more frightening for defensive coordinators. Of course, he also has proven himself to be a nightmare for his own coaches. Thus is the risk/reward factor he presents.
Despite his risk far outweighing the reward as of late, interest in Brown doesn't appear to be waning.
Back in May, it was reported that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson "would love" to add Brown to his receiving corps. A little more than a month later, the two were connecting on routes on a practice field.
Antonio Brown getting some route running work in and catching passes from Russell Wilson. (Via AB's Instagram). pic.twitter.com/OYcUHhHX1x— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 2, 2020
Yes, that is a Raiders helmet that Brown is wearing. How'd his time in Oakland go, again? But I digress...
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Wilson doesn't appear to be the only star quarterback interested in adding Brown to his roster. After former NFL receiver Chad Johnson took to Twitter to express his preference for Brown to join the Texans, Houston QB Deshaun Watson didn't exactly pour cold water on the idea.
The Texans were on the wrong end of one of the more one-sided trades in recent memory this offseason when they questionably sent standout receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals. Houston did acquire Brandin Cooks from the Los Angeles Rams, but perhaps Watson believes his receiving corps is missing an ingredient.
If Brown is signed -- which is a big if -- it's unlikely he would be able to play much at all this coming season, regardless of which team signed him. A trio of Personal Conduct Policy investigations must be concluded before he can sign with a team, and even if all that is settled, it is widely expected that he would be facing a lengthy suspension upon rejoining the league.
Do you trust Brown to behave through that entire process? At this point, it's difficult to understand why anyone would. But clearly, some players still feel the risk is worth the reward.
The 49ers ran through the NFC playoffs, held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIV and arguably have improved this offseason. So, they've got to be the favorites in their own division, right?
It wouldn't exactly be going out on a limb to take that stance, as San Francisco currently is the betting favorite to emerge not just from the NFC West, but the conference as a whole. There's a reason for that, and Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon doesn't disagree.
"You'd have to go with San Francisco right now," Moon said Thursday on 95.7 The Game's "Joe, Lo and Dibs" show when asked which team is the favorite in the NFC West. "I mean, they're the defending NFC champs. They bring back pretty much everybody from that football team.
"They've lost a couple of receivers, but I still think they have a lot of good talent on their team. Their strength is going to be in their running game. I think their offensive line just got strengthened by signing (Trent Williams). So, they're going to be the team to beat, but this is going to be one of the more competitive divisions in the NFL.
"You've got Seattle, who's going to be right there. ... And then you always have the Rams, who you just don't know how good they're going to be. And then Arizona is going to be much more improved. So this is going to be a very, very competitive division, as it usually is."
The 49ers might be the deserved favorites in the division, but Moon is correct. The NFC West was tough enough last year, when San Francisco split the season series with the Seahawks and went down to the wire in both meetings with the Cardinals. As good as the 49ers are, claiming a second straight division title will be no easy task.
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