Chargers’ Tight End Antonio Gates is sitting on 10,014 career reception yards. That’s only 47 yards short of Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe’s career mark, Gates-ee could very well surpass the retired Bronco on Monday Night Football in a few days.
Gates has been suspended thus far this season. He tested positive for performance enhancing drugs this summer. Owning up to his actions, his fans recognize that this is the first form of negativity on his plentiful 15-year pro bowl infested career.
Back to Sharpe, though. Dudes a fucking legend. He is non-debatably one of the GOATs of the Tight End world. So does he have reason to be jealous, even skeptical as Gates is about to break his record? Probably. It’s awfully unorthodox for a legend of any sport to be spiteful rather than supportive when current generation guys set new standards. It seems Sharpe is going against the grain. Choosing to downplay Gates’ accomplishments under the assumption that he might have been using these PEDs his entire adult life, possibly not making the NFL without their help…
Shannon Sharpe dialed into Sirus XMradio back in July with comments on the situation:
“calls into question everything he accomplished”
“cheated the game”
“If he does it at the beginning of his career because he was an undrafted free agent, people are gonna say he did it to get in the league, Now he did it Year 13, Year 14 — people are going to say he did it to remain in the league. It does, it makes you question everything someone has ever accomplished.”
When this quote made second rounds recently, Gates weighed in:
“We joked about it. We laughed about it. So I guess if he can find a way to tarnish something I think he probably would.”
Numbers aren’t Gates’ focus. Never have been- but the man has earned his place in history. Waiting on someone to have a little slip up in order to downplay their accomplishments is lame.
Everyone will cheer on Monday night when Gates climbs to 3rd overall in yards for the position. No one will think of him as a cheater. Only as an undrafted college basketball player who mastered and remastered his craft for years and years.
Odds are that Sharpe sends out some cheesy “congrats” tweet as soon as he slips to the #4 spot.