By Julie Buehler

I thought we’d be over the shock and awe of NBA free agency, but DeAndre Jordan proved me wrong.

I thought we’d delineated the bad guys from good in Major League Baseball’s steroid era, but Albert Pujols is proving me wrong.

I thought there’s no way anyone can match Ben Hogan’s accomplishment of winning the first 3 majors on the PGA Tour, but Jordan Spieth proved me wrong.

I realize he didn’t win The Open, but he lost by 1 stroke. That’s practically the same thing in my mind, certainly not history books, but for crying out loud, what more do you want??

Considering Dustin Johnson, the US Open runner up, finished tied for 49th and Jimmy Walker, the runner-up at the Masters finished 30th, Spieth’s technical 4th place finish after Zach Johnson needed playoff holes to break a 3-way tie, was a studly statement to the kid’s tenacity and ability to face pressure.

I didn’t think he could do it, but maybe that’s because I’m so used to being disappointed by athletes.

Is it now time to believe again??

I know you probably think that’s ridiculous and you can be jaded in your assessment, I won’t hold it against you. But I’m learning, and the past few weeks have illustrated, that it’s time to believe that most athletes and megastars are real. Yes, I know this comes with great risk, that it’s easier to be jaded with each passing day of a holdout or another headline streaking across the screen pointing to entitled athletes in trouble with the law, but think of what we’ve seen in the past few weeks and try to tell me it’s not for the best.

I mentioned Jordan Spieth and his command for the game of golf. Most PGA fans know what it was like when Tiger ruled the field and even more are still coming to grips with the fact that Tiger just isn’t that good at golf, evidenced in his missing the cut at The Open. And here comes Spieth, down-to-earth, likeable, affable and humble, turning the golf world on its ear. If he had avoided a bogey on 17 in the final round, can you imagine the roar of the crowd at just a par putt??

There’s no shame in staring history in the face and aggressively pursuing it. Even if he didn’t achieve an elusive distinction no other golfer outside of Ben Hogan has achieved, Spieth is real, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

But it’s not just Jordan Spieth, how about the decision made by the other Jordan, DeAndre, to punt moving to Dallas and stick with his team the Clippers?

It wasn’t a popular move on sports talk radio. Most callers, tweeters, texters and other opinion-disseminators called Jordan a coward and phony.

I call him awesome.

We see, so often, players leaving for more money, denouncing long-standing relationships for the sake of padding their exorbitant bank accounts. Jordan took a pay cut to stick with his buddies and try to win more games for a franchise that hasn’t won a championship ever. EVER. And he’s the guy getting ripped??

I guess I shouldn’t complain though, at least everyone was talking about Jordan’s decision to go middle-school-girl on the Mavericks and turn them down with silence.

NO ONE is talking about Albert Pujols.

It’s a shame really.

While Alex Rodriguez was nominated for the most ridiculous award at the ESPYs, the comeback player of the year award, Pujols has been launching home run after home run in relative anonymity.  Oh sure, the Angels PR staff is tweeting about their big guy, but the water cooler isn’t buzzing about him passing Mike Schmidt, a Hall of Famer, for 15th all-time. Is anyone talking about him leading the league in home runs and remaining healthy this whole season? Anyone doing the math to realize that if he remains on his current pace, he’ll hit 54 home runs this year. From there, all he’d need to do is average 30 homeruns a year to pass Hank Aaron for more legitimate home runs in MLB history. Yes Barry has 762, but who cares.

Actually, if you do THAT math, and Albert averages for the remaining 6 years of his Angels contract what he’s done his whole career, he could end up with 779 homeruns and eradicate Barry Bonds’ place atop the hallowed homeruns list.

And he’s clean.

As best we know.

Wouldn’t that be refreshing? To have a guy who did it the old fashioned way slaughter the standing record of a cheater?

It’d be amazing.

Almost as amazing as young Jordan Spieth winning golf’s first 3 majors and almost as amazing as an NBA player giving back millions to stick with his friends and teammates to win a title.

What’d I learn from sports the past few weeks?

Keep believing. It’s more fun that way and when you’re right, it’s oh so worth it!

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