Two years after knee pain forced him to walk away from the NBA, Allan Houston at age 36 is trying to make it back with the New York Knicks, a team he led to an improbable berth in the 1999 NBA finals. If ever a team was in need of a Christian influence and a consistent jump shot, it would be the Knickerbockers. And if he ends up needing to play with a cane, he should still be no worse than the third weakest defensive player in orange and blue on the court at any given time.
Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy the same year his new Carolina teammate Dwayne Jarret was born. He was the No. 1 overall pick eight years before the Panthers entered the NFL and has thrown more passes (several of them as a 2-time member of my beloved and beleaguered New York Jets) than have been thrown in Carolina's history. He's also nearly four years older than his offensive coordinator. Yet the soon-to-be 44-year-old Testaverde — the man nicknamed "Dad" by his new teammates — will not only be in uniform but could very well start this Sunday for the banged-up Panthers at Arizona, going up against a Cardinals team that he turned down an opportunity to play for because of its farther distance from his family in New York City. Starting at quarterback for Arizona will the 36-year old Kurt Warner who is currently playing at close to the Pro Bowl caliber of his younger days, a surprise to everyone but himself.
Another athlete who would not be surprising himself this weekend if he emerges victorious is Evander Holyfield. At age 44 he is attempting to win his fifth heavyweight crown and envisions himself unifying all of the major championship belts before finally retiring from boxing (and committing himself fully to dancing with fellow stars?) for good.
I wish all of them luck and hope they are exhibiting better sense in pushing their bodies to the limit than the latest poster child for illegal steroid use (No, I’m not referring to Barry Bonds. No, not Floyd Landis either) - the lovely but sadly immoral Marion Jones.