Game On…with Rob Kriete! – NOVEMBER 10


Happy Veterans Day!  Thank you to those who have served in the military for all Americans and our great country.

As far as our beloved professional sports, veteran players remain the cornerstone of every championship-bound team, no?  Every fan loves their rookies, farm-grown talent, and early-round draft picks.  But veteran players are the foundation of any successful franchise.

Here in Tampa, or rather Champa Bay, veterans are making the local teams the envy their respective leagues.  It begins, of course, with the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, who continues his dominance as the greatest player in the history of the NFL, striving to bring a second Super Bowl championship to Tampa. Is there much more to say about his veteran presence, leadership, and skills?

Over at the Trop, Nelson Cruz, the veteran slugger, helped the Rays to their best season.  The Tampa Bay Rays historically have one of the youngest teams in MLB.  Yet, the wisest MLB franchise knew the value of veteran leadership, as well as the potent bat, and traded for the 41-year-old slugger before the 2021 deadline.  The Rays won 100 games for the first time with significant help from Cruz bot on the field and in the clubhouse.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, also have a great mix of young players and veterans.  Captain Steven Stamkos, at the age of 31, serves as one of the veteran leaders on the team, despite being limited in ice-time due to injuries.  The Bolts have rallied around their Captain to win the Stanley Cup an unprecedented two consecutive years under the most trying circumstances.

Even those of you that play fantasy sports should pay attention to the often-overlooked veteran players available in most leagues.  Veteran players are easier to predict in terms of their productivity.  I have traditionally stacked my fantasy teams, regardless of the sport, with veteran players.  I could build my fantasy baseball team exclusively with veteran player and still beat my rookie-loving friends.

Once again, thank you to all of our dedicated veterans and a quick note.  The gentlemen seated in the back left of my featured photo is a World War II veteran who was involved in the Battle of the Bulge and has just turned 100 years young!  Happy Veteran’s Day!

Be safe, everyone!