Russ Kent: GOAT, adorable animal; stupid conversation starter

I used to love goats.

What’s not to love. They are cute and cuddly and ornery and will eat pretty much anything.

They remind me of … well … myself.

Cute, cute and cute.

And them along came pygmy goats. Even cuter and even cuddlier. There was a classic episode of “Duck Dynasty” that involved pygmy goats. They were as funny and adorable as expected. But they also have an intestinal system not unlike that of a rabbit. Pygmy goats create a lot of little, stinky pellets. But that just makes them more delightful.

Pygmy goats are one cutest animals ever.

Until someone, somewhere discovered or cloned or did some gene-splicing and came up with fainting goats.

Yes, there really is a thing. Google it

Fainting goats. They faint when they get excited or scared or … well sometimes just for fun. The fall over, their legs get rigid. It is hilarious.

I want one, or two, or three.

My only concern is those little goat pellets left behind.

With pygmy goats, gravity determines where the pellets land.

But when a fainting goat topples over, which way do the pellets fly?

Still, pretty cute, if they belong to someone else.

I remember my first trip to the Westside Market in Cleveland. It was the week before Easter. I was amazed by that place. I’m still amazed when I get there two or three times each year.

But my first trip there was memorable for the two men with goat carcasses on their backs. They had the hind legs over their shoulders and around their neck and were walking through the market on their way, well, home I guess.

That was more than 10 years ago, and I still remember it.


Anyway, goats are still funny.

But the term GOAT has been stolen.

Now, when I hear the word “GOAT” it’s followed or preceded by the words every Cleveland Cavaliers fan hates “Michael Jordan.”

GOAT, Greatest of all Time. That word and Michael Jordan go hand and hand in the eyes of a lot of basketball fans.

Many a sports talk show or newsroom conversation has been ruined by the words GOAT and Michael Jordan.

In basketball circles is the argument to end all arguments.

Who is the Greatest of All Time?

Michael Jordan or LeBron James?

There is nothing that makes me change channels on the TV or quit reading a sports story or hit-and-run a Facebook argument than talk of the NBA’s greatest of all time. Is Michael the GOAT, or is LeBron the GOAT.

That argument is the most inane, stupid, time-wasting topic in history.

If there was a GOAT useless sports argument, it would be the one that starts with the phrase “Who is the Greatest of All Time.”

I’ve written this column maybe three other times in my life. All for a different newspaper or website or something else.

I was flipping channels last night before the Cavs game and the argument was one. Michael or LeBron? LeBron or Michael?

What a colossal waste of time.

I’m getting angry thinking about it right now.

Some people have a trigger. My trigger is talk of GOATS.

My reasoning, I think, is pretty simple. You can’t logically compare basketball players of different eras.

In my eyes. LeBron James is the Greatest of All Time. The GOAT to end all GOAT arguments.

Until the next superhuman, NBA superstar comes along.

And then we can start this stupid, inane meaningless argument all over again.

The internet givers everyone a voice, and most of the voices want to argue about the NBA’s GOAT.

Everyone is due an opinion. But I don’t need to hear it over and over and over again.

There have been a lot of NBA GOATS.

In my eyes, George Mikan as the NBA’s first GOAT. He was replaced by Bob Cousy, who was replaced Bill Russell, who was replaced by Wilt Chamberlain — who some say was replaced by Kareem Abdul Jabber.

And then there is Michael Jordan.

But Michael has fewer championships than Bill Russell. I doubt anyone will beat Russell’s tally.

So if you are comparing Michael to LeBron, and LeBron loses because of he has won fewer championships, who is Bill Russell not the NBA’s GOAT?

Because that was a different era.

When it comes to statistics, no one has ever dominated the league like Chamberlain.

But he’s not the NBA’s GOAT.

Why? Because that was a different era.

Michael Jordan was pretty damn good. But was he that much better than Larry Bird or Magic Johnson.

Not really.

And the game is far different now than it was 20 years ago.

So why must we compare Jordan to James?

Because it’s an easy topic to jump on for sports columnists and talk show hosts,

In this era, there is no one like James. In any era there has never been anyone like James. Chamberlain came closest, but he was so much larger and stronger than everyone, that comparison is not fair.

James is bigger, stronger and more athletic than any player of his size. And he’s more than just a scorer. He plays a type of game that I enjoy. He passes, he rebounds, he blocks shots and he can be a dominant scorer, too. Alvin Adams of the Phoenix Suns was a great passer for a big man. James is better. Wes Unseld was a great rebounder and delivered an outlet pass better than any big man before him. James is better.

Michael Jordan was an assassin on offense.

LeBron can be. But he doesn’t need to be.

James is a different type of player.

You can’t legitimately compare the two. It makes no sense.

But sports writers and radio talk shows and just regular blowhards will have the GOAT argument for hours.

It’s pretty simple.

Jordan was the greatest of all time, until LeBron came along.

And right now James is the greatest of all time, until the next GOAT comes along.

I’m OK with that.


Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer



Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at [email protected] with comments or story ideas.