Since Pat Summerall passed away Tuesday I’ve heard manyclips of him calling games I remember watching when I was younger. It broughtme back to times I feel like weren't that long ago, but in all actuality thosedays are a decade or more old. Now as I look around I’m noticing I’m becomingan older sports fan. Summerall’s death isn't even the most meaningful sign tome, there are other signs making the writing on the wall more and more easy toread.
Example being that the college and even professional athletes are looking like kids. Most were inelementary school when I was starting college. No longer am I rooting onathletes my age or older, but more and more often I’m rooting on young kids.Maybe it shouldn't be weird, but for all of my life it’s been the other wayaround. Now for that to not be the case any longer, just doesn't feel right.
When Lebron came onto the scene that was really my firstdose of this reality of being older than the players I root for or against.Lebron is 6 months younger than I am and graduated high school a year afterme. At the time though, it didn't hit ashard as it is currently. Then I was still trying to be a player myself playing a year of college basketball and then intramurals. Now that my sports come a few months at a time in men's leagues or 12 months a year in video form, I'm even less a peer to Lebron than I ever was before...
Speaking of sports in the video world, there is another area I now feel my age. Every sports game now has the option to create your own player, and many have modes in which you then take that player through an entire virtual career. In in my pre-18 year old days, this was a great time, I got to pretend to be older and create a 18 or 19 or 21 year old character of myself. Not so fun when you create your player and he is 28 soon to be 29. Your virtual career is on the downside already! My potential rating SUCKS!
If I was in the NFL I’d be passed my prime, there’d bequestions in GM’s minds whether to sign me to a long term deal, “He isapproaching 30, his best days are probably behind him.” When you're 17, nearing 30 seems light years away. "Of course AP is going to start losing a step, dude is almost 30. Dude is on the downward end of his career." - says 17 year old me. 28 year old me on the other hand is offended by this statement, however true and based on the history of NFL running backs it is.
The stadium I grew up watching the Twins, Vikings and Gopher football team play in is soon to be torn down. This actually is a good thing. Troughs = shy bladder = drunk guy behind you bellowing, "Hurry up tall guy." = increased shy bladder = second drunk guy behind you bellowing, "Yeah c'mon man I want to see Jacque Jones bat." = giving up and waiting for a nacho/dome dog/Grain Belt/popcorn puke and unmentionables splattered stall in which to reassure my bladder.
Kobe Bryant is never going to be the Kobe Bryant I knew I loved ever again, he'll be much more Wizards MJ then he already had begun to become if/when he gets back from his Achilles injury. Tiger Woods is the one watching his back for "young guns" now, rather than being the "young gun" that the vets feared. Shaq is no longer the most dominant big man in the NBA, but rather the most dominant big man ever to squeeze into a Buick Lacrosse and have a horrible show on TruTV at the same time. Now when I see a "Where are they now?" sports column, I more often than not know "Where they were."
I miss "Roundball Rock", the best sports theme song of all-time by John Tesh for NBA on NBC. I miss Steve "Snapper" Jones. I miss the Yankees actually being good enough to hate. I miss Bernie Williams. I miss the last "real" NBA rivalry of Knicks - Heat. I miss Dan Majerle. I miss a time when the X-Games didn't exist. I don' t miss Shaun White. I miss the Nets being unpretentious in New Jersey. I miss Kerry Kittles. I miss helmet to helmet hits, on purpose, with no flag. I miss Steve Atwater. I miss the Buffalo Bills being relevant. I miss Thurman Thomas. I miss Kevin Harlan play by play for the Timberwolves. I miss Felton Spencer. I already miss marathons that included no fear of bombs...
If you're getting depressed like me, here is something to cheer you up:
Better? If not, feel free to play it again. Let it bring you back...
Well, I suppose this is normal. It's probably just a stage in my transition into being a full fledged sports fan adult,which I suppose I've been now for a while, or at least I should have been for awhile according to my age. Much like the 50 year old who buys a convertible, I'm just trying to adjust to this new reality of aging within a sports fan's world. From here on out, more and more things you became to know as the norm in yoursports world begin to disappear and are replaced by newer, shinier, differentthings that just like your once new but now old things, will soon be just a fading memory.