What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
It’s often said that baseball imitates life. In this case, there’s an odd bit of truth to that because like life, baseball is all about milestones. In baseball, it’s all about 3,000 hits, 500 home runs, or 300 wins. Today, SportsChump and I hit one of life’s major mileposts…the Big Five-Oh. On this very day exactly one-half century ago, we entered this world, dropping from the womb onto a path that would lead us to becoming blog brothers from another mother.
We mention baseball because it was one of the things that led to that convergence; that only being natural for two sports bloggers.
SportsChump: When J-Dub first asked me to collaborate on a piece about turning 50, I put down my cane, put in my dentures, put ON my readers and wondered (then forgot, then wondered again) what angle we would take on such a piece. He and I have been writing together for years on just about anything that came to mind. Clearly, sports would be a focus since that’s what we do here but so would aging and recalling (hopefully fondly) what the last fifty years have meant to me and that other guy who terrorizes the inter-web.
Baseball is a perfect place to start for it’s the only sport I grew up watching. Now that I have grown up, and I use that term loosely, it’s the only sport I DON’T watch. It shows how much I’ve changed.
It’s been ages (no pun intended) since I’ve watched a baseball game in its entirety. As I’ve matured (another term I use loosely), I find myself thirsting for the instant gratification that other sports like basketball, football, and hockey all provide and that baseball simply does not.
Walk-offs are great but you have to wait three-and-a-half hours to get there. It’s why only 800 people attended a White Sox-Rays game earlier this spring. Like Hannibal Burress jokes, baseball is the sport you go with a friend who you haven’t seen in years. So, Dubs, maybe you and I’ll catch a game one day. Here in Tampa, they’re contemplating building a new stadium but the risk-reward factor is out common-sensing the breaking ground of any ballpark. Either way, by the time it get done, I’ll be happily qualifying for my senior discount.
J-Dub: See, I’m already having second thoughts about doing this with a guy my age who still needs instant gratification. He shits all over baseball, despite the fact a baseball is the perfect description of the size of our prostates. At our age, “instant gratification” is making it to the men’s room in the nick of time. But you’re not here to hear about how often we piss our pants now.
Rather, let’s take a look at some examples of how many things have changed in the past half-century:
No diet soda? Heck, we remember when 2-liter plastic bottles first hit the shelves. They were all the rage. You mean you can drop a bottle of soda and have it not break? CLEAN UP AISLE FIVE!!! But once you dropped one, you couldn’t open it for a month otherwise the soda (or pop as it’s called in Indiana) would come out with the force of a fighter jet engine. Of course, it’s been decades since either of us have had a soda that didn’t have bourbon in it.
Speaking of Neil Armstrong, why have we not sent any more people to the moon? We could think of a nice long list of people we’d like to shuttle into space. Can we prioritize this?
When it comes to phones, there’s nothing better than sifting through not so old movies to see where exactly phones went from cars to analog to flip phones. Still no phone is cooler than the one Rodney Dangerfield pulls out of his golf bag in “Caddyshack.”
If you don’t recall your great-grandfather using the “clicker,” on which there were three buttons, then you’re probably not fifty. One of our favorite scenes from “Married with Children was an episode where Bud and his sister realize the remote control is broken and they don’t know how to change the channel. Bud tells Applegate that he once heard their dad saying you could actually walk to the television and change the channel on it manually. What’s funnier than that is we have no idea if our current smart TVs can be changed manually. Hell, J-Dub found a way to make his flash 12:00. It’s odd how things come full circle and that Christina Applegate (who is almost our age) is still easy on the eyes.
And don’t forget the “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” labels they put on our websites.
These days, you wouldn’t want to buy an American-made vehicle for that much.
Chump lives in Florida, and J-Dub lives in Indiana; two places where $15,000 homes are still readily available. They’re called trailers.
You say Rhodesia, I say Rhode Island. Let’s call the whole thing off. Besides, Rhodesia might be a nice place to visit but we wouldn’t want to live there…even if we knew what they call it now.
The USFL and XFL both came and went and the NFL still thrives in spite of itself. And Vince McMahon is palling a reboot of the XFL. Check back in 50 more years to see how that went.
And people still bitch about the designated hitter. Since Chump doesn’t watch baseball anymore, perhaps he could get the “designated hitter” in football…I’m sure Ray Rice is available.
And aren’t Lightning fans all the happier for it…all 34 of them!
By ending on basketball, we can segue out of the old men shuffling their walkers down “Memory Lane” straight toward the ointment aisle at the Wal-Mart pharmacy. That’s because old men reeking of hemorrhoid cream is the only thing more timeless than the Michael Jordan-LeBron James comparison. What post on sports would be relevant without it, especially with J-Dub filling his pee-leak pads every time somebody reminds him that LeBron is now a Los Angeles Laker?
For our fiftieth birthdays, we’d like a time machine to transport the greatest players from each generation, we get to the pick the teams, and put them into a round-robin elimination tournament to see who would win. Now THAT would be something. And even though we were born on the same day, somehow J-Dub managed to end up 30 years older than me as he’s already drooling over the idea of bringing back the 1949 Minneapolis Lakers. At least that’s what we think. At his age, it’s hard to tell exactly why J-Dub drools as much as he does.
Despite all the “old man pining for the way stuff used to be,” we’re really here to tell those of you who have not yet hit “mid-field” yet what turning 50 is really all about. Forget all that shit about “50 is the new 40,” ignore your office decorated with black balloons, entering the second half-century of your life is like descending through Dante’s seven concentric circles of hell.
Amongst other things you will discover when it’s your turn…
Final Thoughts From SportsChump:
I gotta tell you though, Dubs. I don’t feel fifty. Sure, the back aches at times and my knee’s been acting up, but when I told people that my fiftieth was coming up and invited them to the Funky Fiftieth party to end all parties (disco attire heavily encouraged), most who know me were surprised I was that age. My friends recently threw me a surprise fiftieth that landed on the Fourth of July so it was totally unexpected. I am still riding high from that moment.
They had planned the party for months and nobody said a word. I walked through the door to see all my friends shouting “Surprise” and the top of their lungs and it reminded me how grateful I am. Without getting too mushy on ya’, I have led a glamourous life and I wouldn’t change a goddamned thing. To you, my friend, I wish you nothing but the happiest and healthiest of fiftieth birthdays. I look forward to continuing to write with you about the world of sports and all things otherwise that come our way.
You’re my July 13th, brother. If only those hospital wombs knew what they were getting themselves into, huh?
Final Thoughts From J-Dub: