My older brother sent me a nice e-mail today. We were both licking our wounds from the abrupt and somewhat ignominious defeat of the Colorado Rockies at the hands of the newly curse-free Boston Red Sox. He reminded me of the legacy of our high school basketball team, who won a few state championships back in the day. We were blessed with a coach who motivated kids to play hard-nosed defense, and far beyond their abilities.
The last time Boulder High School won a state championship in basketball was in 1979. I went to every home game as a member of the pep band, and when the playoffs began, the expectations were ridiculously high. They had won the championship two years previously, and there was more than a little talk about "dynasty".
And now, as we approach thirty years from that last big game, I find myself thinking about how that was a group of high school kids playing for a science teacher. They played hard and won. Since then, I have followed the fortunes of many different teams in many different sports. The thing that has remained essentially the same is the relative ages of the participants in these games. I watched the "old man" of the Colorado Rockies finally get his shot at a World Championship. He recently celebrated his thirty-fourth birthday.
Sports is a young man's world. Tonight I am watching thirty-eight year old Brett Favre continue his seemingly endless streak of starts at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. There is a lot of talk about the "old men" playing this year. Vinny Testaverde is forty-four. He's almost as old as I am. Almost.
I've got a family history of high blood pressure. Why would I put any kind of extra stress in my life based on the performance of a bunch of athletes? The PGA has a Seniors tour, where players have to be at least fifty years old. If I'm going to get all worked up about anything, maybe it's time to start thinking about a more pastoral setting, and the comparative drama of the thirty foot putt.