Thursday, January 12, 2012
Nostalgic? Or correct?
I threw a status update up on Facebook yesterday and it drew an interesting reaction from friends of a certain age. On Tuesday, I'd gotten geared up to watch the Carolina-Miami basketball game, almost trying to will myself to care about the Tar Heels the way I cared about them when I was a student, oh, 30 years ago.
Around halftime, when I found it impossible to fake it any longer, I wrote:
"I'm becoming an old fart, for sure, because the way the Tar Heels play basketball bores me. I miss the days when folks cared about winning the ACC and the regular season didn't seem like spring training."
Am I being nostalgic? Or am I on to something?
Probably a bit of both. While my older friends seem to agree with me, that college basketball in the 80s was a lot more interesting, my younger friends (those in their 30s) seem to think the current game is fine the way it is.
I'm sure the business of college basketball has never been better. The number of games on television and the success of March Madness speak to that. But from a romantic point of view, I can't help but feel the game has taken a hit over the past 20 years.
Way back when, you threw up a year, 1977 or 1982, and you remembered big games for Carolina, and big plays, and where you were and what you said to your friend. Now, and I don't think it's just me who feels this way, with players coming into the program and moving on a year or two later, you just lose track of who did what and when.
The Carolina hoops game was not the only sporting event of late that's made me long for the good, old days. The Major League Baseball postseason is another thing that, for me, a guy who loves the game as much as anyone, has lost its..."unforgettableness."
In the years before 1996 and the extra round of playoffs, even a mid-level fan could remember what teams played in the League Championship Series and World Series. They could probably tell you who was the MVP. Who was the goat. In the years since '96, with three rounds of playoffs every season, I've simply lost track.
Bring up a player, especially if they're Yankees or Red Sox players, and ask me how he did in the ALDS or ALCS in a certain year and I'll shrug my shoulders. Long gone are the days when you associated names with moments and the years were indelible.
Again, I'm sure the business of baseball has never been better. Baseball is about to add another wild card for each league next year, which will create another layer.
More money, for sure. But more memories? I don't think so.
Posted by Jeff Bradley at 4:00 PM