Friday, Aug. 13, 2010
By Frankie O
As Im sitting here melting in this heat wave, watching my kids, along with some of their cousins and friends, run around in the Crown Fountain, Im struck with the thought that I wish time could stand still. Not so I could sit here drenched like Richard Simmons in one his workout videos, (Is repeatedly opening a refrigerator door really part of a workout?) but to enjoy this gift of a moment that I have been blessed with. Time really does move too fast when youre somewhere you want to be.
Of course, its at this moment that my crackberry starts to vibrate in my pocket, to provide me with a very valuable update about my Roto baseball team, and Im brought back to my senses. Not move forward? Time will move on no matter how hard I try to fight it and whether I want to go along or not. The way things were, is exactly that. I bring this up because I seem to be having a lot of conversations at the bar about kids becoming teenagers, which I will be experiencing very soon, and it becomes more and more apparent to me that, as a father, I might not be emotionally equipped to handle the path Im on. Its at time like these that I use my sports affliction to put things in proper perspective. Life imitates art? Life imitates sports! Like the essence of going to Wrigley, for me, is the time stand still thing. The organ music, the scoreboard and the trough are icons of a time gone by and the experience of each should be treasured. The way things were. But then I go to one of the new baseball palaces and enjoy the replays, the shortness of the concession lines and the barriers. Progress is good! Then there is the information thing. The internet is the best thing for sports, ever!
Being able to find anything I want, related to sports anytime I want, anywhere I want, is the world I need to be a part of! Because without it, how else could I waste two hours scouring the waiver wire to check for the set-up man that is going to make the difference for my Roto team? I mean, hes got to be out there somewhere, isnt he? I wont even mention the subsequent forays in to E-bay to search for a deal on more Sunoco 1972 NFL stamps. Oh, I havent told you about that addiction? Thats another story for another day, since it will take a while, but is being able to find something that meant the world to you when you were 12 at the click of a mouse and in a competitive auction not the coolest thing ever? Again, as time moves on, things get better! Then there are the games and athletes themselves. During football season, I can not live without my DirecTv! Come to think of it, I cant live without it during baseball or hockey season either. I need to be able to watch every game if I want to, paying a small fee of course. But, then there is the part where we know way too much about every athlete today whether we want to or not. The information super highway has turned into the autobahn with guys like Tiger, LeBron and Big Ben. Honestly? Is everything they do off the field of play the story?
I understand, to a point, but when I hear about it every day, I start to get numb. But thats the world we live in, and I guess thats why Im so not ready for my kids to join in. I want old school to be the new cutting edge. Theres something to be learned from the days gone by. Part of the thrill of my DirecTV sports package, is to turn on one of the sports networks and watch a classic. In the last month alone I watched some grainy footage of Joe Montana and my old Dr. J Sixers. (80s footage grainy? Work with me!) Then I realize that those games were played a long time ago. As much as I need to let go, I cant. So I guess sports have shown me the way, once again. Holding on to the past is fine, as long as its in limited doses. Time is going to move on, bringing good and bad along with it and its up to me to keep up.
So as the kids played, without a care in the world, I enjoyed it more than they did, realizing how precious these moments are. These are the times I will remember and hold on to, especially when a certain someone has the car out past curfew and is making my blood boil. (My parents would call that a payback!) Im sure while Im waiting up, by that time Ill be able to watch any game, from any time, from any sport, on-demand and in 3D! So for now, as much as I love the innocence and purity of watching my youngsters play, I realize that soon they will have to enter the world and take it on their own terms. And their old man? Hes going to have to deal with the fact that no time lasts forever, in life and sports, even if I can pull up both on my smart phone.