Is it me or is the grass always greener as a kid?
Tonight NESN was airing a “Classic Sox Replay” and it was the 1986 game versus the Seattle Mariners where he set the Strikeout record at 20 K’s. While I was watching the game I began to think about how much I enjoyed baseball as a kid and how many players I really considered great. The days of George Brett, Ozzie Smith, Tony Gwynn and Dale Murphy seem much more true and innocent then that of Alex Rodriguez and the steroid brigade.
Was it the feeling of childhood idolism or the sour taste of the steroid scandal? Probably a bit of both, but frankly for me, I think baseball lost it’s luster with the lockout/strike of 1994 and I don’t feel like I ever looked at the game the same. Not to mention, a league without Lou Merloni has no room for me.
Seeing as I have the attention span of a mosquito at a picnic I went from baseball in the 80’s to hockey, football, basketball and even toys, cartoons and movies and I think the quality of production has subsided with the rise of technology.
With no question hockey and basketball were amazing in the 80’s not because of nostalgia, but because arguably the best performers reigned in the golden decade. Hockey had Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier and Ray Bourque bringing fans in and setting forth what would be hockey’s expansion era. Basketball had Michael, Magic and Bird; three players so amazing they are each arguably the best ever and dividing 14 NBA titles between them and 11 MVP awards. I am sorry, I love basketball, but today’s league-wide caliber does not even compare to that of a generation past. As for hockey, this is another sport that was tarnished for me over a season lost to work stoppage. Frankly, I just lost track of players and never caught up on new ones. Sort of like watching your favorite show replace by a brand new cast and trying to catch up.
On to cartoons, Saturday’s just are nothing like they were when the Smurfs, Punky Brewster, and the Snorks were your morning entertainment along with your Mr. T cereal. And movies, how do you compare Star Wars movies, Rocky sequels, John Hughes flicks and Rodney Dangerfield comedies to the anything they release today. And toys, do I even need to compare them, no question that GI Joe, Star Wars and Transformers with a supporting cast of He-Man, MASK and Lazer Tag will win every time.
Even though videogames have improved in some many areas, ask 10 people what their favorite game is and it will likely be Mario or Zelda because of their basics of storytelling and revolutionary changes to what you do with your free time.
Call me old, old school or just a classic, but I miss the quality of entertainment available in the age of my childhood. As for baseball, unless they make some serious changes to their priorities I will just stick to watching the Portland SeaDogs and the Worcester Tornadoes.