Oct 13, 2009

A coming of age tale

I sat up last night watching an otherwise normal Monday night football game and I realized something. Sports is evolving just as we are, its evolving right in front of us and we are just mere observers.  I am not talking about the Darwin esque evolution or even things like the wildcat offense I am talking about the essence of the game. Usually the New York Jets taking on the Dolphins wouldn’t draw my attention but seeing a game starring players that I can distinctly remember watching throughout their careers was something very odd for me to deal with. I mean I guess at 23 years of age this was bound to happen but it was an odd feeling.

  When I was a kid I watched teams like the 93 Phillies and thought of them as these older wiser figures and left it at that. What I realized last night was these players in the game, the up and comers, are the same age as I am. These are kids that, in certain cases, I have followed since they were 16 and 17 year old high schoolers. In one weekend of football I saw Matt Ryan, the Exton native and Penn Charter grad, create one of the strongest new tandems in football with Roddy White. Then a mere four hours later I see Chad Henne take the spotlight. This makes me think of being 16 and reading stories in the Inquirer of a kid named Henne creating high school records at Wilson High School is suburban Harrisburg, PA. 

I mean before these guys went pro I had another similar story. As a graduate of Coatesville High School I had the privlage of watching Richard Hamilton craft his game before he headed to UCONN. I was lucky enough to see a game between him and a young pre draft Kobe Bryant play head to head. But I never really felt the connection because these guys we so much older then me it just seemed like a lucky tale and it was at a point that I wasnt really pulled into the world of sports then.

    I don’t know why it took until last night to realize this but I think it has a lot to do with my current transition from college to the real world. It’s the transition everyone has to make, when you take your first step towards real world goals and look at the world you are stepping into.  Its strange to no longer look at athletes as these larger then life individuals then people that most of the time I am not more educated and older then. Its a real big step in fandom when you can clearly remember most of a players career. I look at this years phillies lineup and i think of the days that I saw Ryan Howard to Cole Hamels in the Phillies farm system and how they have become some of the most elite players in the game of baseball.

Its just interesting to look at I mean Cole Hamels is only 25 years old, just two years older then me, and he has already achieved so much. I mean the man was a world series mvp and just ushered in his first child into the world. its just funny to look at how sports has grown, and as much I have grown up with it.

So if there is anything I can say to the up and coming sports fans is pay attention to your high school because you never know when they will make it to the bigs and then youll have a real nice bar stool story.

Its just weird that I have now caught up with the world of sports that I love. Maybe in a few years I can use terms like "back in my day" or whipper snapper. anyway just a small tidbit but look for a phillies preview soon.

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