Tuesday, October 8, 2013
And for that matter, also a sucker for simple player-to-player respect in sports.
It is why I love the handshake line in hockey, the quarterback-to-quarterback embrace in football, and the quaint tradition of golfers removing their hats following a round while shaking hands.
Respect. Sportsmanship. Still cool to me, at least.
Too many old dudes these days are bitter about the money they didn't make, regretful of the toll their body took, sick of the hype of ESPN, and always ready to claim that "these NEW guys, couldn't hold a candle to us, BACK IN THE DAY!"
Well, for starters, gramps: no, you're wrong.
Basically every new superstar is BETTER at the sport, than you were. Granted, some of the old dudes were certainly more CLUTCH or ARTISTIC in their sport than the new breed is, or ever will be. Or their personality and will to win was more MAGNETIC to the sporting public.
But sports advance, and so do athletes. Relentlessly. Training gets better. Skillsets evolve and accelerate. The desire to continually re-set the bar higher, and higher, never goes away.
It does not negate at all, what you did IN YOUR TIME, and given the training of the day. But the bottom line is undeniable: the current crop of players - and you can pick the sport - are nothing short of fucking phenomenal.
Oh yes, I know. Today's start are much bigger pricks, far too caught up in "the lifestyle" and more sensitive than a baby with a diaper rash when it comes to criticism.
But they are damn good. And objectively speaking, better.
So it was really cool to see a genuine ICON, like Sandy F'in Koufax have this moment with Clayton Kershaw.
Koufax, who appears in public about as often as than Punxsutawney Phil, is both happy for Kershaw and truly in admiration of this young S-T-U-D. And Kershaw gives it right back.
This is why we are sports fans. And it never gets old. At least not to me.