Tick, tock. Tick, tock.

Maybe it’s just me, but the mid-20s is kind of a black hole for milestones. Once you hit 25, the only spot from there is 30, and outside of a breakthrough in employment/ambition (still waiting) there’s a bit of a muddled view of identity regarding age. One of those ways to clear up and help define where I am in life comes from the world of sports. Yes, I realize it’s an odd assertion.

I point you to this article from ESPN regarding Ken Griffey Jr. For those who don’t follow sports and who don’t read the article, Griffey is an outfielder currently for the Cincinnati Reds. He debuted in 1989. In other words, he came onto the baseball scene when I was old enough and cared enough to follow such things with an independent drive and energy.

I won’t go so far as to say I wanted to be the type of player Griffey was. I grew up a Royals fan – a pain I endure to this day – and worshipped George Brett. But Griffey had a flash about him, an aura. Look to Lebron James as he is today, or Reggie Bush. There was a hype, and more, it was backed up by on-field performance. And here…as Spring Training begins, Ken Griffey Jr is entering his 18th season of major league play.

I’ve said it a few times to friends of mine who follow sports, but when players you remember seeing debut, play, and progress start getting old and retiring/getting elected to halls of fame/breaking career milestones…you get that feeling of time catching up a little bit. Thurman Thomas will enter the NFL Hall of Fame next August. I remember in 5th grade, when he was a top 3 player on Tecmo Super Bowl. Now he’s retired, recognized for his success, and on his own way. But I remember being 9 or 10 years old and watching these players in their prime. And now they’re out of the game or on the way. And it’s odd. If you follow sports – any sport – closely, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you’ll just have to trust me on this. It’s an odd feeling to 1) connect in such a strange way to these players and 2) to allow the games to frame certain portions of your worldview. Keeping things in perspective, no baseball isn’t everything. But it does have a role for me, as do other sports to varying degrees.

At any rate, the Schumer book review is forthcoming…as soon as I finish reading it, that is. And after that, I’m taking suggestions, though I’m considering Finn by Jon Clinch next. Fair amount of press behind that one. But if anyone has other ideas I’m open to them.

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~ by Michael Engel on February 24, 2007.

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