More Sports Moments That Make You Feel Old
Want to know something really weird? I'm turning 30 years old in less than six weeks.
Yeah, that's bizarre to me.
While I'm not sweating the fact that I'll be the big 3-0 all that much—after all, life is grand—when I sit back and think about some of my favorite sports memories, it quickly reminds me one thing—I'm old.
And for those who might think they're still young, here are a few moments that may have you reconsidering that thought, because they happened a long time ago.
The Glowing Hockey Puck
In an effort to help TV viewers follow the path of the puck during an NHL game, Fox implemented a feature known as FoxTrax, which was a cheesy, video game-like way for fans to enjoy the games.
Want to know when that happened? Try 19 years ago.
That means that kids who are freshmen in high school weren't even born yet when I first sat down with buddies to watch Jeremy Roenick light up the scoreboard.
For those who don't know Roenick, just read this and you'll understand.
Buffalo Bills in the Playoffs
Many of us kids of the ‘90s probably remember the mini dynasty that the Buffalo Bills had during the early part of the decade—at least in the AFC—as they went to four-straight Super Bowls.
Sure, the Bills never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in any of those appearances, but the fact of the matter is they gave themselves chance.
Sadly, not only is it hard to swallow that their last appearance was 20 years, but it hurts more knowing that the team last made the playoffs 14 seasons ago, when Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson were splitting time at quarterback.
Lance Armstong Gets Sick
Even with all the talk in the past few years about former *Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong admitting to doping basically his entire career, it’s still incredible to see what the guy did by defeating cancer.
And while Lance’s story remains an inspiration with kids still wearing his yellow “Livestrong” bracelets, would you believe that he was diagnosed with the disease 18 years ago, meaning anyone who has been on the show Teen Mom wasn’t only just being born, but now has a baby themselves.
Randy Johnson Hits Bird
There might be a few kids out there who don’t even remember how dominant former MLB pitcher Randy Johnson was over the course of his 22 seasons.
Zidane’s Headbutt on Materazzi
With the World Cup just ending a few weeks ago and giving us some solid memories, there was one instance that occurred eight years ago that some may still be amazed over—former French national team captain Zinedine Zidane’s head-butt on Italian player Marco Materazzi.
For those like U.S. national team forward Julian Green—who was just 11 at the time—they probably don’t recall where they were as easily.
Tyson Bites Holyfields Ear
It was one of the biggest blunders in sports history—former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson chomping on the ear of opponent Evander Holyfield.
And while it’s still one of the moments that make us think of Tyson—along with his cameo in The Hangover, of course—the former boxer’s little mid-match appetizer actually happened back in 1997.
I’m not so sure it should be Iron Mike’s shining moment 17 years later, but for some reason, it still is.
1st Down Yellow Line Is Introduced
Uh oh, here comes my first, “Back in my day,” quotes of the piece.
While football fans everywhere are grateful as hell for the yellow line marker that determines where a team’s first-down yardage is, I remember when it was a little more difficult to see which hashes a guy had to get to in order to move the chains.
That’s because the thing wasn’t even displayed for TV viewers until a September, 1998 game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals—and we’re all thankful it was.
Nike Freestyle Commercial
Over the years, athletic company Nike has had some absolutely sick commercials—am I too old to use that expression?
One of my personal favorites was the Nike freestyle compilation they had to market their basketball line in 2000, more specifically showing off the ever-popular Shox shoes worn by then superstar Vince Carter, among others.
The brand’s adverts are incredible now, but this was one that was innovative way back then.
Bill Belichick Coached the New York Jets
It may be difficult to imagine legendary New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on a sideline that doesn’t include quarterback Tom Brady, but, for at least one day, there was a possibility that would have happened.
Back before the 1999 season, the New York Jets announced Belichick was hired as their new coach, replacing Bill Parcells.
That lasted a total of 24 hours, though, as Belichick resigned and replaced another Super Bowl-winning head coach—Pete Carroll—who was canned by the Patriots a few weeks prior.
Brandi Chastain's Sports Bra
Remember that terrific moment in 1999 when the U.S. women’s national soccer team defeated China in the Women’s World Cup on home turf?
Yeah, the Brandi Chastain, stripped down, penalty kick that clinched the victory for the red, white and blue happened 15 years ago—meaning that freshman in college were just being born—yet I remember exactly where I was during the match.
OJ Simpson Car Chase
During the infamous 1994 car chase that included Hall of Fame NFL running back O.J. Simpson, the entire nation flipped between a wide variety of sporting events and the white Bronco that The Juice was in—as ESPN poignantly showed with their 30 for 30 about June 17 of that year.
And while most of us remember first-hand why this was such a big deal, this year’s No. 1 overall NBA pick, Andrew Wiggins, wasn’t even born yet.
Madden 2004 Michael Vick
While every sports fan loves the Madden football video game series, there was one digital character back in the 2004 game that was head and shoulders above the rest—Michael Vick.
Blessed with speed, agility and a rocket arm, when Vick got out of the pocket, he couldn’t be stopped.
As fun—and unfair—it was to play with the cover boy of the game that year, it was a decade ago in which he was at his peak, now finding himself in a training camp battle with the New York Jets.
Jordan Last Played for the Chicago Bulls in 1998
It’s hard enough listening to people compare every young hoopster in the NBA to Michael Jordan if they have a few solid years, but it’s even tougher when you consider that Jordan last played for the Chicago Bulls in 1998.
That means that LeBron James—the most frequently talked about player to overtake MJ’s thrown—was just about to enter the eighth grade when Jordan buried that memorable shot to win his sixth NBA title.
Hell, even after Jordan made a comeback with the Washington Wizards for a few years, some kids might not even remember that!
Dallas Cowboys Won the Super Bowl in 1996
So much for being America’s Team.
Although Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones insists that his franchise is still the belle of the ball, the truth is that they haven’t won a Super Bowl in 18 years.
Yeah, the Boys were stacked back then with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin leading the offense, but ask any teenager now what they think of Big D and they’ll probably just toss out words like overrated and mediocre—given the team's near .500 record since the team's last Lombardi Trophy.
That’s a far cry from the early to mid-‘90s teams I grew up with which boasted Hall of Famers.
MTV's Rock N' Jock
For any kid who loved sports and music during the ‘90s, MTV’s Rock n’ Jock celebrity basketball and softball games were a must-see.
With the biggest names in entertainment participating, there probably isn’t a kid under the age of 25 who remembers how epic these things were.
My personal favorite? If not this picture of Will Smith and Steve Urkel on the hardwood, then the 50-point shot the basketball game offered.
Sosa vs. McGwire Was in 1998
The summer of 1998 was one of my personal favorites.
It was the first time I had gone to a wedding, I met former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway randomly in Chicago and I watched intensely how the Great Home Run Chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa would unravel.
As a soon-to-be eighth grader, watching Sportscenter each evening provided highlights of who had the edge on that given day.
Seeing how it was 16 years ago—and tarnished after the presumed allegations of PEDs for both former sluggers—makes me feel like I should have gray hairs by now.