Dennis H posted this to rec.sport.disc I laughed so hard, my nurse had to
wheel me out on the front porch for some fresh air.
a periodic repost dedicated to all the old farts in the game...
ORGANIZED SPORTS AFTER 30
by Dennis Hinkamp
The cruelest thing about televised professional sports is
that you have to hear the words "veteran" and "in the twilight of
their careers" applied to 31 year olds. It' not as bad as
gymnasts and swimmers who peak at about the same time they get
their drivers' licenses, but it is disheartening all the same.
Nine years ago I made it my mission to take up team
sports again even though I am a veteran in the twilight of my
career. Age group individual sports such as running, biking and
swimming lack that basic beer and cola commercial camaraderie
most of us grew up with. In truth, I have lost a step, but I
still get where I need to go at the same time because I know all
the shortcuts. Really, the cliche that "the legs are the first
thing to go" isn't true. The first thing to go are the ears.
You lose the ability to filter out the verbal cow pies that
are a coaching institution. The stuff that used to motivate you
to heroic deeds and fractured ankles now just sounds like stand-
I may not have gone very far in math, but I'm fairly sure
that it is statistically impossible for one person to give 110
percent. I also know that the best team doesn't always win, good
doesn't always conquer evil and that "wanting it bad enough"
doesn't make up for a lack of eye/hand coordination or poor
My apologies to all you well-meaning coaches out there, but
there is no amount of pre game, half time or post game cliche
fest that is going to make me forget that in the larger scheme of
the universe, we are just a bunch of hackers with mismatched
uniforms in a small town in a small state in a league so low that
our loved ones won't even come out to watch the games.
When you're over 30 it's hard to take a coach seriously
because you realize that come Monday both you and he are going
back to doing laundry, washing dishes and raking leaves just
like everybody else. When you are younger, you miss the fact that
coaches are as boring as everyone else.
Speaking of being younger, the other problem with team
sports after 30 is that you have to deal with a bunch of
reckless, yet-to-have-their-first-knee-operation 20 year olds
with hormones leaking out their ears. Some of them have well-
meaning advice and criticism, but my response is usually, "Slice
me some slack, I've got socks older than you."
Or, you find yourself taking advice from a guy with six
earrings and a pony tail saying "Dude, you zigged when you should
"Listen man, I had an earring and a pony tail when you were
still learning how to tie - sorry, I mean Velcro - your shoes,
dude, so back off," I feel like saying.
Anyway, you get the idea. It's not your legs, it's
definitely your ears. Other sure signs of the veteran athlete:
-- Ibuprofen becomes part of your daily vocabulary.
-- Your teammates' divorced moms start looking pretty good
-- You check your dresser drawers and discover that you
really do have 20 year old socks.
-- You own a pair of canvas high tops that you actually used
in an athletic event.
-- You still own a couple of white tennis balls and a wood
-- You thought the movie "The Natural" was a true story
and that Robert Redford really looked young enough to
play major league baseball.
Despite all this, team sports really are a worthwhile
experience at any age. At the very least they beat the heck out
of sitting back with the remote control watching the "exciting
new fall lineup on CBS."