Twenty years from now we will look back at todayís sports figures and reminisce about the great players and personalities of the early 2000ís, Shaq, Barry Bonds, Tiger, Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki, etc, etc, etc. Talking about how great the games were back then.
Even so, twenty years from now we will go to basketball, football, hockey and baseball games in new and improved versions of the arenas we have today for exactly the same reason we go today. Itís fun.
Twenty years from now, media will ask fans what they think about their favorite sport and some, as they do today, will complain about how Ďtodayísí players, donít play as hard or as well as the players from 2005.
That is exactly how it will happen. Because itís exactly how it happens today.
The NBA does a survey and focus groups about why certain people will or wonít watch the NBA. They respond about how they miss their favorite players and how the game just isnít the same as it was 20 years ago when the best basketball was being played.
Of course, if you go back and look at the headlines from 20 years ago we saw finals that werenít even broadcast live on TV. We saw allegations, convictions and lifetime suspensions for drugs. Players who said they wouldnít play with another player because he had the HIV virus. But those were their favorite players. Attendance, a true reflection of interest, at far lower numbers than it is today. Ahh, the good Ďole days.
Of course this ignorance of the real past isnít limited to the NBA. I watched a guy throw a no hitter on TV when I was a kid. Loved the player. Only later found out that he was toasted on LSD. In the same city, in my city, my favorite team, drugs were being dealt out of the clubhouse. When those headlines hit, fans reminisced about the good old days of an earlier era. An era in baseball when a pitcher can hit a catcher over the head with a bat. Where racism still was rampant against blacks and Latin players. Where players substance abuse was hidden because media and players often hung out and partied together. When kids emulated their favorite playersÖby chewing tobacco.