My Career is Older Than These Guys
by Mark Boyle
December 7, 2012
When I came to the Pacers in 1988, I was younger than some of the players and older than others. After a few seasons, I was older than any player on the team. A few seasons after that, I was older than any player in the league, and not long after that I was old enough to be a father to some of the younger players in the league.
I mention this because while I was watching Portland’s rookie guard Damian Lillard cavort up and down the floor at The World’s Greatest Basketball Arena Wednesday night, it occurred to me that Mr. Lillard wasn’t even born when I started with the Pacers. This isn’t the first time that something like this has registered with me, but this time I decided to do some research.
Three of the fifteen players on this year’s Pacer roster were born after I started here, which pales in comparison to the seven members of tonight’s opponent, the Denver Nuggets, that can make the same claim. 25 of the 30 teams in The Association are playing in facilities that weren’t built when I started in the league. 29 of the 30 teams flew commercial (if you think I miss screaming babies and 6 AM flights, think again), most hotels didn’t include TNT or TBS on their in-room television menus, forcing me to head out to local watering holes to watch other NBA games (the horror!), and Dick Bavetta was only middle aged and not ancient.
So I’m getting (getting?) old. Now, I still feel pretty good. I’m only two summers removed from traipsing 500 miles across Indiana to raise money for charity, I work out five times a week, and my memory only lets me down every now and again rather than regularly. It’s not clear who is responsible for the old adage "Time stops for no man", but it's undeniably true. I'd like to think otherwise, but I’m assuming that I am, not unlike an aging NBA type battling patella tendinitis, "day-to-day".
In my mind's eye, I’m still a young man. Perhaps that’s why I’ve chosen Stewie Griffin as my social networking avatar. As I see it, we’re similar; we’re clever, sharp-tongued, and insouciant, though I lack Stewie’s homicidal leanings. So far. But given that time is slowly marching on, and will inevitably roll along without me (hopefully later rather than sooner), maybe it’s time to abandon Stewie for a more appropriate representative.
I think I could get to like The Grim Reaper.
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