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Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'd Rather be Elsewhen

Posted by Tariq al Haydar




by Tariq al Haydar


One day, and that day may never come, my hair will fall out. I'm 29, so I still have plenty of time to go bald, or at least it SEEMS that I have plenty of time. I'm sure I'll be 56 in no time. OJ Mayo will  have retired. Players who I haven't yet heard of will have retired. Maybe a few current household names will have died, and I'll remember the summer of 2008 like it was yesterday. The summer I went to DC, Atlanta and New York. The summer after Kevin Garnett got his ring. The summer Kobe and Bron got their gold medals.

I may remember all that and smile wistfully, and wonder why I was ever so heavily invested in sports in the first place. What has the sport(s) given back to me, aside from a few memories? My favorite player(s) doesn't even know my name, unpronounceable as it may be.

Remember when... Remember when Anthony Mason had all those patterns shaved into his head? Remember the only time he made the all-star team, in his mid-thirties, with the Heat? The same Heat that collapsed after Zo's kidneys gave out...

Remember when Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for the stars and stripes?

Remember when Kidd was just a kid, when he was supposed to take over the world with Jamal and Jackson?

Remember The Shot... When Michael pushed off that irrelevant Jazz player (Byron Russell) and cemented his image as a much-needed hero in our minds?

Way back in 2006, Ronaldinho was the king of futbol. He had just won the Champions League. Murmurs were heard of him possibly becoming the greatest soccer player ever. He did things that seemed to be out of a graphic novel: passes with his back, skipping past defenders like a little girl playing hopscotch, elasticity in his feet... Now, two years later, he's a has-been at 28, sold at a reduced price to a club that didn't even QUALIFY for the Champions League. Two years is an eternity in sports.

One day, I may lose my hair, and I'll sit back, massage my scalp, and wonder what sports have 
given me, aside from memories.

12 comments:

Hursty said...

dont go all senile yet old man :)

Eboy said...

You're not supposed to have these type's of thoughts until your PAST 30!!! :) Nice work, T. Good to see you back in the mix.

Ryne Nelson said...

Great to see you back on SKO, Tariq! First off, I'd be lucky to still have *any* hair at 28. Secondly, and I mean this truthfully, sports have introduced me to more friends than d*mn near anything else. So, memories, definitely. Good and interesting people? Without question.

TADOne said...

Luckily for me, my grandfather had all of his hair until in his 70's before it started to fall out, so I think i'm good there. And like Ryne, I have met and remained friends with many people thru playing sports and sport affiliations, so no regrets.

Other than that, great piece. Have fun in th ATL.

Tariq al Hayder said...

Yeah, I guess sports are a way of establishing and maintaining social ties, but I just wonder if there's a line, a point where you end up being TOO invested in sports. I guess if sports become a priority as opposed to just being a diversion, then you start to have a problem especially if you don't actually WORK in sports.

BETCATS said...

tariq you would be a beutiful bald!
انت واحد بين الله شياطين
my greatest sports memory is when i was in elemtary school, in second grade we were playing basketball and i hit a 15 footer over a 3rd grader. Happiest day of my life at that point.

Tariq al Hayder said...

betcats:

What did u say? "You are one between God and devils"? What does that mean?

Also, I won a free-throw shooting contest at school in sixth grade. I'm the Rick Barry of the blogosphere.

BETCATS said...

it means you are the happy medium between Cheryl and Eboy. But it was suppose to say: you are a god among demons. Oh well, my google translation skills are rusty.

Eboy said...

Now I'm the devil? Word!!!!

BETCATS said...

word indeed mr.eboy

Tariq al Hayder said...

I'm not a god, but I'm godly! I'm also worldly. Therein lies the conflict, or not.

TADOne said...

A God among Demons? Is that kind of like being LeBron James?