Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Guy's Guide Classic: Good Old Days Syndrome - From June, 2000

The following is an essay from the Ticket "Guy's Guide" that I wrote back in June of the year 2000. It is the earliest recorded mention of "Good Ol Days Syndrome" that is in print. Hope you enjoy it, despite the fact that 10 years later, it appears a bit out-dated.

There is a sickness that has been taking over this world of ours. It was a sickness that struck our grandparents, our parents and will ultimately strike us all. G.OD.S. is not fatal, but it will make you bitter. Very bitter. Once G.O.D.S. strikes you, you will find yourself hammered with cynicism and the inner feeling that the happiest days of our planet happened already. In fact, once G.O.D.S. takes over your inner-being, unless you take the antidote--a large dose of reality--you may never be happy again.

For some, it is too late to be rescued from the pits of G.O.D.S. There is no reason for Bill Conlin, Dick Schapp, Mike Rhyner or Ken Burns to check the following list, for they are beyond all repair. But for others (40-somethings and up - Read On!) it is imperative you take the following seriously. Please take the following True/False test-

1. I believe the grass was greener and the sky bluer when I was a kid.

2. I believe that despite the fact all baseball players were white and from the United States, baseball was better in the 1930's than it is now.

3. I believe that despite the fact Babe Ruth was listed at 6' 2, 215, he was bigger than 6'5, 255, Mark McGwire.

4. I believe that despite the fact that it documented that there were very tense contract holdouts in the 1950s and 1960s, they all would have played for free because they loved the game.

5. I believe that despite the fact 5 teams relocated to new cities in 5 years in the 1950's, and despite the fact no team has relocated since your Red Shoed-Rangers in 1972, teams are not as stable as they were back in the Good Ol' Days.

6. I believe that back in the Good Ol' Days (1941-1964) even though the Yankees won 18 pennants in 24 years, baseball was more competitive than it is now when the same teams are in the playoffs every year.

7. I believe that after further review, Mickey Mantle actually could hit 800 ft home runs, Sany Koufax could throw 200 mile per hour and Cool Papa Bell could flip the light switch and hop in bed before the room went dark.

8. I believe the baselines were straighter back in the Good Ol' Days.

9. I believe that it was a better world when the players had no rights and were bound to the same penny-pinching owners their entire career because then they could live under a bridge after their career instead of being set for life.

10. I believe that every solitary member of the 1951 Yankees should have their own personal wing in Cooperstown.

Bonus Question: I believe that despite the fact the players were clearly slower, weaker and smaller, baseball was better because players knew how to lay down a bunt and hit the cutoff man every time!

How To Score Your Test: 

Add up your true answers and refer to the chart below:

0 - 2 You have a firm grasp on life and although you enjoy what happened in the Good Ol' Days, you realize that the baseball that is being played today is both enjoyable and high quality. In fact, you'll go so far as to say the 1999 Yankees could beat the 1951 Yankees.

3 - 5 You are beginning to show signs of G.O.D.S. - You still enjoy sports today, but are starting to whip people around you with stories of the superior athletes from your childhood.

6 - 8 You have full-fledged G.O.D.S. running through your body. You are in serious trouble. You would pay incredible money to see Bob Cousy in his prime play against Gary Payton so that he could teach Gary a lesson. Your only hope is to begin to distance from the people who share your ideals and buy an encyclopedia to compare the heights and weights of the athletes then with the athletes today. One note - a pound is still a pound and an inch is still an inch (just like it was in 1955).

9+ You are either stuck in a time warp or you preside over the 3-7pm time-slot on Sportsradio 1310, the Ticket (or both).

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