Next Stop... The Hall of Fame?

Michael Phelps recently said that he wants to be "out of the water" by the time he's 30.  The Tennis world is currently debating whether the dominating career of Roger Federer, who just turned 27, is nearing its end.  The great running back, Jim Brown, walked away from the NFL at the ripe old age of 29...  What do the stories of these and countless other athletes teach us? That turning 30 means it's time to retire those dreams of playing in the pros.

This is not to say that a professional athletic career can't continue beyond the age of 3o.  Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan both un-retired in their 30s, a 38 year-old won gold in the 2008 Women's Olympic Marathon, and there are seemingly legions of baseball players who play past 30, no matter how un-athletic they seem.  HOWEVER, this is to say that if one is not a world-class athlete before becoming a Triple Decker, turning 30 is not the time to start.

This is an important distinction to make, because a young-man of 29 years, 364 days may still watch the NFL draft and think "I could do that. Maybe I should go out for the local JC team? I've still got all my eligibility..." Yet the day 30 comes, those thoughts no longer have a place in any Triple Decker's head, no matter what any film starring Dennis Quad or Mark Wahlberg says.

The silver lining to this dark athletic cloud is that many sports offer "senior" or "masters" events that Triple Deckers can still look forward to competing in, and athletic glory can still be reached in rec leagues all over the world.  What Triple Decker needs to be Super Bowl MVP when they can be carried off the softball field on their teammates' shoulders after hitting that game-winning infield single? Just because a 30 year-old can't look forward to their own Lou Gherig farewell speech, doesn't they can't be remembered as the gutsy competitor who laid it all on the line when they blew out their ACL in that co-ed YMCA pick-up game. 

1 comment:

rydar said...

This particular post hit home for me. About two years ago, quite buzzed, I was watching a college football game and somehow convinced myself I was going back to LA to enroll in SMC and use my NCAA eligibility. Yes, I was going to be Wes Welker. Didn't happen, but at least somebody got to be Wes Welker.