And by everything, I mean music and sports.
Sports were better.
1) We had baseball games and dynasties people cared about. You either loved the Yankees or you loved hating them. Then you loved the Red Sox just because they weren't the Yankees. Plus the Tribe was a realistic contender in the late 90's and there was pretty much nothing better than seeing Albert Belle flex at the Red Sox dug out after they requested his bat to be checked for corking... do young guys even know what that means? Corking is something guys did to cheat that didn't involve jamming a needle into their ass or rubbing a cream on their teammates backs.
2) We had Michael Freaking Jordan first and foremost. Now, we have a superstar complaining that the season is too long.
Funny, I just finished watching a documentary on my favorite sports team of all time, the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons, and if you have any interest in seeing why todays NBA is pathetic, watch this program. The Lakers and Celtics winning titles all through the 80's then this team of fun, wild guys comes along, starts punching superstars in the face and flips the league upside down. And When it's over, Michael Jordan says "We never become the best team ever with having the Pistons to overcome."
Back then, teams didn't like each other. They show Magic giving Isiah a little smooch before the game, then elbows him in the face 10 minutes later. Now, guys have to be buddies for endorsement deals and they want to play together (we all had a good taste of that crap a few years ago). Michael and Magic never wanted to play together, they wanted to beat each other. The Sunday match ups between the Knicks and Bulls or the Supersonics and Rockets, would feel like playoff basketball every week. Even when the Dream Team was created, the stories that came out of the camps were legendary. "The most intense games I've ever played," players would say after. And this was just practice.
Back then, the NBA was like the NFL, yes there were favorites and yes the Bulls dominated the 90's but it was always exciting, competitive, heartfelt basketball. We had David Robinson, Hakeem the Dream, Barkley, Bird and Magic, Kemp and Payton, Ewing, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, Spud Webb and Dominique, Malone and Stockton, Michael, Scottie, and Dennis. So many more likeable guys, very few pretty boys. You saw the work being put in, you saw guys overcoming obstacles and breaking through. Now? You see new rules being written to help the points go up so they can sell more corporate level tickets while pricing out real fans. Check the entire bottom section of Cavs games. Are those real fans or people with a crap load of money who want to be at an "event?" Anyone in those front seats should have to pass a Cavs exam before entering. Who was Ron Harper traded for? Who did MJ hit the shot over? Name all 5 starters from the 1990 Cavs.
See the hand? Who's is it?
I heard a guy say "LeBron is right, 82 games is too long." Why? Because its hard and everyone wants easy now. It's hard for a reason. Just like all challenges and great obstacles and once you overcome, you're better for it.
I seriously blame the NBA for helping produce a weak generation. Kids see twitter and sprite commercials and flash, they dont see the work anymore. Seeing MJ fail for 7 years then seeing him hurt in 1994 and 1995 and THEN come back and win 3 more... we'll never see anything like that again. You learned something from watching him.
3) Was the NFL better?
I dont think so. I think the NFL is so good and so real and true, the only thing that can sink the NFL would be, or will be, when theres further concussion testing and Goodell hiding criminals. Other than that, this is the golden sport in America.
But look out, because the UFC is gaining ground really fast and Dana White seems to be setting a great example. AND if theres one sport I encourage young people to dive into, its this. I dont want to see my daughters boxing or anything, but I think theres a tremendous amount of value in the training involved and then the functional use of Jiu-Jitsu and other grappling sports.
Music was better.
Did it all die when Kurt died? No, but it changed. Music now is... who? Taylor Swift? Lil Wayne? I'm so out of touch, I cant even figure out a name to ask. I see iTunes and names like OneDirection and I sample them to see if its a song I'd use in a yoga class... awful. Searching and sampling through iTunes is the only thing I see so maybe my opinion here sucks, but... I havent cared about a new artist since... well, the 90's.
Like my list above of great 90's players, now, there's no Radiohead, no REM, and U2 isnt U2 anymore. Pearl Jam is obviously still doing what they do and the Chili Peppers are hanging around, but other than that, you have to pay attention to college radio to find anything with value and substance.
and like my last post, I blame money and greed.
I was watching the Pearl Jam documentary a few weeks ago and one of the members (Stone) was talking about when they almost broke up because Eddie was being such a dick, control freak and wanted to pull back and rejected being a star. The band wanted to be bigger and Eddie was stopping it. Stone smiled and said "And we're still here... he was right." Eddie's reluctance to push forward and make more money, saved them.
i still listen to a pearl jam bootleg from 1994 nearly every single time i workout and i watch Rodman yotube videos every week.
Maybe all the thoughts I wrote above are about my desire to feel more, experience more by doing less. Seeing as though winter seems to be here, it makes me already think "We'll work through this, then enjoy the summer again," as in we pay dues, but in a good way. Sometimes I wonder what people feel in Southern Cali, having never felt a blizzard. I wonder if it makes them complacent.
Here, now, myself... I want to be great at 2-3 things and let those "things," create and grow. I want to be 80 and look back at a laundry list of awesome experiences, to look at back at old photos from 2015 and think "What a fantastic year that was!"
I see the training will be one of those tools... coaching will be another... the 3rd is up for grabs, but I know I have room for it.