June 24, 2009 by David Gillaspie
An older couple stayed over last week. The man did push-ups every morning while his wife counted.
“You’ve noticed that older people need to prove they are more together than you. Smarter, stronger, richer. That’s why your dad’s friends size you up, your girlfriend, and your car. They are competing and they always win. You didn’t ask and you don’t care, but they do. Even their recreational outfits say something beyond clothes to sweat in.
“That’s what your gear says.
“Often older people intent on fully living every second of their remaining time become clean freaks. A Nike Storm-Fit shell build to endure the full wrath of a lawn sprinkler goes to the cleaners. A pair of immaculate Nike Free Trainers as fresh as the day they came out of the box gets a makeover.
“The sports older people enjoy combine their passion to compete and their clean-room mindset. Football provides sanitized viewing with the advent of artificial turf. No more grass and mud stains to haunt the laundry dreams of the dry clean crowd. Turf fields for baseball removed the bad hop on a perfect diamond.
“The successful older person enjoys seeing business concepts played out in sports, the teamwork, the sacrifice, the performance bonus. It confirms what they believe, but it’s more a comment on what they’ve become.
“Even though ‘older fan’ enjoys watching, they don’t know the origins of competitive sports. They don’t know wrestling is the first sport in recorded history. They see the fruits of wrestling in games decided by balls and helmets and gloves, but they don’t see the roots.
“Wrestling is too hard to watch. It’s too fast for an older person’s attention span. Why not sit in a ballpark drinking beer and chowing dogs instead.
“Wrestling pulls the imagination of the viewer to the origins of sport in the western world. They are the guys carved into rock, the early sports page. Older people who rule their world don’t like the idea of history if it’s not their history.
“Attending a wrestling match makes the older folks uncomfortable. They stay in shape at the spa but find themselves surrounded by real fitness. No matter who you are, if you’re not a wrestler in the tournament, they are all in better shape than you’ll ever be in again.
“At least in baseball a fat man can pop a ball out of the park and make everything right. Older fans can loosen their belts another loop. They can even pay homage to the foundation wrestling has built for all sports by turning down another hot dog.”