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Act Your Age

Musings of the middle-aged man.

By Luke Robinson

This month I turn 46 years old.

Forty-six…man, it looks worse when I spell it out like that.

Considering that my family history indicates I will live until I am 92 or so, I can legitimately say I have hit the half way point. (Of course, I keep writing accidentally incendiary columns in my local paper,  so I may not even see 47…)

Anyhoo, this upcoming birthday has brought me back to reality. I think I need to make some changes in my life. Yeah…. some really good changes.

I am GOING to get my tires rotated! I am GOING to see my dentist! I am GOING to start a retirement fund! I am GOING to get this tangerine-sized mole under my arm checked out!!!

Wait…what do you mean I should have done those things a long time ago? I am not into “shouldas” right now; I am into “gonnas.” At least, when it comes to my attitude on sports.

For instance, I am going to be more sympathetic to friends who happen to cheer for my favorite teams’ rivals. After all, I lived through the Mike Dubose, Mike Price and Mike Shula eras so I know what they are going through.

All coaches in the SEC—and college football in general—are unfortunate enough to be coaching in “The Time of Saban.” It’s very difficult for other schools to win titles in this era. So Alabama’s dynastic run can cause fans and administrators to get a little wanky about what needs to happen with their own programs.

Run-on sentence alert: It’s not easy rooting for your favorite team while simultaneously being completely aware that a change at the top MIGHT be necessary for progress AND while knowing that the prospective change at the top will only come if your favorite team loses enough to warrant said change… So how can you root for them???!!! It’s such a conundrum, and I fully understand the pain. It’s not a fun situation.

Secondly, I am also going to quit complaining about kick-off times. No one likes to start a game at 11 in the morning or eight at night, but I have had an epiphany about football: We won’t have it forever, so I better enjoy it now.

There’s no telling what the ultimate demise of the sport will be. Concussions, over-saturation, political issues, all of these things at once; who knows?

Horse racing and boxing used to be the most popular sports in America. Baseball, which has taken a back seat to football and basketball of late, was the biggest thing going not too long ago. Kings come and go. I just believe that football, at least in its current form, will not be with us as long as we think.

Finally, and I realize the following statement contradicts my newfound attitude about treating my rivals with more sympathy, I am going to quit calling the Alabama/ Tennessee game a “rivalry.” After what has now been 11 straight wins by ’Bama, this series is only a rivalry in the sense that vampires are a rival to sunlight.

Certainly, the Volunteers are down on their luck and the Tide is riding high. These fortunes will most undoubtedly change one day. However, UA’s current winning streak has lasted about 25 percent of my 46 years on the planet. Until Tennessee actually wins against Alabama again, it’s difficult to call this game a true rivalry anymore.

Now If you will excuse me, I have to go blow out several birthday candles and tell some kids to get off of my lawn.

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