Everyone has that moment in their life. That one moment where everything changes. That one moment when you realize…you didn’t make it.
In January of 2016, I went to my first ever NHL hockey game. One of my friends, who also happens to be my girlfriend’s roommate, got crazy tickets to the club level that overhung the ice at the Xcel Energy Center. I even got to choose which one we went to because I was the lone soul who actually cared about hockey. I chose the Wild versus Sabers because there were no powerhouse clubs playing the Wild around that time, and I wanted to see the 2nd overall pick and rookie phenom Jack Eichel play. I was absolutely ecstatic pregame, it was the first time in my life that I was big into hockey and the Wild for the first time in my life (No longer, Go Knights baby), but then it happened. I was checking out the Sabers rosters in the typical ad-ridden programs you get before every sporting event, and then I saw these words that changed my life forever in the worst way possible:
Jack Eichel: October 28th, 1996
I frantically searched up and down both the Wild and Sabres rosters over and over and over looking at all the birth dates, but yet Eichel’s was the only one, the only single one on that God forsaken program. I was 4 days older than Eichel.
A few short months later, it was June 23rd, 2016, the night of the 2016 NBA Draft. LeBron and the Cavaliers were coming off their 3-1 turnaround series win to bring the trophy to the Land for the first time. The 3-1 memes were flying around social media like nobody’s business, and the NBA off season craziness was finally upon us. You all know me. I love the NBA off season more than any other off season is sports (Obviously, football doesn’t count because football is more of a lifestyle). I love the changes, the willingness to move stars, and just about everything to do with the NBA draft and free agency. I’m one of those guys who plays 2K just for the franchise mode of building a team. I sim every game. So, I tuned in for the draft, and saw this absolute nightmare from 6 of the first 10 selections:
Brandon Ingram: September 2nd, 1997
Jaylen Brown: October 24th, 1996
Dragan Bender: November 17th, 1997
Jamal Murray: February 23rd, 1997
Marquese Chriss: July 2nd, 1997
Thon Maker: February 25th, 1997
First hockey and now this. How could the NBA just do something like this. What did I ever do to them. They just casually throw up the age of 6 players that I’m older than, without realizing that it’ll haunt me for eternity.
Fast Forward to June 12th, 2017. The 2017 MLB draft is here, and my Twins have the first overall pick. I wanted McKay, Green, or Lewis, which ever one the Twins felt was the best. One of my best friends and roommates’ uncle is a scout for the Twins and watched Green pitch a few days before the draft where he was sitting 98-101 mph, so I was leaning towards Green. We ended up going with Royce Lewis. They called his name, then it hit me like a sledgehammer made of glued together nails:
Royce Lewis: June 5, 1999.
I’m 2 and a half years older than this dude. He literally graduated high school less than two months ago. Whatever, he ripped a ding shot in his first at bat in rookie ball, so I’ll take what I can get.
Everyone has that day they realize they’re too old to play professional sports, and I’ve had mine. The NHL, NBA, and MLB are all deploying people that I’m older then. All I have left is the NFL. One more good year of still pretending like I can make it in the sport if I really gave it my all. All I want is that ignorance and bliss of not accepting reality one last time. Like I said in 4th grade, I want to be a professional football player. Looks like I still have time.