When you’re born in the mid to late 80s your existence touches multiple generations. 80s baby’s are an amalgam of their parents and grandparents. We’re a mixture of ancient times, and the current world that hasn’t stopped changing since the 90s.
Take, The Sandlot; a movie that came out in 1993 about a group of friends in 1962. If you were around 9 to 14 years old during the early 90s, watching the fellas from San Fernando Valley in the 60s was like watching your own life on screen.
No one embodied this more than Benjamin Franklin “The Jet” Rodriguez. The best player on the team, but also the hardest working, filling-in all open positions when the guys couldn’t turn in a proper lineup card. Benny laced em’ up everyday on the diamond, and brought out the big guns in the form of his P.F. Flyers when he pickled the beast…managing to still make it home before the sun went down.
The point is, I’m from an era when guys didn’t take days off due to load management. When a guy had to ask himself, am I hurt, or am I injured?
Tiiick…tick-tick…tiiick…tick-tick (a feeble Chris Berman impression in print).
The Steelers ran out of time between their Week 2 Raiders loss, and the Week 3 beating they took against the Bengals. Out of the 7 players pictured, only 3 suited up verse Cincinnati. Guys priding themselves to dress during the regular season has weaned significantly.
And pride can get a guy pretty far. Just look at Hamilton “The Babe” Porter. Do you think you’d strut shirtless on a public pool deck as a chubby catcher without pride? The answer is no, you wouldn’t.
A husky red head, baking like a “toasted cheeser” in the 150 degree sun, and still has a couple seconds to wink at all the girls before he administers a heavy cannonball. Not only that, but shortly after said cannonball, Porter takes Phillips and The Tigers deep, going 3-for-4 with 2 ribbies. The Hambino would never show up as doubtful on the injury report before a Week 3 divisional rivalry game.
As the tweet implies, what’s up with soccer guy and his wrist? Turn on the world’s greatest game (allegedly) and you’ll see at least one player on the field with a hand wrap. Now you might say, well doesn’t this prove that soccer guy is playing through pain, and has answered the question of whether or not he’s hurt or injured?
You’d be wrong.
Soccer guy isn’t hurt, and he certainly hasn’t persevered through injury. The wrist wrap has become an article of flair for him, like Iverson’s finger and elbow sleeves in 2001. Don’t ask me why, but soccer guy thinks he’s cooler with a duct taped wrist.
If you want to talk about perseverance in the face of adversity, look no further than ace pitcher, Kenny DeNunez.
A baseball guy through and through, DeNunez gave up three consecutive jacks; a solo shot by Porter, the omen ball to Rodriguez, and lastly Smalls’ oppo-bomb with the autographed Ruth ball.
The Sandlot doesn’t exist without their number one taking the bump for every practice and game. DeNunez never claimed to have a wrist injury, or cited bad mechanics, he just got on with it. While he didn’t make it to the show, he did play triple-A ball…better than most guys.
Guys need to get back to their roots, and remember why they put a jersey on in the first place. To play the game the way it was meant to be played. Being hurt, or being injured is more of a mindset than anything else.
Thelonious Mertle told us back in 1962. “I used to crowd the plate so the strike zone almost disappeared. Pitchers hate that. That's the way I played 100% all the time. Baseball was life. And I was good at it.”