Sunday, July 26, 2009

40 years

1969. Google it and see what you find. Forty years ago we experienced a 12-month period which would be hard to top for the number of impactful events which occurred--some of which could be labeled once-in-a-lifetime.

Just a quick list would be: man walking on the Moon, the gathering of hundred of thousands of people at the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival; Charles Manson; the New York Jets beating the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl, thus becoming the first AFL team to win this football championship; Rod Laver winning the calendar-year tennis Grand Slam; the birth of Sesame Street; the release of notable albums like Led Zeppelin I and The Beatles' Abbey Road and the incorporation of Wal-Mart.

In the world of sports, we not only had Laver and the Jets, we had the Amazin' Mets winning the World Series, the aging Boston Celtics winning their 11th NBA title in 13 years, Mario Andretti winning the Indianapolis 500, a guy named Orville Moody winning the U.S. Open--his only major title ever, and Michigan upsetting #1 Ohio State. In college hoops, John Wooden's UCLA Bruins won their third straight national title led by a guy named Lew Alcindor (later becoming Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and in college football, #1 Texas beat #2 Arkansas 15-14 in the "college football game of the century," according to the Southwest Conference. Yes, that's the same Southwest Conference which no longer exists and the same Texas, who's now in the Big 12 and Arkansas, who's now in the Southeastern Conference.

Forty years from now we'll celebrate the year 2049. On what will we look back and reminisce? The death of Michael Jackson? Jon & Kate? President Obama's health-care initiative? Tom Watson's "almost" British Open victory? The release of the new Wilco album? The beginning of a long run by Conan O'Brien as host of The Tonight Show? The start of a long, national political career by Sarah Palin?

Color me skeptical--it's going to be hard to top '69...

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