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July 16, 2013

TODD GOLDEN: Can't get too caught up in 'what used to be'

TERRE HAUTE — Baseball’s All-Star Game is tonight. There was a time in my life when I would have been really excited about it.

Then again, there was a time in this Milwaukee Brewers’ fans life when I was a strident American League supporter in the Mid-Summer Classic. If today’s me could go back in time 25 years and tell 17-year-old me what league I’d be rooting for in 2013, I’d have died from shock.

My now annual league affiliation confusion aside, I’ll be working tomorrow night and won’t be able to watch the All-Star Game. But even if I had the time, would I devote as much emotional energy to it as I once might have?

I’d be lying if I said yes.

It’s only natural to believe that something isn’t What It Used To Be. I don’t think the All-Star Game is What It Used To Be and I’m not alone.

There’s a lot of things in sports that aren’t What It Used To Be. For me, the Super Bowl doesn’t carry the same mythic status it once did. Neither does the World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals or any number of other signature sporting events.

They’re cool. But am I going to move heaven and earth to make a point to watch them? Not likely.

Why? None of them can compare to What Used To Be.

The What It Used To Be phenomenon, of course, is a product of age. I’m in my early 40s and when you get to that age, you’ve seen a lot (too much?) of What Used To Be.

I looked it up. I’ve watched 35 of the 47 Super Bowls — as I gasp for breath in pure gobsmackedness that I’m that grizzled. I have not only seen Kobe Bryant play in the NBA Finals … I saw his dad play in them too.

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