15 Sports Pictures That Will Make You Feel Old
After turning 29 years old a few weeks ago, one thing I learned pretty quickly was that a hangover at 29 is much different than one at 21—thanks science.
As my swollen head disabled me from all interaction the entire next day, forcing me to watch re-runs of "The League" and games on ESPN Classic, it got me thinking about my age a little bit more.
Still admitting to myself that I'm "still only 29," I've come to the conclusion that there actually are some things that make me feel a little bit older—besides realizing that Mike Trout was born when I was in first grade—and these pictures are a pretty good reminder of that.
So for anyone who remembers seeing these photos as a kid, I hope you're as proud of being called a "gray hair" as I am.
Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash
If only we all knew then what we know now.
Though they were drafted by the Phoenix Suns and the Charlotte Hornets, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant came together last season to play with the Lakers.
This picture captured two guys with five NBA titles (Bryant), three league MVPs (Nash: 2, Bryant: 1) and the start of two Hall of Fame careers.
Everyone might talk about current Patriots coach Bill Belichick in the same breath as guys like Vince Lombardi and Chuck Knox because of his Super Bowl rings (three in five appearances) and his consistency of winning.
But before he was teamed with Tom Brady in Foxborough, one can't forget that Bill was rocking that starter jacket on the Cleveland sideline, coaching the Browns to a 36-44 record in his five seasons along Lake Erie—which included just one playoff appearance.
As a Browns fan, I must admit that this makes me pretty pissed off to see now—though my memory of Belichick at the time in Cleveland isn't a good one.
Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr.
I'm sure plenty of you know that former big-leaguer, Ken Griffey Jr., played alongside his dad, Ken Griffey Sr., in the outfield when he first broke in with the Mariners.
This picture is just to refresh your memory though, as the the younger of the two got some advice from his Pops on what bat he should use.
It seemed to work, as "Junior" crushed 630 homers, earned 13 All-Star appearances, won the '97 A.L. MVP and was the most popular player during the '90s.
OK, so I'm not a NASCAR fan in the slightest, but how can't someone enjoy seeing this old school picture of the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jeff Gordon?
Luckily for racing—and mustache—fans, Gordon tried bringing back his early-20s look last season, which ended up being the talk of the sport.
1992 Dream Team
For all you youngsters out there, go ahead and name each and every player in this picture, along with the team they played for at the time.
Sure, you kids might have LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant to follow on the newer version of USA Basketball, but they never had it like the original had it.
I can happily say I had the '92 Air Jordan Olympic version before they became retro—can you?
Editor's Note: To prove I'm as old as I claim, here was your '92 squad—Michael Jordan (Bulls), Larry Bird (Celtics), Magic Johnson (retired), Chris Mullin (Warriors), Clyde Drexler (Blazers), John Stockton (Jazz), Scottie Pippen (Bulls), Christian Laettner (entering rookie year with Timberwolves), Patrick Ewing (Knicks), David Robinson (Spurs), Karl Malone (Jazz) and Charles Barkley (traded, a week before the Olympics, to Suns from Sixers).
Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf
Chances are you've probably heard about the "Great Quarterback Debate" that took place prior to the 1998 NFL Draft which involved Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf.
You see, Leaf was just coming off a Rose Bowl appearance with his Washington State team, narrowly missing out on beating Michigan—who claimed that year's national title—and displaying that he had all the tools any NFL team would want in a franchise signal-caller.
Manning was the golden boy, though. Having the famous last name—thanks to his dad, Archie—and finishing as runner-up in the Heisman voting that year.
Simply put, if you remember seeing this in your middle school years and thinking, "Good God, Brett Favre is my favorite player because he just looks like he has fun," then welcome to the club.
In the years following the Browns moving to Baltimore, I was personally on a hunt to find a new team.
It led me to the Packers, as I owned a Favre jersey, a mini helmet of theirs and thought Lambeau Field was a national monument.
Of course, that all changed once the Browns were reincarnated in 1999—what a poor decision on my part.
Although most people remember Wayne Gretzky from his time with the L.A. Kings when he broke the majority of his NHL records, there was a brief time—31 total games to be exact (including playoffs)—where "The Great One" was paired alongside Brett Hull to try and capture a Stanley Cup title for the Blues.
It didn't work though, as the team lost in the second-round to the Red Wings, then saw Gretzky skate to New York to play for the Rangers.
It's strange enough seeing Heat forward/hype man Chris Andersen without the spiked hair and all those tats.
Add in the fact that he's tossing a high-five to former "Fab Five" (and current Heat teammate) Juwan Howard, and this picture kind of freaks me out.
The "Birdman" didn't look a thing like he does now when he first came into the league.
It might not seem like it was even that long ago, but, believe it or not, current world-class footballer Cristiano Ronaldo first suited up for esteemed Manchester United back in 2003.
CR7 might have all the ladies and be one of the richest players on the planet, but 10 years ago he was just a 18-year-old who was trying to make a name for himself—and get rid of his acne like the rest of us did.
Nope, that isn't a typo up there—or a long lost brother of our current President, Barack Obama—because supposedly, the Commander in Chief went by Barry when back in his hoopin' teenage days.
We all know that Obama likes to play ball at pretty much every opportunity, but seeing him in his high school digs is really weird.
MTV's Rock N' Jock
I distinctly remember wasting multiple Saturday afternoon's watching MTV's Rock n' Jock when I was in fourth and fifth grade, getting to see what happens when you put pro athletes with famous celebrities.
If you're too young to have missed out, well, let this picture of Roger Clemens, Joey Lawrence, Kenny Lofton, Pam Anderson and Albert Belle just tell you everything you need to know about how epic those games were.
My response to this picture—to steal something from Lawrence—"Whoa!"
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony... in High School
Before they became good friends after being drafted in the same class together (2003), LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were just like most of us—pimply-faced, awkward in trying to be too cool and actually in high school.
Of course, they also had the incredible talents of being able to play basketball better than nearly every person their age on the planet, as well as having a physique that looked more like a mid-20s Joe Schmo too.
The two also single-handedly changed the way people cared about high school sports, when they met in a nationally televised game in 2002.
Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa
I remember being in Chicago for my uncle's 50th birthday party in early September, after just starting eighth grade and feeling the buzz around the city as then Cubs right fielder, Sammy Sosa, chased the single-season home run crown.
We know now that former Cardinals first baseman, Mark McGwire, beat him to the punch—getting to 62 first and finishing with 70 long balls to Sosa's 66.
These days though, most people probably just think of the two as roided up cheaters, with an asterisk next to any records they may have broken, while trying to knock down the Hall of Fame's door.
He's the greatest golfer most of us have ever seen, but when Tiger Woods won his first Major title back at the Masters in 1997, no one knew he'd be winning 13 more, trying to chase down Jack Nicklaus' record of 18.
In the 16 years since, we've seen Tiger dominate his sport like no one else, fight through injury to prove he's one of the fiercest competitors in sports and have seen him fall from the top to the bottom and his quest to get to the top again.