Inspiration for today’s #TBT sports blog came from watching last night’s 2015 ESPY Awards on ABC.
Sure, I enjoyed watching the show’s intro that blended awesome music with the top sports highlights from the previous year.
I held back tears absorbing the true greatness Devon Still embodied in his emotional speech.
And, I loved listening to the honored athletes humbly acknowledge those who impacted their lives.
But, for a moment, time stood still for me.
The beginning of the show brought me back to simpler, purer, unscripted, less rehearsed and more dignified days that I remember and love about sports.
However, on the flip side, as the show progressed, last night’s ESPYs birthed a bunch of #TBT thoughts that immediately popped into my head and have grappled with until I became properly inspired to pen this blog.
My random musings may be mine, but I’m certain many sports fans share similar throw back thoughts. These recollections remind us that times change, people change and the proverbial envelop gets pushed even farther.
Here are 10 throw back thoughts that warrant inclusion in today’s #TBT post.
1. While watching the excellent ESPY intro highlight reel, my first throw back thought recalled home run hitting, touch down making, goal scoring and three point shot making celebrations. They were never choreographed years ago, but always extemporaneous and genuine. Let’s get rid of the hand shakes, bat flips and TD dances.
2. There’s now too much media focus on only a few stars. I liked it better when LeBron James was not as ubiquitous and when ESPN and other sports networks gave more athletes in other sports their due. Give the “King” a rest.
3. Before Peyton Manning, buttoned up athletes acting more like CEO’s than jocks didn’t exist. They were a whole lot more transparent and didn’t carefully script their acceptance speech like a politician.
4. NFL linebackers weren’t as physically chiseled as Serena Williams.
5. Twitter wasn’t invented yet, so fans weren’t forced to decipher 140 characters of unbridled text shared over this, at times, social media cesspool.
6. Shifty carnival barkers would be sporting the same ridiculous suit Odell Beckham, Jr. wore so proudly last night.
7. Sockless must be the newest trend. Not long ago, awards shows personified style and respect. My guess is that all award ceremony presenters and recipients back in the day wore socks.
8. Few would argue with my next throw back thought. If football fans wanted to know how Rob Gronkowski acted and spoke as a 13 year-old, they just needed to tune into last night’s show. I think it’s time for the Gronk to grow up.
9. An apology meant you were truly sorry. It was never manufactured into a silly, sophomoric skit starring a truly unapologetic athlete named Alex Rodriguez.
10. Courage awards were presented without controversy to worthy recipients who overcame daunting, life altering obstacles. They were not socially engineered and given to a confused male Olympic decathlete who chose to become a woman now known as Caitlyn Jenner to boost ratings.
Years ago I learned that history teaches us that history always repeats itself. With that throw back thought, maybe next year’s ESPY Awards will transport viewers back to the excellent show it once was.
Curious if you had similar thoughts while watching last night’s ESPY Awards. If so, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIKE on sports!