One of the greatest moments, one of my crowning achievements as a person, was the day-I was probably fourteen or so-that I figured out how to freeze time on Sonic the Hedgehog for Sega Genesis. The idea that I could continue playing, continue racking up points with no advancement of time made be positively giddy with adolescent nerdiness.
Many of us, perhaps more males than females (though I have no empirical data to support my thesis), live in this world. This is particularly true as we advance in age, as we move away from the Year Zero that was our last in competitive sports, or last year in college, and on and on.
The team we played in our football playoffs would have beaten anyone that plays today. Today's players aren't as fundamentally sound as they were in my day. These high school freshmen are much smaller than we were as freshmen...
Or the best-the vaguely arrogant, vaguely accusatory towards that "society" that doesn't seem to include the speaker-"You never know about people these days."
In fact, that team from the football playoffs started three linemen who weighed 180, 170, and 160, and would have been killed by many of today's behemoth teams.
Today's players may not be as fundamentally sound, but is it entirely their fault? Who taught them, or didn't teach them, these fundamentals? Who packs the sports highlight shows with dunks and crossovers, pays Allen Iverson to hawk Reeboks through his "fundamental" jukes and ridiculous athleticism?
In fact, the freshmen of today are more or less the freshmen of your day-some tall, some short, some physically mature, some not.
And, in fact, as Hemingway and others have repeated throughout the years, borrowing from Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun."
But, man, wasn't it a great feeling to suspend time on the Sega, and isn't it a great feeling, a comforting feeling, albeit temporary, to live like it's 1995 when it's 2012?