Dec 25, 2010, 3:26 PM EDT
It’s nice to be able to write that and know that a few thousand people might read it. Or at least glance over it. I hope you all had a safe and fun holiday.
I used to love Christmas. I guess I still do, but I used to really love it. Presents. Presents. Presents. It was all about waking up early and tearing into presents.
My family has never been overly wealthy. My mother and stepfather are both educators and the most elaborate gift I received as a child was an original Nintendo Entertainment System with 12 games, including Tecmo Superbowl, Duck Hunt, Contra and the almighty Baseball Stars. That was in 1998, 15 years after the NES came out and close 10 years after most of those games were first released.
But I didn’t care. I was 11 years old and it was my first video game system. I absolutely loved it.
You could create teams from scratch in Baseball Stars and run an entire club just like a real-life general manager, hiring and firing at will. My older brothers Ryan and Evan kind of ran things back then and usually hogged the two controllers that we had with little fight from me. They created the ’97 Braves, the ’97 Indians, the ’97 Orioles and the ’97 Mariners. We had just moved to St. Louis, Missouri, so they probably made the ’97 Cardinals as well. I don’t know, I don’t really remember.
What I do remember is playing game after game until our parents demanded that it was time for bed. Then I remember sneaking out of bed and continuing the fun. It wasn’t PlayStation, or Nintendo 64 or any of those other modern systems that my friends at school were playing, but it was a blast.
Now it’s 2010, almost 2011. I still play video games all the time with friends and I love few things more than my PlayStation 3. The graphics are stunning, Sony’s MLB: The Show features 120-year dynasties and you no longer have to spend a whole day creating accurate rosters. The 2010 Cardinals are provided — with spot-on batting stances, stunningly lifelike pitching deliveries and even a deep farm system.
It’s great. But it’s not the same.
My brother Evan lives in Chicago now (he writes for ProFootballTalk and Rotoworld) and my brother Ryan has called Kansas City home for the last few years. We talk regularly and get together plenty, but I can’t remember the last time we all crammed on a two-man couch and beat the piss out of the Ninja Blacksox.
I heard Bobby Bowden suggest recently that ‘the good old days’ probably weren’t all that good. Maybe he’s right. Maybe this nostalgia nonsense is, well, nonsense.
Whatever the case, I’m glad I’ll always have those memories and I’m glad that the holidays force us to reunite at least once a year. Now if I could just find that old NES…
- Must-click link: Tommy Harper and the Red Sox’ racist past 28
- Settling the Score: Saturday’s results 27
- Matt Garza ejected after hitting Andrew McCutchen a second time 33
- Tigers hang on for second straight win against Royals 8
- Phil Hughes could finish the season with the best K/BB ratio in MLB history 13
- Settling the Score: Friday’s results 26
- Clayton Kershaw wins his 20th game of the season 13
- Why are so many people acting like Bryce Harper is a bum? 81
- Geddy Lee’s baseball obsession makes it really hard for me to hate Rush (120)
- Ron Washington claims he resigned because he cheated on his wife (103)
- It certainly looks like Barry Bonds’ criminal conviction is going to be overturned (101)
- Umpire ejects jackwagon fan heckling Bryce Harper in Atlanta last night (85)
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights (83)