It’s Old-Timers Week!

Your SwampSwami is (sadly) considered to be a “seasoned citizen”.  Though sometimes I may feel like I am still 39 some days, I am reminded at other times (especially while pulling weeds out of my yard, climbing a ladder, attempting to run more than one block, etc.), I realize that Father Time is slowly catching up to me.

I found it a bit ironic that, for this week, sports news has been filled with stories about several sports personalities from the Geritol set. 

Earlier today, a story surfaced that former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (who will be 38 in June) will leave the ESPN Monday Night Football broadcast booth after just one season to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys football team.  Witten’s rookie year on Monday Night Football seemed a bit uncomfortable for him as well as for viewers who had hoped the former Cowboys star would bring more insight to the televised games. 

Sounds like a win/win – especially for Dallas Cowboys fans.

Speaking of aging Dallas sports legends, 40-year old Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks was honored the other night in Los Angeles after Clippers coach and friend, Doc Rivers, called a late time-out to urge the crowd to give a final cheer to honor the retiring basketball star. 

There was a small problem, though.   Dirk hasn’t announced his retirement yet! 

Today, a report surfaced which confirmed that Dirk Nowitski may come back next year for an NBA record 22nd season.  Dirk’s agility on the floor, though, looks better suited to the Over-30 league at the local YMCA. 

On Wednesday night, another NBA legend, Dwyane Wade, hit an off-balanced three point shot at the buzzer in Miami as the Heat edged the reigning champions from Golden State.  The three-time NBA champion 37-year old Wade has confirmed that this will be his last season.  Wade scored 25 points in last night’s game, so maybe he’ll have second thoughts about retirement from the game like Dirk! 

On Monday night, professional wrestling’s legendary champion, Ric “Woooo!” Flair, was slated to be honored on the WWE’s Monday night telecast.  In typical wrestling fashion, though, the guest of honor was attacked in his dressing room before the in-ring birthday celebration by none other than former wrestler-turned-actor, Dave Batista (he plays “Drax” in the Marvel “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies). 

I guess it’s only fitting that a professional wrestler should be honored with a real birthday “Bash”, eh?  Ouch!  Pass the Icy Hot, please!

Not to be outdone, 77-year old owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, made the weekly headlines after being charged this week with two counts of solicitation in Jupiter, Florida.  Today, Kraft pleaded “Not Guilty” and now faces first-degree misdemeanor charges.  For the record, Kraft’s wife had passed away seven years ago, and he is single.

In golf, 49-year old golfer Ernie Els (currently a dismal #398 in the world golf rankings) just fired a 66 in today’s opening round of the Honda Classic in Florida and is near the top of the leaderboard.  Given the way this week has been going, maybe Easy E – a four-time major championship winner – will collect his first win in five years this week!   

Though it has been interesting to watch some of my favorite sports personalities (excluding Mr. Kraft, that is) make the headlines this week so late in their careers, Father Time has a way of closing the door eventually on all of us.

That said, wouldn’t it be terrific if 48-year old golfer Phil Mickelson finally won that elusive US Open Championship this June and completed golf’s career Grand Slam? 

I can dream, can’t I? 

Sadly, the most likely geriatric victory scenario this year will probably be for the 70-year old wrestler, Ric Flair, to hoist the World Championship Belt for 17th time (assuming he can still lift it, that is!) 

Woooooooooooo…oops!!   OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!