I remember it vividly, Kevin Garnett got traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Boston Celtics to form a big three, before it was cool. I grew up starting to watch NBA at that time because a team that good, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen all in their primes, or at the end of their primes. Now all three are almost out of the league, Allen has been gone for two years and Garnett retiring just recently, even Paul Pierce has said that this is his last year. Even Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan retired this year as well, and that’s only in the NBA.
In other sports Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings, and Jared Allen were the really old guys that retired joined by youngins’ Marshawn Lynch and Calvin (Megatron) Johnson in the NFL. I remember watching each and every one of those guys growing up, Manning dominating the league as Colt, Jennings as a lifetime Packer consistently getting yards every year and being a leader. Even Jared Allen and Charles Woodson were defensive stalwarts when I first started watching them, Allen was what Von Miller or J.J. Watt are now: a sack machine.
Even in the MLB, many stars are retiring at the end of this year from Prince Fielder to Mark Texiera and a Colorado hero Clint Barmes. However, the biggest name to say that he is retiring is David Ortiz, longtime Boston Red Sox DH and fixture for the MLB for 19 years. Boston has taken Ortiz in as a second son and Ortiz has taken Boston in as his second birthplace, as evidenced by his speech after the Boston bombing in 2012. When you think modern Red Sox you think of the big 34 who has brought three world series titles to the city after breaking the Babino’s curse in 2004.
Vin Scully will be the biggest non-player retiree as the longtime broadcaster has announced he is done as a broadcaster. Scully was a broadcaster for the Dodgers for 66 years, he has called many different games and achievements over the years. I cant even imagine how great some of those moments and games would be to see in person and have my call forever immortalized with that moment.
My point is that as sports fans we are losing/ have lost some great talent on the field and court this year and even better people off of it. We should cherish what time we have left to watch some of the current greats because it seems like just yesterday that I was watching Peyton Manning and Tom Brady playing in every AFC Championship, Ortiz hitting Papi-bombs and making Boston believe it’s their year and even Ray Allen splashing three’s and looking like the best shooter ever. Even Kevin Garnett’s pre-game ritual of hitting his head on the stanchion will be missed but not forgotten.
Who will be missed next year? Tom Brady? Tony Parker? Ichiro? Who knows. All I know is that I will feel just a little bit older as I hear people that I watched and emulated when I was younger retire.