Turnin' 40 Tweetbag!

We're not getting any younger...

Jeremy White
June 25, 2019 - 11:22 am

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports

Lordy, Lordy, it’s the Turning 40 Tweetbag!

First, a disclaimer: I promise you I am not the kind of person that becomes obsessed with his/her own birthday. I'm just going crazy waiting for the Buffalo Sabres to do something, and forthe Buffalo Bills season to start, and this served as a wonderful distraction.  

10 years ago today, Michael Jackson died. I know this because it happened on my 30th birthday. On this, my 40th birthday, I’m posting and reacting to your tweets about getting “old”. Now, I don’t feel old at 40, and I’ve heard from plenty of you that don’t even feel old at 50, 60, or beyond.  

I’ve been at WGR since 2001, fresh out of college at age 22. I started mornings with Howard when I was 25! Heh… now you feel old, don’t you?! I think I’ve changed a bit, and stayed pretty firm on some other things. There’s no way you don’t change in 15 years, and for anyone that’s been listening or reading for that period of time, maybe you’d have noticed it. Maybe some for the better… maybe some not so much. But, such is life.

But enough about that, the turning 40 themed Tweetbag awaits! 

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We’ll start by keeping things light!

Good question! Answer: 40. Ok, maybe 36, for me.

Yeah I’m worried. How worried should anyone get about this though, right? If we’re being honest, it might feel like winning a championship just to have one of the teams be good for, what, three years in a row?  

The Bills aren’t dead. That’s the best we’ve got right now. They were a scrappy team with a young quarterback that went out and added enough pieces for most of us to give it some version of “Alright, let’s see what you’ve got here!” It’ll come down to Josh Allen, and as we get set to enter Year 2 of his career, I’m pretty comfortable saying that I feel reasonably ok about it all. I have no idea if he’ll pan out and be the guy for the next four years or the next 14, but I’m definitely invested in finding out. The Bills haven’t won’t anything yet, but they’ve successfully completed a three-year plan to build a team in the vision of Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane.  

End the drought.

Clear the cap.

Find a franchise quarterback.

Ok… show me that third one is locked up and I think this worry about never winning anything will switch a bit. Instead of fearing never being close, you have to transition to fear of individual games. Heartbreak comes back. Officials-related fury makes a triumphant return as well if the Bills lose a big game on a stupid call. All that is also terrible, but it’s a hell of a lot better than drafting between eight and 13 for about a decade.

The Sabres… I just can’t. I’m still mad about last season, the season of having no standards. Here we are in June and the only significant change has been at head coach. If Jason Botterill thinks a change in coach is going to bring about a massively different result then why wasn’t the move made, I won’t go all caps and yell here… yes, I will actually, any time before the end of last season. January?! March?! Heck, at the end of the DFL campaign?!? It was warranted then, and we all just watched the Sabres walk right through it to fall flat-faced at the finish line. I’m still not ok with it. The general manager has so much work to do, and as we wait for this offseason to bring the “roster surgery”, I’ll wait to see if he’s ready to be a bit more aggressive and demanding in showing that there is indeed a standard over there.

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I hate to say this but… I’m not as optimistic. I used to believe in the plans of these teams more than I do these days. I don’t want to say that I’m bitter or jaded, but it’s been an awful long time since there was a reason to believe in anything these teams we’re trying to get accomplished. The Tank was it. That was a good plan, where believing in it actually paid off. That’s all we’ve got since the Sabres signed Christian Ehrhoff. I liked that move too. He was good. #EhrhoffWasGood 

It’s tougher to buy in, as it feels like Buffalo sports is fading from the national discussion. We’re in the league, right? Sometimes it feels like that’s a stretch to say that. But I do have faith that sports are cyclical, and the teams that were embarrassments in previous generations… Blackhawks, Warriors, Royals, find their way to success. Will we? Time will tell.

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It’s getting worse. 

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Ok, so full disclosure… an awful lot of you wanted to either talk about, or notify me, about the upcoming existence of sensitive medical tests. Yeah… this was a common theme. I mean… where do I take this, ya know? Ok… On the breaking down body.. I wonder about it. I wait for the day that there’s just a BAM and my Achilles goes out like Kevin Durant. The difference between me and Durant is that if I suffer some sort of injury like that, I always fear I’ll feel very stupid. He’s doing it for his livelihood, where I might just be playing pick-up basketball and then moments later be unable to drive a car for a few months. Adult injuries can be majorly problematic to the regular person that needs to walk up a flight of stairs, right?

That said, I’m running in my first triathlon in less than two weeks, so I have decided to continue pushing myself where I can. Back issues? Heck I had those in my 20s, so 40 isn’t offering any sort of new threat in that department.

It is encouraging, however, to see just how many people take part in triathlons that are 40 and older. The "tri community" has people running in their 50s and 60s, and I gotta say it just impresses the hell out of me. You get to a stage in life where some people might think about dialing it back, and you ramp it up instead. It’s a physical challenge, but also a mental challenge. Committing to the weeks or months of training for a triathlon, or a half or full marathon is pretty great if you ask me. I’ll let you know how it goes. But as of today, no major breakdowns yet. Knock on wood.

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Getting deep here with some life advice, eh? Here’s what I would say: Accept that it can be harder for people to get together. Marriage and kids and jobs and houses and growing family obligations can mean that you just don’t get the same number of chances to hang out with your friends. Perhaps that’s not true of everyone, but I an find it a relatable question and experience. You do your best, knowing that the days of your 20s, and maybe 30s are just different. You get closer to some friends, and keep others where they are. I would say friendships get better… so while your numbers may dwindle a bit, the quality won’t.

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Not full no… but about 85% of the way, yes. I have several hats that I’d call “fashion hats” maybe? Don’t get caught on that term, I simply mean they aren’t sports hats. And sometimes a good flatter brim with a very gentle curve can work. Do I feel like a Narc wearing it? Sometimes… but just the same, I think there’s a spot for them.  

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I see more of the worker/player side than I used to. I used to be of the belief that we would just replace all the players and have anyone wearing the colors that we love, and that’d be just fine. I no longer operate that way. I’ve shifted very much to supporting the power or the worker/player. I’m sure we’ll have an NHL lockout some time in the next few years, and I know that my stance will be wholly different than it has been. I will likely side with the players. That might depend on the league though… as the NFL certainly has the ability to treat the players better, while the NHL’s financial model doesn’t exactly strike me as the kind of thing that is long-term sustainable. I just don’t know how prices can keep going up and up and up, while the product doesn’t pay off for it. The costs ultimately get passed on to the consumer, and the NHL just… doesn’t rate in a world where there are so many things to do. It does in Buffalo, and we’re in a market that is not close to a huge cash cow for the league. At the last lockout the story was that three teams essentially fund the rest of the league. How can that last? 10 years ago, I wrote an article about the sports bubble bursting… I still think about it quite often. Some leagues are safer than others, and the NHL looks like one that isn’t to me. The business model has been buoyed by a pair of crazy expansion fees. That can’t keep going.

I guess this is a long way of saying that my sports tastes are much more on the business side. That, and I am able to appreciate some classic rock. Some.

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A string of very bad moves from local hockey general managers that came directly after successfully executing a very elaborate and well-thought out plan to acquire elite talent.

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Go to the Kentucky Derby. You can also do this after turning 40.

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I might want to get some action on this. I don’t know the appropriate line to set, over/under 42.5? I don’t use contacts nor glasses for anything at this point. I don’t have any deterioration of my eyesight yet… but my dad wore glasses and my mom needed them eventually. You’re probably right about this, but has anyone out there made it into their 50s? 60s? I want to do the sports thing where I “bet on myself” here, and take over-45 for this one. 

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This 100% comes down to how much free time you have. If you have the time, and the friends that golf, then you should absolutely put in a little bit of time to become a respectable golfer. I drifted away from the game for a while, but I’m most definitely back. It gives you a chance to enjoy the outdoors, work at a craft (can I call it a craft), and spend time with friends. Maybe it replaces your beer league softball? Everyone is a bit limited with how much time they can spend on a hobby, but if you’ve got the time, golf is great. The only kind of golf that sucks, is slow golf. So, if you’re going to take up the sport, and you’re going to struggle, just do it quickly. No one judges a bad player too harshly. A slow player? That is something that’ll make sure you don’t get invited back.

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I hit it in May. Shooting an 84 at a real course was... fantastic. I haven't broken 90 since. I had a round with zero fairways, and another with 42 putts. Last time I quit golf for a few years, it was after one of my best rounds ever. This time around, I've accepted it. I'll enjoy the game, and maybe stumble into the low 80s again. Someday. I'm certainly getting the practice!

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Affliction shirt. Yup. I was all in with a few of those.

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The Tanners.

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No.

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I like it.

 

Thanks to all who wrote in, and thanks for listening and arguing with me all these years too. Happy Birthday to all of you, when the time comes… see you on the other side of the hill.

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