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You're never too old to feel young with sports

August 19, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Raise your hand if:

  • Shortly after dusk, you look out the window, see hundreds of lightning bugs flying about, grab a wiffle bat and think to yourself, "This is gonna make for great batting practice!"

  • Your wife, for your birthday, gave you what you honestly believe is the best present you've ever received: A Little Tykes indoor basketball hoop.

  • Even though you're now overweight, balding and decidedly unathletic (though it's hard to come to grips with that last one ... and maybe the second to last one, too), whenever you see a bunch of youngsters playing on some little league field, your first reaction is to walk up and ask if you can pitch to them.

  • At the beckoning of one of those carnival speed-gun cages, you gladly spend five bucks throwing your arm out in a desperate attempt to hit 70 mph on the darn thing, while delusionally convinced you're one good pitch away from 75 (bonus points if the day's high speed is a tantalizing 68, and you hit 67 three times but never match the mark, leading to a bout of uncontrollable disappointment rather startling for a relatively level-headed guy).

  • You've ever taken a bat and a few balls to one of the area's high school diamonds where, with no one around, you start swatting flies just to see if you can hit one out. Also, when you actually do hit one out, lining it just over the fence down the left-field line 320 feet away, you brag to your wife about it for three solid days, forgetting all about the ball rolling into a thick mass of underbrush, never to be seen again.

  • At that same high school, you've walked over to the football field with pigskin and tee in hand for some field goal fun, gaining a new appreciation for how difficult it really is to make an extra point, let alone a field goal of any appreciable distance. (For the record, I don't know how kickers make it from 35 yards, let alone 55.)

  • Finding a 9-foot outdoor basketball hoop is like finding a key to Fort Knox, because it means you can practice all those dunks - the double-pump two-handed reverse, the gliding one-hander, the baseline reverse tomahawk - you would do if you were, say, Vince Carter.


All right, how many hands are up?

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I just want to know I'm not the only crazy one out there.




Dan Kauffman is a staff writer for The Morning Herald. His column appears every other Thursday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 7520, or by e-mail at

kauffman@herald-mail.com

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