We're all children of some decade. If you're a veteran listener to this show, maybe
you're a child of the 40's or 50's. Maybe the era you grew up in was the 70's or
80's. Me I'm a child of the 60's. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
I think the 60's had to be the best time of all. Everything was happening,
sociologically, scientifically, politically. Compared to the 60's, life is on
prosac today. We were going to the moon, marching on Washington, fighting an ugly
war that made little sense. There was something sigficant that seemed to be
happening every day. It's hard to tell anyone from Generation Y or Z or whatever
Generation letter we happen to be on right now without coming off as a crabby old
man. But facts are facts.
The music of the 60's was better too. Don't let anyone tell you differently. It
was more diverse than it is now, less personal angst more message. The 60's gave us
the Beatles, the Stones, the incredible music of Motown. Melodically what's playing
now isnt bad. But the lyrics? Please. I like Adele, but no one single person
could possibly have all of the problems she sings about.
We didn't have to worry about terrorist attacks back in the 60's The Russians had
the bomb, but so did we. MAD they called it, mutual assured destruction. Today,
who knows who had the bomb. In some parts of the world, it could be your next store
The Cuban Missile Crisis was in 1962. I remember that like it was yesterday. It
was as close to nuclear war as this country has come in its existence. On one
particular Saturday, programming on radio and TV was interupted so the President
could speak about it. That was breaking news, not some of the stuff we pass off as
breaking news today.
In the 60's the best race wasn't in baseball or football. It was the race to the
moon. We HAD to beat the Soviets. There was no wait until next season with that.
It was first place or no place. I saw where Friday was the 45th anniversary of
Apollo 1 catching fire on the Kennedy Space Center launch pad, killing three
astronauts. It was frightening. But within two and a half years, we put a man on
the moon, several to follow.
I've been thinking about the 60's a lot the past couple of days, after we lerned of
the passing of Greg Cook. The passing of Greg Cook. Up until a couple of days ago
that phrase had an entirely difference meaning. Nobody passed the ball like Greg
Cook. He was the natural. He too was a child of the 60's. And that, in a way,
was his undoing.
You see, not everything was so great about the 60's. Racial prejudice and unjustice
was still widely prevalent. And if one of our political leaders said or did
something someone didn't like, they didn't get voted out of office. They got shot.
Medicine in the 60's wasn't so hot either. Despite Sabin and Salk, polio was still
a word that frightened. Most, if not all, cancers were death sentences. Today, at
least with some cancers, you've got a fighting chance. Surgery for anything was
invasive. Find a football player from the 60's who had to have cartilege repair on
his knee. Ask to see his scar. You'll see a zipper the size you'd find on a
suitcase and a story of how it ended his season. Today that same surgery is so
common, players are back on the field in ten days.
Greg Cook got lassoed in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs back in the 60's,
third game of his rookie season with the Bengals in 1969. He landed awkwardly on
his right shoulder. For all intents and purposes, his football career ended at that
moment. He'd play again later that year and well enough to earn the AFL rookie of
the year award. But he never played again. The muscle and tissue and ligaments
that held his arm in place to his shoulder were severly damaged. And as he
continued to play on, all of that became frayed to a point where he could no longer
throw a football accurately, or as strong as he need to throw. A blown rotator cuff
in the 60's was a death sentence to a quarterback's career.
Had Cook been a child of the 80's playing his football in the90's, modern medicine
could have pieced him back together again, maybe as good as new. The surgical
technique that allowed that wasn't perfected until 1990, nor used widely until the
mid-90's Drew Brees blew out his rotator cuff. Look at him now. Wonder what The
Natural would have been able to do if he had the same chance.
I think the 60's were great. But also no so great. I wouldn't trade growing up
then for anything. But then again, I'm not Greg Cook. My guess is, once or
twice in his life, he probably thought about how different things might've been for
him if his time was now.
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