Fill in the blank: Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III became the first ever quarterback ______________ to start an NFL game.
I’ve been gainfully employed in higher education for nearly nine years, and have created the occasional assessment.
So – would you like to take a one-question quiz?
1. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III became the first ever quarterback ______________________ to start an NFL game.
Answer: Born in the 1990s.
I’m of the belief that I have undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome; and maybe it’s that or maybe it’s something else, but no one would have had the vocabulary to uncover that when I was young. I was a young boy in the 70s; let’s say when those traits would have been really apparent is the end of that decade. The distance between now and then is the same as the distance between then and Truman desegregating the military. In Chuck Klosterman’s last book, he premised that the distance between past and present is shortening (can I use shortening like that or is that usage limited to Crisco? Maybe that thought itself is evidence of an undiagnosed link between the two! I’ve cracked the reason for the rise in autism! Call Jenny McCarthy! Seriously, google “autism” + “Crisco” and see if there are hits). Klosterman, in a footnote, talked about the distance between Back to the Future and now being the same as the distance between the fictional Enchantment Under the Sea dance that Marty McFly went back in time to attend, powered by the 1.21 jigowatts necessary to fuel the flux capacitor – and 1985, when the film was released.
Klosterman’s argument was back then, back in 1985 when he and I both went to the theater as tender teens–him probably with a notepad; myself only interested in a giant tub of popcorn and Lea Thompson–that the 1950s felt as far removed from our experience as the 1850s . However, if you were 14 years old today and you were watching Back to the Future on HBO7 at one in the afternoon, it would not seem nearly as distant as The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance seemed to us. I think that’s probably a middle aged man’s lament, coming from the same place as that inspid phrase “40 is the new 30″ designed to pacify us as we slide into cultural irrelevance. I’d argue a 14 year old watching St. Elmo’s Fire, which I saw at the theater the very same day I saw Back to the Future, would think it as ridiculous as a 14 year old Jim Jividen would have found Rin Tin Tin (Why is Ashton Kutcher’s ex-mom locked in that room?).
Objects in Chuck Klosterman’s rear view mirror may appear closer than they are. No one in 1979 would have ever looked at me, reading at a half dozen grade levels above my station and thought “his brain feels like a clenched fist inside his head” any more than anyone in Truman’s inner circle in the late 40s would have looked at his desegregating the military and said “this is a quarter measure, unless we go the next step and get legislation passed to end discrimination in private businesses, we really aren’t sufficiently impacting American life.”
Right now, I could sing portions of 96 of Billboard’s Top 100 songs from 1985 and only 20 from 2011. The wheel of time is allowed to turn.
And we also must be allowed to predict the outcomes of football games.
I pulled over .500 last week; I’m now 13-12 overall. Let’s see if we can keep it going.
N.ILL -3 Army
WMich +2.5 Minn
Neb -24.5 Ark St.
BC +3.5 Northwestern
Texas A&M -13.5 SMU
Ark +21 Alabama
UK -7 WKU
Col St. +10.5 SJ St
UTEP -12.5 NMex St
Wisc -14 Utah St
NYG -9 TB
Ariz +13.5 NE
Mia +2.5 Oak
NO -2.5 Carol
Seattle +3 Dallas
Detroit +7 SF