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OK, intern, cue the Dylan.

Well, no, I’ve never had an intern, but the reader is to imagine today’s background reading music, which is “The Times They Are A-Changin’. “

Consider the sports world in which I grew up.

1. Baseball

No “postseason,” just the World Series, when America came to a halt at 1 p.m. Eastern as we followed it by radio and TV.

Sunday doubleheaders.

Complete games.

Flannel uniforms.

No batting helmets. Or batting gloves.

154-game schedule.

Strikeouts were bad.

Gloves were often left on the field.

Two-hour games.

There was no such thing as “Sunday Night Baseball.”

Suspended games in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia due to 6:59 p.m. Sunday curfew.


2. Football

T-formations. Who could forget the 49ers backfield? Quarterback Y.A. Tittle, with running halfbacks Hugh McElhenny and Joe “The Jet” Perry, plus fullback John Henry Johnson.

250 pounds was a big guy. In 1976, at the height of the Steel Curtain Steelers, not one player in the NFL was listed at 300.

You were supposed to run to set up the pass, not the other way around.

No facemasks. Then came the single horizontal bar.

Guys might even go two ways (hello, Chuck Bednarik).

Placekickers kicked straight-on (hello, Lou “The Toe” Groza). Then came the Gogolaks.

Every punter sought refuge in the “coffin corner.”

There was no such thing as a “third-down player.”

3. Basketball

The Celtics could have a 173-139 game without a 3-pointer. Yup. 2/27/59. You can look it up.

Some people still shot their free throws underhanded.

There was a 20-year period in which only one non-center (Oscar Robertson) was named NBA MVP.

The game was played inside-out. Now it’s played out, outer, and Curryland.

There was an infraction known as “palming.”

People still made an occasional two-hand set.

Everybody had at least a running hook, including guards.

The NBA Finals were concluded in April.


4. Hockey

Goalies were maskless. And, presumably, fearless.

No one wore a helmet.

Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion had a newfangled thing called a “slap shot,” but many coaches frowned upon it. Too inefficient.

Every defenseman stayed home. And then this Orr kid showed up.

5. College

The Big Ten actually had 10 schools.

After watching the Sugar, Cotton, and/or Orange Bowl games on New Year’s Day, you settled in at 5 Eastern for Mel Allen and the Rose Bowl.

You might somehow, some way, get an NCAA Tournament game televised. But probably not.

People either loved or hated Notre Dame. There was no in-between. (Some things never change).


A 300-yard golf drive was an abstract concept.

The Davis Cup was a major, major event.

There were eight boxing champions and many people could name them all at any moment and most everyone could at least name the heavyweight and middleweight kings.

The “Friday Night Fights” (“The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports is on the air!”) were appointment TV.

Any association with gambling was a mortal sin. Just ask Paul Hornung and Alex Karras.

Intern, cue the Dylan again.

“Come mothers and fathers throughout the land

And don’t criticize what you can’t understand

Your sons and daughters are beyond your command

Your old road is rapidly agin’

Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand

For the times, they are a-changin’.”

And there ain’t nuthin’ I can do about it!

Bob Ryan can be reached at robert.ryan@globe.com.