It’s 10:30 on a Friday morning during school vacation week at our local YMCA, and we are choosing up sides for a pickup game of basketball. Eighth-grader Dakota wants the teams divided by age — arrogant middle school kids taking on the “old guys.” I do the numbers: Four of us elders total 290 years. Collectively we’re older than our country. Weird. The four middle schoolers total barely 50 years.
For the record, we’ve tried this before and have concluded that the attention span of the typical middle school boy is about five minutes, after which the game deteriorates into displays of hot-dogging that leave us plus-70 guys nostalgic. So we grandpa hoopsters insist our teams be balanced between the young, representing speed, and the old, representing wisdom and finesse.