Today I was able to enjoy a little blast from the past, as I watched the alumni from the Detroit Red Wings play the alumni from the Colorado Avalanche in an outdoor game at Coors Field. As each player from both teams was introduced, I realized that I recognized almost every single player - from both teams!
It was simple to explain why: those players were all selected from the heyday of the Red Wings - Avalanche rivalry, from 1996-2002. Instead of the other outdoor game in which the Red Wings participated, where Wings players from many different eras were involved, this game was all about 20 years ago. I grinned at every Red Wings player introduction, and sneered at every Avalanche player introduction.
I was reminded of how my father often brings up his Detroit Tiger teams from the 1960s and 1970s. Even though they only won one World Series championship in that time, he can name games, players, and important plays from that time as if it happened yesterday.
Now I'm starting to realize how valuable those childhood teams are for adults. While the Red Wings aren't a deep-into-the-playoffs team this season, I'll still enjoy the ride thanks to the lasting memories of those great teams. Those legacy teams keep us childhood fans going even in the lean years. (That can make it very difficult if there have never been any championship teams. Like the Lions.)
I'm sure that, if you're a sports fan, you have very similar memories. I was glad to be reminded of those great memories this weekend with the outdoor NHL game. If that was the NHL's intent, it certainly did its job!