Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Not Your Dad's Fandom (Or Yours Either)

Lake The Posts expands on a point that I make regularly: Fans under 17 (or under 25, etc) have a vastly different frame of reference than those of us in our 30s (or older).

Consider that someone under the age of 30 has zero first-hand recollection of something you find as life-defining as, say, the '85 bears or "Game 6" of the 1986 World Series. "Magic and Bird?" You might as well be talking to someone my age about Wilt and Russell.

Someone under the age of 25 has zero recollection of that epic Kentucky-Duke game in 1992 -- and no first-hand recollection of the Fab Five. Kids in college now will have no memory -- zero -- of the '96 Olympics in Atlanta.

LTP tries to project how a 17-year-old would feel about Northwestern if they were being recruited by NU -- little-to-no awareness before, say, 2002.

I do think that there is a disconnect between what sports columnists (and sports bloggers) in their 50s, 40s and even 30s use as sports-cultural reference points versus what a teenager does.

Maybe that is obvious. Maybe it has always been that way. But it's not really reflected in the coverage, I don't think. We may live in a wonderful era of new media, but it is dominated by nostalgia by me and my contemporaries, currently holding the megaphone, for our own teen years of the late-80s/early-90s.

This isn't a one-time theme; this does -- and will -- pop up over and over again on this blog.

-- D.S.

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