Remember the movie, Space Cowboys? It was a tale of four old guys who went into space on a near-suicide mission, but the side story was the competition between them and the young bucks who thought they were better.
Basketball is kind of like that, especially when you get old enough that your kids and nephews/nieces are grown up enough to make a game of it.
There are four original Bacon boys, and a couple of Christmases ago we thought it was time to show the progeny that we were still the dominant generation, even though it had been a while since we had played basketball competitively. “A while” can be defined as a couple of decades. Maybe three.
The kids were happy to oblige. By “happy” I mean ecstatic. Annoyingly, they were also prone to “talking smack.” This generally consisted of reciting meaningless statistics like age, weight, number of athletic shoes we still own that are considered legal on a basketball court, etc. They were young. They did not realize they were only firing us up.
So we took them on.
And they beat us.
The reason I mention this is because today, one of my brothers told me that of the four older Bacon boys, three of us had to have surgery after that game, and he (the only one who didn’t) still walks with a limp. He points back to the Christmas basketball game of 2011 as the beginning of his physical demise.
In Space Cowboys (spoiler alert), three of the guys returned home safely, and one guy flew to the moon. In basketball, none of us made it home alive. Or at least without knee problems.
So if I had to choose between launching into space to save a nuclear armed Soviet satellite from a deteriorating orbit and a game of basketball with kids, space has it hands down.
It is safer and the odds are better.