Yesterday, I watched the Flyers beat the Bruins in the 1974 Stanley Cup, and it got me thinking about if modern day amateur athletes, the high school heroes, think they could hack it as a pro back in the 1970’s, half a century ago.
Now I know I couldn’t play hockey in any era cause I’m horrible at skating, and I’m probably worse at fighting, but are there any sports I think I’d have a chance of sniffing the pros? Let’s go back in the Barney Time Machine to the 1970’s.
To paint the picture of the scene of the NFL in the 70’s, the AFL/NFL merger just occurred. The leagues best players/teams included Terry Bradshaw and those iconic Pittsburgh defenses and the Don Shula led Miami Dolphins.
I don’t have a football body, if I got hit by any D3 back-up safety I’d be done for. Let alone a guy like Mean Joe Greene. The only positions I’d be able to play are punter and kicker, which is so lame. Punters and kickers barley get respect in today’s game, so there is absolutely no chance they got an ounce of respect in the 70’s. I’d be a coach and invent the RPO offense…. that’s about it. Unless you were a first team all-league selection, I doubt the modern day average to above average player could sniff the league 50 years ago. That being said, our guy Doug Costin would’ve been a 1st overall pick back in the 70’s.
This is the league everyone thinks they could play in. Probably based on the film from that era of hoops (see below), I mean it looks like the stuff you’d do in the driveway.
— Tom's Old Days (@sigg20) April 22, 2020
But odds are your jump shot and on-ball defense wasn’t good enough to send you to play college hoops, let alone pro ball. Another Bookie Basement athlete, Ryan Day, would’ve been the ideal 1970’s player, strong hands, good mid-range, and strong defensively. Being white probably doesn’t hurt the cause in the 70’s either. Maybe I would’ve been good enough to play high school basketball in the 70’s, but I would’ve played CYO hoops anyway like a real baller.
I feel like baseball hasn’t really changed in 50 years. Yes, the balls are different and I’m sure the wood bats have changed, but the style of the game really hasn’t changed much right? Baseballs one of those “got it” sports. You either can hit, or ya can’t. Pitch or ya can’t. So, besides basic athletic training practices, I’m not sure if pro baseball would be easier or harder to make. I know I’m not pro baseball player now, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and say I wouldn’t be one in the 70’s.
Don’t even think about it. I don’t care who you are (unless you play high level hockey), you have no chance. I don’t care if you think you can skate faster than them. There were plenty of guys who could skate fast back then, they just didn’t make it cause they ended up being lamented to the boards. You ain’t tough enough to play 70’s hockey, not a chance. It was like boxing on ice mixed with fencing with wooden sticks, absolute anarchy.
This is my personal best bet. Soccer in America was obsolete in the 70’s. I would’ve slid into the goalkeeper slot on the national team with ease, and been one of the best keepers in the world. However, had I been born in Europe, I’d be screwed.
Even though 50 years ago sounds like a long time, you probably aren’t athletic enough to make the team, even though we have the benefits of modern medicine and dietary knowledge. So when your grandpa or dad talks about his glory days, give them a listen. They were better at sports than you, smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and didn’t have the concept of concussions or recovery yet. Besides me being the best soccer goalie 50 years ago, 99% of you would still be scrubs, but let me know if you think different, NARP..