Last Sunday, I attended the Houston Texans' 28-21 victory over the Detroit Lions at Reliant Stadium in Houston, and it got me thinking that the last time I'd seen the Lions in person was 1993 when they beat the New England Patriots, 19-16 in overtime at old Foxboro Stadium. It was Drew Bledsoe's rookie season with New England, and Barry Sanders was still all the rage for Detroit. The Patriots should have won that game, if no for a savvy special teams play that allowed the Lions to score on the opening play of the game.
I thought to myself that there probably aren't any remaining 1993 Lions on the current roster. There was a very important player still kicking today. Lions kicker Jason Hanson, who shattered my hopes as a 14-year-old of seeing the Patriots beat Detroit with an overtime field goal that day, booted two 54-yarders last Sunday against the Texans. This time, his team didn't prevail against the hometown team sporting red, white and blue.
But it got me thinking how much has changed in my life since I was a 14-year-old, eighth-grader sitting in the old Foxboro Stadium stands with my dad.
I'll try to keep all of this stuff in order and trying to keep in the tradition of my mom, who meticulous kept records of all the things I did from my baby days to early childhood: I got my first kiss, graduated from Middle School, ran JV cross country in high school, went on an amazing trip that took me to most of the 43 states that I've visited in my lifetime (sorry, Minnesota, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii and Michigan), got my first job packing groceries and pushing shopping carts at Shaw's Supermarket, visited the Fleet Center sports arena for the first time, got started with my lifelong obsession of country music, attended my first country music concert (George Strait/Steve Wariner at the Worcester Centrum in 1996) attended the Junior Prom, took an overnight trip out of state without adult/parental supervision, voted for the first time, skipped the Senior Prom, graduated from high school, worked in one of New England's busiest shopping malls, went off to college five states away, moved to Kansas City, attended Jayhawk football/basketball games, completed a couple of internships, became a sports reporter, graduated from the University of Kansas, became a sports editor, got engaged, got married, won journalism awards, moved to Missouri, moved to Washington State, moved to California, became a high school sports coordinator, became a blogger extraordinaire, got divorced, moved to Texas, loving every day of life in the Lone Star State.
I'm sure that I'm leaving out quite a bit of stuff, and it'll come to me soon enough. The moral of the story is next time you're at a football game watching a second-year placekicker, think to yourself where you'll be and what you'll have accomplished when you see that kicker 15 years into the future.