Thursday, February 18, 2016

On Numbers and Age....

On Monday, February 15, 2016 I turned 42 years old. If I had my way, no one would know my age. I love the fact that my Irish grandfather lied about his age on his marriage certificate. I do the same thing every time I step on the treadmill. It know, I know—age is just a number right? And it's relative, no? But numbers have power. They hold value, they are symbolic and they bind us. They are pillars in sports and in spirituality. And once I remembered that truth, I decided to have some fun with my new number.

This blog posting will serve as a resource to connect your age to a good in the sporting and spiritual life. Here goes.
42: Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's hard not to love Hall of Fame safety, Ronnie Lott. Even though he attended USC, I have nothing but respect for this Forty Niner great. He wore number 42 as a Trojan and for all 14 years he played in the NFL. I got to know Ronnie a little better through his weekly appearance on KNBR's Murph and Mac in the mornings. I remember him every time I play my favorite dice game (and who doesn't love a good game of dice?!), appropriately called "Ronnie Lott." You have three tries to throw a "4" and a "2," and as many points from there as you can! Honestly, my love for "42" has made breaking in this new number that must easier.

Golfing your age: Right now, golfing my age on even the front or the back nine alone (Ocean or Lakeside course) would be a welcome accomplishment. But those golfing greats who can post a score for 18 holes that is the same as the number of candles on their birthday cake have true bragging rights. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explained why so many people will never manage that feat. I hope, however, I do!
Your favorite number: Choose a number and stay with it. It's no secret that my lucky number, my favorite number is 22. I love the double deuce and reason stems from my all time favorite baseball player, Will Clark. Many San Francisco Giants fans feel the way that I do. His jersey—and number—can and will be seen at the yard on any given game day.

One of my sophomores has had a successful season on the boys' varsity basketball team. In class after an exciting win, I said "#22, good job last night." To which I added "that's my lucky number." He immediately nodded his head and said "Mine too. I was born on the 22nd." Perhaps I should have referenced Psalm 22 or made a biblical connection to a verse or chapter 22, but instead, I enjoyed the moment—a simple, but fun one.

Some people celebrate their golden birthdays—also referred to a a Grand, Lucky, Champagne or Star birthday. These occur when one turns the age of their actual birth date, e.g. when a person born on the 25th of the month turns 25, they celebrate their Golden Birthday. Maybe they could commemorate their favorite athlete's number in a similar way. Why not?!

Religious numbers: The Bible is rich in symbolism, in particular when it comes to numbers. There are twelve disciples because their were twelve tribes of Israel. The 40 days of Lent mirror the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert. Ten and seven are numbers of perfection, as is three. In fact, it is the first of them: 3, 7, 10 and 12. Rounds out my example here.

Jesus was 30 when his ministry began. Given what I teach, it shouldn't be a surprise that when any one of my colleagues reaches this birthday, we remind them that like Christ, they have work to do. When they turn 33....

It is easy to find a link between one's age and what is associated with that number in the Bible and could be a unique way to approach Scripture. Besides, none of us will live to be 666—no need  to worry about all numbers.

In Conclusion: Thinking of age and numbers in new, creative ways isn't hard to do. In fact, both can reveal quite a bit about a person. Have fun...make a list...and see what is added to your life.

Here are some prior postings on numbers in athletics

Addendum: My favorite baseball team: The 1989 Giants
Team 127 at the University of Notre Dame will always have a place in my heart.

So will 31-24. The final score of ND #2 over FSU #1 in the Fall of 1993
Best number for a QB: 16
My average drive off the tee....G.I.R....putts per round...GHIN....numbers coming soon ;-)

Photo Credits
Will the Thrill

No comments:

Post a Comment