I recently wrote a book called The Postmortal about the invention of a cure for aging that guarantees you can never grow old. I'm well aware that Bob Costas already possesses this magical elixir, but the book is about what would happen if everyone were able to make a similar deal to the one Costas currently has with the Antichrist. Anyway, one of the fun things to consider about a permanent cure for aging is how it would affect team sports. What would happen to sports if the players you know and love never got old and therefore, never declined in ability?
In some ways, it would probably make you very happy. You'd never get to the point where you're begging your favorite player to retire and secretly wishing the team GM dumps them off for a fourth rounder a week before the season starts. And you know how people always get into hypothetical bar fights about players from different eras going head-to-head? Well, you'd finally get some resolution, plus I wouldn't have to hear you and your asshole friend drone on and on arguing an inherently unanswerable issue.
But there's a downside to it as well. Home run records would be rendered meaningless. Or MORE meaningless. And then you'd have the Mike Lupicas of the world bitching that the cure for aging was akin to steroids (WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!). And Brett Favre would literally be able to play forever, or at least until we had to gun him down in cold blood. All of those things are bad.
But it's hard not to become giddy at the idea of seeing some of your favorite players never age. Why, just consider the five examples below:
1. Michael Jordan. Imagine Jordan never growing so old that he had to retire, and then come back again for the Wizards, and then ruin the Wizards, and then give a Hall of Fame speech that made everyone realize he was an incredible dick. You'd just get Good Jordan the whole time: smiling, dunking, selling you low-grade hot dog meat. It would be a blast. And you finally would get to see him openly suspended for gambling at some point. Tell me that wouldn't be a thrill.
2. Babe Ruth. I would very much like it if baseball still had a cigar-smoking whoremonger hitting 50 home runs a year for the Yankees and nearly dying of a stroke every time he rounded the bases. If you weren't a Yankees fan, you might end up hating his guts. And then he might sleep with your girlfriend. And give her the clap. WHAT A RASCAL.
3. Bo Jackson. Not only would you get to see Bo at the height of his baseball and football capabilities for the duration of your existence, you would also get to use an updated version of Bo every time you bought Madden. It's like getting three Hall of Fame talents for the price of one. His highlight reel would be five years long.
4. Ken Griffey Jr. Imagine getting young Griffey forever. Back when he could hit a home run in eight consecutive games and make it look effortless. Back when his hamstrings weren't made of used cooking twine. It would almost be enough to make me want to watch an entire baseball game.
5. John McEnroe. I just feel like tennis needs more swearing, that's all. By all means, add yours to the comments. First person to say OJ Simpson gets a stern warning.
Drew Magary writes for Deadspin, NBC, Maxim, and Kissing Suzy Kolber -- a humor site dedicated to the NFL. He has also contributed to Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, New York Magazine, GQ, ESPN, Yahoo!, Playboy, Penthouse, and various other media outlets."The Postmortal," now out from Penguin, is his first novel. Buy it at drewmagary.com. You can follow Drew on Twitter @drewmagary.