At the beginning of 2022, the oldest playing AND winningest quarterback, Tom Brady, announced his retirement at age 45. He had postulated (out loud) that maybe he would and could play until age 50! Absolutely, which is a mathematical term, Tom Brady has had a phenomenal career. By all mathematical odds, he shouldn’t have made it this far!
But in 2010, another phenomenon was being played out on the American football fields during the Final Four Weekend getting ready for the Superbowl. The oldest QB than ever to compete in a playoff, Brett Favre, and another “old guy” QB, Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals, led their teams against younger quarterbacks with remarkable agility and strength. Warner’s team did not advance to the next weeks’ game, but Favre lead the Vikings to a 45-3 victory that was really fun to watch.
And that brings me to my point: “OLD” can be very, very good. And “old” in football is pretty young! Remember Joe Namath, the famed New York Jet who played his last season in 1977 with the then-LA Rams who were playing Anaheim’s Angel Stadium? “Broadway Joe” was all of age 34 that year, which is considered an old man in football. His knees took him out of football, but thankfully not out contributing his insights! Thanks to Joe Namath, the TiVo technology he backed led to TV home recordings that made recording sporting events, movies and other TV shows a happy daily event.
Kurt Warner, the quarterback with “six kids and a minivan”, was 39 ½ that 2010 weekend, and Brett Favre had turned 40 a few weeks before. Fran Tarkenton, the Viking hero of the 1970’s, led his team in three Superbowls at ages 34, 35, and 37; but his birthday fell on the following weekend, virtually making him a year older in each game. These older athletes are only anomalies because they weren’t injured beyond repair (like Joe Namath’s knees).
Being “at the top of our game” can be more common than people think as we age. Dara Torres, then-41-year-old Mom and 2008 Olympic swimmer who won two silver medals at the Summer Games in Beijing, was on a total of five (5!) U.S. Olympic Swim Teams, winning a medal each time. Her abilities kept her on the Team for 20 years (an amazing record!). Her leadership and experience, though, won her a Sportsmanship Award from the International Committee for Fair Play when she convinced the Beijing meet officials to delay the start of the Olympic 50m Freestyle to enable her competitor, Therese Alshammar of Sweden, to correct a swimsuit malfunction. Who does that? Usually, its people with maturity; and usually, maturity comes with age.
Look around and notice the older people who are worthy of your admiration in your “field of practice”. The playing field you work and live on is as important as any NFL or Olympic sports venue. Having attended professional sports and Olympic games, it’s the cheering fans and the other team members who are really glad “the old guys” showed up. It’s not about age; it’s about attitude and aptitude for the tasks that lay ahead. “Old” is good when it brings along with it wisdom, integrity, insights, good humor, confidence and a willingness to roll up one’s sleeves. When people with experience and the leadership skills to help your team achieve whatever goal you have before you, age has little to do with it; it’s the win that counts. “OLD” can be very, very good!
©Di Patterson, MSG, CPG “If good real estate is about location, location, location, then Success in Aging® is about attitude, attitude, attitude!” https://dipatterson.com/
©Di Patterson, CPG: “No one WANTS to age, but EVERYONE wants to AGE WELL!”