One young woman's sports wishes

Originally Published: June 25, 2009
By Mary Buckheit | Page 2

I was born in 1980.

I don't wish longingly for glory days. I just wish I knew what the heck the rest of you Page 2 writers are wishing for. Purity, personality, political incorrectness -- really?

I missed the window of good clean baseball and hard-nosed hoops. And I have no idea what an epic game sounds like through a transistor radio. But I'm telling you, you haven't lived until you've broken a collarbone on a Slip 'n' Slide while C+C Music Factory blasts through your very own First Sony.

Take that, old folks.

OK, maybe I'm just jealous. The truth is, I wish I had caught so much as a glimpse of the sparkly stuff that has left you elders fiending for more. Be thankful for what you've got, would ya? Remember, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

And here's where that leaves me:

I wish I'd been alive to see the Miracle on Ice.

I wish there was a modern-day analogy to Rocky knocking out the Russian.

I wish the Sylvester Stallone I keep hearing about didn't look like his face was falling off his face.

I wish Mike Tyson wasn't the first boxer I could name.

[+] EnlargeSylvester Stallone
Donald Miralle/Getty ImagesYes, Mr. Stallone has aged a bit.

I wish people wouldn't act like Notre Dame is still some kind of royalty.

I wish I knew why so many people care so much about the Raiders.

I wish I'd had a spaldeen and a city stoop, instead of a Pogo Ball and a Skip-It.

I wish I knew what started (and stopped) my big brother's obsession with jai alai.

I wish nonfat yogurt tasted like nacho cheese sauce from the concession pump.

I wish Dippin' Dots were as good for you as cottage cheese.

I wish the only man I ever loved -- Kirby Puckett -- didn't break my heart.

I wish Americans weren't so myopic as to believe major league baseball's best teams are "world champions."

I wish pro athletes took more heat for cheating on their wives.

I wish we understood why a good guy like Mike Whitmarsh decided to kill himself.

I wish people's political passions rivaled their sports rooting interests.

I wish I knew what it was like to have a burning, insatiable rooting interest.

I wish I knew what it was like to watch a game courtside, or sit behind the plate at a baseball stadium.

I wish stadiums still had names like Candlestick Park, the Thunderdome and the Ice Palace.

I wish all baseball fans knew how to keep a scorebook.

I wish the ornery baseball player who retired to a Lone Star State ranch and considers himself a "full-time Texan" had something better to do with $15,000 than help keep loving couples from getting married … in California.

I wish there really was an ESPN: The Ocho and it really did cover adult dodgeball.

I wish boccie tournaments at the local Sons of Italy were televised.

I wish I could play golf in Dubai.

I wish I could have a beer with Rocco Mediate.

[+] EnlargeChris Paul
Gregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty ImagesChris Paul loves to bowl in his spare time.

I wish I knew what the "33" stands for on a Rolling Rock bottle.

I wish I could go bowling with Chris Paul.

I wish a 2009 NFL yearbook had a bio of an All-Pro with a last paragraph that reads, "He lives in a farmhouse with his partner, Michael, of 11 years."

And I wish the only thing we made a fuss about was his uncharacteristic fidelity.

I wish I could sit on the couch and make it through an entire game, start to finish, without pressing fast-forward.

I wish female college athletes didn't have to go from the top of their game to obscurity overnight.

I wish I never heard the word "steroids" again.

I wish athletes knew the difference between a sabbatical and retirement.

I wish you knew what it was like to be 15 when Skee-Lo's "I Wish" came on at the school dance.

I wish I invented Under Armour.

I wish they still made Hypercolor.

I wish I knew how to make dri-fit Hypercolor shirts. (Hmm.)

I wish Cross Colours would come back as an official label for sports merchandise.

I wish I could say that it was my parents' refusal to let me wear that Co-ed Naked Lacrosse T-shirt that made me gay who I am today.

I wish I wasn't in kindergarten when Pete Rose was playing his final season.

I wish I got to see Jim Brown play football, but I'm glad he didn't come back in 1983.

I wish I longed for the old days, but at my age, I can't help but hear this question and just wish I was a little bit taller, y'all.

I wish I was a baller.

Mary Buckheit is a Page 2 columnist. She can be reached at

Mary Buckheit started as's college intern in 2000. She signed on full-time as an editor in 2002 and became a Page 2 Columnist in 2006. She went west to cover life in California, the UFC, AVP, X Games and anything else she can dig up under the sun.