I think the best way to ponder our own inevitable passage into physical decline is to watch it happen to those who would seem invincible to such mortal constraints Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and observe how they handle it.
I had to pick up a friend in Jersey City before the Super Bowl, so I was a little late getting to the restaurant at which my friends were watching the game. I actually missed the first quarter, which is fine with me as I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a fan of either participant in the game, and three quarters was plenty of buildup for last nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Glee episode.
As I drove past numerous food and liquor establishments, I looked in windows and saw the game in every single one. I also saw it through the curtains of houses while listening to it on the radio. There are certain times you know pretty much everyone in America is doing the same thing, and the Super Bowl is probably the foremost among those times.
If I understood the ratings correctly, over 70 percent of American televisions were tuned to the game. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the whole package — the advertisements, the food, the halftime nonsense, an excuse to throw a party, the need to fit in. If you like football, obviously the game itself is a draw, but if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, you still need to know who wins for the sake of history and pop culture. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sort of like a Presidential election.
And I got to thinkingÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
What happens if it all disappears?
I never used to understood why Jay-Z was always in Ã¢â‚¬Å“best rapper aliveÃ¢â‚¬Â conversations, since I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think his skills were on that level. I thought that maybe it was like LilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Wayne, where he said it so much himself over the years that people eventually just assumed it was true.
Then on Monday, after all these years, I saw him live for the first time at Yankee Stadium, the show he co-headlined with Eminem, which I had the opportunity to write about for my day job.
To paraphrase Yuri Foreman two days before he fought there, Yankee Stadium is really big.
But Jay-Z has made himself even bigger.
With the baseball playoffs fast approaching and the football season in full swing, it still seems that LeBron James is everywhere. You have books on the market, movies on the way, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s at the Cowboys game, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the Daily Show. You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even open your front door without LeBron being there selling you Nikes and clapping some chalk in the air.