On X-Games and Nostalgia

It’s that time of year again, when my kids groan and roll their eyes as I, Uncle-Rico-like, relive the glory days of the 1980s, regaling them with tales of my freestyle BMX exploits. That’s right: it’s X Games 2011.

My favorite event is BMX Freestyle Park–though what they’re doing today bears only an analogical resemblance to what we were doing in the 80s. Indeed, as someone who has some familiarity with the difficult of what they make look easy, the level of riding today is simply mind-boggling.
But my nostalgia meter went through the roof last night while watching BMX Freestyle Vert. After watching Jamie Bestwick drop in and tear up the ramp, I thought I had misheard the announcer as he said that “Dennis McCoy” was up next. I thought, “Huh, that’s funny: when I was a teenager there was another Dennis McCoy who was a flatland BMX dynamo.” But it didn’t take long for the reality to sink in: this was the same Dennis McCoy, now 44-years-old (4 years older than I am!). His “old school” lines could be recognized from a million miles away, and it was a beautiful thing.
There was, however, a less than welcome outcome: After my kids saw this old man bustin’ huge air, they turned to me and asked: “What’s your problem, Uncle Rico?”