Disagreements with my poignant thoughts offered either for the Star Tribune or the wacky outlet that is Twitter often lead to this dismissive retort:
Officially, I do not qualify as a Baby Boomer, having been delivered in October 1945 — three months before the 1946-to-1964 guideline for that post-war generation.
Looked it up and found out I'm classified in the last vestige of the "Silent Generation,'' those born from 1928 to 1945.
There were 21.78 million "Silents" in the U.S. at the start of this decade, and that number hasn't been holding steady, best I can tell.
The amazing events of Thursday, starting with a morning tweet from Bay Area reporter Jon Wilner that UCLA and Southern California were leaving for the Big Ten, and ending in the evening with a unanimous welcome from Big Ten presidents …
Well, it got me thinking about the world (particularly sports) in which we late Silents and early Boomers grew up.
And you know what issue we didn't face? The need for instant gratification.
When you're 9 and TV comes to town in the form of one station (KELO from Sioux Falls) on the small screen of a black-and-white Philco, you either watch that, or go outside and throw a ball against the steps.
When it's one of nine consecutive Saturdays in Minnesota, starting in the third week of September, you listen intently to Gophers football on the radio.
And no matter how the season is going, it's important on that afternoon to have the Gophers defeat not only Wisconsin or Iowa, but Purdue, Illinois, Northwestern. Any win would be all the gratification needed for the next week.
I was there at Memorial Stadium for the first time on Nov. 13, 1954. Gophers 22, Iowa 20. The Bob McNamara Game. A record crowd of 65,464.
Gratification for months.
The next season, Oct. 29, 1955, Southern Cal came to Minneapolis with the great running back Jon Arnett. The Gophers, 1-4 at the time, upset the Trojans 25-19 in front of 64,047.
I was back home consuming the Gophers on the radio, which didn't lessen the excitement.
Two months later, Michigan State played UCLA in the 1956 Rose Bowl. Spartans, 17-14. A huge TV audience — 41% of the nation's TV sets — tuned in.
We were blessed to watch that magnificent contest on our station.
We didn't need any more gratification than the Rose Bowl. For the Silents and the Boomers, Pasadena on the New Year's holiday was the ultimate.
The Gophers, already voted as national champions by AP and UPI, finally made it after the 1960 season. We were upset by Washington 17-7, and we always remember this:
Bob Schloredt, the irrepressible Huskies quarterback, was blind in his left eye due to a firecracker accident as a young kid.
Gratification came a year later, when Ohio State's faculty council voted not to allow the Buckeyes to participate in the Rose Bowl.
The bid fell to the second-place Gophers. All-America quarterback Sandy Stephens and the offense played their game this time, and our heroes throttled UCLA 21-3.
Take a moment to imagine what us, the last of the Silents, are being asked to fathom this weekend:
We remember the Gophers getting a second crack at a Rose Bowl because the faculty powers in Columbus didn't like the idea Woody Hayes was giving Ohio State a reputation as a football factory rather than a grand institute of higher learning.
And on Thursday night, the Ohio State president was among those shouting, "Send us your Trojans, send us your Bruins, and, yes, Fox Television, send us your billion-plus annually in Big Ten dollars … for no greater reason than our Buckeyes football brilliance and the chance to flood that into the L.A. market.''
After Sandy and Co. won our Rose, I had a chance a quarter-century later to cover a number of Rose Bowls. I loved the scene, I loved the us (Big Ten) vs. them (Pac-10) matchup.
Sun hitting those mountains, the Big Ten team arrives and 40-50% of this grand football valley explodes, and then here come the Men of Troy — Traveler, the white charger; "Fight On''; those dull red and yellow unis by the dozens that cried "speed"; the expectation that, no matter the odds, the visitors to this stadium were in for a long, late-afternoon battle in football paradise.
Those Rose Bowls were brilliant.
You be sure to enjoy what ESPN vs. Fox brings next, college football fans. I've had my fun. Might as well stay silent on this.