I exchanged emails Monday with my friend Allen Reed from Lawrence, Kansas. The topic was of course Tom Watson and the beauty of what he had accomplished over the weekend in Scotland. It seemed like for both Allen and me, Tom Watson's effort had rekindled passions and emotions for sports which had at some level subsided as we've gotten older.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Watson's run at the Open Championship was the way it bridged generations. When we talk to our sons and daughters about great athletes of our youth, we typically have to compare them with a modern-day athlete for a frame of reference. We may tell our children about Bret Saberhagen or Steve Busby and make comparisons with say, Zack Greinke . They may ask us if Len Dawson was better than Trent Green and we try to frame the greatness we witnessed in our youth against something they can grasp today.
But last weekend, watching the events at Turnberry, it was different. Father and son could both marvel at Watson in real time. It was like I was watching Watson with my 14-year-old as a 14-year-old myself. It was as if my 17-year-old and I were high school golfing buddies both watching our idol at the same time. Imagine watching with your son this coming October as George Brett suits up to go 4 for 4 with a walk-off home run in game 7 of the World Series. Imagine traveling to Arrowhead with your son in January to watch Len Dawson conduct a game-winning drive to beat the Raiders in the AFC championship game. That's what it was like last weekend. We didn't have to tell them how good Watson was. Watson showed them. And he showed them better than our words and stories could have ever done justice.
I think the beauty of what Watson did over the weekend is that he brought each of us back to a time when things were just a little bit simpler. He brought us back to a time that contained the priceless expectations of youth—a time where our tomorrows far outnumbered our yesterdays. And while going there, Watson let me bring my sons along with me.