The Mindset List®–of AMERICAN SPORTS–for the Class of 2018
Warning to Coaches: If you are out to inspire your young charges by references to Joe Montana or Steffi Graf, be prepared for the blank stares you will get in response.
One of the most common reactions we get to our annual Mindset List, which examines the world of 18 year-old entering college students, is “Are you guys trying to make me feel old?” Yes, eighteen years happens fast and brings lots of change.
This is particularly true in sports. Does it seem just yesterday that the Braves won the World Series and the Cowboys won the Super Bowl? Can you believe that when most of today’s eighteen year olds were born, Mike Schmidt was already in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Do you realize that interleague play and instant replay in Major League Baseball are as “normal” to them as the Milwaukee Braves were to their grandparents?
Just when you want time to slow down—so you can savor the time left—time seems to speed up, like Devin Hester running one back all the way for Chicago or Atlanta.
We hope you enjoy our Sports Mindset List for this year’s first-year college class, born in 1995-96: The Class of 2018.
1. Mickey Mantle, Bobby Riggs, Howard Cosell. And Pete Rozelle have never been alive in their lifetime.
2. Among members of their class are gymnast Gabby Douglas, swimmer Missy Franklin, and major league soccer player Diego Fagundez.
3. As they were being born, top high school athletes included Brian Urlacher and Kobe Bryant.
4. They have no recollection of the San Francisco 49ers as Super Bowl winners or the Atlanta Braves winning a World Series.
5. Pro football in Europe has always been routine.
6. Cal, Jr. has always been the Iron Man.
7. They will always remember where they were when Lebron said he was leaving Cleveland.
8. The trophy case of a US-based football team has always held a Grey Cup.
9. When they were born, Eldrick Woods was strictly an amateur.
10. They have little if any memory of Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf as giants of tennis.
11. They mainly know Rebecca Lobo as a color analyst.
12.. “Art” and “Modell” have always been cuss words in Cleveland.
13. A top-ranked Australian rugby player has always been publicly gay.
14. As they were mewling and screaming in their cribs, Susan Powter was trying to become their parents’ fitness trainer by urging them to “Stop the Insanity!”
15. Chris Evert has always been in the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Flo-Jo—Florence Griffith Joyner—has always been in the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.
16. United States women have always won the team handball championship of the Americas.
17. There have always been “Air Swoopes” for extra agility and bounce, not to mention the fashion statement.
18. They’ve neither enjoyed Irv Cross’ football analysis on national TV nor had the pleasure of hearing Jack Buck call a Super Bowl.
19. Thirteen has always been old enough to win the senior title in American gymnastics.
20. Terry Bradshaw has never been on CBS Sports.
21. The first athletes they may recall from their Wheaties box include Mark McGwire, Brett Favre—and Tricia Dunn.
22. Michael Jordan has always been retired—from baseball.
23. Alas, they have grown up hearing about such trade names as Gym Candy, Pumpers, and Juice.
24. The percentage of kids participating in team sports has always been on the rise.
25. Mike Schmidt has always been enshrined in Cooperstown.
26. The year they were born, Cecil Fielder actually stole a base.
27. Unless they have Canadian cousins they’ve likely never heard of the Quebec Nordiques or Winnipeg Jets.
28. NBA players skipping college altogether has never been unusual.
29. Hulk Hogan has always been posing as a villain in the nWO (New World Order, a stable of pro wrestlers with the persona of street gangs.)
30. Women’s boxing, banned for most of the 20th century in European countries (but not the US), has always been making a comeback.
31. Joe Gibbs and Dan Dierdorf have always been enshrined in Canton.
32. Marge Schott has always paid the price for her “insensitivity.”
33. Michelle Kwan has always won world championship figure skating contests.
34. The year they were born, Magic Johnson un-retired yet again.
35. While they were still in diapers, Greg Maddux finally lost a road game after winning eighteen in a row.
36. As they were starting life, Lance Armstrong encountered the prospect of death in the form of testicular cancer.
37. Interleague baseball games have never seemed unusual.
38. The year they were hatched, “none of the above” were elected to the baseball Hall of Fame.
39. That the Big 10 has more than 10 members has never seemed odd to them.
40. They have no memory of the Chicago Bulls as world-beaters.