As the Phoenix Suns begin their 50th NBA season owning the league’s fourth best regular season record - and by a wide margin despite a franchise-long playoff drought - I find myself celebrating the completion of my own 50th year on this planet.
Yes, Suns fans, your friendly neighborhood moonlighting blog manager continues to be older than the entire Suns franchise and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Like the Suns, I guess I would rank my life as pretty darn good, all tolled. While I've never won the lottery, nor have I won the championship of life; my years of modest success far exceed the inevitable down times. And while, like the Suns, I’ve slogged through a couple of self-imposed scandals, I more often live a well-respected life on and off the blog.
On Monday, my day walkers surprised me with an early 50th birthday party. No less than 100 wonderful coworkers left me speechless with their thoughtful well-wishes, huge birthday cards, party decorations, mountains of food and drink and even some homemade collages of 50 years of Dave. All financed out of pocket by proud, if underpaid, men and women I am honored to call my friends.
I’d show you the pics of The Incredibles but I know that, statistically, at least three of you readers are crazy-ass stalkers who will recognize someone in the photos and say to themselves ‘hey that mf’er owes me money!’ or ‘that’s my old girlfriend! I wonder how she’s doing these days...’. So no people pics.
These are the biggest birthday cards I’ve ever seen...
Uh oh. Where tf did they get these...
I apparently really liked suits, even back then...
I can’t decide which look I like best: the 70s wide-collar, the 80s
Zach Morris Screech, or the 90s business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back. I rocked them all!
Yeah there was loads and loads of food - pasta, salads, breadsticks - but of course I couldn’t resist the vintage snacks from 1967...
And here I thought they had better things to do than plan a huge surprise party! As one of my team members said “Now you know how well your entire team can keep secrets from you!” LOL. If they’re going to keep secrets, that’s a great one.
I am humbled.
As the Suns enter their 50th season, they can only hope their golden year is as good as mine was.
While I was in full-on BRICK mode as a baby, the Suns were rocking these vintage short-short outfits during their inaugural years.
Then there’s my wide-collar 70s years as the Suns surprised everyone with the Shot Heard Round the World.
And while I was apparently trying for a Zach Morris stand-in job, Sweet D Walter Davis was raining shots from all over the court.
Then there were the Tom Chambers mullet years...
The closest the Suns ever got to winning the lottery was drafting 2nd for Armen Gilliam (1987) and Neal Walk (1969).
What even more awesome about those drafts than Neal’s body hair is the knowledge that they were taken immediately behind a couple All-Time Top-50 players Lew Alcindor and David Robinson.
The closest the Suns ever got to a championship were in 1976 and 1993, carried by two All-Time greats (who somehow were left off NBA 2K18’s All-Time Suns team).
Charles Barkley’s story on why he’s not in the video game makes NBA 2K18 folks look colder than the arena’s nacho cheese.
It’s been 25 years since the Suns franchise has even reached a Finals or drafted higher than 4th overall, but you have to appreciate how the Suns still changed the NBA forever with the Seven Seconds or Less era that made the Conference Finals three times in seven years.
Sure, we’ve had a dry spell of more than half a decade, but all in all the Suns franchise has brought more joy and wonder than heartbreak to the Phoenix community over the past half-century.
Here’s hoping that some time in the next 50 years, both of us either win the lottery or win the game of life.
But even if we don’t, I hope we have a great time trying.