I’m a traditionalist, pure and simple. I like my Thanksgiving meal with all the familiar foods of my youth, my Christmas morning the way it’s always been done, and my football the way I’ve always known it. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that evolving isn’t the end of the world.
The Red Sox changed the Green Monster at Fenway Park and added 274 seats, but the nostalgia didn’t die. Notre Dame is making the switch to Field Turf as I type, but the end zone stripes and Touchdown Jesus will remain. The Yankees tore down the House that Ruth Built, but the pinstripes didn’t fall off their uniforms.
So the reality is, nothing has really changed. Our memories of those places aren’t, or won’t, be changed. Removing the sod from Notre Dame stadium isn’t going to erase the comically tall grass the Irish grew for the 2005 “Bush Push” game against USC. 274 seats don’t take away all the times we saw “Manny being Manny” in the Red Sox outfield. Even demolishing the place where Ruth once walked didn’t eliminate his historical dominance. In other words, evolving is what everything — and everyone — must eventually do.
Now sure, all those examples I mentioned are ultimately tied to money, there’s no denying that. The Sox built their “Monster Seats” as a way to sell more exclusive tickets. The Irish are literally selling their old playing surface, while installing a new surface with less maintenance costs. And the Yankees certainly built a new stadium to have more of everything. But if Babe Ruth were alive, don’t you think he’d be the first to tell the Yankees and their fans to knock down that old junk stadium and build a player of his star quality a brand new, sparkling stadium? Of course he would.
So as the groans about the NFL potentially moving the NFL draft from New York City get louder, and as observations that this is really just all about the money get thrown around, my response is so what? Maybe even just a few years ago I would have agreed with that sentiment. But today? No chance. The NFL considering moving the draft is just another step in the league’s evolution, and I promise you it isn’t the end of the world — even for Jets fans.