Sports sometimes mirrors life. This past week we were given a number of opportunities to look at sports situations that turned back the clock. Allowed us once again to look at some of our heroes of sports and remember a time when they were on top of their respective pillars of greatness in their sports.

Lance Armstrong once again riding in the Tour de France. Armstrong had been in the top two or three spots much of the race. Earlier this week he fell back in the standings during one of the mountain stages, which were one of his strengths in past victorious races. Yes, age has caught up with the cancer surviving iron man of cycling. Armstrong himself has indicated he is likely now relegated to helping his teammate win the race. Our hopes were with him, he might still have a great stage in him somewhere, but for now we have to remember what used to be and what could have been.

Michael Vick was released from house arrest and now will take his appeal to Commissioner Roger Goodel to possibly be reinstated in the NFL. Vick’s story is a tragic one on many levels. A young player with a long career in front of him he became entangled in the underworld realm of dog fighting. Vick has paid for his mistakes by doing prison time, giving up millions of dollars in contacts and endorsement deals, and being tainted for the remainder of his career and life with a label he will never be able to shake. With Vick we have to remember what used to be and what might have been.

Tom Watson played a phenomenal Open Championship this week. He was at or neat the top of the leader board for the entire tournament. Everyone expected TW to be on top of the championship standings this week, and it was TW. Just not the one anyone was expecting. Watson was an 8 foot putt away from becoming the oldest person to ever win a golf major tournament and become only the 2nd player to win 6 Open Championships. The golf ball doesn’t know how old the person is who is hitting it….but it wasn’t to be. Tom reminded us of what used to be, and gave all the golf fans a shot of feeling what could have been.

Earlier this year Randy Johnson won his 300th game. Last year Dara Torres wowed us at the Olympic games winning three silver medals. Brett Favre is likely to come back and play yet again, un-retiring for the third time and playing for the Vikings if his shoulder heals well.

We all have our heroes, and every once in awhile, long after their moment in the sun has set whether for good or for worse, we get reminded and even given a glimpse of that hope, excitement and interest that we as sports fans all have.

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the United States landing on the moon, we are reminded of the heroes that generation. I am too young to remember the moon landing on that fateful day in 1969. Heck I wasn’t even born for that matter. What an incredible moment that would have been…to see something that had never happened before.

The excitement, the uncertainty, and the ability to root for something better than winning or losing…..

Here is wishing all of you to take a moment to remember what used to be and to dream about things yet to come.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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