Here’s a random story for you: Tonight I decided to pull out an old DVD set I hadn’t watched in a couple of years. It set me to thinking.
The DVD set in question was a set I bought after the Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl in January of 2006. That 2005-2006 season was a magical one for me as a sports fan. I had grown up rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Buffalo Bills. The Cardinals were the regional fan-favorite where I am from, and my dad is from New York and was a Bills fan, which led to me rooting them on with him. Needless to say, my teams suffered through a lot of heartache.
Then came Peyton Manning. I was a Tennessee Volunteers fan as well. And I absolutely idolized Manning. I played quarterback for four years in high school, and he was my absolute hero, even surpassing my early childhood hero, Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. Kelly retired the year that Peyton entered the NFL. Thus I became a Colts fan. And of course my fandom has followed him to Denver – in fact, I am wearing a ‘Keep Calm and Peyt-on’ shirt right now (and his autograph rests on a hat that rests in the armoire a few feet away from me).
Both the Cardinals and the Colts won championships that season. It was the first time a favorite team of mine won a championship in my lifetime. I rushed out and bought a set of DVDs with every Colts playoff game from that season (four games), in their entirety, without commercials. I’ve watched the ’06 AFC Championship game against the Patriots at least a dozen times from start to finish, including tonight. It was a magical game, the Colts coming back from being down 21-6 at the half. But I digress.
There are two movie scenes from movies released during my childhood that come to mind every now and then relating to the their forward thinking. The first is from the movie Big (starring Tom Hanks). There is a scene in the movie where Tom Hanks, as a boss at his company, requests a commercial-free VHS copy of the Giants Super Bowl victory against the Broncos. I always thought it would be nice to be able to watch any game you wanted, especially without commercials.
The other scene I have in mind is from, I think, Back to the Future II. In this story, Marty (Michael J. Fox) travels to the future in order to help his (future) son. At some point in the movie there is a gas-station scene in which there was a television screen at the gas pump.
And now, the future is here. Maybe it’s not quite a The Matrix future. Maybe Back to the Future II didn’t get it all right. But in 2014 I can watch the Colts Super Bowl victory, without commercials, 8 years later and watch television at the gas pump. I am amazed at the power of YouTube as well. I can watch so many things that I never imagined I would be able to watch again (like old Bills games). And I chuckle to myself every time I watch TV while pumping gas, and my kids (who I won’t let watch the movie yet) never get tired of hearing the story of how this scene played out in a movie 20 some odd years ago.
I think about (and have written on this blog about) technology quite a bit. I am leery of where we are headed, but I am thankful for some of the happy perks. Now if we could just ban the use of cell phones in public!