<
>

Old people are growing problem in sports

Jamie Moyer has a disarming smile. But you better stay off his lawn, if you know what's good for you. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

There is a growing menace in America, and it’s old people. Don’t let their hair fool you. It’s not a white surrender flag.

In the good old days, you could easily replace the aged with young blood by handing them a gold watch and sending them on their way. But now they are refusing to leave, and millions of young Americans need jobs. Where are the new batch of college graduates supposed to find work if grandma and grandpa don’t clear out?

Just take a look at the problem in the sports world alone.

Jamie Moyer – Everyone knows his story by now: the 49-year-old pitcher coming off elbow surgery who was given the Colorado Rockies’ fifth spot in the rotation. It was assumed his roster spot was temporary, that he would be replaced as soon as a young Colorado minor leaguer was ready to be called up. But guess who is the only starter on the Colorado roster with an ERA under 4.70? Yep. Old man Moyer. He’s there for the even longer haul.

Martin Brodeur – Thought to be well past his prime, Brodeur turned 40 on Sunday and helped the New Jersey Devils get within one game of upsetting the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup playoffs. A man his age should be tearing hamstrings while mowing the lawn. Yet he has the flexibility to play goalie at the highest level? It’s unnatural is what it is.

Chipper Jones – Don’t let the fact that he has a 4-year-old’s name fool you: he’s a man. He’s 40. Jones was sandbagging it all spring training, saying he didn’t know if he could play much longer, giving hope to the younger players behind him. Now he’s on pace to finish the season hitting .324 with 27 home runs and 113 RBIs. Almost finished? What a liar. I can’t respect an elder like that.

Sharon Simmons – Who is Sharon Simmons? A 55-year-old grandmother, that’s who. Instead of knitting you a sweater you’ll never wear, she’s trying out to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. Look at her outfit! That is definitely not knitted!

Johanna Quaas – Think Simmons and her ilk are going anywhere soon? Not a chance. They have another 30 or 40 good years left, if this 86-year-old grandma gymnast is any indication.

These are just a few examples. Who knows how long the San Antonio Spurs intend to stick around. Brandon Weeden’s NFL career has just begun. And while biologically only 27, LeBron James’ hairline is in its early 50s -- the same approximate age as teammate Juwan Howard.

We non-aged have a problem if those older than us plan to keep hogging all the cool jobs. But what can we do about it? Oldsters are clearly not as frail as they once were. Trespass on the wrong lawn, and you’re in for a world of hurt. After all, "whippersnappers" has "snap" right there in the name.