A lot of people have been saying 2016 was the worst year in history, for a host of reasons, including the untimely deaths of many beloved celebrities, terror attacks in Europe and, of course, the election of a certain president.
I know 2016 had its bumpy moments. I lost out on making my fantasy football league play-off by the razor-thin margin of .02 points, for one. But I’m not even about to put it in my personal top 10.
That was the year I graduated from college and was thrust into adulthood. Let me tell you, it was no joyride. Before that, every night was beer night. I just had to make it to class by 10 in the morning. And one of my classes — and this is true — was billiards. In a blink of an eye, it was all gone. I had to write this thing called a resume, even though I had nothing to put on this thing called a resume. After months, I finally got a job — in a drug warehouse, working as a shipping clerk. And you weren’t even allowed to take any drugs. Comparatively, 2016 rocked.
I’m from Baltimore. In 1969, the then-Baltimore Colts lost the Super Bowl to the New York Jets, led by the swaggering quarterback Joe Namath. The Colts were 18-point favorites. They had gone 13-1. And … they lost 16-7. Later that year, the Orioles lost to the New York Mets in the World Series. The Orioles had won 109 games that season. Sure, the Mets had won 100 games, but they were the Mets. The O’s won the first game … and then dropped the next four. My parents wanted to send me to therapy, but every therapist in Baltimore was booked.
The Beatles broke up. Man, I took that one hard, given I had all of their albums. I felt particularly bad for Ringo.
As a freshman, I tried out for my high school’s junior varsity basketball team. I had a sweet three-point shot. You know Steph Curry? I was Steph Curry before there was a Steph Curry. But I had one minor flaw. I could not dribble. Hence, I was cut, ending my childhood dream of making it to the NBA and playing with Earl Monroe.
That was the year the Colts left Baltimore for Indianapolis. The owner, the dreaded Robert Irsay, moved the team in the middle of a snowy March night. In Baltimore, the Colts were beloved. (Even if they did lose to the Jets.) They had iconic players such as Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry and Lenny Moore. Once again my parents tried to send me to therapy, and once again every therapist in Baltimore was booked.
The World Wide Web was invented. I worked in newspapers. I didn’t know it at the time, but … my newspaper career was doomed. However, I now get to see baseball games live via my computer. And it’s a heck of a lot easier to book a flight. So there is that.
The movie “Saturday Night Fever” came out, bringing disco to the forefront of pop culture. Radio stations played the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band … AND THAT’S ALL THEY PLAYED!!! Forced by peer pressure, I had to wear silk shirts and venture into nightclubs, where I had to try and dance like John Travolta. Sometimes I think I should place this year higher — much higher.
I bought my first brand-new car. It was a Chevy Chevette. Time magazine later ranked it as 29th among the 50 Worst Cars of All Time. I still don’t know what I was thinking.
After being laid off from my job at The San Diego Union-Tribune — thanks to the year 1989 — I thought I’d found my dream job: communications manager at Stone Brewing. However, I never even got an interview.
Yes, I know it’s early, but already the Chargers have bolted for Los Angeles, leaving me with the pain of yet a second NFL team bolting in my lifetime. It also leaves me with a San Diego Chargers mug, a San Diego Chargers Christmas tree ornament, a San Diego Chargers beer sleeve cooler, three San Diego Chargers shirts and one San Diego Chargers jersey (A throwback, no less). Then again, on the bright side, we are spared all those fourth-quarter meltdowns. This one might be too early to call.