PITTSBURGH-Joe Namath, the pride of Beaver Falls, was back in his hometown over the weekend.
During the visit, he was honored by his high school alma mater before the Beaver Falls Tigers took on archrival Aliquippa.
The Aliquippa coach, Mike Zmijanac, was asked what Namath's presence meant to the players.
"Nothing," he said. "These kids don't know who Joe Namath is."
Harsh, perhaps, but correct.
One of the things we lose track of in sports is time.
To understand Namath and the context of what his outsized personality meant in his time, you pretty much have to be over 50.
One of the challenges of getting older (one of them, anyway) is keeping some sort of perspective on this.
Former second baseman Jose Lind was a guest bartender at Friday's Pirates game. The young woman who appears on the scoreboard during the game was checking on the pronunciation of his name.
She's 23. She doesn't remember Lind or the Pirates' division-winning teams of the early 1990s.
Time moves on, and it goes more swiftly than a lot of us would like.
When I was a kid, I'd come from home school and tear into the Pittsburgh Press sports section in lieu of doing homework.
Pat Livingston used to cover the Steelers beat. It seemed like at least once a week, he'd be reminiscing about some story that involved Art Rooney and George Halas and Bert Bell and Sid Luckman and..zzzzzz.
That's the danger of doing too much of the good old days. Some people enjoy the ride; others choose not to take the trip because it has little relevance.
Namath's case is instructive. He guaranteed the underdog New York Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. That was a huge deal in its time because most pre-game interviews followed this script:
"We're going to give it our best effort, hope we get the breaks and that we're fortunate enough to come out on top."
In a world where pro football players have babies with supermodels who aren't their wives and Tweet insults, Namath's act seems tame.
Trust me, in 1969, it was groundbreaking. Most players, no matter how flamboyant, didn't wear fur coats.
To a past generation, Joe DiMaggio was the stylish center fielder for the New York Yankees. To their children, he was the old guy who did the Mr. Coffee commercials.
Time moves on. Joe Namath is 68 now. His fans have grandchildren.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org