We all wanted to be Mickey Mantle or Joe Namath or Walt Frazier. We mimicked their mannerisms, their accents, even their swagger. And when they threw an interception or blew a layup, we had a million excuses. They could do no wrong. They were the best and we weren’t, and so we fell asleep dreaming of roaming center field or guaranteeing a Super Bowl win. We were punk kids living in a neighborhood of ordinary moms and dads who worked at tough, dull jobs and struggled to buy an Easter bonnet. We didn’t know anyone rich or powerful, and those we saw on TV, like the Kennedys, were as alien as men from Mars.
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