Dennis 'Oil Can' Boyd shocked the sports world with his announcement that at 49 he is ready, willing, and able to return to the Major Leagues. His claim may seem audacious, but it has been backed up by former catcher Mike Stanley who says that Boyd is as good now (during a Red Sox fantasy camp in Ft. Meyers, Florida) as he was 18 years ago. Boyd was good, from 1984 - 1986, he was one of Boston's starters, winning 43 games during those three years alone, and aiding the Red Sox in their attempt for a World Series title in 1986. Boyd isn't kidding, he wants to play again. He just wants someone to take him seriously.
Surprising as it seems, Boyd is just the latest in a trend of aging professionals seeking a return to their former glory.
This phenomenon has been dubbed the "Crystal Skull Effect." It is characterized by people returning to the roles that earned them respect and prestige despite age, time away form profession, or quality of product. This condition is not to be confused with Satchel Paige Syndrome, where one sees success in his or her chosen field after age 40. The Crystal Skull Effect has spread into every arena of sports, entertainment, and politics.
In baseball, Boyd's ambitions have sparked interest in other players returning to the game. Wade Boggs stated that if Boyd could achieve a spot in the Majors, he too would be willing to try. At 50, Boggs is still in prime physical shape, and with a new head full of hair he looks as young as he feels. Cal Ripken Jr. promises that if signed, he will not miss a game at least until he's sixty (another 11 years). Nolan Ryan has also said that he too would like to return to the sport. At 62, Ryan asserts that he is in perfect condition and ready to pitch another 5000 strikeouts. He is fairly certain he can play until he's at least 85. Ken Griffey Sr. wants one more opportunity to play for the Mariners with his son.
In other sports, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky want to re-join their former teams and bring some class and respectability back to hockey. Lawrence Taylor (LT) is also tired of retirement and is hoping to return to the NFL, and the perennial Michael Jordan wants to don a Bulls Jersey once more, or a White Sox jersey, either one. He and Bo Jackson are trying to set the bar high by retuning to two professional league sports. Tonya Harding is seeking reinstatemnt into the U. S. Figure Skating Association. This delicate flower is wanting to hang up her boxing gloves and once again slice some ice.
The Crystal Skull Effect is also apparent in the world of entertainment. Danny Glover and Mel Gibson are teaming up for a fifth installment of the once hot Lethal Weapon franchise. Apparently these two will never be too old for this shit.
Television is trying to revive some classics as well. Greg Evigan has made it clear that he would want nothing more than to ride a big rig with a chimp again. He is trying to sell the idea of a new "B.J. and the Bear" to silver screen executives. There are also rumors of a "Happy Days" revival, using the original cast.
Former Playboy Bunny Terry Baker has decided that there is nothing wrong with her body, that she, like wine, only improves with age. She is asking Heff if she can grace the pages of his magazine. Porn star Ron Jeremy has also decided to get back in the action. With the invention of Viagra, Jeremy is positive there is an untapped market for geriatric porn flicks.
Even politicians are not immune to the Crystal Skull Effect. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush are seeking their second terms in 2012. The octogenarian duo plan to go head-to-head against one another for the position as leader of the Free World. They have already agreed that, though they differ philosophically, should one receive the nomination of their respective parties, they would choose the other as their running mate.
Are all of these people crazy? It is wrong to want a taste of the glory and fame that one once knew? We live in a time where people are living longer, 50 is the new 40, and "you're only as old as you feel." After all, the only negative side effect to the "Crystal Skull Effect" is that the quality of the performance is not as good as the original, but that is not to say that it would be no good whatsoever. So who knows, maybe Boyd can do it. All he, and the others, need is someone who is willing to give them a chance.
Aerosmith - Back in the Saddle Again