Playing a sport at the professional level looks like it would be hard on the body, but it must have gotten easier in the last few decades because athletes used to look a lot more tired.
Twitter user @YaBoyDannyBlaze shared a picture of NBA star Clyde Drexler when he was 27 years old, commenting, “Why did everyone look so old in the 80s and 90s?”
In the photo, Drexler doesn’t look that old to me, but his distinguished mustache is something most of us probably associate with grandpas, not 20-somethings with an NBA contract:
People started replying to Danny with more photos as anecdotal evidence that NBA players looked older in the pre-2000s.
Soon they branched out to other sports, then popular musicians and actors who look like they’re Benjamin Buttoning and haven’t hit the upswing yet.
There are a lot of theories about why everyone looks so old to us now. Some argued that it was the photos themselves, which are grainy or have weird tints changing skin and hair tone.
Others think that, like with Drexler, their hairstyles date them in a way we think of as “old.” And many think people used to go a helluva lot harder when it came to eating canned foods, partying, and smoking a pack a day, plus sports aren’t easy on the body.
My theory is that everyone is obsessed with youth culture and the influencer life to a degree the analog eighties never could be, so even athletes are trying to keep themselves runway ready at all times.
Check it out and see what you think—and keep in mind, none of these photos or ages are fact-checked. Maybe they are 80-year-olds playing basketball.
Nah , the 60’s was crazier . Otis Redding was 26 in this picture pic.twitter.com/gKY4ZJXdO6— 📿✊🏿CaptainBlackPlanet🌍 (@UNDaTheBridge) February 3, 2021
Ken Stabler is in his mid 30s in this pic. pic.twitter.com/2N3tL0FErS— David (@Perphected) February 4, 2021
Walt Frazier was 23 in this💀 pic.twitter.com/vO6nFkpNY5— 22 on Feb. 9th 🎉🎊🎁 (@Kvng__cb) February 3, 2021
Jim Leyland is 42 in this picture. FORTY-TWO pic.twitter.com/i4hJkuUNwd— Aaron Weremay (@werm21) February 3, 2021
The King of “old face”. This is Otis Nixon’s 1986 card. He was born in 1959, so that would make him about 26/27 in this photo. IMO, he looks about 45 in this photo. pic.twitter.com/nQ4TRTUj6i— Coach Chris (@CoachChris514) February 4, 2021
Let’s not forget. Earthquake was 26 in this picture 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/wFkfOQ0eNq— JP (@JP_BucsFan) February 3, 2021
Dr. J was 26 and already had a Ph.D pic.twitter.com/bX9aBNFsKK— William Lafi Youmans (@wyoumans) February 4, 2021
Rookie year, 24 years old. pic.twitter.com/HOSf1y7sIp— Noa Wambo (@The_Wambologist) February 4, 2021
This is Steve Kerr. This is Steve Kerr in ‘92-‘93. He is between 28-30 years old in this pic pic.twitter.com/votR1swFyQ— Gurnawaz Gill (@gill_gurnawaz) February 4, 2021
Granville Waiters was 23 here. pic.twitter.com/NeOVNKiJFb— Quinn Sexton (@QuinnSexton3) February 4, 2021
Here’s Arn Anderson, retiring from wrestling at the age of 36… pic.twitter.com/G8ndeT7aVv— K.T. Cuffari (@HAILtotheKT) February 4, 2021
Richie Valens was 17 when he died, 17!!!! pic.twitter.com/XVuA2tYWXs— QuavoDelOcho (@puta_kinte) February 4, 2021
Not the same sport but I present Nivaldo aged 29 pic.twitter.com/AlIEsTWPzF— Jim 💙 (@jimmneal) February 4, 2021