A newly minted Grandpa, Wayne Gretzky turned 54 on Monday and you have to wonder if anyone will ever match the career of “The Great One”. We fall into this trap all the time, we try and compare current stars to the legends of the game. We constantly search for the next Gretzky or the next Jordan, and in the process we can sometimes devalue their greatness by bringing them down to the level of the current best so we can crown the next “heir apparent”.
We often fall into the trap as fans of also trying to compare eras, we say things like “If Gretzky played today he wouldn’t have been as good” or “Hockey wasn’t the same back then, the competition wasn’t as good”. The fact is none of know how Gretzky would have been had he played in todays NHL (but imagine Gretzky in a more wide open, less physical league), or how great a Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin would have been in a different era. So how about we just appreciate Gretzky for what he was and let’s stand in awe of those records of his that may never be broken. Happy Birthday to Wayne Gretzky and thank you for YouTube for never letting us forget the greatness.