A long time ago in a galaxy far far away there was a place called the 1980s. It was a simpler time. I wouldn’t call them the good old days. These are the good old days, after all. Or they will be at some point in the future if you’re lucky enough to get there. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were in their heyday. It was quite a rivalry that began when the two met as part of their respective teams for the NCAA Basketball Championship in 1979. Magic came out on top that day.

It was a rivalry for over a decade but it was in the 1980s where it really shined. As one Sports Illustrated writer, I forget who, asked and answered a clever question: “Does it matter that one player is black and one player is white? Of course it does; it’s part of the fun.” The writer was right, of course. It was all part of a fun rivalry.

Some people picked sides, as people do. Me? I liked them both. During the mid-1980s I walked into a sports memorabilia shop. There they had certified autographed, framed photos of various sports stars including Magic and Bird.

How much for the Magic and Bird photos, I asked

$55.00 for Magic and $45.00 for Bird. (It was a West Coast Sports Shop).

Mmmm …. How about $90.00 for the two?

No can do. My margin is too slim. $55.00 and $45.00.

Tell you what. Can you write it up $50.00 for Magic and $50.00 for Bird? Because I can’t see paying more for Magic.

For $100.00 I’ll write it up any way you want.

Sold.

I still have those pictures.

Nowadays Chris Rock laments you can’t say, “The black kid over there.” It has to be, “The kid in the red tennis shoes.” So I am not sure if that simple question asked in the 1980s with a truthful answer given by anyone with a passing interest in the game of basketball could even be asked any more without offending someone? If Bird and Magic were playing today and someone didn’t know who was who it might be safer to say, “Bird is the one wearing the green Chuck Taylor Converse shoes.” Of course no one wears Chucks anymore. Times change. Quickly.

So what’s this got to do with Facebook, I hear the many non-basketball fans reading this asking? Facebook is a black and white world too, only without the fun part a lot of the time. People pick sides kind of like shirts and skins or black and white. People also play it safe. People like hanging out with their own views on Facebook I think. They are not really looking for contemplation, consideration or changing their point of view. They’d rather shoot hoops by them-self than have a fun game of one-on-one. Everyone likes to shoot the ball after all and the matador defense is your best bet.

Olé!