Friday, April 29, 2011

Mike Hart's Time Machine

Everybody knows certain things about Mike Hart.  He was a three-star prospect to recruiting services, rushed for a billion yards, rarely fumbled and famously referred to Michigan State as the proverbial "little brother" to the University of Michigan.  Less well-known are some of his advancements in the quantum manipulation of the space-time continuum.

Yep, the dude owns a time machine.

Steel framework at 30 Rockefeller Plaza
circa 1931

Long before the GE Building in New York came to be affectionately known as "30 Rock" and the setting of a major television sitcom, it stood for hope and progress under its original name, the RCA Building.  Its construction is credited with generating a quarter of a million jobs during the Great Depression, and inside its doors a colossal mural appropriately named "Time" portrays the progress of humanity.  But the allegory of the building is only half the story:  of the 75,000 on-site workers who built the eventual home of NBC, only one rushed for more than five thousand collegiate football yards.

During any given play of a Michigan football game, eleven players outfitted in maize and blue take the field.  In 1932, atop a skeletal beam on the sixty-ninth floor of what would become a seventy floor skyscraper, eleven men took a precarious post on top of the world.

Men who sit for lunch in the clouds are blessed with an uncommon courage.  Like a running back outfitted in maize and blue, these were fearless zealots risking injury for the sake of forward progress.  These were men who built a piece of history with their hands and their sweat and the strength of their backs, and for that their legacy will long be remembered.  Most have since gone, but the building stands tall.

Each of these eleven men stood on the world's head to become an integral part of something bigger than himself; only one could slice a hole through an Illinois defensive line.

Carry on Mike Hart, and be proud of all that you've built.

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