On the 50th anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points, I wonder if the modern world will ever have a moment like that again. When the Philadelphia Warriors played the New York Knicks that night, March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa., there were no New York sportswriters at the game.
The game was not televised, and no video footage of the game exists; there are only audio recordings of the game’s fourth quarter.
There were only two photographers that showed up – and one left after the first quarter. The iconic black-and-white photo taken in the postgame locker room, with Wilt holding a piece of paper with the number “100” written on it by Warriors publicist Harvey Pollock, is one of the only pieces of media from that evening.
In the age of hyper-connectivity and social media there are few, if any, opportunities for a crowd of just 4,124 to see such a feat. Such an event would be a trending topic on Twitter, the game would be rebroadcast on ESPN, clips of Wilt scoring 100 would be on YouTube, photos from the game would be on Instagram, and we would be able to stream or download the game on iTunes or from NBA.com.
100 points is such a round number. It’s almost too perfect. And the lack of coverage just adds to the mystique of Chamberlain’s historic night. Has our connectivity stolen just a bit of that mystique and created a world where such special moments can no longer exist?
I certainly appreciate technology and the voice Twitter has given to the Middle East or a movement like Occupy Wallstreet.
But there is something incredibly warming, and rewarding, for being a member of a small group of folks that got to see a bit of magic one night in Hershey, Pennsylvania.