He puts the ‘K’ in birthday cake

Feb. 13 — Can’t spell “cake and candles” without a “K” …

Coach K (1947) turns 74, despite having ceased aging about 25 years ago. But that’s OK because most of our strongest memories of Mike Krzyzewski (“Shishefski,” let’s see Key & Peel’s “Mr. Garvey” tackle that one) may be from those timeless NCAA runs in the early ’90s. That includes one of the most heartstopping/heartbreaking moments in college basketball history when his Blue Devil’s scratched out a buzzer-beating overtime win over Kentucky in the 1992 Elite Eight. Coach K was hardly done there. He became the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history in 2011, and in 2015 became the first NCAA coach to reach 1,000 wins. Oh, and as of this writing, he still hadn’t reached 300 losses.

Peter Gabriel (1950), 71, was the original voice of Genesis but also introduced us to some funky stop-action video magic in the MTV era. As progressive as he’s been throughout his career, he’s said it all started with the soulfulness of hymns in which he’d “get the old shivers down the back.” He hit no. 1 in the US with “Sledgehammer” in 1986 but only peaked at no. 4 in his native UK, with “Sledgehammer” and with “Games Without Frontiers” (1980).

For a time from the late ’80s through the ’90s, Denise Austin (1957) seemed to be all over the place, on ESPN2, books, and magazine covers, twisting and lifting her way to inspiring fans to live a healthier lifestyle. She chaired the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (2002–09) and, as she turns 64, probably still has plenty of energy to burn.

Henry Rollins (1961) is in fine shape, fueled by a mix of anger, depression, and anxiety in his younger years. The front man for punk legends Black Flag (1981–86) and later the Henry Rollins Band (1987–2003) was sexually assaulted as a teenager and suffered psychological fallout from it, channeling himself into music where he could release everything that was hurting him. He’s shifted to spoken-word performances, touching on everything from self-deprecating memoirs to bold stances on contentious sociopolitical issues.

There weren’t many defensive backs who could content with Randy Moss (1977) as he raced past and leaped over enough to earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018. A multi-sport star at Riverside High in Belle, W.Va., he excelled in football, basketball, baseball, track, and was even on the debate team. At his pro day at Marshall, he ran his 40 in sub-4.3 (twice) and had his vertical leap measured at 51 inches. Yet he still slipped to 21st in the 1998 draft because of questions surrounding marijuana suspensions while in college. Something tells me that if GMs could’ve foreseen what Moss would bring to the pros, they would’ve been a little more “flexible” about such things.


Generation X is forgotten no more! Here’s tosome of the people and moments that shaped our youth in the ’90s, ’80s, and even some ’70s.

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Generation X is forgotten no more! Here’s tosome of the people and moments that shaped our youth in the ’90s, ’80s, and even some ’70s.