UCLA football is playing BYU on Saturday, and BYU’s starting quarterback is named Taysom Hill, and he’s 26 years old.
UCLA’s student section – fresh off the high of becoming the first Twitter-verified student section in the country – decided to spend the week roasting Hill for being old by using the hashtag #YoungerThanTaysomHill.
There have been plenty of funny responses, but most of them – sliced bread, the Magna Carta, Adam and Eve, Pangaea, Colonel Sanders – did not actually come into being after Taysom Hill.
Being a hardcore journalist, I reacted to this social media frenzy the only way I know how: by searching for the truth.
What things are actually #YoungerThanTaysomHill?
Nine NFL starting quarterbacks? Yep. The Jerry Springer Show? Yep. Harambe? Yep.
But – apologies to Harambe – those don’t make my list of the top-10 most roast-worthy things that are #YoungerThanTaysomHill.
To keep it fair, all of these things are not only #YoungerThanTaysomHill but also #OlderThanEveryUCLAPlayer. (Hill was born Aug. 23, 1990. The oldest Bruin, left tackle Conor McDermott, was born Oct. 19, 1992.)
Honorable Mentions: Sonic the Hedgehog, Pete Rose’s Hall of Fame ban, Fetty Wap, Donald Trump’s second marriage, Operation Desert Storm.
10. Jamie Lynn Spears (born April 4, 1991)
The list starts off with a child-actress-turned-mediocre-country-singer who starred in four seasons of a teen sitcom that ended after she got pregnant and gave birth to a child who is now 8 years old.
9. The World Wide Web (made publicly available Aug. 6, 1991)
This one speaks for itself. I would have ranked it higher, but then I would need to go off on a tangent to explain that the internet, a networking infrastructure that connects millions of computers to each other and was around when Taysom Hill was born, is different from the World Wide Web, a massive mesh of documents and resources accessible via the internet that was not around when Taysom Hill was born.
Ugh. See why I didn’t rank it higher?
8. The Dream Team (announced Sept. 21, 1991)
The greatest basketball team ever assembled is now so old that it would probably lose to the 76ers. I’m not completely sure of that, but I do know this: the youngest, worst and most hated player on the team has already had a 30 for 30 done about his life.
That’s pretty much all the context you need, but I feel compelled to sneak in this note: When Taysom Hill was born, Michael Jordan had zero NBA titles.
7. Yellow-and-blue Goodyear blimps (debuted Feb. 16, 1992)
If Taysom Hill, in his imminent old age, ever describes his hair color as that of a Goodyear blimp, BYU fans need not fret that their quarterback has converted to UCLA fanaticism.
See, Hill was born way back when the blimps were still silver. (And were still blimps, for that matter.) The color change didn’t come until a good year and a half later.
6. Matt Barkley (born Sept. 8, 1990)
Already four years removed from torpedoing his draft stock by sticking around for a five-loss senior season at USC, Matt Barkley is still younger than Taysom Hill.
5. The Silence of the Lambs (released across the U.S. on Feb. 14, 1991)
Had the first Valentine’s Day of his life been marked by the national release of one of the top horror films of all time, a lesser man might have been afraid to love.
But, undeterred by whatever effects Dr. Hannibal Lecter may have had on his infancy, Taysom Hill got married in 2014. To his wife. Taysom Hill has a wife.
4. Condom ads on network television (first aired on Nov. 17, 1991)
Hear me out: Taysom Hill’s birth very well might have been planned. But if it was an accident, it’s hard to blame his parents. The first condom advertisement on network TV didn’t air until late 1991, when Fox ran a 15-second Trojan (“Only good once!”) commercial.
The ad is pretty vague about why one might want to use condoms: a redheaded guy looks into the camera and explains that although he’s a nice guy who goes out with nice girls, “some pretty terrible things are happening to some really nice people.” Then a box of condoms pops up on screen with a voiceover that says “Trojan latex condoms: To reduce the risk.”
As a redhead myself, this all just makes me yearn for the days when people were gullible enough to believe we were getting some.
3. Digital answering machines (introduced in early 1991)
Here’s a snippet from The New York Times in January 1991: “Some makers of the answering machine expect digital technology, the electronic wizardry that makes compact discs possible, to reduce the size of an answering machine so much that its function will become just another feature on a telephone.”
Sounds about right. I think we call it voicemail. But could those prophets of electronic wizardry have predicted that BYU’s 2016 starting quarterback had already been born?
2. Pearl Jam (formed in the fall of 1990)
Plenty of UCLA players might remember Mookie Blaylock the basketball player. But none of the Bruins were alive during the era of Mookie Blaylock the alt-rock band. The band – which played its first official show in October 1990, two months after Taysom Hill’s birth – was forced to change its name after signing with Epic Records.
Under the new moniker Pearl Jam, the group released its debut album in August 1991. It was titled Ten, which happened to be fewer than the number of months Taysom Hill had been alive.
1. Ty Detmer’s Heisman Trophy (awarded in December 1990)
You certainly can’t question the impact of Taysom Hill on the BYU passing game.
Hill’s birth in the fall of 1990 preceded a Heisman Trophy campaign from then-Cougar quarterback Ty Detmer, who became the first player in NCAA history to surpass 5,000 passing yards in a single season.
Now the offensive coordinator at BYU, Detmer at least has one pupil with whom he can reminisce about his college football glory days.