The NFL held its annual Super Bowl Media Day on Monday, and it offered a chance for some of the traditional craziness that comes with it. Someone was dressed up like Punt, Pass, & Kick Andy Reid, and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was asked by a woman dressed up like Dorothy if there is “no place like Mahomes.”
The best question of the day might have gone to San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley. Someone asked him if he had any thoughts on time travel, and one of the more amusing 49ers characters went in deep. He acknowledged he would want to travel way back in the past, not just a few years. However, he pointed out issues with the kind of currency you’d be able to use and speaking in an entirely different manner than those folks. He was convinced a time traveler would not be able to adjust.
Given how quickly Staley responded, it’s clear that he had thought about this to some extent. And it’s no surprise. TV, cinema, and books have offered extensive narratives on the notion of time travel. Everybody has a personal favorite, but I imagine the Back to the Future trilogy is high on a lot of people’s lists. And it raises a question I know plenty have pondered: how would I find a way to benefit from time travel?
Sure it’d be cool to witness historic events and talk to people from a different time, but time travel offers an opportunity to know about events before they happen. We saw old Biff Tannen from 2015 go back and give young Biff Tannen in 1955 a sports almanac. Young Tannen used it to become wildly successful as a sports bettor and change the 1985 reality that Marty McFly returned to in Back to the Future 2.
There are plenty of complications to time travel, but the sports betting angle and general profitability opportunities offer some complications. I don’t know that I could go back X amount of years and bet on sporting events myself in Nevada. I could probably find some similar currency, but it might be a little complicated.
Additionally, you can’t just go see yourself ten years past because your old self would probably recognize your young self. You would need someone who could explain what the almanac or other piece of information means. If you go back 25 years just leave me a slip of paper saying I should buy Apple or Amazon stock, or I should bet on the Patriots in Super Bowl 36 when they were huge underdogs (I actually did by the way!), I’d need some kind of explanation on what the heck is going on.
So, the follow-up to Joe Staley’s question might be something along the lines of if he might have a partner in this. I suppose given Joe Staley’s station in life, profiting off time travel is not as big a concern. He’s done well for himself with the 49ers, and likely is set along with his children for a long time.
And considering he said he’d rather go hundreds or thousands of years back, he does not seem too concerned about doing something to boost himself. Of course, given the potential for a butterfly effect that results in a drastically altered future, that’s worth keeping in mind as well. Maybe the real follow-up question is his thoughts on the butterfly effect of time travel.