It was a known fact that we played better in Chucks.
We jumped higher, ran the court better and our jump shot was nothing but net.
But it was just a shoe. Nothing glamorous. Nothing fashionable. But the players we wanted to be wore Chuck Taylor All-Stars, so we did, too.
This was before rockers wore them. We knew nothing about Nirvana, the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd or The Who. We were into basketball and everybody wore Chucks.
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Hey, Wilt Chamberlain wore them the night he scored 100 points.
Our choices were few. PF Flyers, U.S. Keds, Spalding or the Chuck Taylors by Converse. Air Jordan would not fly until 1984. In the 1960s, more than 90 percent of the players in college and the NBA wore high-top Chucks.
But who was Chuck?
Converse was founded in 1909, but for decades it was just another brand. Around that same time Chuck Taylor, a high school kid in Columbus, Ind., played his first professional basketball game.
By the 1920s he was player-manager of a barnstorming team that did clinics and told the story of a shoe that would never go away.
In 1932, the company was in financial straits and it attached Chuck Taylor's signature to the simple footwear. For the next 36 years, he was the company's traveling evangelist. He didn't preach at tent revivals, but he went campus-to-campus pushing his namesake product and teaching the nuances of basketball.
Converse didn't need Michael Jordan. It had Chuck Taylor, though most of us never knew where he played or how many points he scored. Even if he didn't have game, he had the iconic shoe.
Check out the Boston Celtics team in the Bill Russell-Bob Cousy era. They wore Chucks. So did the well-scrubbed team in the movie "Hoosiers." So did Larry Bird.
Once Nike began to rule the world, popularity waned. Players had their own shoe deals and high-tech shoes that were created in a lab replaced the simplicity of the Chuck Taylor model.
Converse became the choice of punk rockers and greasers. Kurt Cobain was the face of the company, not Chuck Taylor. Mick Jagger pranced around the stage in them and even Dennis the Menace had a pair. Wall Street had wingtips. The anti-establishment wore Chucks.
Nike swallowed up the company several years ago and this week the company introduced a new Chuck for a new day. After 800 million sales, the shoe has finally gone electric, making its first real change in 98 years.
The brand new Chuck II comes in black, red, white and blue. It's available in lows and highs, and unlike the Jordan shoes, you don't have to float a second mortgage to afford a pair.
But, unfortunately, they don't guarantee we'll jump any higher.