Column: Is tradition fading or am I getting old?

Tony Lamke The Ol’ Coach

Tony Lamke The Ol’ Coach

Being close to 80 years of age, I realize I have seen many things change.

In my lifetime, I have seen some marvelous inventions, medical miracles, and it is hard to look at almost anything that is the same as it was in my earlier years.

As I kid I grew up in an inner city neighborhood. Most are gone and the sub-division has replaced it. In fact, even the sub-division is evolving.

The automobile has become a major necessity in today’s family. As a kid, it was a luxury. My family never owned a car until I bought a car at age 20.

I saw television enter the home and I could not believe how Captain Video was in my living room. I think we spent more time adjusting the first TVs than watching them.

I, like a lot of people my age, have learned to turn on and somewhat use the computer. I don’t need Facebook or Twitter. I have enough trouble keeping up with what I’m doing without worrying about what the rest of the world is doing.

The cell phone is replacing the land-line phone on my kitchen counter even though most of the items the cell phone does I can’t do and really don’t need.

In other words, many of the traditional things I grew up with and, took for granted, are falling by the way side, and doing so all too fast.

So let’s take a look at the sports world. Despite my love for the pace of a game, there has been a move to speed up a baseball game. Technology has made inroads into baseball with the “challenge,” where a team can ask to have a played reviewed. The umpires gather with headphones on and wait several minutes for some expert in New York to decide a close play. I don’t like it.

I enjoy a good tennis match. But several times in a match the replay of a point is decided by a second camera that bears down on a line call. I don’t like it.

Football games are halted so some expert in a booth above the stadium can decide if a player stepped out of bounds or not. I don’t like it.

Soon the game calls will all be decided entirely by electronic devices.

In the 1880s Wilmington High School played Wilmington College in several of the first football games ever played in Clinton County. In an article written about one of those games, which were well attended, the writer took note of the fans saying, “There were many fans in the orange and black on the WHS side and as many in the green and white on the WC side.”

Those colors remained those school’s colors for many, many years. I played for the green and white of Wilmington College as did many of my friends.

However, last season I attended a WC game with Capital University and as I came through the gate at Townsend Field, I saw a team in all black uniforms with a yellow-green helmet and socks. I was sure it was Capital but I was wrong. It was the Fighting Quakers. I was sick to my stomach, watched a quarter and left. I did not go back.

Yes, I have strong feelings for traditions. WC will always be green and white. I bled for that team on that field and will never think of any colors for WC but green and white.

Tony Lamke The Ol’ Coach Lamke The Ol’ Coach

Tony Lamke is a former coach. He has researched the history of Clinton County sports and writes a periodic column for the News Journal. He can be reached at

Tony Lamke is a former coach. He has researched the history of Clinton County sports and writes a periodic column for the News Journal. He can be reached at