I recall vividly when my dad and grandfather would engage in serious conversations and it seemed like the reference to “back in the good old days” was a sentence that came up frequently.
My dad and grandfather were good old Germans and no conversation took place without a jug of draft beer close by. And, on most occasions, a second jug of beer followed the first.
I don’t know how much I learned from these — many times — heated discussions, but as I grew older, I found that I disagreed with most of the conclusions they reached. Now that I am approaching the sunset of my life, I am convinced that us elderly folks like to think that “in the good old days” we did it right and the young kids are full of half-cocked ideas or something like that.
I have already mentioned in this column that I have a problem with the instant replay. Even though instant replay finds that officials do make some errors, anything that takes the human element out of the game bothers me. However, I think it is here to stay.
I was never much a basketball player, except for fun, but dunking a basketball is not a part of the skills that James Naismith, the man credited with inventing basketball, had in mind “back in the good old days.”
First, the peach basket would not have held up under the punishment I have seen in regard to dunking a basketball today. Maybe my lack of height has influenced me. But let’s face it. Dunking a ball takes little skill if you are well over 6 feet tall. I think the introduction of the three-point shot has to be the most important fairly new part of the game and I’m sure Naismith would agree.
Even though I have been around football in some capacity for many years, I cannot understand the rules that govern a safety. If your team is tackled behind the goal line, the opponent gets two points. Why does the team that gave up the two points then have to kick off? And from the 20 yard line? There must be a reason but I do not know why that rule has never been changed.
Finally, the Reds have traded Brandon Phillips. No doubt, he is an exceptional baseball player with great baseball talent. And he has contributed to the community off the field.
I have seen and coached many players with that kind of ability, but I would prefer a player with half the talent and a lot less hot dogging.
The Reds have lacked leadership on the field for quite a while and it has hurt them. When Pete Rose or Johnny Bench walked into the locker room, even the janitor put on his game face. They both had a sense of humor, but it ended at the locker room door.
Phillips could not turn off his playful personality even on the field and it has hurt the Reds. That type of player rubs off on the team and the result is not a winner.
So long and good luck, Brandon. Now let’s get down to some serious baseball.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.