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Bill Gosse column: Education brings change in sports

1:40 AM, Feb. 3, 2013  |  Comments
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When I was younger, a percentage of time from our weekends was spent at my grandparents' farm helping out with chores.

When it was warm, we were picking one of the many fruits on the farm or mowing the lawn. When it was cold, we helped push the snow out of the yard with Grandpa's tractor.

Some of that time was always spent milking the cows.

At that time, Grandpa put a huge belt around the cow, then hooked the container and milking machine underneath the cow until the cow was finished and the container was full.

He then took the container and dumped the milk into a tall can standing in the aisle. Once the milk can was full, it would be carried into an adjacent room where it would be placed in a tub of cold water to preserve the milk until the milk truck would come pick it up later that day or the next morning.

The process of milking 20 to 30 cows seemed to take a long time.

Today, milk is generally collected from cows in similar steps, but the process is so much faster through automation and education. Because of technological advances with pipelines or parlors, some of the old manual steps are skipped and farmers are more efficient.

Those who got educated and have adopted new advancements are able to produce more milk.

Our beloved sports have changed over the years, too.

When I was at Marquette University, I saw pictures in the Old Gym from early in the 20th century recounting basketball games in which a center jump would take place after every basket. That lasted until 1938 when more flow during games was desired.

With the invention of the cork-centered baseball in 1909, and the emergence of a player named Babe Ruth, baseball would undergo its own transformation.

Football is going through a necessary pruning process where something needs to be done to protect players from unnecessary injury - especially head trauma.

Is better equipment needed? Better coaching? Perhaps both.

The game is immensely popular, yet the political pressure for change is enormous.

One phrase that's been around youth football for a long time is this: Keep the head out of football.

The rule book clearly states a penalty should be called if players - offense or defense - lead with their heads. The violation is called spearing and it's amazing to me how many times we see players do this.

If this was thoroughly enforced by officials and coaches would consistently teach correct blocking and tackling techniques, maybe massive rules changes wouldn't be necessary.

Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

If we can educate people to change the world, we can educate people to change our sports.

However, before anything is ruined and change is simply made for the sake of change, let's get educated and do what makes sense.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
576 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1017 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports