Athletes are better than ever these days.
They are taller, heavier, faster, stronger and smarter.
Any way that it can be measured, they do it better today, especially in football, then they used to do it back in the day.
The performances are so much better.
But, so much of the joy is gone.
Call it waxing nostalgic if you want, but I remember as a lad, how it used to be and I long for my grandson to "enjoy" playing the game.
At his games, (for 10- to 12-year-olds) the coaches and dads scream their heads off at the kids out there sweating and doing their best to run plays that professionals can rarely make work.
Last week, the coaches told the team that if they played their best they would win.
They played the best they knew how but they still lost 12-14.
They were devastated. One dejected kid said, "Now, we can't go undefeated."
The young boys felt like their season had been ruined.
With all the hoopla and expectations, the pressure to win has increased at all levels.
Every game should be played in an honest effort to win, that's why they have scoreboards, but if it takes the joy out of playing, it's not worth it, in my opinion.
The Thayer football Bobcats have had the greatest success in the school's history the last few years and it makes us all proud -- but it wasn't always that way.
Coach Bozman introduced the modern day football program at THS in 1932.
The first South Central Association (SCA) championship team at Thayer was in 1942, then it took 14 years to achieve another league championship (they didn't have state playoffs in those days).
The point is, that getting to compete and playing clean and hard is a privilege and hopefully is a worth-while experience, win or lose.
Carroll Parrot was the new THS coach in the fall of 1951.
He sometimes had team meetings before practice and made talks about attitude.
Without a clue, I once asked a teammate what coach was trying to say? My friend said, that he wanted us to quit belly-aching and to play harder.
I wish coach was still around, I'd tell him that I'm finally getting it, 50-some years too late, of course.
Vince Lombardi, sometimes called the Coach of the Century, was not the raving, win at all cost, kind of person he is sometimes portrayed.
Best wishes to the Bobcats and all the other teams in the area.
Try your best to win guys and make it fun, if you can.