If you haven’t had a chance to talk with someone who has been involved in sports since before you were born, you should do it.
In Covington, there’s no better person than Ron Bradley, who I struck up a conversation with last week as we talked about Newton basketball moving on to a new gymnasium. As with anyone with Bradley’s experiences and insights, the conversation tailed off into a session of story-telling. The telephone exchange with Bradley was great, of course, but also a little depressing in a way.
The depression came after reflecting on Bradley’s words concerning the hundreds of people who used to clamor to be inside the now-Sharp Gymnasium.
People would line up to watch high school basketball.
And no offense to Newton, Alcovy or Eastside, but that just doesn’t happen anymore. Sure, high school basketball can be great entertainment, but it’s not the center of a community like it used to be. Or, for that matter, like high school football was in South Georgia or West Texas, or really any sport was before television and mega-stadiums.
The thought of missing the good ole days of sport even translated over to a more embarrassing aspect of my off time, when my wife and I were watching a certain PBS show from Britain detailing the upstairs and downstairs life of high class English society. During this particular episode the characters were playing cricket, but again it was the center of everyone’s interest with everyone expected to play.
Not only that but it was a little more dignified.
(I’m assuming) back in the olden days of British life and in American sports ranging from football in the south to basketball in Hoosier country you cheered and you jeered. You didn’t bash on Twitter, you didn’t start a brawl and you blissfully looked up to the star athletes. Like the traditions carried in SEC football you dressed to impress because the sport was the social center, the gathering point of everyone.
Unfortunately, it seems like those days are gone, and seemingly always I don’t want them to be.
It also seems there is a short-term solution to my dilemma thanks to the Heartland Women’s Club. Ladies who know about social decorum and how things in the good ole days, were just that — good.
For the 21st time the club will host its annual Cherry Blossom Charity Croquet Tournament Saturday, March 16.
There will be up to 64 two-member teams in the round robin format golf croquet tournament. During the tournament, patrons and participants surround the croquet field in all white, painting the scene with the colors and sights of the past.
There will be a best-dressed contest, along with other contests and prizes at Oxford College of Emory in Oxford, but the reward could be more than those given by many of the Heartland Woman’s Club donors. For more information call (770) 786-5002.
The funds raised will go to benefit Willing Helpers Food Ministry, but I think I might receive a little benefit as well, getting a chance to not just hear the stories of what had made sports great but be a part of something that doesn’t revolve around trying to capture a new contract, scholarship or highlight.