FROM THE BLEACHERS: Herald-Banner Column

Jack Welch has served as a high school and college football coach for 39 years. He holds a Doctorate in Education. He can be reached at

Thanks for emails.  I am amazed at the number I receive each week. Keep them coming.   

Question, have you purchased a new computer lately? A new computer is costly. Especially, knowing it will be out of date in a couple years. When I spend thousands of dollars on an item, I expect it to last more than a few years.  

In todays’ market, we know after spending thousands of dollars upgrading our computers and the peripherals, we will need to do it again very soon. Sadly, we rarely get trade-in or rebate value for old stuff. Our recently purchased, state-of-the-art, cutting-edge computer hardware has suddenly become the dinosaur of the industry.

When I first started coaching, filming practices and games were conducted on 16 mm cameras. After practice or a game, our film operator would drive to a company’s place of business to have the film developed. It was tedious and time consuming. Then the video camera was introduced, and it was a time saving device. The VHR and BETACAM tapes were readily available and the whole practice or game could be reviewed immediately. When tapes were exchanged with opponents, they were transported by car or bus, taking several days.  

Today, film of games or practices can be sent via email immediately. As a team is walking off the field, film literally can be emailed and reviewed. Yes, times have changed drastically since I began coaching.

Just think how neat it was when you were a child to get a new pair of PF Flyers or a pair of Chuck Taylor tennis shoes. Those play shoes and your dress shoes were about all you had to wear. It seems like people have shoes for every occasion now. They have walking shoes, running shoes, driving shoes, formal shoes, dress shoes, casual shoes, work shoes, cowboy boots, house shoes and tennis shoes.

Remember when Grandpa read the newspaper. Youngsters may read the same publication today except they read it on their iPhone or PDA. Speaking of phones, are you now taking pictures, playing games and recording videos on your phone? Almost everyone carries a phone everywhere they go.

There is a good chance you know someone having had knee, hip, liver, heart or some other body replacement. These kinds of surgeries were unheard of a couple of generations ago. Indeed, times have changed.    

How players workout during summer months have changed drastically. Today’s athlete has the best weightlifting apparatus in the world to train on. In the golden oldie days, athletes worked during the summer months. Country kids would haul hay, work at the feed store, or hardware store. Nowadays kids are in summer conditioning programs, playing 7-on-7, or participating in summer athletic camps.  

The level of expertise and skill refinement has increased the level of play. Athletes workout year around. If student-athletes are not continually working out and preparing for the season, they get passed up.  

One thing has not changed for great football teams though. The great teams are best at blocking and tackling. I believe, if they were young again, Dick Butkus, Jack Pardee, Roger Staubach, Walter Payton and many others could still play the game at the highest level.

Thought for the week, “Football is blocking and tackling. Everything else is mythology.”

— Vince Lombardi

Dr. Jack Welch is a college football coach. He has a doctor degree in education and has been an administrator and football coach for 39 years. He can be reached at

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