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The Dengler Domain: Sports (3 Things in the Past)

January 22, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Dysart Reporter

Sports have always played an integral role in society. Whether basketball, football, or baseball, sports constantly evolve. Playing without the three-point line in basketball or the forward pass in football would be hard. Baseball without batting helmets is farfetched in today's society. These three quirks are more obvious than others.

Another quirk is short shorts. This fad has not come back, and I am happy it has not. Wearing short shorts would be no fun. Having legs show to that amount is not a good sight for anyone. Longer shorts protect against scraping skin after falling on the ground. During sports in high school, my shorts always hiked up and needed to be pulled down. Track and cross country shorts were also small which made running not as fun. In high school, we had short running shorts, but they had to be shorter in the past.

Short shorts are not the only unique part of track. The javelin was an important part in early Iowa high school track history. Traer has an important tie to this event; Bruce Erickson still holds the state javelin record. This event would hold a special, cool place in today's track and field meets. The art of throwing a javelin is impressive, and it takes skill, athleticism, and wit. This event began at the ancient Olympics. Nothing is better than having a direct relation to earlier human history. This event is another good way to teach youngsters about the simplicity of track and field. This is a sport where the physicality of a human is used in its purist form.

A sport dealing with more physicality is football. Leather helmets were a big part of football's past. Watching individuals play with these helmets would be unique. The sport has a personal touch because the player's faces are not hidden behind a mask. Football would be a scary sport with the face not being protected. The leather helmet represents the beginnings of football safety. Football is a tough game, but the individuals wearing these helmets are tougher. Something I am not because I would never enter a football game wearing a leather helmet.

Ranking these three parts of sports' quirks is a tough one. The javelin would be best to come back to today's sports world. Javelin's unique place in history gives it the right to be included in high school track and field. Short shorts are in a very distance second place followed by in another universe, leather helmets.

All three of these sports' quirks are an important reason why sports are popular. The short shorts showed the powerfulness of the athlete's legs, the javelin showed athletes' pure athleticism, and the leather helmet humanized football. Sports continue to evolve, and past decisions appear questionable. I am looking at you, "golf carts taking relief pitchers to the mound." Most importantly, knowing our history is important in determining where we will end up.

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