When I was in high school and college I worked a different job each summer, usually looking for hard labor that would help prepare my body for the next football season, and each time confirming that it would not be my choice for lifetime employment. One summer I worked at a lumber yard and paper mill complex along the banks of the Wisconsin River.
Every day I ate lunch with the men who had made this their life’s work; and I grew in ways both positive and negative as I listened to their conversations and tales. We all brought our own lunch pails.
One day, one of the more veteran employees opened his lunchbox and flew into a rage. “I can’t believe it,” he exclaimed. “Baloney again! I hate baloney.”
Trying to calm him down, another worker said, “If you hate baloney so much, just ask your wife to make you something else.”
To which the complainer replied, “That won’t work. I make my own lunches,” which resulted in an uproar of laughter from the rest of us.
I thought of this incident recently as I was preparing to meet with constituents about the rules they most love to hate: policies relating to coach and player contact out of season. Those are our most criticized rules.
But it occurs to me, if we don’t like the sandwich we’re eating – out-of-season coaching rules – we should remember: we made them ourselves, and we can change them. In fact, no one is in a better position to do so than we are. And no one has a greater duty to do so than we have, if we really are in need of a new recipe.