Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Game Changers

Basketball is a sport enjoyed by a great number of fans and viewers. In the NBA, probably the best player of all time is Michael Jordan. Some might argue Lebron James, Larry Bird, Lew Alcindor or Wilt Chamberlain. Given that millions of shoes have been sold with Jordan’s name on them, and movies have been made honoring him, I’ll go with Jordan.
Minnesota now has eyes on its own NBA player, the young 22-year-old is now everyone’s favorite Timberwolf. We love cheering for “Ant,” Anthony Edwards.
Kaitlin Clark took America by storm this winter in college basketball. The young lady from Iowa broke scoring records, made three-pointers from unbelievable distances, and captivated fans with her passing and team play. March Madness had as many viewers watching Kaitlin and the women as the men’s college basketball teams. She was the number one pick by Indiana in the WNBA; Indiana has sold out every home basketball game. When Kaitlin comes to town to play our Minnesota Lynx, those games are already sold out as well. Kaitlin has already made millions; she’s done many commercials and has her own shoe, now, with Nike.
Everyone’s heard of Air Jordans. I wonder what the Clark shoes will be called.
Waseca’s own Willingham brothers were stars at MSU Mankato in college basketball. They guided the Mavericks to their first ever national championship. 
All of these great basketball players have something in common: they are game changers. 
In football, the common goal for NFL players and fans is the Superbowl. Superbowl Sunday is the biggest stage in sports. Quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes are game changers: They win Superbowls. If you’re a golf fan, you’ve watched Tiger Woods; if you enjoy tennis, you've watched Serena Williams. These great athletes are all game changers.
Many of us have a favorite teacher who had an impact on our lives. People often tell of educators whose influence made everything that came afterward possible. All of us probably remember a great experience we had in high school, maybe in music or drama, a solo or a play made possible by a great teacher or director. Coaches in athletics have given us all a shining moment, something we will talk about, share, and enjoy for a lifetime. Maybe your favorite coach taught you to have fun, always play for the team, and be the best you can be. All of these special teachers and coaches were game changers.
The medical world has been a huge game changer for everyone, especially as some of us grow into our golden, rusty years. Heart transplants, stints, bypasses and other heart procedures now add years to our lives. New body parts–knees, hips, shoulders and new knuckles–make it possible to walk, hike, and open jars and cans for cooking. New kidneys and livers are a miracle. MRIs, blood tests, ultrasounds and screening all lead to preventive health measures.
I just ran into Kathy Guse at Walmart driving a motorized scooter. She’s had a couple of back surgeries. Pain is under control, and she’s hoping for recovery. We need you back, Kathy, making yummy wedding cakes and treats for graduation parties. You’ve always been a game changer.
Advancing technology is also a huge game changer. It appears to be in constant transition. The internet, smartphones, tablets and credit cards, online shopping, Amazon, Facebook, streaming. What will next week’s game changer be? Let me just say, I hope it isn’t hacking.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the biggest game changers of all–our spiritual leaders. Many come to mind, but two stand out to my wife and me. One is former Lutheran pastor Roger Haug, whom Lisa and I know quite well. He is thought of very highly in the Waseca community. He willingly visited parishioners hospitalized in Rochester, the nursing home and care facilities. He is a kind, caring, compassionate man.
The other spiritual leader we think of is former Waseca priest, Father Gregory Leif. We lost our daughter Katie, then 32, in 2015. Father Leif got us through that tragedy. Visiting with him felt like listening to Jesus. His soft-spoken words went right to the heart. He became a close friend–in fact, we shared many meals with Roger, Father, the Buums and Gilbertsons. These two, and all other spiritual leaders, are truly game changers, in addition to being remarkable human beings.


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