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Distance running and offshore fishing require focused toughness

The Lewes Seashore Marathon in 1977, the height of the running boom. DAVE FREDERICK PHOTO
April 18, 2017

Boston Marathon - Grand Mom Rose: “Relating to the Boston Marathon because you used to be a runner is like relating to the White Marlin Open because you used to be a billfish.” I can watch a running race all day long; I’m just intrigued by the levels of talent challenging themselves for two to five hours. I fished the three-day White Marlin Open with captains John Miller and Bill Jackson some years ago because they told me how physically demanding it was to leave the Indian River Marina under cover of darkness, go on a 70-mile boat ride to Baltimore Canyon then troll all day and do it three days in a row. They were right. It does beat the scrapple sandwich out of you, but at least we never saw a fish. I’d love to be able to say I ran Boston and I’d also love to say I won the Calcutta, which is the side betting pool that generates a million-dollar prize. We are a crazy country; to understand Americans, you must understand how we challenge ourselves for fun and prizes.

Funny bunny - The Easter Bunny flew off the top of the home dugout and leveled a decapitation tackle on Teddy Roosevelt during the Race of Presidents at Sunday’s Nationals-Phillies game in Washington. All four of the other presidents were dropped by mascots so Screech, the official Nationals mascot, could win the race on his birthday. Color commentator FP Santangelo said, “That was the absolute greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” Then in the bottom of the ninth inning with a full count on Bryce Harper, with two runners on and two outs, trailing 4-3, announcer Bob Carpenter said those familiar three words, “See you later!” The Phils had put the game into the right hand of Joaquin Benoit, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound 39-year-old with a career record of 57-44 but below average in spin rate. If the Easter Bunny had run out and tackled him on the mound as Harper circled the bases, it would have been the greatest thing I’d ever seen.  

Honorary doctorate - I read that Dick Vermeil, former head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was chosen as the commencement speaker for Temple University’s graduation. And he will be awarded an honorary doctorate degree with all the rights and privileges that go with it, like calling yourself doctor when you make dinner reservations. Vermeil is 80 years old and it’s guaranteed he will cry several times. Vermeil is a past winner of the Silver Beaver Award (that one I don’t want) for distinguished service to the Boy Scouts of America.

So sad - A tragedy beyond comprehension. Former Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap, the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions, ran over his 3-year-old daughter when moving his truck forward in the driveway of his house. The Baltimore Ravens, Heap's longtime former team, called the accident “knee-buckling news and an overwhelming tragedy,” as quoted in the Associated Press. The same article said, “The child safety advocacy group KidsandCars.org said more than 800 children have been killed in the last two decades in instances in which a child in front of a vehicle wasn't seen by the driver.” I only include this tragic story to remind us all to be extra careful in driveways and neighborhoods.

Snippets - The NBA playoffs season is crying for a story that is not the Warriors and Cavaliers meeting in the finals. The athleticism on the court displayed by all the teams is just insane. I watched the Maryland men’s lacrosse team beat Rutgers in triple overtime 13-12. Each overtime is four minutes and sudden death. The announcer gave some great advice for midfielders, “Dodge, don’t dance.” Several crucial offsides calls hurt both teams. Cape boys’ lacrosse is playing the Shipley School Gators (6-3) in Byrn Mawr, Pa., Tuesday, April 18. Tuition for the Shipley upper school is $37K per year. Go on now, git!

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