Fans and Fatheads ready for state tournament basketball

Spring sports practices begin with northeast storm
March 2, 2018

Chasing the dream - The 2018 DIAA basketball tournaments have launched into the second round, where a win puts a team into the quarterfinals at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, a perfect venue that can hold the crowd without putting fans on the players’ benches. The upper bracket features Cape as the top seed and William Penn as No. 4. Coming from the bottom bracket are No. 2-seeded Sallies and No. 3 Smyrna. Caravel, Sussex Tech, Sanford and St. Georges round out the top 8. There is no clear favorite in the boys’ bracket, but after Saturday there will be just four teams still standing. The girls’ bracket favors the usual suspects. There are lots of loaded teams with downstate St. Thomas More the fifth seed and Sussex Tech seeded ninth, each with a solid chance to reach the quarterfinals.

Wet dog weather - Locals living along the coast appreciate a spring day because there aren’t many; mostly, there is a wet and windy astronomical persecution, unless the winds blow from the southwest, the tradeoff being black flies and no-see-ums. On March 1, the spring sports teams head outside. It’s expected to be two days of wet and windy conditions, highlighted by a northeast storm named Riley and that dreaded word bombogenesis. But hope springs eternal. By Saturday, it threatens to be sunny with a high of  47 and northwest winds of 20 mph, perfect conditions for a timed mile.  

Stick the landing - Last spring, after a collaborative cadre of Cape lacrosse coaches post-P.J. Kesmodel delivered Cape’s ninth consecutive girls’ lacrosse state championship, I awarded each coach with a pair of airplane wings to pin on their banquet blazer or bedroom bulletin board. A line from the movie “Airplane” kept ringing inside my head: “Is there anyone on board who can not only fly this plane, but land it?” Now it’s time to taxi onto the runway and take off into another season. The quest for 10 straight begins, not to mention more than 100 straight wins against Delaware opponents. In-state teams Ursuline, Archmere and Saint Mark’s (all Catholic) with a combined record of 43-8 last season, will return most of their rosters. It’s going to be a battle.

Human misery index - Everyone playing or working at a sporting event thinks it’s all about them. That includes players, officials, facilities managers, media and last, and most likely least, the fans. A bombogenesis northeast storm is ready to sock it to us on the East Coast. Obviously, baseball and softball are just unplayable, while in lacrosse and soccer, the players can suffer through, but why should they? And let’s talk about me for awhile. Should I risk my camera equipment and endure 30-knot winds in my face to cover a lacrosse game or road race? The answer is, “freak that mess.” No, I shouldn’t. Except if everyone is tough enough to go stupid, I’m going too, it’s all I got left.

Beyond business - Nick Foles comes from a wealthy family and doesn’t need stupid money over top of good money. He should be signed to a long-term contract by the Eagles and have a statue placed outside Lincoln Financial Field. There will never be a better sports story in the city. Nick is the man, just everything about that magic of the 2018 Super Bowl is embedded in his humbleness and meeting the moment on the biggest stage. Honestly, there is not enough money to chase me from the Cape community, because before I get to the next Grotto in Milford, the Fredman I am ceases to exist, and I become just some guy who likes extra cheese.     

Snippets - The interviews for the position of Cape football coach are over, and I believe a decision is coming down at the March 8 school board meeting. Like I always say, there is more interest in who will be the coach than who is the coach. Football season is a grind every day, which includes the school day and practices. What fans see on Friday night is the easy part, but getting the team there and prepared takes diligence and preparation. I don’t circle any sports story like a gull on a Thrashers fry, bumping into my friendlies in the media trying to get a scoop. There was a fight at a basketball game. I was there and saw it and know all the players. It was like a bad muppet movie. I’ve moved on, following my mantra, “Embrace the dissonance.” There are other stories to chase. Go on now, git!