Telling tales at the tailgate, it never gets better than that

December 22, 2017

Hitman and wingmen - Facebook popped this photo on my desktop from 2010 outside Delaware Stadium prior to a football game with Georgia Southern. I look like a South Philly hitman flanked by unrelenting nice guys Scott Riehm, the 1974 Blue Hens quarterback, and former Blue Hens tennis player Tom King. I was distrustful of both those guys; nobody from my neighborhood growing up was that happy and nice, but the good news is they weren’t acolytes or neophytes when it came to fuzzy navels and rusty toenails. I’m just making stuff up at this point. I would only drink what someone handed to me in a can, jar, fleaker or cup, and those days are sadly gone. Years later, I ate a bunch of grapes at a Riehm tailgate, causing Joann to exclaim, “Scotty, come see this! Fredman is eating grapes.”  

Failing and flailing - I watched a medley of all the ways a pole vaulter can miss and fail to clear a height Wednesday down at the Worcester County Parks and Recreation indoor track meet. Let me be clear, the kids are courageous. But there is no safe place to practice. Sometimes a single kid missed in multiple ways, from a low height to a not-quite-so-low height. I saw three girls go under the bar into the pit with the bar set at 5-foot-5-inches – it was limbo with a pole. I’m not being critical, but “dag gone yo,” somebody is going to get hurt out there. It would be safer to go outside and throw a javelin or hammer.

Eight sandwiches - John the Blacksmith and I worked as marine technicians for the former College of Marine Studies for two summers towing a plankton net on the Jersey side and another day off the Delaware coast. We had a fat budget for food, so one day with a cooler loaded with sandwiches, I vowed to eat a sandwich at each station where we collected plankton samples. I ate eight sandwiches over six hours, but you know how the smell of saltwater makes you hungry? If you remember Slam Dunk One - The Bobby Years - you may remember the Hospitality Room. All the VIPs, which seemed to be everyone in the gym, would go in to eat before each game and at halftime. Fast basketball watched by people with slowed metabolisms; it was tough duty, but you have to risk it to be the biscuit.  

Snippets - Zac Oakley birdied the 18th hole to shoot a 67 and win event No. 6 of the PGA Tournament Series presented by Gold Advisor played in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. Zac, a Cape graduate, is a first cousin to the Ashby clan. He is the PGA assistant pro at Heritage Shores Club in Bridgeville. Zac won two of the six events in the series and earned $11,000 in prize money. His father, Pete Oakley, is a former winner of the Senior British Open. Coach Tim Bamforth celebrated his 51st birthday by coaching the Cape girls’ track team at the Worcester County Parks and Recreation meet. Tim first ran for Cape before he had a driver’s license, and in 1984, he was indoor state champion in the mile and two mile, leading Cape to a team title. Cape Athletic Director Bob Cilento is going through a list of candidates for the position of head football coach. An interview committee will be put together to go over the applications and then the process begins. A recommendation is usually made to the school board and they may decide to interview the candidate themselves, usually not, but in the Cape district, meddling and back-pedaling have happened in the past. The Eagles are playing Oakland at home on Christmas to secure home field advantage through the NFC Championship Game. It doesn’t get much better or worse if the Eagles lose because they have to play Dallas in a final game that is meaningful. The Beacon boys’ and girls’ basketball teams are both undefeated at 4-0, and each has a chance to run the table. Listen to these scores on the girls’ side of the street: Beacon 36, Providence Creek Academy 4; Beacon 45, Seaford 6. There are other scores inside the middle school matrix that are worse, and a shutout is not out of the question. Basketball is a hard game to play if you ain’t ready. You can’t just show up at 11 years old and start dribbling. The athlete can walk away from the verbal commitment to a college, but the college rarely backs away. The football early signing day revealed some strange decisions being made. Please investigate for yourself. There are 35 high school girls’ lacrosse programs in Delaware and 10 are looking for head coaches. I have no idea where they can find one or 10. Go on now, git!

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