A pantheon of gods heading to the Olympic Games in London

June 26, 2012
Lolo Jones, a hurdler, never won a medal but is always signing autographs.

Mojo Christian - I was a good enough basketball player to earn a scholarship to Temple. Played for a Catholic school and our basketball priest mentor would bless us before we took the court. I always made a cross on each palm to help my shooting touch. I don't think my God guided my shooting touch; it only mattered that I believed he or she did. I was struck watching the Olympic trials at the number of qualified athletes who gave “glory to God” and said “God is so good.”  Gods throughout the universe are heading to the Olympics in London; in fact, Mount Olympus was the home of 12 Greek gods. How would you like to run the 400 against Mercury or swim an adventurous anchor leg against Poseidon? The Chinese can roll Confucius and Buddha onto the track. I think when the Olympics are over, there should be a medal count breakdown on what gods did the best.

Ashton Eaton - A 6-foot-1, 190-pound decathlete tripped out this old track coach on the first day of competition at the Olympic trials June 23 when he ran the 100 meters in 10.2 seconds, then went and long jumped 27 feet and high jumped 6-feet-8-inches. Eaton threw the 16-pound shot 46-feet-7-inches, then in a driving rainstorm ran the 400 meters in 46.7. He returned June 24 to post a 13.7 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, 140-feet-5 inches in the discus, and 17-4 1/2 in the pole vault. His javelin throw sailed 193-feet-1-inch. And his 1,500-meter run of 4:14 converts to a 4:31 mile. I coached Lance White and Danny Harmon; both ran the 1,500 in 4 minutes flat. Charles Turner  at 6-10 and Rodney Smith at 6-11 were better high jumpers. But that's it. Eaton was lightly recruited out of high school hoping to maybe attend a Division III school to play football.

The eye of the camera - Forty years since Title IX the talk is still of gender equity, but I will tell you this. Most sports photographers are men, and when shooting women who compete at the highest levels, it's not the camera that finds the pretty ones but the person behind it. And those women get endorsements more readily. Lo Lo Jones, a hurdler, and sprinter Allyson Felix are Olympic track stars loved by the camera. Remember in the NCAA women's basketball tournament? It was Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame that camera just wouldn't pass over. Mia Hamm and later Hope Solo were also loved by the camera. This is a planned thing at the network level - good for ratings - and it is so wrong.

Snippets - On June 21, Sussex Tech advertised the position on the school website of athletic director/supervisor of transportation under the all-caps heading, ANTICIPATED VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT. The deadline for applying is July 2 at noon. I'm thinking of applying just to see if I can add “came in second” to a list of Cape runner-up positions too numerous to mention. Actually, I always sent in gag letters for important positions and always got an interview and mostly placed second. I'd have to remind the interview committee, “Stop looking at me sideways; I never wanted this job in the first place.” July 12 under the lights at turf field two there will be a women's lacrosse alumni game featuring a deep talent pool of alumnae versus the Eastern Shore 2013-14 All Stars with players from Cape, Sussex Tech, Worcester, Stephen Decatur and points south. Chicken Barb is not the name of the Cape Crusaders boosters club president, but rather the economic engine that fuels a program that helps local kids through basketball because renting your own gym ain't cheap. Mark on your refrigerator calender or post down low on your driveway adjustable hoop the date June 30. That's the date for the Cape Crusaders' chicken barbecue at Outlet Liquors on Route 1 next to the Nike Outlet. Thanks to Alex Pires and staff at Outlet Liquors for being accommodating and to use a basketball term, “no charge.” The 10 a.m., Sunday, July 15,  in Cape cafeteria recognition and induction into the ring of honor of Legends Stadium ceremony will happen no matter who doesn't show up and that includes Coach Tom Hickman himself... If there's one guy who doesn't like being the 90-year-old white-haired guy on a cane, it's Hickman. He crawled around on his belly behind enemy German lines in World War II, which is easy compared to a hundred people from your past life patting you on the head like a white shepherd, doberman, dachshund ,wire-haired pointer, giant schnauzer, rottweiler or weimaraner. Little League tournaments are beginning and I'm totally confused. I'm more than willing to show up if I know what's up. Remember, the coach's kid pitches and plays shortstop; everyone else plays right field. Go on now, git!