Fred in bright red looking like the devil’s grandfather

Maxine Fluharty returns to work her mom's camp after starting as a freshman for the National Champion Maryland Terrapins. BY MARYLAND SPORTS INFORMATION
July 6, 2012

Flat cat splat - I love to hate my cat, but I admire him for taking naps on the blacktop driveway in direct sunlight with temperatures like 120 degrees, and like most cats, I've never seen him drink water. Last week I watched an ER program based in a Sydney, Australia emergency room as the staff got geared up to catch fallen runners from the Sydney Marathon. Sydney offers prize money, 10 grand for first, and attracts 30,000 runners, some not in great shape and stupid to boot, a deadly combination. I saw a guy come in unconscious from heat exhaustion and another unconscious bloke who had to be hit with paddles. “Clear!” (“What did you call me?”) He came out of it convinced he was in Ireland even though he lived in England and was racing in Australia. A nurse said, "If we get them all the way back without brain damage, the two questions they always ask are 'Did I finish?' and 'What was my time?'”

Purple Haze - Saturday I covered a race and three lacrosse games on a rubber turf field wearing a bright screaming red Under Armour shirt because when you are white and so is your hair you need a bright color so others can see you on a cloudless, scorching, full-sun day. By the time I got home I looked like the devil's grandfather.  The next day I was back on schedule running the wheel for 250-pound hamsters, a race in Dewey and lacrosse games at Cape, this time wearing deep purple rocking the lavender bush look. By 1 p.m. I was dumber than a five-hour Sydney marathoner and hotter than a flat cat splat baking on a blacktop driveway. I was standing and watching a game and started to shiver, and I wasn't nervous. I recognized this warning sign, so I lugged my carcass and camera equipment 400 meters to my black 4runner that registered an inside temperature of 124 but at least some not-chilled Gatorade was in the cup holder. Heat emergencies happen just like that; one minute you're OK, the next you're not, but rest assured there is one statement that is always false: “Fredman would have wanted to go out like that, doing what he loves.” I don't want to go anywhere!

Beleaguered buddies - I have known and been friends with a bunch of athletic directors over the years, most of them beleaguered blokes who have too much responsibility and not enough power. Let's face the reality that in education there are some administrators in all school districts who hide in offices and no one really knows what they do and if they do it. Joe Thomson of Sussex Tech, Mike Wagner of Lake Forest and Eric Torbert of Dover are no longer athletic directors at their schools, all by choice, just maybe not their own. Bob Cilento, the athletic director at Cape, is my buddy.  I see him several times a week and I know what he deals with in terms of walk-in traffic and handling coaches and custodians, and the fact that he makes it look easy doesn't make it so. That is also my talent - no matter what I'm doing, I look like I'm doing nothing. Bob oversees a budget of $550,000 for coaching salaries that includes 160 coaches down through middle school, including all assistants and volunteers, and another $250,000 in operating budget. I wish they would move his office back up front so I don't have to go to the Scooter Store and become a Fred-manned drone cruising the freshman wing three times a week.

Snippets - The Gottaloveit Field Hockey Camp under the direction of newly named Sussex Tech head coach Kathleen Fluharty is coming to Cape Monday to Friday, July 16 to 20. Email or call 302-745-5676 for camp information. The Cape Crusaders chicken barbecue sold out early Saturday, which is good fundraising news; now we won't have to throw the team out of the gym. I saw young athletes Jerome Johnson, Jake Dmiterchik and Andre Fonville lifting at Club Fitness last week, which is so smart. High school athletes male and female who don't strength train are starting with one foot in a bucket of wet cement. Speaking of dumb gym tricks, I saw a 50-year-old doing the relentless pogo with the stick. I wanted to tackle him so bad, but I had a good seat at the triceps machine and I was rocking the iPod. When did the bunny hop become a workout?

Go on now, git!