Athletic practices for fall sports begin Aug. 15

August 14, 2012
Craig Sager is sometimes known as Mr. Fancy Suit. He is a graduate of Northwestern University. BY WIKIPEDIA.ORG

The absolute truth - Grandmom Rose: "Speak the truth, then you don't need to seek the truth.” “I don't know what that means, Grandmom.” “Shut up! Yes, you do!” The Olympics are over, which means for the hobbled and housebound like me, it's back to marathons of "The Mentalist," "Law and Order" and "Burn Notice." The parade of athletes during Sunday night's closing ceremonies was as inspiring as it was annoying, but at least we escaped “Hey, Jude.” How much happiness can one housebound viewer endure? I was struck that the human being is the only consciously, chemically enhanced animal in the history of evolution. I know the koala eats only eucalyptus leaves, but it doesn't know why. The closest I've come to absolute truth was as an athlete, you know, totally spent, leaving it all on the field, giving my best effort, all for the glory of me and my team, not to mention my school and I especially want to thank my mother. Some top-tier athletes are chemically enhanced and they are beating the testing system, you can believe that. And some others relax by kicking back and smoking plant products that are not eucalyptus, like LSU's Honey Badger, for instance. I don't care about any of it; my concern is that high school athletes resource all their talents, both athletic and academic, in an absolutely honest way.

Little Big Man - Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won three gold medals, all in his charismatic, flashy style, and succeeded in getting on the nerves of half the planet. I like the guy because he talks to little people. In the tunnel before a race or on the track messing with the man behind his blocks, Bolt seeks out those individuals because as much as he brags, calling himself a legend, he doesn't play his life like that at all. I find him to be a good dude; I wish more “superstars” would stop and chat up a custodian or some kid in the stands.

Finally fall arrives - Practice begins Wednesday, Aug. 15 for all scholastic fall sports. In case you are a parent with no job and want to attend, here is the practice schedule for Cape Henlopen: field hockey from 7 to 10 a.m on the cleverly-named-by-me Turf Field Two (push for Ivins Stadium); boys' soccer from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Legends Stadium; football team from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., starting at Legends Stadium; volleyball - we're talking real volleyball, not the beach version - from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the gym; cross country from 6 to 8 p.m on the track.

"Don't ax me" - It was like 1972. I was a line coach at the Mitchell School in Haverford, Pa. The head coach, John Scott, had a rule that every lineman had to break 6:30 in the mile while wearing equipment. One hot day during week one of practice, Carmen Carlino, a svelte 5-foot-11, 265-pound student from the boot of Italy, was trudging the cinder track in high tops at an 11-minute pace. It was outright persecution, there was just no way. Suddenly a nearby tree started to rattle and either a giant mockingbird had learned to speak Italian or Nick Carlino, Carmen's dad, was on campus. Nick was chopping down a small tree with an ax screaming in Italian but I did recognize the English “I kill someone.” Carmen was given a waiver of the rule; see, was that so hard?

Snippets - Georgetown Little League will host Sunday fall ball from Sept. 9 through Oct. 28.  Boys age 6 to 12 can sign up from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug.15, and Wednesday Aug. 29, at First State Chevrolet in Georgetown. Registration is $10, which is also deductible off the price of a new car.

Craig Sager, 61, known as America's sideline reporter who once played Willie the Wildcat while a student at Northwestern, interviewed LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant after the gold medal game. His questions were grating and stupid, but the athletes finessed him quite well. I would have asked, “Was that pretty special having Michelle Obama at a few games? So you guys are in the top one percent of income earned. Does that mean you'll vote for Romney because of lower taxes on the rich? Can you tell us who you will vote for? Will you use your celebrity to bring voters to your candidate? Will you make speeches?" Americans don't want their athletics and politics mixed up and more will watch the MBC on TNT than "Meet the Press" on NBC. We are a strange nation for sure. Go on now, git!

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