Football guys no doubt not as tough, definitely not as stupid

Herky Billings, the guru of the Wing T, takes one look into bleachers on day one of practice then goes into a deep state of meditation: "What can I run with these guys?" BY DAVE FREDERICK
August 17, 2012

Football guys - Call it “coach speak”- all I can tell you is football coaches have always been a different breed of brooders. Ever since I strapped on a leather helmet as a 1962 junior varsity player and upper classmen called me “The Gladiator,” coaches talked about “us kids” not being as tough as kids of those two-way players before the advent of the face mask and suspension helmet. I once interjected “We're not as stupid either” but that went over like a 400-pound, waterlogged canvas blocking dummy. Perhaps in football there is an evolutionary pattern that will eventually result in everyone playing soccer instead. Day one around the state and I'm hearing stories of players who made the first practice then vaporized into the ionosphere for the second. There were stories of some kids having dentist appointments and others still having to work. Add the dreaded "I ain't got no physical because my dad ain't got no job” excuse. I do know that all football coaches talk about kids not being as tough, so I'll grant that it may be true; but if so, how come girls keep getting tougher? Perhaps because they are tougher.  Just check out the waiting room of any medical specialist filled with big baby old guys and their attending wives who silently smirk every time their man asks, “Do these Dockers make me look fat?”

Seagulls and skateboarders - Skateboarders are the seagulls of the sporting world. A gull can pick off a French fry thrown from the back of a ferry boat, beating 200 other ravenous scavengers to the prize, then peel to the left and come in for another pass. They are incredibly athletic but get zero respect. Skateboarders are the same and I never understood why; perhaps it's the rumbling sound on concrete or the look of the non-traditional athletes who virtually never say ouch when they take a spill. A former student of mine, Teague Hastings, now 30, talked to me back in high school about the need for a skate park and he is still talking about it. I couldn't agree more, would love to see it happen; but when adults use words like "noise ordinance," "curfews," "language" and "liability," not to mention "funding," things just get bogged down. The new Epworth United Methodist Church on Holland Glade Road does a great job reaching out to these athletes allowing competitions to be held in the parking lot. More churches should be like Epworth and Milton Wesleyan and its motto “The Church has left the building.”

Melky Cabrera - At my last physical I asked Dr. Jeff Heckert if I could have my testosterone level checked. He smiled and asked me if I was having any problems. I told him no, other than keeping my pants up, as my butt kept getting smaller in spite of the fact I could curl a Volkswagen with my legs if I could clasp the front bumper with my heels, and anyway I wanted to be the oldest person to “go yard” at Cape's Chris Short Field. My tests were normal so I didn't qualify for the juice. So where did Melky Cabrera of the Giants get his mojo candy bars?  And while I'm at it, maybe a jar of the clear would increase my quality of life. I think a senior citizen test group is warranted to bring out the real side effects of these supplements. “They don't call me Big Mac because I like hamburgers.”

Concession coordinator - I sometimes joke, “I'd like to see someone do community service without being sentenced by a court of law.” Terry Betts Carey just elected to retire after an eight-year run as concession stand coordinator of the Milton Little League. Milton should throw her a parade, give her the keys to the town and a permanent free french fry pass good anywhere in District 3 where boiled dogs and fries are sold. Terry is now a member of the Board of District 3, which is Sussex County.

Snippets - Yes, there were some notable no-shows at Cape's first day of sports practices. Like I always say, “The head screws onto the body and that's why we all have a chance." If those with the most talent also worked the hardest, then DNA would always prevail. And one more thing: it does no good to corner an athlete who threw over a sport to concentrate on another to remind him or her of their limitations. The U21 USA National Field Hockey team will scrimmage the defending national champion Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Field Hockey Lacrosse Complex. Maxine Fluharty, a sophomore on the Maryland team, will play for Team USA in a scrimmage. Carrie Lingo, former captain of USA National Team, is a coach with the USA U21 Team.  Back when I was in high school I made a Pennsylvania all-scholastic team and I was asked, “You didn't think this had anything to do with academics, did you?” "Duh, what?” Go on now, git!

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