Football guys older than Gatorade and before Rubbermaid

August 28, 2012

Post Gator guys - Vaughn Trammell and Gilbert Maull sat on the Cape Gator after Cape’s Saturday football scrimmage versus Stephen Decatur and talked old school football.  I was there as well, having coached both those young men when they were in high school. “They didn’t have Gatorade and all that mess when we played,” Vaughn told young lineman Mike Miller. Gilbert Maull added, "And if we got watermelon after a scrimmage it had seeds, and we had to punch a hole in it; no boosters club was cutting our watermelons. “Mike Miller looked at me and asked, “They old, ain’t they, Fredman?” I didn’t bother telling Mike that I played before plastic and Rubbermaid coolers.

Side effects - Eddie Murphy had the line during the OJ trial, “That brother is so guilty Stevie Wonder can see it.” I have professional friends I respect who think Lance Armstrong was railroaded and conspired against and was the target of a long witch hunt motivated by jealousy. I believe the brother is so guilty Ronnie Milsap can see it. Athletes who use drugs and doping to gain an edge are sending a message to high school athletes and really every metal head and obsessive endurance adult athlete as well. The message is “This stuff really works and I still look good and don’t bring up Barry Bond’s head - I mean, is that all you got?”

To every season, turn turn - Philly sports fans turned on Donovan McNabb, Alan Iverson, Richie Allen and Charles Barkley and are now doing the slow turn on Jimmy Rollins. Yes, all these top-tier professional sports icons are black, but there’s no racial component at play here, so says the older white sportswriter. Rollins' narration of a 12-minute documentary on the Ugandan Little League team was top-flight professional, and when J-Roll went to Uganda to help these kids, I don’t remember anything being made of it. Rollins gets bashed when he doesn’t run out a ground ball or when he speaks bluntly,  as he did two years ago when he said “Philly fans are frontrunners” - which they are; they go Pacman on their own team when they fall behind in big games. Eagles fans are the worst. Fans adopted and forgave Vick; now many want him and his flag football skills on the bench. Say it ain’t so, but you would be wrong. Ryan Howard is next - a great solid young man, but the “Big Piece” has already become an adjective and not a noun. The good news is Philly fans are also equal opportunity haters - just ask Scott Rolen, Jason Werth, Mike Mamula and JD Drew, along with new scapegoats Ruben Amaro and Juan Castillo.

Giddy Giddy Bang Bang - Hard to find a stadium filled with happy home fans, but the 83 unpaid customers at the Cape scrimmage Aug. 25 all seemed impressed with what they saw from the football team versus Stephen Decatur. Comments like, “We’re going to states, and we’re going to finish on top,” are a bit over the top, but the better news is lots of players stood out at different times. “We’ll see what happens when we go down to Delmar to scrimmage on Thursday [Aug. 30] night, ” coach Bill Collick said. “They are the real deal, so that will be a good test for us.”

Snippets - A great game, Boston University at Delaware field hockey Aug. 24, was won by the Terriers 4-3 in overtime at UD but only 222 fans showed up. Lloydlee Heite pointed out to me, “The Beacon versus Mariner game played at Cape last fall had three times more people than that." The Meals on Wheels (good nickname for a lineman) 35th annual Harry Derrickson golf tournament, dinner party and auction will take place Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Rehoboth Beach Yacht and Country Club. Two great auction items are a congressional gold package and a VIP Baseball Hall of Fame tour that includes knocking about the basement where all the cool stuff is. All monies raised go to Meals on Wheels, a fantastic program giving housebound people access to food and conversation. ”No really, I gotta go.  The rest of these grilled cheese sandwiches are starting to congeal.” Thirty years of columns - I’ve managed to offend a few hundred people over that span; the good news is I have no need to be liked by everyone. Grandmom Rose said, “The longer you stay around, the more people that will think you’re an idiot, and you’ll know they are not all wrong.” Years ago when the Mobjack Nationals were held at the Lewes Yacht Club I wrote, “What the heck is a Mobjack?” Capt. Rowland Marshall, extraordinary sailor and person, wouldn’t let me up for the next 20 years. “Find out what a Mobjack is yet? Guess they didn’t teach that at Temple?” And the only Lightning I knew was the slow-talking custodian on "Amos 'n' Andy." How would you like to admit to being the world champion of dinghy racing? Go on now, git!

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