Does national media mess up local flavor of Sussex County?

November 2, 2012
Julie Van Duesen Savage is among 10 athletes who will be inducted into the University of Delaware Athletic Hall of Fame Nov. 2. COURTESY WWW.BLUEHENSSPORTS.COM

Let’s get wired up - Back at the beginning, I did a 10-year stint as the announcer and emcee of the World Championship Punkin Chunkin event. The good old boys liked me because my style was unpolished and unprofessional, just like them. And I have no mechanical abilities whatsoever, so mostly I only knew to call what I saw. I interviewed team members live and amplified to get technical expertise. Doc Pepper reacted after Under Pressure set a personal record. “It was a good throw, but there's this hex head bolt embedded a foot in the ground behind the machine. It either went around the world or came flying off the back. If I were me, I wouldn’t stand back there, but you can stand wherever you want.” And then every other team leader became Captain America talking about CNN and Discovery Channel as if the ZZ Top song “We’re bad, we’re nationwide“ was about them. The Legends of the Chunk, Trey Melson, Larry McClaughlin, Don Jefferson, Captain Speed, Bill Thompson, John Ellsworth, Doc Pepper, Chuck Burton the Wolfman and others were so mechanically talented and entertaining in an “I really don’t care if you like me” kind of way. But I’ve moved on, and it looks like I’ve picked the wrong millennium to quit drinking.

Snippets - The Cape at Caesar Rodney football game will be broadcast live on the internet at Anthony Joseph will do play by play, and Deacon Dave McDowell will provide colorful commentary. This is internet radio, no pictures, but clear as a bell. Football fans attending the game have a 50/50 chance of running into a Halloween parade. I once mistakenly turned early and became a part of it and won third-best float in the adult category for my Chevy with no tailgate and pig rakes and a 17-inch donut tire.

Julie Van Duesen Savage is among 10 athletes who will be inducted into the University of Delaware Athletic Hall of Fame Nov. 2. Julie goes in headfirst as the best diver ever at Delaware off the one- and three-meter springboards. She was the 2003 Delaware Female Athlete of the Year and NCAA Woman of the Year for Delaware for her academic and community service activities. Right about now, Charlie Smith and Robert Warrington of Lewes are saying, “Ain’t she that little girl who pitched against us when we lost to Canal in 12-year-old all stars?” Yep, same girl. Lewes had Michelle Manship on the mound, Jackie Warrington at third and Kim Smith at shortstop. Van Duesen, who has a degree in exercise science, became head diving coach at Penn from 2004 to 2007 and now manages an evening gown boutique in Wilmington. Yep, I’m stuck on evening gown boutique, didn’t expect the story to end there. I’ll be surfing with rock-hopping penguins in Tierra del Fuego before bouncing into an evening gown boutique.

And now, up-to-date news from the penalty corner of Mr. Field Hockey: At 10:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 2 at, you can catch live video action of Delaware field hockey versus William and Mary in the CAA tournament. The winner plays Northeastern Nov. 3, the time to be announced. This could be a rematch of the Cape girls.

More tracking: Cape player Jenna Steele and Mary Washington College hosted Saint Mary’s College Nov. 1 in the first round of the CAC conference tournament while Wesley and Devon Price played at Salisbury on the same day. The championship game will be at Salisbury Saturday, Nov. 3, if the favorites, Salisbury and Mary Washington, both win. The Cape caravan of hockey fans will be heading north and south in support of local girls.

Maxine Fluharty and the defending NCAA champion Maryland field hockey team will be playing in the ACC tournament this weekend at the University of North Carolina. You can find these games on one of the 900 Comcast channels or through any ACC member school website.

The Cape Gazette has run four Athletes of the Week for 20 straight years. I have never come up empty and not all athletes have been human, since I have used retrievers and horses (still looking for the right cat). There have been babies in ball caps, seniors past 90, drummers and dart throwers, bowlers and stock car racers, sky divers and hang gliders, and a few first responders. Anyone and everyone on the planet is eligible. I’ve had a few adult people get mad at me saying, ”I didn’t give you permission to make me an Athlete of the Week,” and what can you say except, Go on now, git!

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