I’m a pillar of the community with an obstructed view of the field

Tommy McDonald, sporting his Hall of Fame jacket, mugs for a photo with Dan Cook prior to the Eagles game versus Dallas.
November 13, 2012

Obstructed view - I lucked into an end row partially obstructed-view seat in the Eagles press box for Sunday’s Dallas game. I’d rather pal around with a weight-bearing pillar than some bald, soft-pretzel-chomping, opinionated freeloading sportswriter with three neck rolls. I joked to the attendant, “I feel right at home like I’m at Connie Mack Stadium.” He was quick to retort “I wouldn’t know anything about that!” That is the modern attitude toward all history, ”I wasn’t there; it doesn’t matter.”

Connections - I walked off the football field after the Cape win over Smyrna last Friday night arm in arm with coach Jay Maull, one of my athletes from 35 years ago. Jay was the starting quarterback on the first Cape team to reach the state final in 1978 when the Vikings lost to Saint Mark’s. Besides Jay, members of the Maull clan to play quarterback for Cape included Gilbert, Lonnie, J.D., Kai and Obbie. Saint Georges Tech beat Polytech Saturday to end the regular season 10-0. The Hawks are coached by former Cape student/athlete J.D. Maull. Assistant coaches on the Hawks’ staff include Cape grads Kai Maull and Ronnie Burton. Cape has never had an undefeated football season.

Hockey dads - Years ago I busted on hockey dads who hovered along the Cape sidelines cackling at officials and encouraging their daughters to play harder. I just wondered how they knew so much about a game they never played and how they didn’t understand that yelling at women with sticks is never a good idea. I do think girls are mostly motivated by the emotions inside the actual game and don’t respond well to any yelling for or against them.

Downgraded to doubtful - I’m not sure if I would rather be downgraded to doubtful or upgraded to questionable. They would both make great T-shirt slogans. The NFL has all these designations so the gamblers know how to hedge their bets. During the Eagles-Dallas game, the announcement came to the press box that Michael Vick got poked in the eye and was being evaluated for a concussion and his was return was unlikely, later changed to Vick is out.

A Man In Full - Thomas Wolfe wrote the book about a successful man in the retirement phase of his life who looks around to find all key positions in his life have been filled by replacement players who look like they’re 12 years old. I was at the end of a one-way-out row in the Philly press box Sunday, the last disconnected man in full sports guy. The seven Skippys to my left all knew each other and were all wearing suits and real wrist watches, not chronographs or GPS devices, but expensive watches. I don’t own a watch or a suit. I asked the young man next to me, “What's with the suits?” He said, "We work for the Eagles' front office.” Later Dan Cook sent me a cellphone photo showing him with legendary Hall of Fame wide receiver Tommy McDonald. I nudged Mr. two bottles of Dasani water sitting next to me. "If you can tell me the name of that legendary Eagle and what number he wore I’ll put in a word for you, to separate yourself from the front office brat pack.” There was no clue, and then I rocked on about Tommy McDonald who wore No. 25 same as Shady McCoy, but I felt like the guy who knew too much and wouldn’t shut up about it.

Snippets - Cape field hockey plays Tower Hill at Milford at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament. The two powerhouses haven’t met on the field since the 2000 state final.

Sussex Tech will play Delmar at Cape in a 4:30 matchup. The other quarterfinal games are Caravel versus Wilmington Friends and Polytech versus Wilmington Christian.

Mary Washington (who was she?) advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III field hockey tournament with a 3-2 win over Lynchburg. The Eagles (not Philly) will play Montclaire State at 2 p.m., Saturday in Geneva, N.Y. We care because home girl Jenna Steele plays for Mary Washington.

Robin Adair and Donna Peck, former Cape players, were on the 1982 Salisbury national championship team.

A sportswriter’s pregame Sunday snack: a rubbery square of lasagna and a side bowl of buttered popcorn chased with a Diet Coke.

Go on now, git!

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