Pope appears at Copacabana Beach; World Cup coming next!

July 30, 2013

Gold Cup Championship - Wearing a purple Under Armour shirt, this Telletubby from the psychedelic generation wallowed in a dark room and watched the entire United States 1-0 Gold Cup win over powerhouse Panama. The best part of the game was the electric Gus Johnson doing play-by-play. He can even say "nicely done” and make it sound exciting. The Gold Cup crowns the champion of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. There are friendlies and qualifiers still to come; the U.S. team will drop and add players, but in just 317 days the World Cup will be played in Brazil, providing Pope Francis and his 3 million Catholic friends clear Copacabana Beach by then. The No. 1 economic industry in Brazil is tourism. That fuels the No. 2 source of foreign dollars, kidnapping tourists for ransom.

Mr. Field Hockey - Time for Big Loser Boy  sports reporter to cast his lacrosse hat into the air like a prison boot camp graduate and put on my field hockey hat, y'all ready for that? Practice for college Division I begins Tuesday, Aug. 13. Local athletes soon to report to camp include Caroline Judge and Kaci Coveleski, Northeastern; Rebecca Pepper and Jacki Coveleski, Delaware; Erin Ricker, Lehigh; Izzie Delario, UMass; Maxine Fluharty, Maryland; Nickki Parsley, Northwestern; Devon Price, Wesley; Taylor Trimmer, Vermont; Jenna Steele, Mary Washington; and Alexa Hendrickson, Christopher Newport. Mr. Field Hockey is not omniscient; not only that, I don’t know everything, so if someone else local is a college field hockey player, give me a shout.

Dr. Sommers - Twenty years ago when the Cape Gazette lifted off, my first sports story was on Mike Sommers. Mike was chief of Emergency at Beebe at the time. What I remember most is he was training for an Ironman Triathlon and he carried in his back pocket some rich NFL history. Mike was a running back on the colorful 1959 Baltimore Colts team that included Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Alan Ameche, Gino Marchetti, Raymond Berry, Art Donovan and Johnny Sample. Mike will be 80 this Oct. 9 but he’s not ready for no red hat or a helmet for that matter. Mike also played with the Redskins, Cowboys and Raiders. Last Sunday I snapped a photo of Mike rolling past the start of the J.J. 5K; I recognized him instantly; he looked right at me and my overcompensation camera but there was no hint of recognition. I think that was a bad sign for me.

Snippets - World Series softball begins in Roxana Sunday, Aug. 4. This year a Big League tournament will run parallel with the Senior League tournament. Tiara Duffy and Alexis Berger from Cape will be on the District 3 Delaware entrant; the team gets an automatic bid for hosting the tournament.

Jessica Folke Pizzaia played soccer and ran cross country for Cape. Jessica is always the winner of “best smile” after a long hot run with biting mosquitoes contest.

“Big T” Tiara Duffy is an all-state field hockey and softball player entering her senior year at Cape and ranked third in her class. She wants to play softball in college. Tiara has not committed to college yet, but it's time to get that train moving.

Blues guitarist and songwriter J.J. Cale died last week at age 74. “They Call Me the Breeze” is his song; so is "After Midnight.” The man was straight up cool. I’ve always seen musicians as athletes, especially that Delaware tuba line, always better than the game.

The Phillies are absolutely painful to watch, and when rookie Steve Susdorf dropped a fly ball in left field with the bases loaded in a 3-3 game I turned to the Orioles, who had served up four hits and a home run to angry man David Ortiz while losing to the Red Sox. That’s why I landed on the Gold Cup soccer channel.

The NFL always gets prime players hurt the first week of training camp because in spite of OTAs and strength and conditioning coaches walking around barking and flexing into their own mirrors, they know less about conditioning than high school coaches.

Baseball is expected to suspend as many as 15 players this week for being linked to performance-enhancing drug abuse. The local landscape is littered with PED abusers - not surprisingly, you know this stuff trickles down. My fear is school-age athletes will be contaminated. Parents, pay attention! Go on now, git!

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