No pain, no gain or no pain, no brain

Endurance workouts pushing the unlicked envelope
Umpires sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and one is from Canada. "Oh say can you see, ey?" BY DAVE FREDERICK
August 9, 2013

Can you do it? -  I am taking a deep breath, doing a little downward dog, possibly kicking it with a lion and trying to keep my mouth shut, but it’s not working. I see people doing all kinds of crazy endurance things that any orthopedist or chiropractor would tell you is just asking for a misalignment or rupture injury. You want to be a Navy Seal or Special Ops person, then parachute into Fishtown, Philly at 3 a.m. and simply ask the creatures of the night, "Yo! What’s shaking all up in here?" Seriously, I know the people doing it are immensely satisfied and tickled too, and there is no greater high than feeling totally bad and rad and no, I couldn’t survive those workouts. I can't even pick a spent pistachio nut off the Iranian carpet. I can’t do trigonometry either, but if I work on it for 12 hours it doesn’t make me a mathematician. I think a Saturday symposium hosted by this sportswriter on fitness strategies that would resource surgeons, physical therapists, nutritionists, black market steroid distributors, local trainers and supplement retailers would be a great idea. But probably cause more controversy than a Bible class.

Culture Clubbing - A softball World Series in Roxana, Delaware is a cultural experience not soon forgotten. Sussex County is a memorable place, rich in language, accents and personalities. And the people are just plain nice and friendly, not trying to impress nobody; they want you to have a good time while the local girls beat up on your state or continent. Last Tuesday the CD player in the announcer's box was on the "unable to perform" list - been on it myself - prior to the Big League game between Delaware and USA Central. The four umpires grabbed a live microphone and sang the anthem in four-part harmony, and they were really good. Afterward, a big old local boy said to a young ump, “That wasn’t half bad.” The umpire said “Not bad for a Canadian, ey?” The announcer then said, “The hell with the game, let’s go somewhere and sing.” The teams took the field. Neal Diamond came through the speakers with ”Sweet Caroline.” The announcer sang along, cut off the music but kept singing, and the crowd got behind him: “Good times never seemed so good.”

Umpire interviewer - I pulled off another in-game umpire interview last Tuesday in Roxana when I called over the Canadian guy just to tell him how great I thought it was that he was singing the American national anthem. His name is Jason Braidford from Windsor, Ontario, a super nice young man. Then his mom came down to talk to me and told me Jason has been umpiring for 20 years. I told her "He doesn’t look old enough,” to which she answered, “He started when he was 10.” I told her to get out of town but make sure to come back next year.

"A Little Traveling Music" - Sussex County District 3 senior and big league softball teams are on the verge of two World Series titles. Yes, everyone has played travel for the last eight years. So how come the University of Delaware 2014 preseason softball roster has no Delaware girls but seven players from California? Kind of ironic that Delaware’s travel elite can’t get recruited inside their own state. Delaware was ranked 115th in the nation last season.

Snippets - Now is the time for the true fans of the Phillies and Nationals to rise up and think positive thoughts about the future. They play a weekend series against each other, and the good news is someone has to win.

This is the weekend of the National Lifeguard Competition held in Manhattan Beach, Calif. There is a Sussex County chapter in the competition, but it's not a blended all-star, more like local patrols competing under the Sussex County banner. Go to to track the events.

Jules Woodall, 66, talked to Jerry McNesby, 60, last Sunday morning before running the Outlet Liquors 5K to say he was expecting a grandchild that morning. “How many does this make? ”Jerry asked and Jules replied, “Ninety-three.” “No, I mean grandchildren, not races.” “Oh, it will make two.” Dylan Woodall was born while “Poppa Ju Ju ” was winning his age group in 25:34. Jules screamed as he drove out of Dewey, “Ninety-three, baby!" Go on now, git!

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