The Culture Club of real tailgaters let cooler heads prevail

Cape soccer player Zack Swarbrick goes airborne as Josh Willis kicks the ball. Miguel Marino moves in, hoping to win the ball and play it forward. This fast-paced practice drill had players moving all over the field. BY DAVE FREDERICK
August 27, 2013

Misters Walk Off and Walk On - Rich Cominski was a tough kid from the streets of Morrisville, Pa. I remember no one wanted to look at him in case he looked back at you and asked, “What do you think you’re looking at?" Cominski cracked a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Morrisville to the Little League World Series championship over Merchantville, N.J., in the year 1955. Cominski’s classmate was Dick Hart, a catcher who in high school set a state record in the shot put of 67 feet and was recruited to play football at Notre Dame but instead signed a baseball contract with the Milwaukee Braves. Hart left minor league baseball after four years and walked on for a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he earned a starting position at left guard in 1967 and started through 1971 until a knee injury ended his career. Dick Hart, the scariest beast of an athlete I ever saw, lived with his wife Jeanne in Morrisville and owned and operated Sweet Hart’s Ice Cream and Yogurt for 32 years. Remember at the end of the movie "Stand by Me" the writer played by Richard Dreyfuss ends the story with, “I never had friends like the ones I did when I was 12…Jesus, does anyone?”

Soccer play day - The Cape soccer team went 3-0-1 at the Kirkwood play day Aug. 24, the scorebook reading 1-0, 0-0, 3-0, 3-0. Coach Gary Montalto, who like me is a first-generation texting granddaddy, wrote, “The victories don’t mean a hill of beans but we didn’t allow a goal and I learned a lot about our young men and who can play under pressure.” Cape scrimmages Queen Anne's County at home Aug. 27, and will participate in an all-day play day at Polytech Friday, Aug. 30. I’m starting to think I need my own personally monogrammed canopy cover just for hanging out with myself between common home scrimmages.

Men to boys - Many to most men who coach football at the high school and college level seem to enjoy yelling and screaming while rocking bad grammar as an instructional tool. The game itself is like a series of car crashes, which is why when flow comes toward my position on the sidelines I’m bailing quicker than a veteran teacher at an in-service meeting. I started as a head coach too long ago not to exaggerate how good I was and I wore a blue shirt and tie and khaki pants on the sidelines until an assistant who knew me since high school said, “What the hell is wrong with you? This is football - no one respects the tie; get rid of it and the stupid clipboard and your positive perfect English. Who do you think you are, Hank Stram?” We can all talk stupid and it's fun. The question is “Can you up your game?”

Snippets - Kenny Reidel will be the first cross country coach at Mariner Middle School, and he will do a great job if enough kids come out and give it a chance. It is impossible not to like Kenny Reidel. I said the same thing about Cape softball coach Jeff Evans two years ago just before a season where some parents absolutely wore him out.

Offensive linemen mostly toil anonymously in unanimity, just don’t try explaining that to them. During Cape’s early season scrimmages the O-line has been doing a great job but there is no numbered roster yet and even though I’m a member of the Linemen for Life tribe I’m following the football like everyone else. I promise to elevate the offensive linemen to celebrity status once the season begins.

University of Delaware football players will walk down Stadium Drive along with the marching band and cheerleaders this Thursday at 5 p.m. two hours before the season-opening game versus Jacksonville. New Tradition seems like a contradiction in terms but that walk will take place before every home game. A direct quote from the Sports Information Office:  “Also new this year, Delaware Athletics is offering the sale of Delaware-brewed beers, Dogfish Head and 16 Mile, at two Delaware beer gardens located in the southeast and northwest corners of Delaware Stadium. The beer gardens are open to members of the Delaware Diamonds Society, UDAF contributors, and to premium box seat holders. Eligible patrons will be provided with a voucher to gain access to the beer gardens. Box holder guests (non-UDAF/DDS donors) will use their ticket stub for access.” Back at the Chowder Mitchell and Nut Marvel tailgate, let cooler heads prevail. Go on now, git!

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