“Let the boys play” - consoling words trump a canary card

November 15, 2013

Tenor and tone - The Cape versus Appoquinimink soccer game at Smyrna Nov. 13 had an undercurrent of bad blood between two players going back to summer soccer, and everyone with a kid on the roster knew about it. The officials had to know what was up and they looked like soccer guys, young and fit-looking, like they had played and still could play. There could have been an attitude like, “We will not tolerate any talking or questionable contact,” a looking-for-trouble approach that always results in finding trouble. But the tenor and tone was more forgiving with a counseling and consoling approach, dare I say a “let the boys play” style of officiating.  The Cape fans in general didn’t like them, but that’s their job. A key player for Appoquinimink appeared to take down a Cape key player in the final minutes. A nice canary yellow gift card would have sent said key player to bench, but the official elected the stop-and-chat approach. After the game, the official passed by me and I said, ”Nice job, fellas,” but a nearby Cape parent had a different message: “You guys really suck; you’re the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Double agent - I am the sports guy in Delaware who knows the most people who don’t know him back. I’ve also been on the beat the longest, so many upstate coaches and athletic directors recognize me as someone they’ve seen before, so I get assigned an identity, which succeeds in insulting me, and the person who is not there who doesn’t want to be me or to have me mistaken for him. I had this conversation before the Sallies versus Caesar Rodney soccer game with a longtime Sallies assistant, who said, ”It would be nice if I could get a  picture of Bill and Sallies coach Jeff Mosier together.” That’s when I became convinced he thought I was Gary Emeigh of the News Journal, so I played along. It was only a day later that I realized that in fact Ray Crotty knew it was me. His son Bill is a former Sallies player and a state cop who is married to Dr. Amy Robinson, daughter of Dave and Linda Robinson. Man, going to games is more confusing then going to Food Lion.

Better get Geico - I was pulled over in Lewes near the Dairy Queen Nov. 13 driving a minivan equipped with two sleeping grandchildren. I was belted, under the speed limit and not texting but possibly scratching. I got the siren in front of construction guys playing with hydraulic toys. “Do you know why I pulled you over?” asked the young police officer. “Because I’m a pig driving a minivan?” "Taillight’s out.” Years ago in Lewes in “Lame Move of the Decade” I handed my license to a police officer and asked “Does that name mean anything to you?’ His response “No, why, should it?” “Guess not,” I said. “So much for local juice.” I do have three warnings by the legendary Lewes police officer Sam Baer that I’m saving in case "Antiques Roadshow" ever comes to town.

Call him the streak - Coach Tim Clausen of the Selbyville Middle School football juggernaut was sort of on "The Biggest Loser" program years ago but didn’t make it on TV, because although he was fat, he wasn’t a world-class porker. Tim began his weight loss and maintenance program and just hit an incredible landmark of 2,700 straight days of running at least five miles. I’ll have to check with “White Chico” Joe Barranco, who also had an incredible streak kept alive by running five miles around his basement oil burner when he was blizzard-bound but hell-bent.

Snippets - Practices for winter sports have begun. Cape basketball teams are missing two frontline players due to knee injuries, Andre Grau for the boys' team and Madi Smith for the girls' team.  I saw Madi walking the halls of Cape and she said her rehab was a month ahead of schedule; not sure what that means. High school players don’t really go after medical redshirts and elect instead to graduate with their class.

The NCAA collegiate field hockey tournament begins full force Saturday, Nov. 16.  Most college websites will steer you to live stream or at least live stats. Delaware is at North Carolina.

The Delaware high school state championship game for field hockey is 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16. Check the Gazette online to see who survived Thursday night semifinal games.

Go on now, git!

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