Def Leopard lurks in my garage; if I’m lion I’m dyin’

Eric Gooch: Spike Lee of Oakridge
Eric Gooch, former all-state shooting guard at Cape, painted this leopard in 1980, his senior year in high school. BY DAVE FREDERICK
December 31, 2013

Poly saturated - I’m a sportswriter since like forever, so why was I watching a bowling tournament on television at 2 p.m on a rainy Sunday afternoon instead of the Red Zone channel? After all, it was week 17 of the regular season with so many “crucial contests” with so many “huge” plays that would affect the psyche of entire cities on Monday morning. Because I was in a visiting room with no remote control, the channel glued in place by staff, who don’t actually watch bowling, they just like the comforting sound of a ball rumbling down the alley like LeGarrette Blount, knocking over pins like Division III linebackers. Football is filled with so much unpredictable stupid stuff that “life coaches" can take off the headphones and stop pointing to heaven because maybe God is watching bowling as well.

Loser rich boy - Dallas owner Jerry Jones continues to get slapped in the face with dramatic losses, and you can’t help but think, “That’s a good thing,” because who doesn’t enjoy seeing an unhappy millionaire on television? Throw in Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, “The Danny,” who likes to pick on little people inside the organization. Monday was a good day for fans who have $11  in their savings account.

Comical commentary - Why do colleges even have schools of journalism, because there is no room for smart, grammatically correct talent on the airways, and no one reads anything beyond Twitter slang and Facebook laments. I listened to Ravens radio for a bit, and the commentator said, “They know Flacco’s audible calls, so he should call them but do something else; let him play the possum.” I thought, “Man, that is a lot for a possum to do. I thought they just rolled over and played dead like a Bears defensive back or Kansas City kicker.”

Power pappy - On Saturday I was “Big Lens Loser Boy,” capturing the semifinals of the Battle at the Beach wrestling tournament that began at the ungodly grappling hour of 8:30 a.m., then I headed down Route 26 to Bethany Beach for the high noon Surfin' Snowman 5-Miler. So there I was in the shadow of the totem pole on Garfield Parkway sitting in my 4Runner with 30 minutes to “kill like a cream doughnut” so I did the chin-to-chest old guy power nap to re-energize like a lithium battery left in the sun. I love watching athletes do stuff, and my only inspiration is to take more photos. I don’t want to run a 5-miler or wrestle unlimited provided I could make weight.

Def Leopard - I returned late at night from Salisbury Dec. 26 after watching Cape upset Edmondson-Westside, closed the garage door and saw a 33-year-old leopard starring back at me, and if I’m lion, I’m dyin'.  “What’s Eric Gooch’s lion doing in my garage?” I asked Susan, who clarified, "It’s a leopard; it has spots; for 33 years you have called it a lion, but I’m pretty sure it’s a leopard.” Eric is artist in residence in Oakridge development. He is the Spike Lee of Sussex County. His end-of-season slide shows for field hockey sometimes present the central figure in color with everyone else in black and white, while my photos are likely to have big-headed people along the fence in focus with actual players blurred. Thanks, Eric, now the cat is afraid to go into the front room.

Snippets - The key component to any fitness program is diet; beyond that you can do any dumb thing you want. Tuesday, Dec. 31 is the 11th Annual Race into the New Year 5K, which starts in Rehoboth in front of the Rehoboth Beach Running Company, where the marathon finished. The Bethany Beach Hair of the Dog 10K at  9:30 a.m. and 5K at 10 a.m are New Year’s Day starting on Garfield Parkway. There is an Eskimo Plunge into the ocean at noon. The Lewes Polar Bears - too cool to fundraise - will plunge at 1 p.m. at Cape Henlopen State Park in front of the bathhouse. All the bikers are part of the Harley Club that rides to the beach from Seaford, weather permitting. New Year's Day afternoon is for bowl games and porkers eating sauerkraut. Cape needs to go to referendum for a swimming pool and don’t argue, “With all this water around here, why do we need a pool?”

Go on now, git!