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Ethan Joseph, a Sallies sophomore on attack, sits with his dad Robbie Joseph, former Cape cross country and track athlete and Fredman neighbor. BY DAVE FREDERICK
May 16, 2014

Hold this brick - My former neighbor, student-athlete at Cape and friend Robbie Joseph found me in the stands at Baynard Stadium May 12. Robbie’s son Ethan is a Sallies sophomore lacrosse player, a 6-foot-3-inch attack player who swings between junior varsity and varsity. I remember before Second Street in Lewes got too cool for subprimates, the Fred family with dogs and cats and marauding towheads on bikes kept everyone light on their feet. One afternoon, Robbie tried to get out of the path of a wet sprocket attack, catching a twin on a BMX who was heading between the wickets of his legs. Robbie came to my front stoop steps and we sat down. He was holding his wrist, saying, “I think he broke my arm.”  I picked up a sidewalk brick and said, “Here, hold this.” “No, I can’t, why should I do that?" “Because if you can hold it, your wrist isn’t broken. Saves the cost of an x-ray.” Rob’s mom Nancy took him to the hospital. He came back to Second Street with a cast for his broken wrist. Accidents happen and all was forgiven except his mom Nancy asked me, “Did you really ask Robbie to hold a brick?” "No," I said, "he was delirious. Is that what he told you?”  Rob retired from the New Castle County Police Department and now works for the Department of Justice.

Don’t care, just don’t know - I really don’t care where all the athletes who populate the athletic rosters of Salesianum High School come from, but I am slightly curious. Given the stellar reputation for academics and athletics and location by I-95 and Route 202 just south of Route 1 in Pennsylvania and affordable tuition of $13K a year, the school doesn’t have to recruit athletes. They will find their way there because parents with enough disposable income to place cash in the second collection basket know they can’t go wrong sending a son to Salesianum. Speculation among sports journalists is about 30 percent of Sallies athletes are from out of state, but to ask the question is kind of rude, like asking a person, “How much do you make?"

Gays come a long way, or not? - In 1984, British gold medal decathlete Daley Thompson, a person of color, jogged to his victory and unveiled a T-shirt that read, “Is the world’s second-greatest athlete gay?” The quote was directed at 6-foot-7-inch German Jurgen Hingsen, who had a voice kind of like Mike Tyson's. The media ran and asked Carl Lewis what he thought about the shirt, and Lewis said, ”Why are you asking me?” British distance runner Sebastian Coe was asked by American journalists at a post-race press conference, “What do you think of Mr. Thompson’s T-shirt?" Coe answered in jest, “I only hope he’s not referring to me.” In 2014, many Americans are more repressed and distressed than people were 30 years ago. Who cares if the Rams drafted an openly gay linebacker? Thompson recently referred to his time period as an athlete as “pre-morality."

Thanks, but no tanks - A tank will roll over you; it is strong and rugged, built for battle. The other tank holds a liquid; it is dank and dark and a refuge for some athletes who don’t like the bright lights of big moments. Say it ain’t so, but you would be wrong. I’d like to see one sideline reporter ask a coach, “Who stepped up for this game and who tanked?" And if you ask any adult former athlete, they will have no memory of ever tanking; they'll swear they met every challenge with their best effort. “Times I Have Tanked” sounds like a good book title.

Snippets - The NCAA men’s lacrosse quarterfinals will be played Sunday, May 18, at the University of Delaware. Duke will play Johns Hopkins at 12:04 followed by Denver taking on Drexel at 2:34 p.m. Both games will be televised on ESPNU. Hofstra is the site of the other two quarterfinal games as Albany plays Notre Dame and Maryland takes on Bryant. The NCAA championships will be played May 24-29 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md. Grown men will be walking about the Inner Harbor twirling their college lacrosse sticks - it’s just part of the culture.

The DIAA state championships of track and field take place at Caesar Rodney High School Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17. If you have a handicapped placard, you will still need to walk a half mile no matter how much your feet hurt. Go on now, git!