That’s good enough, because nothing compares to you
Habitrails to you - I call it running the hamster wheel to nowhere, the quest to be the best, but borrowing a song lyric from Molly Tuttle, “There comes a time to say that’s good enough.” I went to the podium at the Chase Center in Wilmington Thursday night embedded in an awesome lineup of nine as a member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2022. Also inducted were Juliet Bottorff, an NCAA 10,000-meter champion at Duke by way of Tatnall; Katelyn Falgowski, a three-time member of the U.S. Olympic field hockey team and an NCAA Division I Player of the Year when at North Carolina, where she won national championships in 2007 and 2009; and Joe Holloway, Trainer of Year in 1995 and a member of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. I was looking forward to learning the difference between a pacer and a trotter. Bob King was track coach at Howard High School and a great runner at Morgan State University, a contemporary of mine. Coach King broke my heart a few times. Khadijah Rushdan was an All-Big East player at Rutgers and five-time all-state player (she made first team as an eighth-grader) at St. Elizabeth. She was Delaware High School Player of the Year in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Bob Shillinglaw coached University of Delaware men’s lacrosse for 37 years and was head coach of Team USA in 1999. Devon Still of Howard High was an All-American defensive lineman at Penn State who was drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Bengals. Devon and his daughter Leah received the Jimmy V Award at the ESPY Awards in 2015. Gene Thompson coached Wilmington to three state titles in basketball and was named Delaware Coach of the Year in basketball (1978), tennis (1978) and track and field (1994). Folding in muppet Fredman to the list makes me ponder, “Are my teammates elevating my game or am I dragging down theirs?” The answer is a Sinead O’Connor lyric, “Nothing compares to you.”
Euro step - “Take my dog, gimme the ball!” In my days on the Philly playground, “take my dog” inferred, “The next time you go for a walk.” And certainly NBA players walk more than Barry Bonds (2,558). We’ve gotten so used to it that when a player is called for traveling in a tight game, we expect a Tim Donaghy conspiracy. But when an announcer says, “He took the Euro step,” I don’t know what that means, so I went to Google. I still don’t understand other than it’s an evasive sidestep introduced into the NBA by Manu Ginobili, who is from Argentina in South America.
Arcade games - I don’t like covering or watching games that kick in the mercy rule. I call them shooting-gallery games in lacrosse. You don’t want to get on the downside of a mismatch or go all pufferfish by padding stats on the upside of some team’s downside. Good players only get better playing with and against other good players. And good teams sometimes lose to other good teams, which is part of the learning curve.
Forgotten grandchild - I have been there with a camera catching most of Mikey’s magic moments in sports, but in his early years I couldn't get to him. I was too busy tracking his older sisters. And so, was I emotional or wistful watching him walk across the Legends Stadium turf on lacrosse Senior Night with his parents Liza and Dave? Honestly, no, and neither was he. We all move forward to the next game day, which is every day in our family. But I do get sentimental in the broader context, realizing the journey with teammates is over and there is nothing that ever compares to playing high school sports with your hometown buddies.
Nuclear family proliferation - Yes, my nephew Mike is Cape’s new football coach, and last Thursday I went and took action photos of the Sussex Academy at Milford Middle School boys’ lacrosse game because grandson Will, a seventh-grader on the Milford team, asked me to come. And my son Jack is one of the Milford coaches. And it goes on and on, unraveling like a blooming onion in many of the games I cover. Daughter-in-law Liza wrote to me in a 2019 birthday card, “How lucky my children have been to have their grandfather involved and interested their whole lives.”
Snippets - I photographed the Caravel at Cape boys’ lacrosse game Monday night while eating a Dairy Queen Blizzard with a plastic spoon. Maren Buckaloo delivered a bag to the sidelines and said, “This is from Lulu.” There were Chick-fil-A sandwiches and fruit cups and a Blizzard. My photos were terrible, but the game was 19-0 at halftime, so who cares? Go on now, git!