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Beware of Bad News Bichons, Ludicrous Labs and Clamp Down Corgis

March 20, 2018

Happy trails - Cindi Dieterle walked into the blue chair orbit after a five-mile walk on the Junction & Breakwater Trail with her dog Max last Sunday. She said, “Hello, Fredman,” before fielding all my Petey Dog nostalgic Little Rascal flashbacks. Cindi is 32 and a registered nurse working in emergency medicine. She started walking/running three years ago, adjusted her diet and has dropped 80 pounds. Her dad, Bob Dieterle, was the girl’s soccer coach at Archbishop Spalding until 2012, where he amassed a record of 172-24-21. Twice his teams were ranked No. 1 in the country. Bob coached at Cape a couple years, but he is a tax accountant and gets kind of busy in the early spring.

International fencing - There was my second giant leprechaun sighting in less than a week – I’m just lucky, I guess. Last week at a 5K race in Milton, it was 6-foot-8 Mike Donovan. This past Saturday, it was 6-foot-6 Gary Cannon. He was wearing a green hat at Champions Stadium. Gary is a tall drink of club soda with a twist of lemon, hold the ice – he’s not on the rocks. “Mike Donovan sometimes works behind my bar and people say, ‘Hey, Gary, your brother is here,’” Cannon said. Gary was wearing a green St. Paddy’s hat, standing with his wife Ava and Japanese one-week-only exchange student Anna Kolzumi. Anna watched her first lacrosse game and smiled, saying she basically understood what she saw. I wished her well, telling Anna I was a bit of an internationalist myself and was going to put my camera in my Toyota for awhile. 

Good dogs and bad actors - I think the retriever is the recognized mascot of lacrosse, but after UMBC upset Virginia in basketball, maybe more retrievers will be seen at summer AAU tournaments. I see lots of pit bull pets in my travels covering running races. The owners always say he or she is so friendly and that they are just the greatest dogs. It’s just too bad the thug lifers choose that breed to destroy through deprivation and bad treatment before teaching them to fight. The breed is recovering, a puppy at a time. Too bad there wasn’t a Bad News Bichons kennel – or Ludicrous Labs, perhaps Clamp Down Corgis. Time to give the pit bulls a break. 

Psychoanalysis - The NCAA men’s basketball tournament has been insane. The game has devolved into a track meet with a basketball thrown into the middle of it. The strongest, most disciplined team to stop the madness was Virginia, and they had no answer when whack hit the track. The renowned Gonzo journalist, the late Hunter Thompson, owns the quote that best explains mystifying moments, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” I see no need to pay college basketball coaches millions of dollars a year. When it gets weird, they are as worthless as the next person. If some offbeat team wins the tournament, it will change the trajectory of the game, and we’ll all have to spend time at the replay monitor figuring out where it’s going.  

Snippets - I read there’s now a Players Journal where athletes tell their own stories to a ghost writer and then reserve the right for the final edit. The goal is to eliminate sportswriters from the process. The athlete behind the project is Derek Jeter, never a favorite of the New York sports media. I understand that, because he’s bland and never actually says anything. None of it matters much to an old war-horse like me. I ran my races, told my stories and had great fun doing it. Do you remember when you were stupid and realized you were an adult and it wasn’t that long ago? I once tried to organize a 400-meter freestyle relay in an outdoor pool during a lightning storm. I believe it was on a fry-day. Thirty years ago, I covered a pro tennis tournament at Plantations won by Jeff Tarango. I called him “The Tarango Kid.” Tarango, a Stanford drop-out-to-join-the-tour guy, was one of the top 10 doubles players in the world. The Tarango Kid defaulted at the 1995 Wimbledon tournament after arguing with the French judge sitting in the high chair, then blasted an obscenity the entire tea-and-crumpet crowd could hear. Tarango was leaving the court, but his wife made her way to the chair and beckoned the umpire to lean closer, then slapped him across the face two times. Now retired, the Tarangos have five children. There’s a sign above the kitchen spice rack that says, “Don’t mess with Mom!” Go on now, git!