Cape Region a running mecca, a happening of harriers

January 2, 2018

Road running - “Meep meep,” there’s an in-house joke at the Cape Gazette: “If there’s a running race and Fredman doesn’t show up, does it actually happen?” Runners are my crew. I do my job to capture images as ordinary people challenge themselves for good causes. I try to be as tough as the most heroic person in the race, but 20 degrees with 20-knot winds (nautical by nature) has me talking to myself (don’t do it). Old cats look for warm places on frigid days, but most windowsills are gone, and radiators and flat-top televisions are gone too, and you can hardly find a wicker hamper with warm clothes from the dryer. I’m writing this Tuesday column on Friday, so it won’t be until the following Friday before anyone knows if I showed up and these races actually happened. 

Bowl games - A lifetime of watching football bowl games and all I know is “bowl” used to mean “big deal,” from the Cotton Bowl to the Orange Bowl, ending with the “granddaddy of them all,” the Rose Bowl. Now there are more bowls than found at a midsummer multifamily yard sale. Buy a big bowl for 50 cents, fill it with water and put it on the floor, and Grandma's bowl becomes the dog’s bowl quicker than you can say, “My back hurts.” Watching a good football game is a rhythm and flow thing, you have to invest time in the beginning to see if you want to stick around. Most of these games are “dog bowls” played at neutral sites in half-filled stadiums in front of disinterested fans. Cape coaches Patrick Kilby and Billy Collick sat frozen in the Bronx (Vanilla Ice and Ice Cube) Dec. 27 to watch the Pinstripe Bowl, where Iowa beat Boston College 27-20. TCU beat Stanford 39-37 in the Alamo Bowl Dec. 28, but I didn’t remember the Alamo and forgot to watch it. 

Take my breath away - Jumping into cold water is easy, but jumping in when the air temperature is colder than a husky’s hindquarters is like jumping into liquid concrete – it will take your breath away. I found that it’s a waste of breath to give sensible medical advice to shoeless and shirtless Polar Bears – I’ve done it, after all. The good news is that most Polar Bears cheat anyway. But for the ones who dive head first and go completely under, the first observable warning sign of a medical emergency is their head goes snow globe with the eyeballs trying to pop out. Several polar plunging fundraising events from New York to New Jersey have been cancelled for New Year’s Day, but in Delaware, it’s “throw caution to the wind,” and to paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, “And The Wind Cried Hairy!”

Glitch rhyming - You know from Nike and Gatorade advertising to the hip-hop music in the background, basketball is sold as urban mystique to consumers. Most have never used a transfer to go from the bus to the subway. Uber goobers kicking it on the corners, “pick me up at Broad and Chunk.” Music played between games at The Slam, the players warming up seemed to recognize it, but I passed cool a long time ago, and I’m just trying to stay warm now. But a full-blown lyrical diddy slipped into the lineup and, trust me, the Delaware Sports Commission wasn’t about it, yo. I found it hilarious and it didn’t happen again. No one was outraged and appalled because either “we cool” or “we don’t pay attention.”  

Snippets - A new year is here and spring sports are on the clock. Just two months until March 1, and then get outside and hope for friendly conditions. High expectations as always for the Cape girls’ lacrosse team, which will be chasing its 10th straight state title. The saying goes, “The Cape lax girls don’t reload, they reconfigure.” No question they are going to be good; it’s up to the other teams in Delaware to be better. Baseball is the other team with high expectations, with three Division I pitchers in David Erickson, Zack Gelof and Austin Elliott, and plenty of talent to back them up. Boys’ lacrosse, a state finalist last spring, should also be good again, and they will be in the hunt as always. Thanks from the Fred family for all the friendship in 2017, a year tougher than all others. Go on now, git!