Captured in cartoonish caricature by Roberto Marin-Landa
Likes and dislikes - The Orioles’ home game on Saturday was an 8-3 loss to the Yankees followed by a Sunday 9-3 Orioles win. Both games were nationally broadcast, Saturday by the Fox network, which knocked the game off MASN, which is owned by the Orioles and Nationals, and Sunday by ESPN. Facebook traffic Saturday night showed overwhelming disappointment from Orioles fans who thought the Fox team in the booth should just shut up. I commented that listening to an outside perspective was a good thing, and I got housed by the hometown fans. Meanwhile on Sunday in the Phillies’ booth, broadcasters Tom McCarthy and Ruben Amaro Jr. spotted mascot Captain Crunch in the Pirates Park Stadium and went on a riff about their favorite cereals. Susan asked me, “Are these guys always this bad?” And I said, “I don’t know, I usually have the sound turned down.”
The Jokester - I had carpal tunnel surgery (left wrist tendon snipped) Wednesday afternoon at the Lewes Surgical Center. Dr. Scott Schulze is the man, and I have to hand it to him. The nurse anesthetist introduced herself before injecting knockout drops into my IV port, dropping me like Sonny Liston in the 1965 Cassius Clay fight. Before I went away to fight later the same day, I asked her if she fell asleep in class, which is why she chose a career watching others drool in school. Last thing I remember was being wheeled into an operating room that looked like a Tom Best Hardware storage closet from the 1970s. I think I saw a Craftsman screwdriver set and a DeWalt cordless auger. By Saturday morning, I was in Dewey taking a thousand race photos. In 2023, many of us are kept functioning and running at some diminished level of proficiency by the connected and integrated medical staff here at Sesame Street by the Sea.
Sports culture - (Fredman-Teacher Man) Oct. 7, 2001, I stood in the pressbox at the Baltimore Ravens versus the Tennessee Titans game listening to the national anthem followed by live footage from Afghanistan on the Jumbotron showing American planes on bombing sorties. That coordination of videos showed in stadiums across the NFL. I said to the writer next to me, “You can never understand American culture without factoring sports into the story.” Sports and athletes on college campuses and professional leagues are sleeping giants ready to awaken (woke joke) to effect social change. Activism will awaken first in the South, where football is a religion and most of the players are Black. Issues like stifling Black Studies curricula in Florida and gerrymandering voting districts in Texas will eventually elicit a strong reaction from players who may wonder, "Just who and what are we playing for?” Keep an eye on the SEC and Big 12 in particular. Also, there are 41 Russian-born players in the National Hockey League. The entire Ukraine beatdown just bothers a broad cross section of people in America and around the world. Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan in a USA Today interview said, “Russian players are trying to balance out how they live their lives with what their political opinions are and the repercussions that can happen back at home.” This is a sports column. I was an activist and athlete in the ‘60s and am now in my 70s, and maybe I wasn't born by the river in a little tent, but I just sense, “A change is gonna come.”
Big water - I was an ocean lifeguard, which doesn’t make me an oceanographer, but I did learn respect for strong tides and currents, both littoral and rips, and I can tell you the ocean gets stronger and angrier in August, coinciding with lots of lifeguards going back to college or to their real jobs like teacher/coach types. The USLA National Lifeguard Championships are set for Aug. 9-12 in Virginia Beach. Delaware beach teams compete under the Sussex County banner, and last year at Hermosa Beach, Calif., they finished third behind LA County and California State Lifeguard Association. “A” teams have 201+ lifeguards; the competitive teams will get after it in Virginia Beach while the remaining guards will cover down until they get back.
Snippets - Lucas Ruppert, 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, is a sophomore offensive lineman at Hobart majoring in architectural studies. His Hobart bio in addition to football stuff reads, “... also competed in wrestling for the Vikings.” Also? Like the 285-pound 2022 Delaware state champ! Roberto Marin-Landa, who works at Jeremiah’s Place in Dewey, sneaked a photo of me on his iPad, then captured me in cartoonish caricature. I always joked that rather than updating a column photo to show aging, I’ll just become an eternal muppet for all seasons. Go on now, git!