People In Sports

Clydesdales and airedales race for burgers and bananas

June 17, 2014

Recorder to racer - Eight-year-old Katie Kuhlman of Milton sat on the curb at the finish of the Georgetown Library 5K dutifully and diligently recording runners coming into the finish chute. By Sunday at the Fathers Day 5K in Rehoboth she was running the race and in no mood to record anything but her own time, crossing in a very respectable 26:54. Those “Crazy Eights” will surprise you all day long.

Real guys and my guys - Forget fruity wedges and bottled water after real guys like Edgar Mitchell, 46, of Essex, Md., and Jim McConnell, 57, of Federalsburg, Md,. run a 5K in 45 minutes. They will be beaconed onto burgers; otherwise what is the point in enduring the agony of exercise? I think rail-thin people make a mistake if they think everyone wants to look like them because I for one do not want to sit three wide in a chair and a half.  And while I’m sliding down the rickety railing of discontent, let me say that unless you could play on the defensive line in the NFL with your hand in the dirt, you ain’t no Clydesdale runner - more like a airedale.

Fly and cry - Easily 20 times in a 90-minute game, the exquisitely conditioned soccer athletes in a World Cup match “pitch and roll,” then wince and writhe in the ecstasy of agony, hoping to draw a yellow card, perhaps a corner or indirect kick, but at the very least a restart. And you wonder why politically incorrect Americans shout out things inside the seeming security of their family room assuming no one is wearing a wired-up microphone embedded in their cleavage? I have a solution to this silliness: The official starts a watch. If in 30 seconds the player hasn’t gotten up, he leaves the game and sits with his mother through stoppage time.

Mr. Go Glass - My sports analogy: “When the windshield starts to crack, better call Mr. Go Glass - or perhaps Mr. Grab Bar - because the wheels are off the wagon and your team is about to spin out of control and come to rest in the ditch by the side of the road.” The Miami Heat was good, then suddenly not. All their weaknesses became glaringly obvious. San Antonio disassembled them like a destructive toddler on a castle of Lego blocks.  And how about 37-year-old and going bald Manu Ginobili fending off a defender then dunking on the entire Miami team? That was the moment it was all over. LeBron James has to go to a New York team, but wouldn’t it be great if he signed with the Timberwolves?

A hot topic - Why is high school girls’ soccer in Delaware a spring sport and not played in the fall as it is in most states and in college? Some parents of  girls think it’s to protect field hockey, which except for a few schools has dropped off in quality of players anyway. Others complain that lacrosse has dropped in quality at private schools, which don’t have enough athletes to field a quality lacrosse and soccer team. Softball even gets into it because some athletes make a forced choice, softball or soccer, in high school. I have no dog in this fight, but if I had a vote I’d cast it in favor of moving it to the fall.

Snippets - I was wheelman Saturday morning traveling with my son Dave as we took Lizzie Fred and Elizabeth Lockwood to a lacrosse tournament in Bel Air, Md. Girls from Cape, Sussex Tech, Polytech, CR, Stephen Decatur, Peter and Paul, and Worcester all play on the same 2016 ESLC team. These are recruiting tournaments, and there are college coaches all over the place. The coaches can’t talk to the players or their parents, but they can email a club or high school coach with a phone number for the player to call them. Said player can then go on an unofficial visit and even verbally commit to attend that school although no financial terms can be discussed. And that’s why the NCAA needs to go away.

I was taking photos of lacrosse players at Legislative Hall inside the House and Senate chambers and finally the Governor’s Office. I was the guy without a tie. Gov. Markell asked the boys, “So is anyone planning to play in college?” Charlie Burton answered, ”Yes, Hopkins.” Markell: “Really?” Charlie: “No, not really.”  Go on now, git!