Goats like company, none want to be the Goat

January 4, 2022

Dos cabras - No real goat wants to be the goat. Cape runner Katie Kuhlman lives on a farm with her parents Brett and Amy, little brother Cody and 60 goats. “We’re downsizing,” Katie told me at the finish line of the Race Into The New Year 5K. A group of goats is called “a trip of goats” and you downsize by selling them to people who are “goat ready, so here I come.” “Goats get sold in pairs or more because they can’t be alone,” Katie said. “Sometimes if you also have a horse, that’s okay, but they need another animal in their world or else they have too much anxiety.” The runners started to come back, and, yes, they could go out and run alone, but what fun would that be? 

Throw in the towel - I would not conduct a post-game on-field interview with a college football player with a Gatorade towel draped over his head. I would straight up tell him, “Either me or the towel is gone, show some respect for the moment.” A saturation of bowl games led me to conclude that there’s too much showing off and not enough sportsmanship. Gatorade must love the post-game electrolyte dump on the shoulders, neck and head of the winning coach and the tray of water bottles with Gatorade logos. Every seemingly ordinary moment is orchestrated and for sale. Sneak a Powerade towel into a post-game interview and see how quickly it is snatched off the head. 

Frank Dolson - Frank Dolson was a celebrated sportswriter and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer for 41 years. He wrote his last column on May 31, 1995. He was a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and covered 14 Eagles head coaches during his career. Which brings me to the “equal access” doctrine for credentialed media covering big events. My mentor in this business Dick Dougherty, sports editor of Bucks County Courier Times, told his Eagles beat writer, “The next time you see Frank Dolson put his arm around the head coach and walk into his office and shut the door, you open it and follow them.” Dolson retired at age 63 and died from cancer in 2006 at age 73. Dolson was a humble person who at the end of his life donated $1.2 million to the Penn Relays. I think of Dolson every time I see a sports media person given access that others don’t get. The sideline hot mic reporters talk to coaches on the way in and out of locker rooms then tell us “He told me … and then he said … and he concluded,” and I’m like, “Really? Nick Saban said all that? I doubt it, but he wouldn't talk to me if the Aflac Duck was sitting on my head, so who am I?”    

Governor Mifflin Holiday Wrestling Tournament - I spent 10 hours in a mask-optional gym in Shillington, Berks County, Pa., Dec. 30, watching Cape kids compete. Susan, whom I have nicknamed the Guatemala Grandma because of her steady and relentless pace for work of the mind and body, shared the trip which she described as really fun. Marvin the Mustang is the mascot of Mifflin, which is named after the first governor of Pennsylvania, Thomas Mifflin. The hospitality and helpfulness of the people running the tournament was just so accommodating. I was told, “The room is yours, sit anywhere you want and let us know what we can do for you.” There was a Governor Mifflin Wrestling Hall of Fame induction before the finals and a parade of champions. I actually know a couple of hall of famers now. What is the chance of that happening?

Runaway inflation - I am talking about inflated grades and rankings of high school football recruits. It's a system out of control. There’s the transfer portal and redshirt seasons and a promise of millions (for a few) at the end of the process. Pockets of power change along the high school landscape. The big question: Is the kid you get a good fit? Has any reporter ever asked, “Hey, Jimmy Joe, what's your major and what do you intend to do with it when this gig is over?” 

Snippets - “The lazier I get, the lazier I get.” All college students understand that line, as teachers understand “the more days off I get, the more days off I want.” I still love “snow days,” and I’ve been retired 20 years. Nutter butter storm index is a four at Lloyd’s. Better stock up. Go on now, git!  


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