Hand jive and hambone are flip sides of creative expression

January 27, 2023

Crazy Hand Jive - I know a cat named “Way Out Willie” who did the crazy hand jive. The hand jive is different from the hambone, where you slap the body – chest to thigh – and make up lyrics, like Peter Cox did on the Cape track bus in 1983. “Coach Fred went to the store and forgot the bread; that's why they call him Cabbage Head.” I have severe acute carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists that will require surgery, but I am the Cal Ripken of columnists and cannot be shut down; like the Yellow Pages, my fingers do the walking and talking. And while waiting for my name to be called at First State Orthopedics to see Dr. Scott Schulze, whose son D.J. is a Cape sophomore lineman and close friends with my great-nephew Bodie Frederick, I assess the clientele in the waiting room. There are the expected walking boots and knee braces, and more stiff gaits than in Dracula’s Castle. Then I see the theme, which could be the title of a country music album, “Flip-flops and Skechers.” I was laying down tracks in my head, “Pugnacious Pickleballers,” “Skimming in Wet Sand,” “Tripping Bichons,” “Hurled by a Throw Rug,” and the title track “Cursing at the Cat,” when my name was called. And forget the keyboarding disability or not being able to tie my own shoes, I can barely open a mayonnaise jar. 

Equivalency scholarships - College sports like lacrosse, field hockey and soccer have scholarship limitations placed on them by the NCAA. Division I is 12.6, while Division II is 10.8. Equivalency means that schools can divide up that money any way they wish among rosters that average between 40 and 50 athletes. The percentage of any high school athlete making a Division I roster in any of the above listed sports is 3.5%. Percentage of making a college team at any level goes up to 15%. My take has always been, “If you can afford to chase a scholarship, you probably don’t need one.” It’s more about the financial package. It’s best to be a smart kid from a poor family and a great athlete. Football and basketball are different; those athletes play with fewer partials than a periodontist in Pot-Nets.    

Roster analysis - I was thinking how hard it is for a really good male high school soccer player to find a roster spot on a college team. I chose the University of Delaware’s 2022 men’s team for analysis. Players come from Norway, Argentina, Ghana, Spain, Iceland, Cyprus, Australia, Germany and South Korea. That investment in foreign talent  resulted in a 2022 record of 4-11-2 with attendance for home games under 400 spectators per game. The players are students from different cultures who diversify the overall student population, which enhances the university’s profile, but the emphasis on foreign players is mysterious to me. 

Don’t bite the hand - Retired football hall of famer Ed Reed ranted about his new employer Bethune-Cookman University, and his deal to become the new football coach was terminated before it was finalized. The institution almost always wins against the individual, which is valuable information and a lesson learned for noise makers in sports and business, or life in general. 

Snippets - Karissa Worley, former Cape lacrosse player, is a junior on the Delaware State lacrosse roster. Shannon Timmons has resigned as Cape softball coach and will continue to teach driver's education at the high school. Cape softball returns the entire roster from a 7-10 team that included eight freshmen and three sophomores. Brock Hilligoss, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior southpaw at Salisbury University, made the Super Regional All-Tournament Team in 2022. Brock is the grandson of former major league lefty Johnny Morris out of Lewes High School. Tucker Brown (Rehoboth Beach, Worcester Prep) is a graduate student midfielder for the St. Joseph's Hawks men’s lacrosse team. The Mariner and Beacon girls’ basketball teams are both 8-0 and will play each other at Cape Monday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. Beacon must first play at unbeaten Dover Central Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Bengals are favored over the Chiefs, while the Eagles are favored over the 49ers for Sunday’s Conference Championship games, both by paper-thin margins. The NFC Championship Game will have Kevin Burkhardt (play-by-play) with Greg Olsen (analyst). The AFC Championship game has Jim Nantz (play-by-play) with Tony Romo (analyst). The top three advertisers during the 2021 season were Amazon, Apple and Toyota. I’m a porch package guy (Amazon), own two Toyotas and have more Apples than Knapp’s orchards (throwback joke). Go on now, git!  


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