Hike it, buster! Mask mandates a morass of muddled rules

December 14, 2021

Hike it, buster - A year-and-a-half ago during Pandemic 1, I was standing outside the HomeGoods store with my mask covering my mouth when a woman wearing a wife beater passed by, pointed at my head, and barked, “Hike it, buster!” Buster hiked his mask because I wanted to be a team player, but I knew from years of Catholic education and nun beatdowns that my natural instinct was to cheat. This time around, there are no barking, hike-it-buster women roaming parking lots. The fully vaccinated and boosted – my classification – are mostly not worried no matter how many times we hear, “A new variant is threatening to overrun Planet Earth.” I cover sports. Outside, no one cares. Inside is mask land mostly, except sports fans from coast to coast don’t appear to be taking it seriously. We all now know people who have succumbed to COVID-19 who were not elderly or medically compromised, and we suspect they were not vaccinated. I’m trying to stay out of the political circle on this issue. All I’m saying is mandates from masks to vaccines are like the dental implant clinic where they lack real teeth. The coronavirus is 0.1 microns in diameter. A micron is defined at a millionth of a meter. I read that on the Franklin Institute website, which reinforced what I already knew, that corona is really, really small. Best to play defense. To quote The Temptations from 50 years ago, “The world is just a ball of confusion.”  

She Got Game - The Cape girls’ basketball team defeated Calvary Christian Academy of Florida Saturday 44-41 at the She Got Game tournament at Alexandria City High School in Virginia. Cape was led in scoring and rebounds by Mehkia Applewhite and Morgan Mahoney. Coach Pat Woods reported, “In Virginia, no masks for participants and vaccinated people. In Maryland, no masks for participants. At Paul VI, no masks for participants but coaches and fans mandatory.” Coach Woods added, “If I could’ve scheduled all our games in Maryland or Virginia so kids didn’t have to wear them, I would’ve. They get hyped and more energetic for that alone. Look good, feel good – much more talkative.” Cape will host Caesar Rodney Tuesday, Dec 14. 

Beast of the East - The 2021 Beast of the East Invitational Wrestling Tournament is Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 and 19, at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark. All spectators 12 and older must be vaccinated or show a negative COVID test that was taken within 72 hours of the event. There are 14 weight classes, each with 64 wrestlers. The level of competition is insane, possibly the best tournament in the country. Wrestlers are not required to wear masks during competition.

Chesapeake League - Cape girls’ lacrosse has two teams each playing two games each Sunday in the Chesapeake Indoor High School Lacrosse League. The venue is near the Bay Bridge. It’s a seven-on-seven league. Players do not wear masks during competition. 

Snippets - A group of Cape track girls will compete in the Bishop Loughlin Games at the Ocean Breeze complex on New York’s Staten Island Sunday, Dec. 19. All adults including coaches must show a vax card for admission. Athletes must mask up except when competing. Cape wrestling is back on the mats Wednesday, Dec. 15,  with a big match at Caesar Rodney. The JV bouts begin at 4 p.m., followed by varsity at 6 p.m. The varsity action will be streamed live on the NFHS Network. The Division I football early signing period is Wednesday, Dec. 15. Expect to see a lot of hype on ESPN of blue-chip recruits making their decision in front of a school assembly. Why do prestigious academic schools like Duke and Stanford recruit “one-and-done” basketball players? Jim Rome always says on his radio program: “When someone says it’s not about the moment, it's always about the money,” and that cuts both ways. The far side of the travel ball-to-college athletic journey is the student-athlete with a year of eligibility remaining who graduates then leaves the game they have chased since childhood behind, saying, “Time for me to move on with my life and leave the game behind.” I could find a dozen local athletes who made that decision. I can also find a gross of athletes – a dozen dozen – who made the college signing photo but dropped from the process their freshman year, and some who never showed up on campus at all. Kicking the real – all stories rolling on the same wheel. Go on now, git!  


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