Horn sections of college bands make it rain; wear a hat
Born to Run - Running continues to be the No. 1 participation sport at Sesame Street by the Sea and in contiguous communities in Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Take the Race Into the New Year 5K in Rehoboth, Hair of the Dog 5K in Bethany and Resolution 5K Run in Dover, then add in kids’ races and walkers, and we are talking 700 athletes in less than 24 hours. Makes you wonder what resolutions sedentary people make. Perhaps it is move less and eat more?
Money in the bank - Celtics great Sam Jones passed away last week at the age of 88. He was on 10 NBA Championship teams, and at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds, Sam Jones was pure silk. I saw him play in person in Celtics versus Philadelphia Warriors games at Convention Hall. His bank shot off the jumper from either side of the lane was money – no one ever duplicated it. Jones' top NBA salary was $55K. Today, the average NBA salary is $8 million per season. His No. 24 jersey was retired while he was still a player. A New Year's Day Washington Post story by Matt Schudel mentions that in 1964, Sam Jones was part of the first all-Black starting five in NBA history that includes Sam Jones, Bill Russell, Ton Sanders, K.C. Jones and Willie Naulls. A flipside trivia question, “When was the last all-white starting five in the NBA?” You most likely end up in Minnesota. Google the question and spend an hour. Some of the stuff is pretty funny.
Snarky forums - The freewheelin’ forum crowds on some sports websites are generally not nice, hiding behind a handle and taking more bank shots at other teams than Sam Jones of the Celtics. A forum is good for fans, but no place for an active athlete to play and a worse place for a dad to mix it up with other dads.
Get Fifty - Dennis Forney and Trish Vernon started the Gazette in 1993. I was standing in front of King's Ice Cream when I was pitched a job for $50 a week. I told them: “I don’t cross the street for $50, but I’ll work for free; makes me feel magnanimous.” I performed my way into making some real “back-up job” money. Did I mention the combined age of my three vehicles is 49 years? For 40 years, my People in Sports column has run uninterrupted in the Whale and Cape Gazette. Dennis and Trish gave me close to complete Freedom for Fredman, and the community has been mostly supportive, with a few citizens who find me incredibly annoying. But to paraphrase the eHarmony commercial, “My name’s Fredman, come get me.” But my race is won; now I’m just doing my cool-down run.
Tuba time - Omicron your mom and your grandma too; I am weary of hangdog experts painting more bleak pictures than a sidewalk artist during a nor'easter. I didn't know there was a class of people and sports fans known as “vaxers,” but I qualified. Otherwise, I’m not spending 10 hours in a hothouse gym watching high school wrestling on multiple mats. I was watching LSU versus Kansas State Tuesday night, a crowded stadium, students shoulder to shoulder, and the horn section of the LSU Tigers band was rocking up and down, sideways, then turning around. Musical spittle, the tuba section “making it rain” on the crowd below. Social animals are going to slime each other. It's just what we do. I don't deliver a message here. It's obvious the message is mixed like a tutti-frutti snow cone.
Baseball Hall Fame - There are 30 players on the 2022 ballot (not Pete Rose) and it requires a 75 percent vote by the Baseball Writers of America to gain induction. Players now in their 10th year of being on the ballot are Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa. Alex Rodriguez is on the ballot for the first year. Some other notable first-year guys are David Ortiz, Jimmy Rollins, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard. Fans often argue if the numbers warrant induction, should personal behavior be used to keep a player out of the hall who has earned inclusion on the field. I’m most interested in seeing what percent of the first ballot Alex Rodriguez pulls. Alex has 696 home runs and a career .295 batting average.
Big Mom - I was aboard the elevator at Embassy Suites in Atlanta on a Thursday in 2001. I was there for the Super Bowl between the Titans and Rams. My nephew Mike was a defensive end with the Titans. Jon Runyan’s mom stepped aboard and stood in front of me. Her wide shoulders were higher than my head. “An NFL O-lineman mommy, what else would you expect?” I thought. Jon Runyan left the Titans after that year and signed a $30 million contract with the Eagles. His son Jon Runyan, a 6-foot-4, 307-pounder out of the University of Michigan, now starts for the Green Bay Packers. Jon the dad out of Moorestown, N.J., became a U.S. congressman.
Saturday Night No Fever - Cowboys at Eagles is set for 8:15 p.m., Saturday. The Boyz are unlikely to play their top players. The Eagles may play to win – for a while. It would give them a 10-win season and likely a matchup with Tampa in the first round. The oddsmakers have the Eagles winning by three points. Pro players don’t buy into rivalries; that's why they are all for sale.
RBP Alumni - Former Rehoboth Beach Patrol lifeguards – you passed the rookie test – are asked to provide information by going to rbpalumni.com or go to the Rehoboth Beach Alumni Facebook page. The 100th Anniversary Celebration is July 30, 2022. Slip on your red Birdwells, then tape this notice to your refrigerator. Yes, one leg counts.
Snippets - The Iron Horse Duals Invitational wrestling tournament for this weekend at C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, Md., has been canceled. “Mama’s in the factory. She ain’t got no shoes. Daddy’s in the alley. He’s looking for food. I’m in the kitchen with the Omicron blues.” (Dylan). Go on now, git!