Last-word syndrome dominates discourse on social media

Facebook is the digital version of travel ball
September 11, 2020

Outworked - It is easy to outwork people in the sports arena, from playing to coaching to being a sportswriter. I’ve been all three, and my successes over a long period of time proves to me that I have never been outworked or left my game on the field or at the bar. But enough about me; I’m starting to annoy myself. Watching Cape hockey Sept. 8 reinforced to me what I already knew: Those girls get seriously coached up every time they step onto the field. Coach “Windy” aka Kate Austin has won seven state titles with her mom Deb by her side. Her late dad, Bill Windett, was an integral part of that coaching family network. After a crucial, hard-fought home win two years ago, coach Windy looked across the field and started to cry. Her dad always waited by the gate leading out from the field and would jump right into post-game analysis ... and he was tough! But Tuesday, it just struck me how working hard and knowing what you're doing while respecting all the athletes seems so natural, like anything you do with an easy efficiency.

Last-word syndrome - It’s mostly a social media thing. You take a chance to make a comment or joke about an issue and someone you know (or not) comes back and takes a bite out of your character. That is the time to simply say to yourself, “Oh yeah,” and then just let it drop; otherwise, you get into a back-and-forth, last-word game whose sole purpose is to play defense while inflicting put-downs on another person whom you may agree with. Maybe you did become a sportswriter because you’re a non-athletic person who could never get on the field.

The mask thing - I’m surprised that doing cardio while wearing a mask never became a training device like working out at altitude for acclimation or wearing ankle weights, which makes you feel lighter on your feet when you take them off. I mean, just think how great it feels to breathe pure air after living inside a sweat sock! Notice I didn’t write “pure oxygen,” which is highly flammable and requires a tank strapped to your back. If I were a mask-wearing athlete back in my day, I would cheat because I honestly think it is that dumb of an idea. Heck, I take photos and I’m in the high-risk age group and I’m still cheating my tail off like a salamander caught under the driveway trash can.    

Mental health network - The system is broken because the need is so vast while the most highly educated and best-paid professionals don’t work weekends and holidays. I’ve heard little about mental health and school-aged athletes until sports were taken away. Now anxiety and depression are the buzzwords of the day, and I can tell you those kids in need of assistance were there before sports seasons were shut down. I like the idea of a Varsity Club, where athletes are held accountable to healthy lifestyles and behaviors while performing in the classroom and on the field. One thing that has been learned through Zoom culture is that it ain’t worth much when it comes to helping kids through an identity crisis, dysfunctional family life or substance use disorder.  

Get back, Beau Beau - Beau Gooch, voted the best sixth man in Delaware basketball while playing for the 1974 Cape squad, is now on the far side of exotic back surgery and is hospitalized in rehab land waiting and hoping for full function to return to his limbs. The surgery consisted of two rods in his neck (C3 and C4) to assist with a herniated disk. A long rehab now follows and hopes are high. A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Beau, or you can drop off donations at Lloyd’s Market in Lewes because Lloyd and Dottie are great-grandparents to Oaklyn, Beau and Dawn’s new granddaughter. Baby Oaklyn is the daughter of Taylor Gooch and Bill Gibbs, and the niece of Haliee Gooch, Darren Purcell and Amy Purcell. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then your local muppet card is about to expire.      

Snippets - The Phillies are going into Miami this weekend to play the Marlins seven times. Miami is coming off a 29-9 loss to the Braves, so you just know the Phils are in big trouble in this “don’t make no sense” season. The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors will play Game 7 Friday, Sept. 11. Cape volleyball recently won a game 2-0  at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington. All games are limited to an hour of playing time. It’s the old “drive two and play one” trick. Now that takes some serious commitment. Go on now, git!        


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