Masking and unmasking: depends on who is asking

April 7, 2020

Halloween hockey - I was searching a database of eight “troglobytes” of digitized photos and up popped a photo from the 2014 Cape Halloween hockey practice showing nine girls dressed as nurses wearing protective hats and masks. The player in the middle wore a sign that read “Ebola.” Coach Debbie Windett wrote, “I found it crazy that the sweetest kid on the team, Tina [Gooding], was the dreaded Ebola virus.” The photo proves that we all knew something about transmission and protection, but the concept of social distancing none of us ever heard of. I’d reflect back and can say if you walked around with a sign that said, “Ebola,” people would keep their distance. By the way, that 2014 team went on to win the state championship with Tina, the Cabbage Patch goalie, protecting the house sporting her lunar gravity protective goalie equipment.

Senior citizens - You know when grandparents miss out on a sports season, we cannot take a redshirt; the season is just lost. But enough about the gray panthers. High school seniors lose memories that never happen. The chemistry and configuration of teams from the class of 2020 just never happen. It’s like everyone ruptured their ACLs on the same day. Coach Debbie Windett and I are longtime buddies, so we share thoughts on sports. Coach Deb texted me, “We had to send out directives to teams to stay home. Lots of kids out on fields and track. They want to come back. I can’t imagine being a senior. I loved high school. Would have stayed there for extra years if I could. Best time ever. I am so sad for them. This thing could carry over into the fall if we don’t follow the rules and stay home!”  

Unmasking - I do coffee and donut ride-arounds with Darby Dog on board bonging mini Tastykakes while I caffeinate to energize my waning attention span. I have often written, “A man cruising in his truck with coffee and dog on board is always on vacation.” I’ve been reading lots of noise during the last few weeks about out-of-staters coming to the beach to shelter in their own second places, which mostly cost more than the first-and-only places of local muppets. Locals judging people by their license plates: Talk about profiling. Back when the Fred family moved to Lewes in the summer of 1975, Director of Personnel Robert Martin said to me, “Our Cape kids are very cosmopolitan and sophisticated because they grow up inside the hospitality industry.” I spoke at Cape graduation in 1999 and remember saying, “Our family from Philly stayed not because the sand got between our toes, but rather the people got into our hearts.” If local muppets lose that welcoming trait, we all become Oscar the Grouch. 

Hey 19 - A song by Steely Dan from the 1980 album “Gaucho.” COVID-19 is shorthand for coronavirus disease 2019. The 19th hole is the clubhouse bar in match play. Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana wore No. 19; so did baseball player Stan Musial. Former NFL kicker Tom Dempsey recently passed away from COVID-19 at the age of 73. He wore No. 19. Dempsey was born without toes on his left foot and fingers on his right hand. We all know he kicked a 63-yard field goal for the Saints before coming to the Eagles in 1971. In 1971, Dempsey led the NFL, hitting 70 percent of his kicks, including three over 50 yards. And then the NFL moved the goal post back in 1974. After Dempsey left the Eagles, the NFL added a rule indicating, "Any shoe that is worn by a player with an artificial limb on his kicking leg must have a kicking surface that conforms to that of a normal kicking shoe." This rule is known as the "Tom Dempsey Rule," instituted in 1977. 

Snippets - We live in a land of crosswalk confusion, so motorists and bikers and walkers proceed with prudence, and it has gotten tricky. Some walkers go off the trail “bushwhacking” to get into nature and away from other people. Be advised, the ticks and chiggers are out, and if COVID-19 came with chiggers, everyone would stay home. I never liked preseason all-conference teams, but perhaps now we can choose No-Season All-Conference. I saw some athletes on the playside of an eight-foot chain-link fence inside a locked-down stadium, but what caught my attention was a full-grown doodle dog that was with them. Doodle the Right Thing! Go on now, git! 

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