Money is its own reward; for some it beats recognition

Words don’t have teeth, but they can come back and bite you
August 21, 2020

Speeding Belltown Bullet - This Bullet's name was Kevin, not to be confused with Kyle. There are a lot of Sussex nicknames earned by the shape of one's head or some unusual attribute like blazing speed or a job at a chicken plant. I honestly know three Plucks. Cape track 1978: We were undefeated at 6-0, poised to win a state championship. My sprinters kept telling me the fastest person in the school was walking the hallways and his name was Bullet. I lured Bullet to the track using two techniques ... the first was getting him out of class, the second was to offer a $5 prize to the winner of the Invitational 100-Meter Cape's Fastest Human Showdown Throwdown. The real sprinters told me they would take no mercy on his sorry behind, maypop-wearing, pointy head, can't-get-in-no-blocks, Bullet-head self – not with $5 on the line. And so all six lanes were filled. The other guys had all run under 11.5 seconds – one was an 11.2 guy. The gun sounded and Bullet left last and finished first running all scrunched up, but nonetheless he "humped everyone down" then snatched a $5 bill from my hand and said, "See your sorry Fredman butt later, much later." I closed in, “Yeah, later, like at practice after school today. I can make you a star, part of a state championship program. It will be good for your self-image, Senior Silver Bullet.” Bullet wasn't biting. "Oh no, I know what you’re trying to do." "What am I trying to do, Kevin?" "You guys are undefeated and haven't lost a meet, so I come out and when you lose, you blame it on me." And that was that. Bullet fired from the chamber into oblivion. We all think everyone wants to be a star, but some people just want $5. 

If I Didn’t Care - I would change that song by the Ink Spots (1938, sold 10 million) ) to “Wish I Didn’t Care” after watching three Philly sports teams – Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers – all lose Wednesday in back-to-back-to-back tepid, half-hearted performances. The Phillies tanked versus the suddenly sorry Red Sox 6-3, the Sixers folded in a weak effort to the overhyped Celtics 128-101, and the Flyers flopped to the under-appreciated Montreal Canadiens 5-3. You cannot fake no fans, and you cannot fake no effort, either. 

Gay Slur - An Aug. 20 AP-filed story read, “Reds broadcaster Thom Brennaman was suspended from working Cincinnati’s games after using an anti-gay slur on air Wednesday night, prompting the team to apologize for the ‘horrific, homophobic remark.’” Brennaman didn’t realize his mic was hot. I searched the net when I read the story because there are lots of people who “slur their words.” I wanted to know who should be outraged and appalled, just in case I qualified. The Reds offered their sincerest apologies – as opposed to a half-hearted “Talk to him; we didn’t say it” – to the LGBTQ+ community in Cincinnati, Kansas City, all across this country and beyond. Now I want to read or hear what Brennaman actually said to his buddy in the booth and what was the context. Words can only be understood in context. Remember when Kobe Bryant dropped a slur on a courtside heckler then had to go on an apology tour? By the way, Brennaman referred to a certain city as, “the f-g capital of the world.” He is so busted, and now his fate is cast to the wind. I once (actually lots of times) broke up a high school hallway girl fight and some girl called me every name in the book, insulting my race, religion, birth mother, and sexual orientation, and after she settled down, I said to her, “Who are you calling fat?” She and the entire hallway burst out in laughter. 

Snippets - Tucker Brown of Rehoboth, a lacrosse sophomore starter for the Division I Furman Paladins, which dropped the sport due to pandemic pressures on its sports budget, has enrolled at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “Have stick, will travel.” St. Joe’s is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, which has suspended all sports for the fall season. A major drawback of starting fall sports in February here in the Atlantic basin is the possibility that Bermuda and grass fields will be frozen and unplayable. Local sportscaster Anthony Joseph will soon be doing a sports show on TV Delmarva Channel 14. Back in the day, I did radio color on some Anthony Joseph broadcasts. Once, with Cape football trailing Sussex Central 35-0 at halftime, Anthony asked, “Fredman, what does Cape have to do to get back into this football game?” “Are you serious?” I answered in my best John McEnroe impression, followed by, “Try to lose 35-0; that would be encouraging.” Local runner Kevin “Little Poppy” Smith worked as an aide to Joe Biden for 30 years. Kevin knows all the major players and they know him. I’ve talked to Kevin about this, but he quickly deflects to the joy and loneliness of long-distance running. Ask any deer; not everyone craves the spotlight. Go on now, git! 


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