The peloton had a mind of its own; racing is an insane game

Rob Coulbourne, a good soul, gives us hope in the eternal present
April 11, 2023

Kiddie City - Among the gatherings of children on Easter weekend, the Bunny Palooza 5K in Bethany  Beach is a family event. Five hundred runners bounce around the starting chute ready to be unleashed like whippets in a Eukanuba-sponsored sprint. If there is music, the women dance and prance. But first is the call for the Kiddle K, a one-way dash from two blocks away straight into the starting chute, a temporary focused frenzy of distractible dashers. The bigger boys rumble out front and a scattering field follows trying to keep up. Some young parents hold their child’s hand, their faces beaming with the message, “Isn’t this fun?” Bibs in real life are for the groups on opposite edges of the age spectrum. These children are UFOs with no serial numbers and no bibs. A little girl gets left by the peloton and she starts to cry, but she’s cute as a button; there is an instinctive realization that all people who race in colorful shoes are insane. Back up on the boardwalk heading into the finish chute, a grandma will run over her grand doodle dog in a quest  to win her age group.

The eternal present - Cape football opened the 2022 season Sept. 1 at Abessinio Stadium versus Salesianum. Mike Frederick, my nephew, was Cape's new head coach, and my son Jack was on his staff. The visitors’ stands at Abessinio are best reached by helicopter. The gramps ramp leading up to the venue is not a  friendly climb; that’s why my girlfriend of 60 years, Susie, carried my blue chair while wondering, “What did I get myself into?” Mike Betins, aka “Lumpy,” a lovable muppet from Sesame Street by the Sea,  suddenly appeared saying, “Let me grab that chair, Miz Fred. Let’s go, Fredman, I'm walking straight across with you. No way I can  walk around that track on my new leg.” I said, “Mike, this will be the worst look since a lacrosse player's grandmother carried my blue chair at DE Turf after a game while pulling an oxygen tank.” Near the end of the game, I was trying to get up outta there and it was Rob Coulbourne who insisted on carrying the blue chair while asking Miz Fred how it was going.  Our boys Tom and Jack  were “boyz” with Rob, growing up playing football and lacrosse together. Tom and Jack sounded and acted like 684 natives, which is the culture they embraced. I waited until Monday morning to tell MIz Fred, “Rob has left the planet. Car accident.” The soul endures. Rob was a compassionate soul; that is a constant I’m hearing from all who knew him. On Easter Sunday night, “60  Minutes” featured  a segment on the James Webb telescope that had detected a galaxy a billion light-years from Earth. The entire staggering segment gave me hope that if we don't even know what we don’t know, then all things are possible, including the endurance of good souls like Rob Coulbourne. 

Mustang Sally - I watched Navy men’s lacrosse upset Loyola 11-10 Friday night, and the third time the young commentator said “Mustang Sally'' when a Greyhound defensive middie picked up the ball, I thought it was an insider term but one I should yell the next time I covered a Cape game. But I kept my flat feet on the ground and went to the Loyola roster, and there he was, a 6-foot-2 , 210-pound short stick defensive middie, a senior from Park Hill, Colo., Mustang Sally. His father Ron Sally was a quarterback at Duke 1981-84. The player's given name is August Sally, but everyone in the family has always called him Mustang, so Mustang Sally gets to rock the roster. Guess you better slow that mustang down. 

Snippets - West Deptford, N.J., beat Cape baseball Friday afternoon 8-5, arriving in a black Coach bus, not a big yellow taxi, the first sign the Eagles take their sports seriously. West Deptford is Exit 21 off 295 about 110 road miles from Cape. Cape girls’ lacrosse will be playing at Maryland schools Broadneck Saturday, April 15, and Severna Park Saturday, April 22; both teams are top shelf. Jake Gelof (Cape-IMG-UVA) hit two home runs, Nos. 36 and 37 of his career, to tie the school record. Virginia Tech women’s lacrosse beat Louisville 17-7. Ella Rishko (Cape-VT) had seven goals for the Hokies. Ella’s cousin Davey Fred will be at the Tuesday, April 11 home game versus Old Dominion as he completes his southern tour. “What’s up, Ella? Where’s Violet?” [her dog]. Go on now, git! 



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