Seeing the landscape as a kaleidoscope of color hues

January 19, 2022

Identity politics -Identity politics is a political approach wherein people of a particular gender, religion, race, social background, social class or other identifying factors, develop political agendas that are based upon these identities.” When I arrived at Seaside Cape from Philadelphia in the summer of 1975, I was slammed by the notion of cultural lag; the distance between the two cultures was 100 miles and 20 years. Sports fans in stands counted players by race, still said “colored people,” and as the British say, “I found it all quite extraordinary.” I do know in 2022 it’s all about self-identity, and as a sportswriter, I steer clear of anthropological analysis. Who am I, Ashley Montagu? Recently, sports friends have queried, “How many Black head coaches are in Delaware high school football?” or “How many Black athletes play field hockey or lacrosse?” I answer, “I don't know and I don’t count. I see the landscape as a kaleidoscope of color hues. I just know I’m pretty much satin sheen weather-beaten white, in case anyone is counting.”

Guaranteed roster spot - It means a guaranteed spot on a college team without any scholarship money. The athlete may bite, take the offer and commit just for an opportunity to be on a team and play themselves into scholarship status the next year. The NCAA limits the number of scholarships that can be offered for each athletic endeavor to keep the college sports world in some type of balance. 

Better than walking - In recent history, I walked 100 miles per month for five straight years, then abruptly stopped. The psychology is the same behind all failed attempts at self-improvement, from diets to strength training. What’s fun now is cruising Sesame Street by the Sea in the heated cab of a pickup truck. I fold in some physical labor at the state park by putting air in all four tires, but, man, that wind off the water can be biting. This workout is best shared with doughnuts and a dog, but I am currently dogless and doughnutless.   

Same three people - Pro football broadcasts focus on the same three people every game. We rarely learn anything we didn’t already know, sort of like taking a Sociology 101 class. I wondered, who the heck is Cooper Kupp, the wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams? I didn’t know his dad Craig Kupp played quarterback for the Giants, Cardinals and Cowboys. His younger brother Ketner Kupp signed as free agent with Rams, but was cut at the end of training camp. His grandfather Jake Kupp played in the NFL from 1964-75 as a guard with Dallas, Redskins, Falcons and Saints. Sports often produce pedigrees, and scouts from the pros to college look for those connections. 

Valley of Death Syndrome - Those who have come through the valley of death but escaped into the light for more years of life’s wonderments are expected to emerge more humble and grateful, but mostly that change ain’t gonna come because people are who they are; you can’t change the spot pattern on a Dalmatian. “Screaming” Stephen A. Smith returned to his program after battling a serious case of COVID. He thanked all the doctors for keeping him alive, then showed a montage of despondent and crying Cowboys fans as he just kept laughing harder and harder. My wife asked, “What is wrong with that guy?” I said, “$12 million annually is what is wrong with that guy. I’ll laugh at Grandmom Rose tumbling down an escalator at Lit Brothers in a wheelchair for that kind of money.”

Snippets - Isea Cryne, a four-year starter for the Mercer Bears lacrosse team, has been named to the preseason all-conference team in the Big South Conference. Cryne was the South Conference Tournament's Most Outstanding Player in 2021. Temple University lacrosse coach Bonne Rosen, who recruited Anna and Lizzie Frederick along with Taylor Gooch from Cape, was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Some notables in Bonnie’s 2021 class are Bill Bradley, Jim Katcavage, Seth Joyner, Dallas Green and Yolanda Laney. Yolanda’s daughter is Betnijah Laney. Chris Short of Lewes High School was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.  Sixers player Ben Simmons sits out the season for mental health reasons and is fined his per-game salary, which is $360,000 per game. Speaking of mental illness, that is insane. Go on now, git!


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