Shoes bought 40 years ago have raced from Afghanistan to Rehoboth Beach

American football is one long timeout
September 7, 2021

Forty-year-old shoes - Jack Huxtable, 83, a Cornell graduate, had a career in the foreign service and served in diplomatic missions all over the world. He was in the Peace Corps during the Kennedy administration. Some of those countries had some sketchy people out running the roads and mountain trails. Jack races in Nike flats he bought in Indonesia 40 years ago. He wore them Saturday in the Labor Day Prediction Run. Jack has run races with exotic friends in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He knows Kabul like he knows Rehoboth, which is why I find it funny he arrives at Grove Park riding a girls’ bike, then secures it to the rack with a lock that a spotted hyena could bite through just for laughs. Jack and his shoes own 5K age-group state records of 24:16 for the 75-79 age group and 27:52 for the 80-84 division. 

The Long Timeout - A college football game is four clocked quarters of 15 minutes each. You don’t need 12 credits of college math to know that adds up to an hour, so how come the average game lasts 3 hours and 15 minutes? Let’s not waste time listing all the reasons the clock is stopped. It’s also been calculated that the actual total time the helmeted players are in action is less than 12 minutes. That’s why fat people can play both ways in a three-hour game, you may say – I wouldn't – because most of the time nothing is happening. Europeans find it laughable when Americans  describe the free-flowing sport of soccer as boring. “What are they talking about now? Is their reaction to a huddle?” 

Perpendicular punditry - I sat 24 inches from a 27-inch iMac Thursday night in my home office watching the Sallies at Cape game streamed by 302 Sports with Mike Lang, who writes for the Dialog, calling the game. Mike’s a pro, knows the game and knows Catholics. I missed the atmosphere of being there chatting up alumni along the fence, but for pure vision of the game, the overhead view on the computer is superior to standing on the sidelines. I watched the line play of both teams on both sides of the football. I saw who gets after it on every play, who takes vacations and who gets blown up on occasion. A 28-20 game, a game the Vikings could have won if not for trailing 28-6 at halftime. The true mark of a team is how they play in game 2. Sallies will host Sussex Central, while Cape travels to Woodbridge. Woodbridge is now coached by Marvin Dooley. The Blue Raiders on Friday night are no joke.

Central connection - Seton Hill University beat Frostburg State in field hockey Sept. 2 by a 2-1 score in front of 45 fans. Seton Hill junior Jade Taylor (2019 Sussex Central grad) scored in the first quarter. Frostburg freshman Macy Layfield (2021 Central grad) tied the game in the third quarter. The game was played at Seton Hill in Greensburg, Pa., five-and-a-half hours from Bethesda Road, where Jade and Macy live a half-mile from each other.     

Listen to parents, except sometimes - I used to speak to teams in the preseason to share the wisdom of my playing, coaching and media experience. I provided them with a guide for how to behave and how not to stray from being a good teammate. But I have not done it since everyone and their Uncle Cholly became an expert on all life choices via social media. In my time, Instagram meant Grandma Rose pouring Quaker oats into boiling water. But my message: “Always listen to parents, except if they start bashing your coach or questioning the playing time of a teammate. Then just tell them, ‘Stop! I’m trying to be a good teammate all up in here!’ They will slink away and sulk, but quickly be proud of you, realizing they are raising a great kid.”

Snippets - Remember when it comes to college athletics, commitment without admittance is an empty promise. If you can’t get in the front door, you will never get on the field. It’s hard to reconcile all the scary Delta variant COVID data with 80,000 maskless Badgers fans doing the “Jump Around” at a Wisconsin home game. The average admit to the University of Wisconsin is a 3.84 GPA and SAT scores 1300 to 1400. Joe Biden won Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes in the general election. I don’t know what all that means, but it must mean something? Go on now, git! 


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter