Signing day is a single step in the right direction

Colleges call them student-athletes because that is the emphasis
November 16, 2018

Signing Day - Each signing day, I take photos of ceremonial signings by students who commit by signature or verbally to attend a school to play a specific sport at a level ranging from Division I through Division III. I never ask, “How much does your school cost and how much free money are you getting?” because that is personal family business. And we all know Division III schools do not give athletic money, but they do package prospects, using grants that don’t have to be paid back. Some athletes are preferred walk-ons, meaning they are formally invited to try out, and if they make the team, maybe some athletic money will be heading their way the next year. And maybe not, so study hard, because you are there for the full college experience.

What Up Day? I could/should go back over 20 years of signing day photos just to find out what happened to the student-athletes. How many went on to play four years of a college sport and graduate with a degree, and get a real job and own a house and two cars and six flat-screen televisions. I have a suspicion that the number is less than 100 percent, and we need to hear those stories. Heck, if it weren’t for underachieving and blowing opportunities, this Philly Boy would have never found Lewes. That’s not intended as a sarcastic slam, but it’s the quintessential truth, Ruth. I was the king of flubbing up. They should make a Disney movie of my life, “Flubber Meets Fredman.”  

TrackPad - When I first powered up a trackpad that came with my iMac 10 years ago, I put my genius mouse on top and drove it around. Neither one worked, but if they put stupid in a box, I can unpack it. I would like to contract with Cape to track five graduated classes from six to 10 years out to find up what life lessons they have learned, just a “Where they at now?” report. It makes sense to me that after kids go out the door, we should follow up and find out what happened to them.

I Got Your Back - There is one long metal bench along the fence at Rullo Stadium, so I left the blue chair in the 4Runner, figuring if my back started to scream, I could shut it up for a few precious moments with a bit of subflexion. At halftime of the Delmar versus Lake Forest field hockey game Nov. 14, I trudged to bench land for a little lumbar relaxation. At the end of the bench was an official in waiting for the next game, her head wrapped like a Taliban to keep the wind and photographers out of her face. The rest of the bench was taken up by one photographer’s $20,000 worth of equipment. He was uploading first-half photos and I politely said, “C’mon, dog, you took the entire bench with your Mickey Mouse photography kit?” He laughed, “Hey, how are you?” I know the guy, a real pro and nice person, so I ambled away, saw an old tractor tire in a corner then thought, “better not,” just watch the game and endure the pain.

Snippets - Do Draymond Green and Kevin Durant really dislike each other and could I possible care one way or another? Le’Veon Bell didn’t sign the franchise tag with the Steelers and will sit out the season, leaving $14 million on the table. The gambit is he will make it all back and then some if he signs a free agent contract next season. Now, walking away from $14 million shows you that some athletes treat all of this like play money; the whole environment is fantasy land with full contact. There’s a rap song, “Mo Bamba,” a play on words after the baller out of Westtown, now with the Orlando Magic. The song is aggressively obscene and stupid, unlike the player who is a top-shelf person. The Worcester Prep girls’ soccer team finished undefeated, 11-0, this season and captured the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship title. Gracie Gardner of the Mallards was named conference Player of the Year. It used to be that everyone and their grandmothers went out for basketball at Cape. Millennial grandmothers no longer try out and most grandkids don’t either. Basketball is becoming a niche sport at Cape, hard to populate rosters for freshmen, JV and varsity. Varsity girls’ basketball is going to be good under coach Pat Woods. You can put that in your bank shot. Go on now, git!