Sunday morning coming down at Champions Stadium
Masking the problem - “How are you little bandits doing?” On Sunday morning, I cruised around the gang of K-4 happy hockey girls at Champions Stadium while they got just enough instruction before playing the game. I must admit all the little girls looked so cute in their individualized masks, but I had no idea who anybody was while most know the masked version of Fredman because the camera is a “Fred giveaway.” A percentage of girls were mask on, then mask off, but it was never the same girls. There is an approach in psychology that suggests, “Medication only masks the problem, but doesn't solve the problem.” I guess we are masking the pandemic problem, but these cute little girls look a long way from being lethal.
Lineman for Life - Mark Baker ran in the Bottle & Cork 5K Sept. 12. He was there to support his 15-year-old son Ryan. Ryan, a runner for Cape’s cross country team, placed fourth overall with a time of 17:46. That got Ryan second in his age group (14-18) to Colten Morris of Lewes. Colten ran 16:51. But the big story on Action News is that Mark Baker, 48, a former center on the Cape football team, won the 45-49 age group in 21:36, which is 6:58 per mile pace. There are lots of young runners with running dads, but “son of a center” is just unusual. And the weird thing is Mark only beat the second-place guy in his age group, Bill Pikinngton of Bethany Beach, by 1.1 seconds. With multiple waves starting and computed chip timing, there are very few frantic finishes.
Slap happy - Not sure what the difference is between slap happy, punch drunk and shell shocked, but as a lifelong fan of Philadelphia sports, I’ve been all three. Just Sunday morning as I headed out to the garage with Darby Dog to watch the Eagles versus Washington, switching off to a crucial Phillies doubleheader versus the Marlins, my wife said, “You never got unhappy or complained when sports were totally shut down; you just dealt with it. I bet you’re happy that they are back.” “Talk to me about 6 o’clock,” I said. But she knew better because the atmosphere grew heavy inside the bonus room of my discontent. The Phils are lackadaisical and lame, while the Eagles are coached like a bad high school team. I mean, dude, tighten down the line splits and area block; Ron Rivera brings the house 80 percent of the time.
Pat Peterson - The photo shows Al Engelsher running for his late friend Pat Peterson, who died in 2015 from pancreatic cancer at the age of 55. Pat Peterson was a legendary runner who finished in the top 5 in the New York marathon three times and ran a 2:14 in the London Marathon. I've run into his buddies over the last five years. We should all have such great friends. Peterson, then 53, ran in the local Shamrock Shuffle 15K in 2013 at a 7:41 pace. Pat told Tim Bamforth back then, “I used to be running royalty. Now I’m just old and fat trying to remain anonymous and stay fit.”
Hockey at DE Turf - Cape had three teams totaling 45 players for games to be played on Tuesday and Thursday nights across five fields at 6 and 7 p.m. Vikings 1 is returning varsity players; the other two teams are mixed. It’s all pretty whack sometimes. The Vikings will have two teams playing on different fields at the same time. If DIAA school-sanctioned hockey begins practice Monday, Sept. 28, then the Vikings will leave the DE Turf league. And now I have to figure out Milford’s schedule.
Snippets - I’m virtualized out; it reminds me of jazz lyrics, “Try to make it real, compared to what?” Gavin Furlong ran the Boulder Field 50K at Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania and placed 16th overall in a time of 5:31:40. He ran representing the Seashore Striders. From the race website, “The BoulderField 100K/50K was created to offer a more challenging trail race to runners. Elevation is estimated to be about 4,000 feet per 50K loop. In addition to the rolling character of the course, expect to encounter a boulderfield crossing and a very rugged one-mile trail section called the Shades of Death Trail.” Personally, I’ll stick to cleaning gutters on a one-legged ladder for my adventure and a sense of accomplishment. Go on now, git!