Sweeney to Bunyan: Linemen for Life turned airline pilots

February 16, 2021

Undeclared majors - While checking the University of Maryland football roster I noticed that the most popular major is “Undeclared,” which translates to: “I don’t know what I want to be once this gig is over.” The University of Delaware football roster lists nine criminal justice majors, along with six players majoring in sports management. The game is simple: travel light, don't pick up any excess baggage and keep going to school. That's how you separate from the pack or peloton that is chasing you down. Staggering stats: 36 percent of the U.S. population have a bachelor's degree, while only 13 percent have a master’s degree. The question raised is: Why not keep going? The answer most frequently given is: “Because I’m sick of going to school.” Isaac Bunyan is a 6-foot-3, 294-pound redshirt freshman on the Maryland football team out of High Point High School in Maryland, where he was a defensive lineman and wrestler who graduated with a 4.3 GPA. He is majoring in aerospace engineering and wants to be a pilot. A line borrowed from the movie Airplane: “Isaac, can you not only fly this airplane but can you land it?” Isaac would be the biggest pilot I’ve seen since Ray Sweeney out of Delaware. Ray was a 6-foot-3, 260-pound Little All-American. He flew through mergers of Piedmont, U.S. Air and American. Ray also was vice chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association for 12 years and sat on the National Mediations Board for ALPA. 

Beat is beat - It doesn’t matter how much money you make per minute when you are beat down and tired. You just move slower. Fans of professional basketball know the four-quarter game is all about pace until the final minutes of the last quarter. It's not so much the players are lazy or have bad attitudes; they are just worn out. Basketball is a physically taxing game played on hardwood, and the joint may be jumping but the joints that strap the athlete together are taxed by the repetitive stop-and-go and jumping and thumping. I like the 76ers, but I refuse to invest 150 minutes (average length of game) in an uncertain outcome that may leave me disappointed and depressed.  

Boy and dog - Sweet Baby James Fred is 8 years old. Darby Dog is 14, unlikely to see 15. James said when he was 6 years old, “Every dog is the greatest dog,” and he has never known a world without Darby in it. He is shown giving Darby a hug through the window of a 4Runner, Darby’s mobile playhouse, on Valentine’s Day. Dogs and kids share the same heart with no static in between.

Realignment - High school football in Delaware will be structured in three classes – 1A, 2A, and 3A – for the next two years, and those classes will be divided into districts. Cape is in Class 3A, District II, along with Caesar Rodney, Dover, Smyrna and Sussex Central. District I of the 3A group includes Appoquinimink, Hodgson, Middletown, Salesianum, St. Georges and William Penn. There will be three state championships contested in postseason tournaments. This is as simple as telling time on an analog clock; it’s explaining the rules that makes it sound complicated. A front-end realignment on your car involves such concepts as camber, toe and caster adjustment, and in some cases thrust angle adjustment. Who knows from such concepts? You tell the trusted mechanic, “Just fix it – I don’t want to drive into a ditch.”

What’s the score - Ninety percent of sports fans couldn’t keep score at the state meet for swimming, wrestling, or track and field. Keeping track of stats and compiling results takes the fun out of actually watching the competition. 

Got a shot - The Cape girls’ basketball team, now 10-0, will be a dangerous team in the postseason. It's just the way they are built and the way they play. Woodbridge will win the Henlopen South; they have a regular-season loss to Ursuline 51-41. Ursuline has lost to St. Elizabeth, Sanford and Conrad. St. E is unbeaten with close wins over Sanford 62-57 and Caravel 59-58. Sanford has rolled everyone excluding the close loss to St. E. Caravel with three losses will still be a dangerous tournament team. Cape’s mission is simple: Return to the Final Four, but unlike last season’s sudden shutdown, hopefully they can reach the finals and play for Cape’s first state championship in 48 years. 

Snippets - The Temple women’s lacrosse team will open the season Saturday, Feb. 20, at the University of Delaware. It’s hopefully a sign that all outdoor sports this spring will return to action, and that some aloof and socially distanced fans will be able to catch their relatives in live action. Go on now, git! 


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