Third-party selfie with Awesome Izzy, my new sideline friend
Third-Party Selfie - I asked JV field hockey player Isabella Fuscellaro to join me during the Delmar game for a sideline photo, then handed my cellphone to granddaughter Lina because I have never taken a selfie. Who am I, Ellen DeGeneres? Izzy was all about it, a warm and affectionate young athlete easily smiling. I knew I had a friend and I didn’t even know she knew me. Isabella was diagnosed in September with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma; the chemotherapy treatments and loss of hair followed, but the teenager runs the field like “she don’t care ‘bout no hair.” When I was a high school freshman, I caught a lefty’s snap throw to first base with my face and was knocked out. I stayed home from school for a week because my swollen nose made me resemble Elsie the Cow on the Borden Carnation milk can. I wasn’t tough; my self-image was fragile. My descriptor for No. 22 is “Awesome Izzy.” She’s not the player with Hodgkin’s or the player with no hair. Go to caringbridge.org/visit/Isabellsfuscellaro to follow Izzy’s journey. And if you get a chance to meet her, just say hello; she will light up your life.
Broken-down jalopy - Ironically, I get winded running the leaf blower, and what’s up with these huge acorns? One fell on my head and I thought Susan hit me with a ball-peen hammer, because after 52 years I know she wants the last word. All seriousness aside, I now do sports assignments based on whether my 1946 Studebaker self can handle the terrain and all the photographic challenges. My “A Game” was hall-of-fame caliber, so to quote Jimmy Cliff, “The harder they come, the harder they fall one and all.”
Stay Wookie - Cape football chews up good coaches like Chewbacca on fatback ribs. I woke up Sunday morning doing a 52-year chronology in my head. My feet didn’t hit the floor until I verified the number as seven. I’ve seen great coaches with a history of success and winning just get stymied and bewildered. A football game shouldn’t deteriorate into a blame game based on undesirable outcomes. Cape is a football mystery with one state championship under Jim Alderman in 1979. Many of those guys are like the 1972 Dolphins who enjoy being the only team to reach the top of the mountain. I was a head football coach before arriving at Cape. I was offered the job twice. Both times, being a visionary, I said, “Nope, I ain’t seeing it and I ain’t feeling it, and I’m not tough enough to handle anything but great success.”
Texas Perplexus - Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, 63, was put in a wheelchair at age 25 when he went out jogging after a storm and an oak tree fell on him. He sued the power company and the homeowner, and was awarded $14,000 per month with cost-of-living increases. He is Roman Catholic and married to the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. He is pretty far right politically. On Saturday, I watched Oklahoma come back and beat Texas in the Red River Shootout 55-48, an absolutely athletically insane game, then watched the Aggies of Texas A&M roll the tide of Alabama 41-38 on a field goal on the last play of the game. I watched the Houston Astros win two at home over the White Sox. I watched Baylor from Waco beat West Virginia 45-20. And the Dallas Cowboys beat the New York Giants 44-20. I just wondered where all these athletes fall on the issues of abortion, gun control, restrictive voting laws and immigration. I thought deeply about this for two minutes and concluded most of the athletes spend less time in pensive introspection.
Snippets - Shippensburg field hockey is now 10-0 on the season and the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II. Jody Boyer (Cape) and Mya Kemp (Delmar) play for the Raiders. Alia Marshall (Cape) has two goals and three assists for the 10-4 Northwestern Wildcats, ranked sixth in Division I field hockey. Iowa is the top-ranked team in the country. The Eagles got a surprise 21-18 win at Carolina and next will host the Tampa Bay Bucs on Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field. Cape girls’ lacrosse has been fielding three separate teams in a 7-on-7 Sunday night league at DE Turf. And they are all pretty good. There is a Darby Dash 5K this Sunday, Oct. 17, at Cape Henlopen State Park’s main beach parking lot. The chronicles of Darby Dog now departed – what becomes of the broken-hearted – attracted a large Facebook following. Now the Seashore Striders want to keep the saga moving forward because as athletic as all dogs are, they look ridiculous backing up. Go on now, git!