Time to doff the masks and put the masked marvels to bed

Economics and sports talk don’t mix
February 25, 2022

Strange rangers - The Lone Ranger loses his uniqueness if all riders in the posse are masked and riding white horses, “Hi-ho yo!” I will be one happy Fruity Pop Pop photographer when indoor Delaware sports move outside and the four-ply compliers doff (take off) their masks, which is the opposite of don (put on) their masks. If you watch sports in person inside a gym for hours at a time, then you must certainly watch them on television at home. You may notice that no competitors are wearing masks, and the benches and stands are mostly no masks, but a lot depends on the campus and region of the country. The coronavirus exposed our species to what we are not – hermit crabs living inside borrowed shells. Even grouchy people are social animals; otherwise, how would we know? We sports fans are all looking forward to getting outside, working the crowd and chatting people up.

Playing tag - Each NFL team plays under a salary cap for its 53-person roster. The number is $208.2 million. Great players at the end of expired contracts test the free agency market and sign their best long-term deals. A  free agent player – just one – can be hit with the franchise tag, which is sometimes called the transition tag. You have to be John Maynard Keynes to figure it out. I wonder if students earning degrees in sports management study the financial configuration of sports franchises as it articulates the players’ union collective bargaining agreement. I’m guessing no; they are too busy learning how to run field days at elementary schools. 

Major league lockout - On Dec. 2, the collective bargaining agreement between MLB owners and the players’ union that was enacted in 2016 expired. The owners then locked out the players until a new agreement gets worked out. Go to Wikipedia and “read all about it,” and you’ll soon realize why a lecturing economist can put a room filled with latte-laden insomniacs to sleep for a three-day weekend. It’s been reported that MLB told the players’ union that the last day to come to an agreement and have the season start on time is Feb. 28. 

Optimal 6-1 parlay - I was watching college basketball Tuesday night while the broadcast team was talking about a Sportsline Projection Model for betting six games. This is reasonable gambling for those models for $100 bettors with a chance to win $1,000. Joe Six Pack is now some “zup yup” wager wanker who can’t touch the net. Competitive sports are being contaminated. There needs to be a junkyard dog league that’s not about collective bargaining while fueled by gambling.  

Open fields - A balmy Wednesday night on Cape’s campus, the sun is down and the lights are up over Legends and Champions stadiums; it’s open-field lacrosse for the boys and girls. I watched a little of both and thought, “These athletes can play this game, and a total of 18 state championships since 1999 proves it.” Practices begin for real Monday, Feb. 28, for all spring sports. Cape boys’ lacrosse opens the season at home Monday, March 21, versus Salesianum in a rematch of last spring's state championship final won by Sallies 12-10. The girls open on the road at Stephen Decatur Tuesday, March 22, then host Queen Anne’s Friday, March 25. The Cape girls’ soccer team will play all home games this season on the new Champions Stadium turf because the newly installed protective nettings along the endline at Legends Stadium obstruct corner kicks and some overhead throw-ins. 

Snippets - Tucker Brown of Rehoboth, by way of Worcester Prep, plays lacrosse for the St. Joseph Hawks in Philly. Tucker had seven goals and one assist over the first three games, including a four-goal effort in a 12-11 loss to Delaware. Tucker’s mom, Diane Brown, who played at Towson, was an assistant coach at Cape when the program lifted off the ground. Doug Brown, the dad, is a UVA guy. Tucker, now a senior, transferred from Furman University after it abruptly dropped the men's lacrosse program. Ryleigh Elliott, playing center field for Randolph Macon Yellow Jackets softball team, and Austin Elliott, a right fielder for the University of Delaware Blue Hens baseball team, may not be the only sister/brother college softball/baseball Cape-connected combination, but they’re the only one I know. Go on now, git!  


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