Turkey bowls and trots and gobbles are suspended animation

November 27, 2020

Turkey Bowls - The Coolspring tackle football Thanksgiving Day morning Turkey Bowl game ran uninterrupted for 50 years; then too many people got too old and all that’s left is a carcass of embellished memories to relish. Back when my 50-year-old son Dave was 14, he was the Lewes Junior High quarterback. I was an assistant coach to Danny Coffman. There was time for one play against Millsboro before halftime – we were on our own 20-yard line. I told Dave, “Just run a quarterback sneak. Nothing fancy.” I didn’t realize we had never once practiced a quarterback sneak. Center Duane Brown went rumbling down the center of the field like an out-of-control chicken truck. Everyone’s frozen eyes glazed over in an 80-yard stare. The officials were laughing. I said to Duane, “What was that? I just said quarterback sneak.” “That is a quarterback sneak in the Coolspring Turkey Bowl game,” he said.

That’s right, we bad - Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder walking like turkeys down cell block row, heads bobbing front to back, saying, “That’s right, we bad,” in the movie “Stir Crazy.” I saw two turkeys crossing the road a few days ago and I thought of that scene, and all the gobble and turkey trot races I’m missing this holiday weekend, not to mention family Thanksgiving itself, which I always showed up for after doing none of the work. Somewhere along the way my social life flipped like an upside-down cake. I call it sleep at night and prowl in the morning. The running scene weaves a social fabric. We all get to see each other briefly, but don’t have to hang out in the spaces in between unless there are races in the middle of the week. 

Trench warfare - Caesar Rodney at Cape at 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 27, will be a game won in the trenches. It will be Cape’s big offensive line versus the D-line of Caesar Rodney led by state champion wrestler Kevin Hudson. Kevin is the nephew of Cape offensive line coach Harry Hudson. Last week, the Riders lost mysteriously to Dover 27-13 after Dover had been dominated by Sussex Central 34-0. “Dover has grown men out there and Caesar Rodney has had costly turnovers,” said Cape coach J.D. Maull. “We have a line and backs that can play the downhill, smashmouth game. The next two weeks will reveal the characters inside the helmets.” Sussex Central, which lost to Caesar Rodney and Smyrna, hosts Salesianum on Friday night. Sallies is coming off a dominating 41-21 win over Hodgson. The state tournament picture begins to focus on Friday. Just win to stay in the conversation.  

Grand detour - I love Sussex County’s country road construction detours, the new-traffic-pattern alerts and the faith we place in the person holding the Slow/Stop sign (who, by the way, I never trust because I have issues). I was coming back from a Cape at Sussex Tech JV football game two Mondays ago heading east on Route 9 when a detour sign just popped up – Turn Right. There were no further directions. I was going down a curved, mostly flooded-out road and thought, “This is not fun, but at least I’m weary with the potential to get lost.” On Tuesday, I was set to arrive early at Sandhill Fields in Georgetown and that crazy intersection with Route 9 is under “temporary inconvenience reconstruction.” It was just borderline crazy, and then two red combines taking up three lanes on a two-lane road entered the game board. You absolutely never complain about sharing a Sussex County roadway with a combine or shucker, or an 80-year-old tractor. Leave early, arrive late, that’s the way we do it.

Snippets - A 70 percent chance of a weather bad guy for this Monday, Nov. 30, when Cape hockey is scheduled to play Delmar at DE Turf at 4:30 p.m. for the Henlopen Conference Championship. The Milford versus Indian River soccer championship game will be played at DE Turf at 7 p.m. The Henlopen Conference Cross Country Championships are Saturday, Nov 28, at Killens Pond. The boys run at 10 a.m. and the girls at noon. Cross country COVID cops will be undercover or under blankets. I have a solution to the COVID limits on restaurants that are killing businesses. Just incorporate the words “Big Box'' into the name of the establishment and waive any dress code but give discounts to people who wear flannel, including pajama bottoms. And leave all athletes under 25 alone. They are fit and fast and loving life – just don’t let them in your house if you're afraid they are asymptomatic ’rona rockers of the western world. Go on now, git!  


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