Say hello and act like you know the players

Football’s next level a steep hill to climb
October 13, 2020

New kid on the block - At cross country practice, I called out “Hey, Andrew!” He is sophomore Andrew Wolak from Ridgewood, N.J. His sister Jackie plays attack for the University of Notre Dame, his dad was a running back at UD, and a grandfather played basketball at Seton Hall during the era of legendary players Nick “The Quick” Werkman and “Golden” Sonny Sunkett. I had never met Andrew, so I asked him, “Do you have any idea who I am?” He smiled and said, “Yes, you’re Fredman.” Andrew is a defender in lacrosse who will mesh nicely into the Cape program, and he runs cross country. He accurately assessed that lacrosse is more focused while cross country is more fun. 

Refs and replays - From the Saturday remote control to the Sunday RedZone channel, I watched a lot of football over two days, college and pro, some great games highlighted by incomprehensibly weird play-calling but not enough roughhouse raggedness for me. Coach Jon Gruden said three years ago on Monday Night Football, “Our game has become too precise. I understand getting the call right, but the action is stopped too often for replays and discussions of whether there’s enough evidence to overturn the call on the field.” Personally, I like to see big plays for 15 or more yards. I don’t want to see them called back for holding, then assessing a 10-yards-from-the-spot-of-the-foul penalty. I think if a player is held, he should be able to rabbit chop or hammerfist the holder across the back of the neck. Then call it even and allow the play to stand.   

Jordan Magee - Jordan is a former Dover High second-team all-state quarterback standing 6-feet-3-inches and weighing 225 pounds. He threw for 18 touchdowns his senior year. Jordan also played basketball. He is now a starting linebacker for the Temple Owls and listed as a redshirt freshman. I watched him rocking and rolling on television Saturday night as Temple lost at Navy 31-29, failing on a two-point conversion in the final minute of the game. Jordan was a member of the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team as a redshirt freshman. The young man stepped up his game to the next level.  

Stone Balloon - I have never parked my carcass on a barstool at the Stone Balloon in Newark, but I know it holds a warm seat in the memory banks of many University of Delaware alumni. And that’s cool; you were all out partying on Thursday nights, the official beginning of the weekend at universities across the country. Astute recruiters from education to business knew that was the place to find talented prospects for the job market, something about the milieu of social interaction that highlights and develops talent. Here’s a recent press release from the UD Athletic Department to let us all know they are doing the right thing and please don’t bring up their Stone Balloon days: 

Blue Hens announce suspensions for 19 swimming & diving student-athletes

NEWARK, Del. – “Nineteen swimming and diving student-athletes have been sanctioned by the University of Delaware for violations of COVID-19 protocol established by the university and have been suspended by the athletics department from all athletic-related activities. Their suspensions came after notification that there was a large indoor social gathering hosted Sept. 26, at an off-campus residence, which violates the COVID-19 guidelines and the student-athlete social pledge, as well as the Newark city ordinance for indoor gatherings. The student-athletes that were involved were quarantined immediately and all were tested with negative results.” 

I may add there are junior Columbos and Gambinos creeping about high school campuses after school, operating incognito, watching sports practices, and recording mask and social distancing violations, then submitting them anonymously to the school administration. And when you get to be my age, you can’t watch your back if your head don’t rotate.  

Kaleidoscope of characters - Sunday was National Coming Out Day – “What’s in your closet?” – and through my blanket coverage of the Cape sports community, I am an integrated part of a diversified array of characters, none of whom is exactly like me, and that makes me happy and joyous bordering on ebullient and gay.   

Need a lift - Two young athletes from Rehoboth Beach Barbell Club under the guidance of Will Harris competed at the USA Powerlifting Virginia Novice Open Oct. 3  and both placed first in their divisions. Fiona Paul (10 years old) placed first in the Women's Raw Youth (10-11) Division at 47kg (103 pounds) and is now ranked No. 1 in the country; she has the third-highest total of all time in her age group at 152.5kg (336 pounds). Jacob Booros (15 years old) placed first in the Men's Raw Teen (14-15) Division at 74kg (163 pounds) and now has a Delaware state record total of 317.5 kg (700 pounds). The three lifts are squat, deadlift and bench press. Jacob is a sophomore at Cape, while Fiona is a fifth-grader at Milton Elementary. 

Snippets - If you see me out in the wild, stop a body length away and say hello, and I will respond, “What about Jello?” Go on now, git! 

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