Varsity Blues: color me bad for teams with depth of talent

Online sports gambling is double-down dangerous
August 18, 2023

Varsity Blues - Delaware high schools dropped conference play in football and went to a three-tiered system to achieve balance in scheduling and hopefully fewer weekend beatdowns. I have always joked that along the fence at a Friday night Cape football game, a field hockey conversation might break out. Cape is one of the state's powerhouse programs. It is healthy. I remember former Cape player Robin Adair, who went on to coach Tower Hill to 10 state field hockey championships, saying to me, “Cape has a deep bench,” and she is still right. After Wednesday’s field hockey practice, the team was split into two teams: what I call varsity gold and varsity blue, but what everyone else calls varsity and JV.  Coach Kate Austin: “I’m really excited about the teams we put together today. A lot of experience on varsity and young players that are super athletic and ready to learn and compete. We’ve seen a really high skill level the first three days, and seeing the varsity all together tomorrow is going to be exciting.” There are 51 varsity field hockey teams in Delaware. The majority don’t have JV teams, and quite frankly a boatload of varsity teams couldn't beat Cape’s JV team. I propose a Varsity Blue team to get a full schedule of games. One simple rule: If a Varsity Blue player moves to the Varsity Gold roster, she can never go back to Blue. Let’s talk about it at the next football game. 

Fan fools - The irony of sports gambling sites serving as major advertisers of professional sports leagues is that the fans are the ones being played. Online gambling on fantasy football – I must admit I didn't see that coming – reminds me of the song lyric, “Would you walk away from a fool and his money, honey.” I’m a multitasking sports freakazoid myself, like a lot of people, writing stories and processing photos while watching games on television and tracking another game on the MLB site on my phone, all while eating popcorn and sliming my keyboard. I don't gamble, don't drink, don’t smoke and don't do drugs, but I could if I wanted to without leaving my home office. I was in Vegas last summer at the airport at 6 a.m. walking past fiendish derelicts in yellow-hued rooms smoking and playing slots. Sports has become science fiction, except no one saw this coming or has any clue where it's going.  

Enrollment swells - Along the beach when there’s ocean swell, local surfers spread the word – “Dudes, surf’s up” – then wax their short boards to ride the tides as the orange sun rises above the horizon line. A mile away, Cape Henlopen High School has experienced a swelling of enrollment, now topping 2,000 students, so apparently the proliferation of new houses has attracted new families with school-aged children. The old days of Cape High having three grades totaling fewer than 800 students are gone like the corn man in the winter months. 

Catch 23 - Don’t know if the photo was authentic of Michael Jordan fishing the OC White Marlin tournament aboard his boat, Catch 23. “Clever,” I thought, “but who understands Catch-22 logic? Wikipedia says, “A catch-22 is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules or limitations.” Cape had a classic catch-22 rule: “You need a pass from the guidance office to go there, but you have to go there to get a pass.” “Catch-22” was a book written by Joseph Heller in 1961. Heller taught English composition at Penn State (1950-52). The head football coach at Penn State at that time was Rip Engle, who recruited my brother Tom from Bishop Egan High School in 1962. 

Snippets - The Phillies are 66-55 and leading the three-team wild card race with 41 games left in the season. It’s better to have underperforming talented players than a lineup with little talent. Cape football will scrimmage at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 18, at Easton High. The scrimmage will be 10 and 10, and also include Patapsco and Crossland High School. “We will go against all three, and it should be fun,” said coach Mike Frederick, who took his team to Jungle Jim’s Thursday afternoon. Offensive linemen chuting down waterslides like seals into shallow water crash and splash. Go on now, git!  


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter