Crooked numbers – Life goes on, we give numbers, they haunt us like mission control. When you enter the fourth quarter and say the numbers out loud, people either clap or sit back. My working life revolves around youth athletes. I tell stories and many look back on me like I’m from Pluto. But on Sunday I walked out of the Staples store with my new computer power cord. The cashier greeted me, “How are you?” I said, “Great, how are you? And where in Philadelphia did you live?” “How do you know I’m from Philadelphia?” She went to Southern High and told me her husband went to Roxborough. I told her that for consecutive years, the City of Philadelphia Championship football game has ended in a tie. Southern tied West Catholic 20-20, then the next year Roxborough tied my team, Bishop Egan, 16-16. “What year did your husband graduate?” I asked. “1980,” she replied. “What year was the tie?” I said, “1963.” She looked at me like I was Pluto from Disney World and said, “I was just a little girl then, not even in school.” There was no point in telling her that George Gambone of Southern Bob Mahan (Notre Damebound) of West Catholic at the goal-line to save the tie, or that the following year I went helm-to-helmet with George Katzenbach of Roxborough, who later starred in Kentucky. Why can’t most personal stories be shared unless you have your own column?
Hopkins – “Amy what are you going to do, I’m here at six miles just to wait for you.” Anyone who can make a herd of cattle disappear makes short work of me. I was a blue chair guy on the green trail Saturday morning outside the Herring Point parking lot, waiting for Sea Witch half marathoners at the six-mile mark. I knew Amy Hopkins was in the mix and I had to wait to catch her in the wild before heading to the finish line. Amy jumped into my life. She emerged from the painting like a heron in flight. Amy was a 1994 All-State field hockey player for coach Ruth Skoglund. A herring and a heron walk into a sandbank.
Tied to a speaker – Ian Fleming is a 53-year-old blind runner. On Sunday at the Sea Witch 5K, he ran 26:42, tied to 53-year-old UPS driver Chris Stanley. Stanley is like a sports radio guy, super enthusiastic. He knows all about the Orioles and the Ravens and the University of Maryland, but he’ll also be fascinated by the Phillies and Eagles if you want to go down that route. Ian is from England and I’m curious if Chris Stanley can speak football.
Hijinx – Jim Nance and Tony Romo came out of their Skechers Sunday at the Linc praising everything about the Eagles, which only served to disrespect the Steelers. The final was 35-13, but for a while the 2-6 Steelers gave Philly everything they wanted. Professional players are prone to overconfidence. Just observe some of the childish behaviors in every game you watch, almost never from linemen but always at show time for experienced guys. Don’t take off your helmet, it’s a penalty, but if your doorbell rings, the medical staff will take it off for you and then hide it. Big people playing a stupid game.
Excerpts – Crazy week at Cape Sports as volleyball hosts Dover in the opening round of Thursday’s volleyball tournament. The winner travels to Archmere on Saturday. Field hockey is Delmar playing Saturday at 11 am at Lake Forest for the Henlopen Conference Championship. Indian River will play football Saturday noon for the Henlopen Conference Championship. The Henlopen Conference Cross Country Championships will be held Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Killens Pond State Park. I know a lot of sports things and sometimes I invent things. Salute to my friend Dale Dunning, sixth man basketball team at the 1996 State Finals. Just don’t mention Pleasantville from December’s slam dunk tournament. Come on, idiot!