I get knocked down; I get up again; ain’t nothing gonna slow me down
Semi-tough - I have been around so many courageous people in my life - not to mention a boatload of whiny babies - that I don't consider myself special even though I was in a class for freshman with behavior problems when I was in high school. The moment three weeks ago when Dr. Wilson Choy looked at my swollen right leg from across the examining room, smiled and said, “You need surgery,” I committed myself to aggressive postsurgical rehabilitation, because nobody needs the one-legged, flaccid and fat, not to mention immobile and incorrigible, old white guy sportswriter. Speaking of legs, I saw this as a two-pronged approach - nutrition and exercise. My wife Susan understands how to slow me down and deflate my torso, and my good friend trainer Dave Kergaard has been commissioned to lead me around Club Fitness to lifting stations manageable by an old lineman encumbered by an immovable leg joint. I promise this will not become an, “Oh, let's follow Fredmans's journey back from quad tendon reattachment surgery” narrative unless I trip over an animal and go through a plate-glass window.
Million-dollar meltdown - Basically, if you are beyond high school and have a public meltdown, witnesses backpedal for five yards before turning their hips and sprinting for the exits. Freaky fit and stunningly attractive Lolo Jones went Chernobyl on the “Today” show the morning after placing fourth in the 100-meter hurdle finals. The quote that will haunt her: "The media is saying I'm the Anna Kournikova of women's track. I hold two American indoor records" - blah-blah-blah - "and came back after spinal surgery" - blah-blah ... . Somewhere in a kitchen making a cheese omelet, Anna Kournikova is mystified, turns to her boyfriend and asks, “What are you staring at?' Seriously, Kournikova the tennis player at one time was ranked eighth in the world and at one time was the most searched-out athlete on the internet. Lolo, you're no Anna Kournikova! Anna never won a singles tournament, but her net worth is like $50 million.
Charismatic leaders - Cape used to have a Leadership Day, and I always considered it a compliment that I was never invited. And, in fact, many student leaders never made the list; they were, in essence, under cover because student leadership was defined according to certain shared values embraced by those in power and control. You know, all that good middle-class stuff. Michael Vick is the leader of the Eagles - right or wrong, dead dogs or not. He has that quiet charisma, and alpha males (almost wrote Alpo males) follow him. I'm not sure about Tim Tebow and what he brings to the locker room, but I would guess the lockers next to his are empty. And I like Tebow because you just can't get him off his game. Boomer Esiason, NFL analyst (they are everywhere) and former Jets quarterback, stated that Tebow should be cut because he is just a distraction and had the worst arm of any NFL quarterback. And you know the New York media - well, Post page six - wants to hook up Tebow with Lolo Jones, but that was before the meltdown. You will never see Timmy melt down, not ever!
Snippets - Cape graduate Erin Ricker is on the field hockey roster for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. Taylor Trimmer is on the field hockey roster at the University of Vermont. Tricia Colucci, former Cape soccer player, is a sophomore midfielder at Catholic University. Tricia is my great-niece by marriage twice removed, maybe more. Jeff Savage, former Cape baseball coach, Caesar Rodney basketball coach, Del State softball coach, is now the athletic director at Dover High School. Everybody loves Jeff. He is an entertaining person but he loves me the best; OK, I think he loves Dave Robinson better than me, but I'm in the top five. A message I give to high school athletes as they are about to start a season: "Always listen to your parents except sometimes. And those sometimes are when your parent talks about other players on your team or downtowns the coach on a daily basis. Just tell them, 'Hey, I' m trying to be a good teammate here. Can I get a little cooperation?'" During the sports season, athletes often lose strength and the conditioning edge, so keep hitting the weights during the season and always train harder than the next person. Most sports require short bursts of energy like cats chasing a yarn ball or dust bunny or what the nuns called pussy willows.
Go on now, git!