Sports is better seen through the eyes of a child
Eyes of a child - Isaiah Ayers stood at saluted attention while a sophomore girl from Polytech sang the national anthem before Friday night's football game. I asked coach Bill Collick, “Who is that little dude?" and he told me Isaiah Ayers, son of Damon Ayers. "He goes to the team dinner, rides the bus, takes care of the kicking tee just like kids have done for decades," Bill said. “He just loves it, and we love having him around." After the game, players gathered in the middle of the field for a prayer of fellowship. Cape was led by Austin Kitchen, and sometimes it's Luke Benson. All I know is, Isaiah before the game and the prayer by players afterward confirm to me that I chose the right career path, which mostly is no career at all, just bopping around doing what I like to do.
Dead guys on ballots - I made the final ballot of 20 live guys for the Bucks County Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Sure, it is an honor to survive a list of 300, and it would be a special Fred honor not to make it and answer the question, "How come you didn’t vote for yourself? What kind of social networking is that?” But what struck me was a list of nine deceased athletes and coaches and you could only vote for two. How sad to be many years dead and be rejected by voters, none of whom ever knew you. One guy’s resume read “basketball coach” and that was it. It’s like some obituaries get broken down to “best known for being a great card player, especially Tonk.”
Fight the power - Men who never coached and barely played should not be standing around in striped shirts on Friday nights throwing flags after long runs and killing drives. Every time a Cape runner had a run over 15 yards against Polytech, I looked back for a flag; it's what psychiatrists call classical conditioning. The ref in the white hat should tell his crew, “That’s enough - one more holding call and you’re going to the press box to watch the time and schmooze with the locals."
All-time worst introduction - Don Tollefson, former prime-time Philadelphia sportscaster, was the emcee of the 2007 Delaware Sports Writers and Broadcasters Banquet. They could have chosen me but incorrectly thought I made a lesbian joke while emceeing the 1999 Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, which is ridiculous; some of my closest friends are ... never mind. Tollefson is currently hiding in an inpatient care facility to duck charges of theft from people for sports junkets and for creating nonprofit charities that basically don’t exist. I was last on the program, ready to give a service award to Marion Lisehora of Millsboro, and Tollefson said, “The owners of the late horse Barbaro were supposed to be here tonight, but they both came down with the flu; now, here is Dave Frederick.” I took the podium and said “If you have no more famous dead animals or human contagions to mention, let me proceed with my presentation. But first a moment of silence for Luigi the beagle who died in 1957, but I miss him like it was yesterday."
Snippets - Salisbury University football beat previously unbeaten St. John Fisher 42-35 at home Oct. 19. Desmond Sivels, a former star at Sussex Tech, rushed eight times for 89 yards. Jerome Johnson from Cape carried nine times for 74 yards. Tyler West, a former Laurel fullback, rushed 12 times for 44 yards.
The University of Maryland field hockey team, 15-1, lost for the first time this season, dropping a 3-2 home game versus Old Dominion. Maxine Fluharty, a graduate of Sussex Tech, scored at 64:18, cutting the lead to 3-2, but the Terps couldn’t get all the way back.
College lacrosse has a lesser season - fall ball - the greater season is the spring schedule. Lacrosse generally begins spring practice in the middle of January, and by mid-February they are playing outside.
An NFL defensive player once demonstrated to me his techniques for shedding a blocker who holds. I didn’t know there were so many different ways to rabbit chop a forearm, including the double uppercut. I was bruised for weeks. How about that washed-up Shane Victorino hitting a grand slam to put the Red Sox in the World Series? That was a classic.
Go on now, git!