Super Soaker Sandy splashes seaside Sussex with sheets of rain
They call me The Streak - I have not missed a People in Sports weekly column since I started at The Whale newspaper in 1982. And I have never repeated one on purpose, although I do prattle and rattle on, no doubt repeating certain stories. Hurricane Sandy is threatening to go eat-um-up, yum-yum on coastal Sussex, so I’m launching early just in case power goes out or cyber space gets wet. If it were back in the 1970s, I’d be riding a raft in the ocean, but I’m too brittle now, not to mention smarter. I know surfers are stoked. Best advice during a wind storm producing sheets of rain is “don’t wear an iPod" - you need to hear things like snapping tree limbs and power lines. Stay under cover, don’t step into anything wet and don’t drink the water in the bath tub.
Curb Your Enthusiasm - Brent Musburger is a 73-year-old sports announcer who loves the sound of his own voice as much as I like to laugh at my own jokes. On Oct. 27 on the ABC network, he was over the top all night long calling the Notre Dame victory over Oklahoma. “I’m telling you folks, these Fighting Irish are for real.” Fans can expect a good dose of Notre Dame football on sports talk television and radio because there is no fight song like “Cheer for Old Notre Dame” and if the team finishes undefeated, there is no doubt they will jump over Kansas State and Oregon to get into the national championship game.
Baseball on Fox - Tim McCarver is the 71-year-old color commentator for this World Series, sitting alongside play-by-play man Joe Buck. During Game 3 won by the Giants, catcher Buster Posey made a backhanded catch of a pitch that “crossed him up” and McCarver prattled on for an entire inning about how you needed great hands to be a catcher at the major league level. Posey graduated fourth in his class from high school, went to Florida State and in his junior year once played all nine positions in a single game. He still looks like a goober Buster Posey somebody, but he does have great hands.
Unwritten rules - The Washington High Jaguars trailed Cape at halftime of Homecoming 49-0. The Vikings had shut down their starters with four minutes left in the half, but the backups scored again. I saw a young-and-football-fit Jaguar coach as I was heading back to the press box for the second half. He had a color coded laminated play chart sticking out of the back of his waistband. I asked Cape offensive coordinator Herky Billings to produce his chart. He had one - no colors, not very intricate - and said, "Our offense is more like if something isn’t working, better try something else.” Washington lost 56-0, but they had some real players and hitters, and when the Vikings started to take a knee with four minutes remaining their defensive players on the field didn’t like it. It is a no-win situation. Years ago when Seaford was rolling, they dropped 82 on Laurel one Friday night. Last year, the Bulldogs bit back with a 37-0 win. Seaford hasn’t beaten Laurel the last five years and won’t beat them this year either. Bite backs are hell.
Snippets - November is state tournament time. When you’re top dog, you’re mistakes are magnified. When you're bottom dog, accomplishments are magnified. That’s why top dogs must play like junkyard dogs. If bottom dog sticks its paw into top dog's bowl, bite it and don’t let go. Here is an example of sports irony: An enraged adult fan screams into the still and silence of an October night: “Hey, ref! You’re an absolute embarrassment!” An emerging sports story most probably will find one of the state's top cross country runners declared ineligible for the rest of the season because administrators from his second school ran some dipsy-doodle version of the transfer rule that was concocted to skirt a rule. But at least the athlete - compliant but not complicit - gets to take the fall in public while adults hide in the shadows pointing at each other. In other words, the athlete just asked, “We good? I just want to run.” “Yea, we good.” Grandmom Rose: “Let a smile be your umbrella and be prepared to get soaked.”
Go on now, git!