The team is the dream the true athlete embraces
House blend - My world is mostly about covering sports as a photojournalist and grandfather of athletes. I try to be fair, to move around, to get out there to all the sports, but it can’t be done. And so I go to enjoy, to appreciate and to respect all athletes in the game. I love people who coach; they are tougher than me, my obsession was the win; it just wore me down. I still fight for perspective for the teams I’m close to. I intellectually realize it is only a game, but it’s a fight I lose several times a week because the win is the prize and all that other stuff is rationalization to ease the pain. I wrote this because since my last deadline I can barely remember where I was and how many thousands of photos I took. I think I like covering running races because everyone wins, the fast and the slow. It gets worse with tryout teams that will play in front of recruiters who no longer go to high school games. I stumbled into my own observation, “If you have the means to chase a scholarship, you most certainly don’t need one.” My oldest granddaughter Anna on a lacrosse scholarship at Temple, a good student and balanced personality said to me, ”I just really like being on a team.” Enjoy the moment, strive to keep playing as long as you can if you really like being on a team, but when push comes to shove, no one can stop you from being an athlete but you.
Bandana dogs of the badlands - Lacrosse dogs tend to be lab mixes, mostly with poodles. No name is more prep than Golden Doodle, and no dog is nicer if nice is what you want. I saw painted flabby labbies from Archmere to Temple last Saturday tracking two lacrosse games. North Philly has been called the badlands, but for Villanova at Temple on 15th Street it was Rovers and Range Rovers. The sports world is changing, the Earth spinning 1,000 miles an hour always the same direction. Ask 10 people what direction that is, and maybe one will know; the rest are just along for the ride.
Never admit weakness - Confidence and brevity are essential traits for public speaking, and never admit weakness or ask the audience for mercy. My favorite intro was a nervous cheerleading coach at a football banquet. I did my best to build up her confidence, and when she got up there she said, ”I’d rather be home cleaning the toilet bowl than talking into this microphone," then she launched into a 20-minute speech and the cheerleaders loved it because you don’t become a cheerleader if you don’t like attention. I am working on a launch window and exit velocity for a “four minutes wraps up my life speech” this Thursday night at Bucks County Sports Hall of Fame. Entire decades I have thrown out, along with hundreds of people who tried to motivate me but couldn’t.
Kentucky - I think of Kentucky, I think of singers and coal mines and the TV program "Justified" and of course, basketball. And I remember the great story of 1966 and Texas Western, the first team with all black players to win the NCAA title, and they did it over an all-white team coached by Adolph Rupp. It was one of those events that set sports culture on a new course, and last Saturday night there was lots of cyber commentary that mostly white Wisconsin couldn’t beat a team of mostly black Kentucky freshmen. In fairness to the young men playing for Kentucky, I’d like to see each of them interviewed in depth to find out who they are beyond basketball.
Snippets - The Phillies’ new color analyst Jamie Moyer said, “Chase Utley doesn’t have to worry about being who he used to be; he just has to worry about being Chase Utley.” My question: “Who did he used to be?”
Zach Mawson, a junior left-handed pitcher for Rider University, pitched a complete game April 5 in a 7-2 win over Marist College. Zach pitched for Caesar Rodney. I ran into his grandfather at a Wawa in Wilmington on my way to Archmere then Temple. His grandfather is Lenny Chasnov, who was recently inducted into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame.
Robbin Myerberg, with double knee replacement - the left three months ago and the right six months ago - walked and completed the Oy Vey 5K April 6, which is amazingly impressive. Go on now, git!