Cape Gazette
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Thoughts From the Sidelines

Too close for comfort!

By Sumner Spence | Nov 21, 2013

The only reason I didn't bring up the Eagles' 10-game losing streak for home games in last week's column was so that I wouldn't jinx them against the Redskins. I'm not usually the superstitious type, but I wasn't about to take any chances! The Eagles played an excellent first half, leading 24-0 after two quarters. I still wasn't feeling completely confident at this point, though. The Redskins had given them a lot of help on both sides of the ball. At times, the Redskins looked like they were sleepwalking their way through the game.

In the second half, the Eagles seemed to let off the gas just a little bit, which served to wake up the Redskins' offense at the very end of the third quarter and into the fourth. It was at about this point in the game that I got a bit nervous that the chance to win a home game could once again elude us. All the Redskins needed to do was to get 8 points to tie but Robert Griffin blew that last chance when he gave up an interception in the end zone. Thank you, Robert! The Eagles finally have their bye and can actually enjoy their first place standing for now. It was a much needed and much appreciated turnaround for us Eagles fans!

In college football, Stanford lost to USC, which officially knocks Stanford out of the running to play in the national championship. The game that will really count will be the Iron Bowl in which Alabama plays Auburn. Alabama needs to win that game if they are to be a contender for that national championship game.

The field for World Cup soccer has now been determined even though the actual event, which will be held in Brazil, won't start until June 2014. The last few berths were assigned this week through a two-match playoff system. The U.S. team did not have to worry about this since it won its qualifying group a while back. There are 32 teams in all and the lottery to determine the individual starting match-ups will be conducted live on Dec. 6 in Brazil. It will be broadcast on one of the ESPN channels.

Even though spring training is far off, all the major league baseball teams have started shaping their rosters for next season. So far, the Phillis have re-signed two players. Catcher Carlos Ruiz has been signed to a three-year contract. I hope they have a good backup plan considering he is 35 years old and will probably get hurt at some point. The Phillies management also decided to take a blast from their past and signed Marlon Byrd to play right field. He is an even bigger risk than Ruiz, having been suspended for a while due to his use of PEDs. He could end up suspended again if he continues using or he could become a mediocre player like he was for the Phillies before the drug enhancements. I had hoped the Phillies would have used their first scouting efforts to try to get some younger pitchers to help out Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. There's plenty of time to see what comes of all of this.

I wanted to make sure that I ended this week's effort with a huge congratulations to Cape Henlopen girls' field hockey team for their three-peat win in the state championship! Also congratulations are in order for the great effort of the Cape boys' soccer team this year, making it all the way to the semifinals.

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