Good morning!

Forgive me, fans. Yesterday was a travel day for me, and it turned into the travel day from heck. Listen, I am a country boy. I see a car about every 5 minutes on the roads here in Scott Township. Not that I can’t maneuver like Barry Sanders against a defense, but it is stressful when you are not familiar with the roadways and the routes you must take in the return home from Washington DC.

OK, the initial start went fine. It was in the morning Saturday and apparently the very lively night life crowd in the city had still not clogged the major roadways. Getting through Virginia was no problem, scenic and serene, in fact. However, once the journey made its way to the highway, things became very dicey. As I merged onto the freeway, the now all-to-familiar Ms. GPS began to speak to me like a scene from Mission Impossible. “Stay in the left lane to merge onto. …” What? The left lane? I just arrived in the right lane and all I saw were cars in a logjam. “If you choose to accept.” I did.

Now, I crossed three lanes to get into the left against the heavy flow of bumper-to-bumper cars almost effortlessly. I thought, this isn’t bad. Even my family gave me a golf clap as I completed the assignment. The GPS, however, did not self-destruct. Soon, she could be heard, again. “In 100 feet, merge right.” Merge right? Why don’t you wait until I am three lanes away and only 1 foot away! So, I turned on my blinker and somehow got into the correct lane, got on the correct route and started cruising.

Oh, but wait. That dastardly fuel light! Even the KIA needs to gas up on a long trip. So, we kept our eyes peeled for signs for a gas station. Funny and frustrating, as well, is when the right-hand lanes, which by the way you are supposed to be driving in, turn into Exit Only lanes. Then, of course, you have to merge back left. Still, I need to find a gas station. We are driving, and driving, and driving. Nothing. This is incredible. In Pennsylvania we have a gas station right off every exit. In Maryland, no gas station. Finally, we see the blue sign with the gas pump and exit. We follow the arrow right and away we go. But, wait. No gas station. We have actually exited into a town. A living area. We continue until we hit a ROAD CLOSED sign. Good thing this was during the day. We back track and my wife says those all-too-familiar words, “Pull over and ask for directions. …” Oh, no. That is Rule No. 26 of the Guy Code. We don’t ask directions. Not in front of the kids. That would be like me not finishing my mouth-watering steak at Old Ebbitt Grill, which I did finish by the way!

But, even I know when to wave a white flag in surrender. It’s when the gas light starts blinking! Finally, a nice man on a bike, guided us and pointed us in the right direction. We landed at a gas station, some 10 miles in the opposite direction we were traveling in the first place! But we refueled. A eerie silence came over the car for the next hour of the trip, until the bellies got gurgling and it was time to ask to stop for lunch. We did stop with about an hour and 30 minutes remaining. It cut the tension and got us back to having a fun time together as a family.

All-in-all, it was a very fun three days together. We don’t get many as a family any more, and this one was special because it was the first college visit. Meghan liked American University. But like any responsible adult and parent, I told her there are many options out there. She knows and we are going to be taking a couple more visits. This is a stressful time for a senior. I didn’t have to go through this process 29 years ago, so this is all new for me and my wife. Parents who are out there, just know, I understand what you are all going through these days.

While in Washington DC, of course, I did work. I don’t take days off. Dream Game coverage is going full steam ahead. But, as you can see, once I got home Saturday, I just wanted to rest and watch a 6-hour baseball game. Basically, I fell asleep on my couch. But Saturday, I hope you all got the opportunity to read about Mid Valley’s Tom Malandri. This kid is one of the most polite student-athletes I have ever encountered. I didn’t ever have to ask him to smile for a photo, that’s for sure.

 

Mid Valley graduate Tom Malandri
Photo by Jason Farmer

 

And Sunday was our annual Dream Game spectacular. We give you two player profiles — Dunmore’s Nicholas Lawler and Lakeland’s Kevin Johnson — numerical rosters and past results. That’s right, full coverage of the game.

 

 

Dunmore graduate Nicholas Lawler.
Photo by Jason Farmer

 

Lakeland graduate Kevin Johnson.
Photo by Jason Farmer

 

 

In addition, Christopher Dolan was again out and about shooting some candid shots for his portfolio and gave me a few since I couldn’t be at either City or County practice on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Coverage will continue on Monday and Tuesday with two more player profiles, and Wednesday I will have the starting lineups. The game is Wednesday at 7 p.m. at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium. And before you all know it, the 2017 High School Football Season will be upon us.

 


 

Scenes from City practice for
83rd Scranton Lions Club
Dream Game
Photos by Christopher Dolan

 

 


 

That’s all for today.

After work today, I will need to cut my grass. It’s been 5 days and with the rain we had here in NEPA. it’s starting to look like a hay field.

And, I may as well address this since it is gaining steam. Apparently, Paul McGloin has unearthed a photo through my sister on Facebook. Yes, it’s true. I did audition for the part of Captain Jack Sparrow for Pirates of the Caribbean and lost out on the millions to some guy named Johnny Depp? Who knew? Well, nobody, until this morning. Thanks, Paul and Devon!

 

 


HERE IS WHAT THE SCHEDULE LOOKS LIKE FOR THE TIMES-TRIBUNE

 

  • Monday: City player profile
  • Tuesday: County player profile
  • Wednesday: Starting lineups.
  • Thursday: 83rd Scranton Lions Club Dream Game coverage (Shhhh. … I heard a rumor the Dangerous Donnie Collins may be making an appearance).